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Cantor’s World

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Cantor's World - Game Session Thrissur
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At a juncture in human history when we are faced with an environmental crisis, it is critical to understand what impact development has on the environment. Indicators such as GDP and HDI that are used to measure a country’s development do not take into account the environment. To address this gap, in 2012, a trio of organizations under the UN umbrella released a report that spoke about an ‘Inclusive Wealth Index’ (IWI). The IWI is a way to acknowledge and articulate the interconnectedness of the economy, environment, and human well-being. The game Cantor’s World has been designed for students and policy makers to learn how the IWI complements other indices. In the game players can experiment with different policy choices and experience first hand the tug-of-war between short-term results and long-term sustainability. The game is designed for Masters’ students of economics, public policy, and sustainability studies, and will be played in universities worldwide. The game was developed by Fields of View in collaboration with UNESCO-MGIEP.

Gameplay

You play the role of the chief policymaker of a country. You first set objectives – in terms of three SDGs which you seek to achieve. Then you make investments in policies of your choice every year (each turn represents a year). You can see how your decisions have affected different indicators, GDP, HDI, and IWI, and look at the status of each of the capitals. Your goal is to achieve what you set out in the beginning of the game, and 7 per cent GDP growth.

Context

In order to bring environment into the focus while planning for countries, in 2012, a trio of organizations under the UN umbrella released a report that spoke about an ‘Inclusive Wealth Index’ (IWI). The IWI is a way to acknowledge and articulate the interconnectedness of the economy, environment, and human well-being. It measures natural capital, human capital, and manufactured capital of a country. The question then is, how can planners, economists, and people interested in sustainability understand this indicator? How can the IWI be used as a complement to GDP and HDI? What are the trade-offs in using this indicator as a tool for planning? The game has been designed to address these questions.

Benefits

There are many learning benefits to the game. First of all, players are taking policy decisions and understanding their impacts on the three capitals (IWI) and the SDGs – 4 (Quality education), 10 (Reduced inequalities) and 13 (Climate action). During the game, participants experience how policy decisions of different temporal scales impact sustainability. They realize the nature of the relationship between Produced capital and Human capital, and also conflict between individual country-wise objectives and global objectives for achieving SDGs, in particular, SDGs 4, 10 and 13.
Through their own actions in the game, players experience tradeoffs, resources, and constraints of policy operationalization and its impact on the productivity and sustainability

Trivia

Read more about the ‘Inclusive Wealth Index’ (IWI) here.

Price

Free

Number of players

2 - 10 players

Number of moderators

1 moderator

Duration

2 hours and more

Languages

Technical requirements

Chrome or chromium-based browsers, Firefox, or Opera.

How to run this game?

To run/play this game go to the game’s website and contact its creators.

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