It’s fun, and not as hard as you think
I’ve been an En-ROADS Climate Ambassador since March, and I always thought I’d be a “workshop-only” one. I ran my first workshop in my living room before the pandemic, and then I facilitated four or five Zoom workshops throughout the spring and summer.
In August, the Climate Interactive team emailed me and another ambassador about doing what we thought would be a workshop for an undergraduate environmental economics class based in Claremont, California. Upon learning more about the differences between the En-ROADS Climate Workshop and the Climate Action Simulation game, the professor and her assistant thought the game would be more interesting to their students.
I almost told them, “Oh, well I only run the workshop, so I’ll have to refer you to someone else to do the game,” but instead, I figured I might as well push myself to try it at least once. Why not, right?
I had plenty of time to prepare since the Climate Action Simulation game wasn’t until mid-November, and Climate Interactive’s facilitator guide provides really detailed instructions and even scripts to read from — I just tweaked them a little to fit the audience and sound more like me.
Now I can officially say I’m so glad I tried it, and I’m hooked! I have no acting experience aside from a few middle school plays and pretending with my kids, but I had a blast playing UN Secretary-General.
We played the game over two class sessions (a Monday and a Wednesday) with the second round of negotiations as homework in between, which worked out well. The students really took their roles seriously, their presentations were so passionate, and they asked great questions.
Their reactions to the game were different than the reactions I’d previously gotten to the workshop. The push and pull between the different sectors made some students more pessimistic about real-world negotiations, but I think it made the experience more immersive and memorable, just as their professor had anticipated. The overall reaction was positive, and many felt called to action.
My co-facilitator was absolutely wonderful — it’s so nice to someone else there to keep an eye on the chat box, jump in with additional information to answer questions, and of course to help with Zoom difficulties.
I look forward to facilitating more En-ROADS workshops AND games in the future, and I know you can too. You got this.