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What is SIM4Nexus?

What if you had the power to create integrated policies on the most pressing societal issues? What about unearthing these policies and their interlinkages to one another, illustrating their potential short and long-term effects? An ideal world, right? SIM4NEXUS can get you one step closer to these goals.

SIM4NEXUS is a European Union Horizon 2020 project that investigated bio-physical and policy interlinkages across five nexus domains: water, land, food, energy, and climate, facilitating learning and design of policies within the nexus. The project delivered a cloud-based integrated tool for testing and evaluating 30+ year policy decisions, all built into a Serious Game (the alpha version of the game is already online; final version by end of June 2020). The game shows the impacts of resource use and relevant policies on agriculture, water, energy, land use and climate through a model-based analysis using real data from selected case studies at regional, national and transboundary scale.

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SIM4NEXUS: Investigate bio-physical and policy interlinkages across five nexus domains

Training the Serious Gamers of the Future

As part of the project and in preparation for exploitation, KWR researchers Stefania Munaretto and Lisa Andrews have been hosting facilitation trainings on the Azerbaijan and Greek case studies, training the other project partners on methods and game-play scenarios. This enables the KWR researchers to obtain feedback on the scenarios and to define facilitation methods for different audiences and cases. So far, the feedback has been positive and the participants have described how their learning experiences on the nexus interlinkages have been enriched through the game.

Image 1: Greece Case Study Serious Game Training on May 13, 2020, hosted by KWR

“The games give food for thought on how to address water challenges. Seeking opportunities in the domains of food, energy and climate stimulated me to explore integrated solutions.”  – Floor Brouwer, SIM4NEXUS Project Coordination, Wageningen Research

These trainings also help to build a cohort of expert facilitators for the SIM4NEXUS serious game. Once the training and feedback stages are complete, the next phase of the SIM4NEXUS project is to roll out training packages for universities, organisations and policy makers, either for demonstration purposes, half or full day trainings, as well as training for facilitators. With the serious game trainings, diverse groups of stakeholders or students can improve their understanding of the interlinkages between sectors, while expert audiences can engage in more technical and complex conversations on the most effective policies to address cross-sectoral synergies and trade-offs.

Upcoming Activities

In the near future, Stefania and Lisa will continue to demonstrate the SIM4Nexus Serious Game. The next training is at the Dresden Nexus Conference 2020 on Wednesday June 3rd between 15:30-17:30. This conference is now accessible to all online for free! Join us to get a glimpse at the SIM4Nexus Serious Game and explore opportunities for your stakeholders and students.

Stefania will also be sharing “Learning from Serious Games” during a webinar on June 23rd with European Commission policy makers.

Stay tuned and continue to follow SIM4Nexus on the project website or Twitter. Also do not hesitate to contact Lisa or Stefania if you are interested in trainings for your organisation, students or institute.