Learning scenario: The emerging social dynamics is generated by a detailed set of rules (see bibliography), which is available online in the "game rules" (shown on 1 page each per level).
Method: The five-step negotiation "Surfing Global Change" trains the competence for achieving sustainable consensus solutions. Along a series of game processes in five levels (Fig. 1, right) the share of social skills increases as compared to classical professional skills:
- Level 1: acquire knowledge and pass a web based quiz
- Level 2: establish a sound technical point of view and comment on others’ views
- Level 3: win a controversial discussion in the team in the view of observers
- Level 4: reach consensus with the same discussion partners
- Level 5: integrate the envisaged case study in the context of global long-term trends.
The objective of Surfing Global Change is to construct one’s own learning targets, to increase the game players’ transdisciplinary competence to act and to generate long-lasting (= sustainable) solutions given conflicting patterns of interest. Technical, economic, social and other impacts of large-scale projects or innovations can be systematically assessed and compared against values (“technology assessment”).
Aim: SGC radically promotes the emergence of dynamic communication patterns among students. These may be dominated by both self-interest and the commitment to professional quality – just as in real life. In this field of tension a sensitive and often deliberately unstable social equilibrium emerges in which the students, based on their own behavioural inclinations, can experience first-hand the uncertainties of both Machiavellian and idealistic strategies for action. The moderator therein accompanies and supports.
The role of the evaluator moves from the moderator to the students. They define by themselves the case studies, their team, positions and policies and give each other points (contributing to the grade).
The concept of SGC (© Gilbert Ahamer) was developed in 2003 and since then has been implemented at different universities more than two dozen times for the following courses:
- “Technology Assessment”, “Environmental Technology”, “Systems Theory & Biology” in the curricula “Civil Engineering”, “Architecture” and “Industrial Electronics” at FH Joanneum
- “Interdisciplinary Practicals” in the curriculum “Environmental Systems Sciences” of the University of Graz on the themes
- Climate Change and Climate Models
- Technology Assessment
- Systems Analysis and Biology
- Environmental effects of land use and energy supply
- Global Change – Socio-ecologic competencies considering for example the new EU Member States
- Participation in Municipal Sustainability Planning
- Global Change in our networked environment
- World in a Change? - Comparison of three socio-economic, climatic and technological future perspectives
- Passive Houses and Low Energy Houses
- A Climate to Act
- Peak Oil
- Environment in South-East Europe and EU Enlargement
- Technology Assessment and Climate Change
- Energy Optimization in the Residential Sector
- EIA & Strategic Environmental Assessment SEA
- S7 - Pro and Contra of the Fürstenfeld Highway
- Globalization from Chernobyl to the Styrian 380kV line
- Ecological Way of Life: Nostalgic Past or Necessary Future?
- Viticulture in Southern Styria under Impact of Climate Chg.
- Go East: Environmental Aspects in Croatia and Slovenia
- Inner-Alpine Highway along the Enns River: Now or Never
- Heating Ecologically and Economically: Comparing Methods
3. Seminar “Globalisation & Global Change” at Salzburg University
Figure 1: The levels of the negotiation game "Surfing Global Change" and their characteristics
Access: Free, only after personal communication with the author (© Gilbert Ahamer)
According to the high complexity of SGC and according to the comments received during the Sustainicum process, the author and copyright holder strongly recommends that personal support by the author is included in any attempt to implement SGC. Else its authentic character is likely to be not maintained.