READ: TO LIFE! Read any three of the following chapters. Artists who utilize experiential learning strategies include Ballengee, Beuys, Critical Art Ensemble, HeHe, Jeremijenko, Potrc, and SUPERFLEX. Artists whose convey information by presenting evidence include Beehive, Franceschini, Gracie, Haacke, Harrison, Kac, Lee, Ngo, Saraceno, Strachan, and Tissue Culture & Art.

“Experiential learning” transmits knowledge through experience instead of academic study. It offers great potential for educating the public regarding innovative strategies for addressing environmental problems. In the following example, experiential learning is used to “effectively translate complex and formal climate science-policy concepts in ways that resonate and ‘stick’ with everyday citizens.”1 This assignment is a modified version of a game created by Pablo Suarez who worked with games experts, humanitarian, climate change and development professionals to inform the public about the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation.2

GAME PREPARATION: Select a city you wish to represent. Using the paper and pigments created by the class, create a set of six cards that you will use when you play this game. Illustrate the back of each card with a water-related issue that relates to your city. The other side: on three cards illustrate appropriate protections against floods and on three cards illustrate appropriate protections against droughts.

GAME RULES: Every player assumes the role of the government of a different city around the globe. Each has twenty-five beans in the treasury to protect its population against the extreme disruptions of rainfall associated with climate change.

Before every round, each country has the opportunity to purchase one, two, or three forms of protection against flood and one, two, or three forms of protection against drought for one year. Examples of flood protection include investing in long term weather forecasting, constructing storm water catchments, and constructing levees. Examples of drought protection include constructing reservoirs, constructing irrigation canals, and investing in desalinization.

A leader rolls a set of dice. Each number reveals a different weather outcome:

2 = disastrous flooding requires three forms of protection
Pay six beans for each form of protection that is lacking

3 = severe flooding requires two forms of protection
Pay four beans for each form of protection that is lacking

4 = mild flooding requires one form of protection
Pay two beans for not having protection

5 = slight water damage requires one form of protection
Pay one bean for not having protection

6, 7, 8 = moderate weather – no forms of protection required
No penalties paid

9 = mild drought requires one form of protection Pay one bean for not having protection

10 = serious drought requires one form of protection
Pay two beans for not having protection

11 = severe drought requires two forms of protection
Pay four beans for each form of protection lacking.

12 = disastrous flooding requires three forms of protection
Pay six beans for each form of protection lacking

If the weather is severe and the country purchased adequate protection, it is safe; its gamble worked out. If there was no flood or drought, those with insurance are poorer than those without insurance. You are out of the game when your country exhausts its supply of beans.

DISCUSSION: How does this game affect the way you may respond to the environmental risks?

1 Serious Fun: Scaling Up Community Based Adaptation through Experiential Learning” Pablo Suarez, Janot Mendler de Suarez, Bettina Koelle, Maxwell Boykoff. Feb 11, 2012
2 See http://cdkn.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Red-Cross-paper-2.pdf
IPCC 2011, p 13

  • Monday, 10 September 2012