The Climate Solutions Simulation Workshop helps build support for strategies to address climate change via interactive testing of a cutting-edge simulation model. The resulting experience is hopeful, scientifically-grounded, action-oriented, and eye-opening.
Participants discuss their actions at any level — business, community, country, or region — and then use the En-ROADS simulator to learn of the global impact (e.g., can we limit warming to 2 degrees?) if the action spread widely. Many report surprises — some strategies are much higher leverage than we think (and likewise).
The workshop is designed to be run by facilitators with a wide range of skills and is widely accessible — the simulation and materials are all “open source.” Events can last from 30 minutes to three hours and include 3-100 people.
It has been run at Stattnet in Norway, the Energy Transition Forum in London, HSBC bank in New York City, MIT Sloan School of Management, the U.S. Climate Action Network, the Climate and Energy Funders Group, and on a climate education cruise to Antarctica.
One of the worksheets used to create scenarios in the simulator is below — its goal is to explore a wide range of actions that can address climate change.
The Climate Interactive team runs the workshop for partners. However, many more events happen by other facilitators using the free, open-source materials. Recently, MIT Professor Jason Jay ran an event at an energy conference and Stephen Heintz, the Executive Director of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, led the workshop for a group studying climate science.
The workshop was particularly effective at the 2018 Climate and Energy Funder’s Group Annual Meeting in Miami. As the kickoff plenary presentation with the title of “Reality Check”, it received the most mentions as the “highlight of the conference,” ahead of “networking”, which had won every other year of the meeting.
‘[It] was a wake-up call – I left with a renewed sense of urgency.’
‘The modeling exercise on the first day was extremely sobering – while it’s challenging to see what is before us, I think it’s really useful to ground the conversation in that reality at the outset.’
Participants in other events said:
“Drew Jones’ facilitation of the Simulation with the Leadership North Carolina Class XXIII engaged leaders from across sectors in an interactive, thought-provoking and solutions-focused discussion about strategies and policies to address global climate change. I think we all walked away with a better understanding of the complex energy and climate system and hope in our collective ability to drive a more sustainable future.”
– Jessica Thomas, Director, Business Sustainability Collaborative
The team at Climate Interactive have created a powerful educational tool in their En-ROADS model. At C2ES, we have experimented with the simulation both internally and with our Business Environmental Leadership Council, and the results have been both informative and illuminating. It is easy to make assumptions about the contribution that certain sectors, actions or technologies can make to reduce global GHG concentrations – and this simulation demonstrates in real-time how one’s assumptions and mental models are not always correct. En-ROADS teaches us that while it is still possible to avoid dangerous climate change, there are indeed no silver bullets to reach this goal, and we have our work cut out for us.
-Eileen Claussen, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)