« Grand Paris énergie » simulation
On december 1st 2014, FORCCAST organized a new role game day for 40 students enrolled in the energy branch of the public affairs master’s degree at Sciences Po. This time, it focused on the challenges brought by the energy transition of the Grand Paris.
Based on a preliminary inquiry led by the 3 organizers Nicolas Benvegnu, Henri Landes and Johann Margulies, 35 role sheets and a whole scripting was specifically created for the occasion.
All through the day, the students were projected into a series of situations originating from the roles they were incarnating, for instance as state representatives, local politicians, company representatives or association members. Thus, students were able to explore issues such as security of supply, urban planning and transport.
The goal of the simulation scenario was to heighten the students’ awareness on two essential dimensions: on the one hand, the scales of governance, and on the other, the links between public actors and private sector.
Students have not only been able to experience difficulty when making decisions in complex situations marked by high inertia, but also had the occasion to understand the interests that guide the behavior of the other participants. At times, long debates were taking place in order to agree on the definition of the problems they were trying to collectively explore and handle.
The end of this day was marked by the interventions of some of the actual stakeholders such as the Société du Grand Paris, the electricity transmission network or EDF. Bruno Latour also intervened to put into perspective the analysis of the controversies that had allowed to elaborate this day’s program, as well as to link it with the initiative ‘Make It Work’, centered around climate negotiations taking place in Paris in 2015.
This active teaching day has been rich in lessons for FORCCAST:
– The students assimilated their roles very quickly thanks to individual detailed form handed out to them a couple of days before the role game
– They integrated and used the space at their disposal in order to conduct the formal and expected negotiations, but also to exchange in smaller committees, isolated in informal gatherings
– Several actual stakeholders mobilized around this experiment by agreeing to meet the three organizers, by making documentation available, and sometimes by even participating in the role games and giving the students valuable feedback.
The compact size of this module (both fitted into one day and fundamentally rich and intense) allows us to consider developments of this experiment towards new audiences. Therefore, it represents a real asset in terms of propagation of the FORCCAST project and its methods of innovative teaching.