At the beginning of the month our activity “Let’s Play” took place in Hannover, Germany. 

“Let’s Play” was the last of our three-part cycle “Climate Justice – Just a Game?” which had the end goal to create card games about climate justice.

The process started between April and May, when we had our first activity, which was online. It served as an introduction to the topics of climate justice, climate crisis, gamification and games as an educational tool. Over the course of two weekends, our participants learned about the topics thanks to the valuable contributions of our trainers, Esther and Paula, and guests: Carmine, Alex and Felix. 

During an evening session, we also had the pleasure to see the short movie “What about our Future?”, about a Canadian student named Rebecca and how she organised some of the biggest climate strikes Canada had ever seen. After the screening we had the chance to talk directly to Rebecca, and the filmmakers Jamie and Claudio. 

We left our online space to meet again in Finland in August, where the second part of the cycle, “Let the Climate Game Begin!” took place. Lahti, the European Green Capital for 2021 was our place of choice for the game-creating process, and we had a chance to visit the city and discover why they were awarded the European Green Capital title, and see their state-of-the-art garbage sorting and recycling plant. 

In just one week our participants were able to create three unique games, complete with rules, designs and everything else needed for them to be played. 

When the idea of creating three games in such a short time was presented to the participants, many of them were dubious, but as our trainers Esther, Carmine and Anna said, they had to “Trust the Process!”.

The activity in Finland turned our participants into full-on game developers.They left Lahti with a lot of knowledge on gamification, how to include political messages or call to action in games as well as a lot of pride for their hard work and creativity!

At the doors of winter we met in Hannover, Germany to close our cycle and to see the games finally printed and ready to be played. The main goal of this final activity was for the participants to present their games with a workshop at the conference, the closing act of the activity.

For a few days, our participants had the chance to look back on everything they had learned in the previous two activities, but most importantly to discover how to create and host a workshop, with the precious support of our trainers Ana Teresa, Anna and Esther. 

On the first day of the conference our participants met the guests, Carmine, our expert on gamification, Achim, an outdoor educator about the climate crisis, and Lena, a representative of the local NatureFriends group. We had keynotes and a very participative discussion between them and the participants, who were curious and ready to ask many questions.

On the second and last day of the conference, the group had the pleasure to take part in two workshops, one by Carmine on the importance of games and what role they play in society and one by Achim, an outdoor and interactive workshop about the impact of humans on climate.

After the valuable contributions of Carmine and Achim, next on the schedule was the discussion with the politicians. We had three representatives of three different parties: the Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the Christian Democratic Union, whom we thank for taking part and being open to answering the questions of our captivated audience. 

After a nice break, it was time for our participants’ workshops! External guests had the chance to play the game and by doing so, they discovered first hand more about the creating process and how they can be used as an educational tool. 

Starting from the first online activity, to Finland and to Germany, seeing people having fun playing the games, was the best way to conclude this great cycle. 

We are grateful for everyone who participated and contributed to the realisation of these activities: our participants turned game-developers, our trainers Ana Teresa, Anna, Carmine, Esther and Paula, our guests Achim, Alex, Claudio, Felix, Jamie and Rebecca, and everyone from the IYNF team.