Creativity counts! From boardgames to bulletins, how can you truly engage with people on adaptation to climate change?

A close up of the boardgame - Venice: The Adaptation Game - showing the player pieces

As part of the MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance course, Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation at the Grantham Institute, challenged students to design a climate change adaptation plan for a sector or country of their choice, and find a creative way to communicate persuasively with relevant stakeholders. They did such a good job, that we decided to share some of the highlights, written by the teams themselves: 

The board game

By Angela Cai, Adam Fitzwilliam, Marina Monciatti, Claudio Nuber, Sergio Duarte, Daniela Navalshankar

Venice: The Adaptation Game - a close up of a hand of cards used in the game

“We decided to create a boardgame, something that is creative, fun and aimed at children, the generation who will directly experience the impacts of climate change. In Venice: The Adaptation Game, players take turns navigating the streets and canals of Venice, a city that is slowly sinking and experiencing the impacts of extreme heat due to climate change. The aim of the game is to protect as many historic Venetian landmarks from the impacts of climate change as possible. As players progress, they pick up cards which either help or hinder their climate adaptation efforts. These cards are random and illustrate the unpredictable nature of climate change impacts.

“The game attempts to replicate real-world challenges including city planning  and decision-making when dealing with natural variability and the uncertainty of future environmental changes. We have simplified these scientific concepts in a way that can easily be understood by kids, and does not compromise the integrity of the science behind climate adaptation. All of this is delivered in a light-hearted manner to ensure the content remains accessible and fun for younger audiences. This game serves as a platform to ensure that the next generation is well-informed about the impacts of climate change.”

The bulletin

By Eduardo Martin, Fernandez-Pacheco, Emma Walsh, Inès Bakhtaoui, Joshua Francesco Kauten, Julia Yvonne Jäger, Yijin Guo

“Today, Algeria is facing desertification and drought all over the country. Our team imagined two programmes – AgroInfo and the Future Farming Initiative – that provide tailored solutions to local farmers. These services would offer farmers the latest technological innovations in irrigation, helping to develop a network of farmers resilient to water shortages and droughts. 

“Our research shows that the radio is one of the main sources of news and entertainment for Algerians. As such, we developed a radio news bulletin. We wanted as many Algerian farmers as possible to listen to the bulletin about AgroInfo and the Future Farming Initiative, and so we made sure the bulletin emphasised core values of Algerian farmers: security, community and well-being.” 

The rap

By Team Heroes: Joseph Bensadon, Daniela Arroyo Olson, Adithya Bhashyam, Luis Casanas Ramirez, Anne Millar-Durrant, Tiange Wei

“We focused our adaptation plans on water and drought management in Bengalaru, India. Following the success of the Movimiento Naranja song, a catchy tune from a political party in Mexico that went viral, we decided to write a song to inform the public about the different water management activities the government would put in place, and how they would benefit the public. 

“We chose a rap/slam style, believing a popular music genre would resonate more with the audience and deliver the message in an approachable wayRap is not very common in Bengaluru, but the format could be adapted by local authorities to regional culture and tastes so that it reaches the local population.” 

Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation:

Headshot of Alyssa Gilbert
(c) Fergus Burnett

“All three groups thought carefully about their audience, and developed a unique presentation style that had already proven successful for other topics.  It can be tricky to repackage information and education into a fun message, without losing the core of the message, and its gravity. However, I hope that, as they move forward in their careers, these students will use their fabulous creativity and remember that the delivery style is often as important as the message.”    


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