Simulation, a new pedagogical method in the Sciences Po Executive Master program

In December 2016, Forccast worked with the first promotion of the Sciences Po Energy Executive Master, for a two days simulation. This experiment was an opportunity for students to combine concrete learning and development of needed professional skills.

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A few years after the success of the “Grand Paris Energie” simulation, lead in 2014 with the Public Policy master students, the Executive Master students also benefited from the simulation methodology. The participants, all practitioners of the energy sector, worked on the transition to next-generation electricity networks in Europe.

The main principles of the Grand Paris exercise had been kept: deep preparatory work and immersion into a complex and technical topic, the necessity to take into account the institutional and political movement towards more reliance on renewable energies, interaction between students on the basis of role-playing card, meetings with professionals of the field, imperative to understand a character’s motivations… All the components that had made the success of the previous Forccast simulations were used here once again for a new public.

Moreover, the international dimension of the exercise is related to the constraints globalised working world implies: the Franco-German cooperation about energy issues was the crucial point of the simulation. Therefore, participants had to display a great level of understanding of European concerns about energy transitions.

The simulation was adapted to the executive master students, so that they could work on useful professional skills. Indeed, the conduct of the event was designed to strengthen students’ ability to react properly to new events. For instance, some actors took unexpected stances, or the organizing team decided to modify the fictitious institutional context. In the face of such shifts, participants had to display a great sense of adaptability.

Because they are at decision-making positions in their work, the Executive master students should also be prepared to decide in situations of uncertainty. They must measure the consequences innovations in their working field can create. Consequently, this is another facet they had the opportunity to study during the simulation.

Lastly, thanks to the participation of Sciences Po master students playing the role of journalists, participants had the opportunity to train themselves to speak to media.

As a concrete exercise that meets the specific needs of professional environments, simulation belongs to the coherent program of the Executive masters. Forccast thanks the participants for their involvement in this pedagogical experiment, as well as the administrative and scientific teams of the Sciences Po executive education program for this great collaboration.


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