Playing for change

Author: Laura Clark

I have had the opportunity to work for MABRRI as a research assistant for the past year, with most of my work focused around community planning. But the odd day, I get a change up from my routine and get to try something new! On July 6th, I had the chance to participate in The World’s Future Social Simulation with six other MABRRI Research Assistants. I have always been passionate about sustainability and the SDGs, and this simulation was an excellent opportunity to dive right in. 

The online simulation consisted of three countries who were pursuing sustainable development. Within each country the players had different roles and were decision makers for energy and industrial investments, social development, and environmental management. Each country was faced with challenges, population growth, symptoms of climate change, and opportunities for positive growth. Each step of the simulation really forced you to question what your own priorities were and how feasible they would be. 

The main takeaways from the game were more than just expanding my personal knowledge of sustainable development. It’s often difficult to understand or sympathize with decision makers, most often I am questioning why they aren’t doing more or moving faster to achieve sustainability targets that feel in reach. But what The World’s Future puts into perspective is how complex it is to truly achieve sustainability with limited resources and support from the business sector. It also proved why international cooperation is so necessary but challenging. As we witnessed nations improve their own sector while negatively impacting others, or not having enough funds to provide for themselves with energy efficient emissions. It reminded me to continue to challenge myself and expand my knowledge but also to participate, voice concerns, and be a part of a community of change makers. 

So not only did the game expand my conflict resolution skills and develop my communication skills, but it reiterated how interconnected our communities truly are.