More than a Game:
Learning about Climate Change Through Role
Lessons learned from the CEMS Course on Climate Policy Course and Simulation
at HSG & ESADE
By Prof. Dr. Wüstenhagen, Melissa Paschall, Elmar Friedrich, & Kate Negacz
1 Background & Motivation
2 Course Design
3 Learning Objectives
5 Role Play
6 What’s next?
23.11.2009 Background & Motivation
Investment in new power plants in EU (2008):
Actual vs. Estimates of Students @ HSG
The real world Students‘ guess
ranking (indexed to match)
2008 newly installed
• With one exception (Finland), everyone overestimated nuclear by wide margin.
• With two exceptions each, they underestimated wind (excl. Sweden, Poland) and solar
(excl. France, Germany).
• 80 % of the above who got nuclear, wind or solar right were female.
23.11.2009 Background & Motivation
Climate Change is an increasingly important topic,
also for business school students.
Teaching reform at University of St. Gallen
(Bologna) leads us to looking for new courses in the
area of Corporate Sustainability.
Role Plays / Simulation as interactive, rewarding
form of learning.
Opportunity for CEMS Faculty Group to take yet
another lead in innovative teaching for
Course was rolled out at University St. Gallen and
ESADE in Feb. 09.
Targeted to attract students with different business
23.11.2009 Course Design
Course should be fully intergated in CEMS-MIM curriculum as well as
curriculum of 3-5 CEMS partner schools.
Course consists of four modules:
• Modules 1 & 2 two focused on classroom-based learning via
lectures, discussion, and in-class exercises.
• Modules 3 & 4 focused on preparation for the role play and the
role play itself in Barcelona, Spain.
20-30 students from each participating CEMS school.
i.e. 60-150 students overall.
23.11.2009 Learning Objectives
1. To understand climate change and the challenges
2. To provide insight into the processes of
3. To build negotiation skills for use in a variety of
4. To understand the impact of climate change on
business, and vice versa.
5. To invent creative and workable new solutions for
Module 1: Introduction to Climate Change & Climate Policy
Week 1 Fundamentals of Climate Change
Week 2 Climate Policy and the UNFCCC
Week 3 Options for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Module 2: Climate Change and Business
Week 4 The Role of Business in Global Climate Policy
Week 5 Live Case Study with Guest Speaker
Module 3: Preparation of the Negotiation Session
Week 6 Skill Training: Negotiation
Week 7 Student Presentations (Background of Parties)
Week 8 Final Preparation: Feedback & Confidential Instructions
Module 4: Climate Change and Business
Two-day “Model UNFCCC”
Students from all participating Universities meet in Barcelona
23.11.2009 Role Play
In Week 5, Students are assigned certain roles (e.g. EU, US, Uganda,
Low-Lying Island States, China, Russia, NGOs Automotive Lobby, etc.)
Students were trained in Negotiation Skills
Prior to the Role Play, all students gave
• „Background Presentations“ on Geographie, Economy, & Politics of
• and prepared „Position Papers“ including Mitigation Targets, the
future of the CDM, and adaptation funding.
During the 2-day Negotiation Simulation in Barcelona, teams of 4-5
students represented one important actor in global climate policy.
Negotiations were passionate and sometimes frustrating for the students.
Voting rules reflect UNFCCC rules
Students agreed on a comparably weak resolution.
23.11.2009 Spreading idea to the world
-Students learn how important role media
plays in negotiations
-Possibility to shape external conditions
around negotiations via press releases
-A great experience for students
-Other students and audience can be
involved via a live blogging from the event
Make a difference
- A model to be replicated on real
conferences, e.g. World Resources Forum
Next year: HSG , ESADE , Cologne , CBS?, Warsaw?, ...?
Coordinate 2010 curriculum with (new) Universities.
Incorporate COP15 results into the curriculum.
Interested? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
23.11.2009 Student Quotes
“Never have I experienced a learning process
as effective as the one in this course.”
“This was easily the best course in my CEMS
year. It really enhanced my knowledge
in the topic, and it provided really good
insights into a rather ambiguous process.”
“One of the best learning experiences during
my graduate studies so far.” (SP)
Thank you very much.