In three years, Professor Eduardo Pedro Fracassi has journeyed from being inactive on climate change progress to making a major impact with Climate Interactive’s World Climate Exercise. He’s gone from Climate Student to Climate Star.
After seeing a presentation of Climate Interactive’s work, Eduardo co-facilitated with fellow professor Fabian Szulanski 17 World Climate Exercise workshops, proposed a Climate Engineering course at the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology (ITBA), inspired a group of students to convert their recycling group into a climate change mitigation group, worked with Gloria Perez Salazar, President of the Latam Systems Dynamics Society Chapter and 15 volunteers to translate the World Climate briefing materials into Spanish, and built a coalition of 140 people working to address climate change. But just three years earlier he had focused all his efforts on science and systems thinking, with climate no more than an issue he cared about.
EDUARDO PEDRO FRACASSI IS
The Founder of the project Climate Change & Global Warming
NUMBER OF TIMES EDUARDO HAS RUN THE WORLD CLIMATE EXERCISE
NUMBER OF PEOPLE REACHED
Eduardo teaches a systems thinking course at the University of Business and Social Sciences (UCES) in Bueno Aires, Argentina. In 2012, he attended his local System Dynamics Society’s presentation of Climate Interactive’s C-Learn and C-ROADS tool. The presentation, given by Climate Interactive team member and MIT Professor John Sterman, taught Eduardo about the consequences of global climate change in his area.
“The delta of the River Plate [on the Argentina-Uruguay border] could just disappear in a storm. I was deeply shocked,” Eduardo stated. “I asked what we were going to do about this message, and was told by Gloria Perez Salazar and Isaac Dyner of the Latam Systems Dynamics Society Chapter that I was going to be the leader of the group’s Climate Awareness Initiative.”
I had the chance to talk with Eduardo (he Skyped from Buenos Aires, Argentina) about his work….
How does the World Climate Exercise help you in your work?
It’s a wonderful teaching tool because it synthesizes the whole act of climate change. It’s a tool that works and it’s easy to use.
The World Climate Exercise is all about people doing things to create change, and people need goals to make change. People want to see the changes in the simulations; they want to know if we are the safe zone.
Why do you keep running the World Climate Exercise?
It really shows the impacts of climate change and setting goals to mitigate climate change. There is a paradigm shift with this tool and people realize that their actions have consequences.
What is unique about this tool?
Students get to play the game, and they enjoy the game. It’s fun and it really engages people. I’ve seen students continue to play the game to the point where I’ve had to push them out of the building to get them to stop.
How do you feel leading up to hosting World Climate? How do you feel after?
I hope this exercise helps create an awareness about this issue we are facing. I hope and pray the exercise will lead to action.
After running the exercise in Costa Rica, a man from Colombia asked me to travel to that country to administer the game. And, a man from Brazil wants to translate the exercise to Portuguese. This tool is a great multiplier – a viral engine.
As a World Climate Exercise facilitator, you are the teacher/instructor, but what have you learned from running the exercise?
This tool helped me understand what is happening with climate change and enabled me to contribute. I want to leave something for humanity. I see purpose in what I do.
What is your favorite moment running the World Climate Exercise?
My favorite moment is when participants ask if they can run the exercise in other places. I also enjoy when people realize that they should start doing things differently to combat climate change.
” I immediately saw that it was
a wonderful learning tool.”
~ Eduardo Pedro Fracassi
What looks and emotions do you see in participants?
Students want to learn how to negotiate and they want to learn how to resolve these climate change issues. People need an explanation afterwards to find out what they need to do to live a happy life. They remain paralyzed if they don’t know what to do. They should be shown all the ways to avoid the disaster.
Have any participants cried?
No, but they are affected. They are changed after the exercise. Students want the future – a safe place to live.