Learning about Sustainability through Experiencing Complex, Adverse Conditions Typical of the South: Reflections from the African Catchment Games Played in Finland 2008

Fraenkel, Linda Anne and Fox, R.C. (2009) Learning about Sustainability through Experiencing Complex, Adverse Conditions Typical of the South: Reflections from the African Catchment Games Played in Finland 2008. In: 11th International Conference of Finland Futures Research Centre and Finland Futures Academy, 28-29 May 2009, Tampere, Finland. (In Press)

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Abstract

The African Catchment Game is an innovative role playing game which was played twice in Finland in 2008 as part of the CIMO funded collaboration between Finland Futures Research Centre and Rhodes University. It simulates a "real imaginary country" and enables participants to explore and experience how southern countries may or may not develop scenarios of sustainable resource extraction and consumption. New processes modelling climatic variability, water management and consumption were introduced for these two game runs. This imaginary country has roles for an urban/industrial sector, the informal sector, trading intermediaries, overseas trade, a government comprised of a president and two ministers, peasant and commercial farmers. Chapman's original game, Green Revolution Game/Exaction, is based on systems and complexity theories from the 1970s and 1980s. Our modifications to Chapman’s game are underpinned by theories of Complex Adaptive Systems and educational approaches based on constructivist, active/experiential learning models. The paper presents an analysis of the two Finnish games from the perspectives of the participants and the game managers. Participants’ information came from pre and post game questionnaires and the focus group discussions that were part of the debriefing pro-cess. These two methods enabled us to examine the local and network processes which de-veloped during the games. Global scale processes of production, consumption, resource utilization, trading and water provision was collected by the game managers as part of their management processes throughout each game run. Our analysis shows that the par-ticipants’ understanding altered and deepened as a result of playing the game. The nature of the game, as a Complex Adaptive System, and the constructivist learning approach through which the game is experienced means that lessons of a more universal nature cannot be extrapolated.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sustainability, Complex Adaptive Systems, African Catchment Game, Simulations, Finland
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Geography
ID Code:1406
Deposited By: Prof Roddy Fox
Deposited On:29 Jun 2009
Last Modified:01 Aug 2012 08:10
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