Sustainable Development Success Stories

AIESEC World Game Tours 1992 and 1996

Location 1992: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
1996: Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Malta
Responsible Organisation AIESEC, Association Internationale des Etudiants en Science Economiques et Commerciales (The International Association of Students in Economics and Management ); Partners: World Game Institute, Philadelphia, USA.
Description In the years 1992 and 1996 AIESEC-Germany brought a tour of the interactive simulation World Game to Europe. World Game is played by 150 participants in a one-day workshop on the World’s largest map covering the size of a basketball field. Every player takes a role as an actor (national governments, international organisations or corporations) in global decision making. Participants have to take hands-on decisions on the distribution and the trading of resources as well as on the design of policies to combat problems such as cross-regional environmental pollution, unsustainable industrial practices or transnational migration flows.

The tour in 1996 covered 30 cities in Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Austria and Malta and lasted for over two months. A team of trained facilitators from the World Game Institute in Philadelphia travelled from site to site and held the respective workshops with the local participants.

At every station of the tour, AIESEC organised workshops, lectures or exhibitions on sustainable development and globalisation issues. The lectures and workshops were intended to deepen sectoral issues of Sustainable Development such as: community development through micro-credit (Frankfurt), the role of youth in SD (Cologne), security policy and environmental issues (Tübingen), world trade and sustainability (Stuttgart). Local NGOs held stands and workshops and offered participants of the World Game an opportunity to inform themselves about possibilities of concrete civil-society involvement in their local communities. The World Game served as a starting point for students to become interested in the issue and then volunteer. An opening event in Hamburg in October 1996 provided the occasion for the official kick-off of the tour. A member of the Club of Rome discussed with student participants and representatives from government, business and academia about sustainable approaches to production and consumption patterns, product design and policy making.

Issues Addressed Education for Sustainable Development; Partnership with Industry and NGOs; Involvement of Youth in Civil Society towards Sustainable Development.
Results Achieved Three steps of World Game awareness-building about SD:

1. Sectoral issues of SD addressed through lectures, workshops and expositions organised by local AIESEC chapters;

2. One day simulation "The World Game" with 100 participants on giant map;

3. NGO Fair to facilitate further involvement of participants of civil-society processes towards Sustainable Development.

The two AIESEC World Game Tours reached several thousands of students. AIESEC Germany used Agenda 21 and the vision for its implementation as the guideline for The World Game. The World Game and its side events provided a forum for exchange of ideas among youths and triggered the personal involvement of many participants making them active in local NGOs in the fields of Environment, Development and Human Rights.

The results were published on the web site of the World Game Institute.

Corporate sponsors secured the success of the project and the Government and some Foundations provided local support. At the national level, agreements were reached with development NGOs and fair-trade networks. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment provided useful documentation and information materials on the Rio process.

Lesson Learned The need for greater integration of Sustainable Development in curricula of business and economics departments.

If one wants to reach and confront business students with issues of Sustainable Development, one has to speak their language! Projects which take an anti-business role from the beginning will have no chance of even penetrating the mind-sets of business students who are often very sceptical about environmental issues, environmentalists and other "green" persons. 

If one successfully communicates, together with corporate partners, the importance of Sustainable Development especially in the business world, one will more easily create awareness for the issue among business students.

The immense possibilities and potentials which can be put to use if NGOs, students, business and the public sector cooperate in the course of one project.

Contacts AIESEC Germany, Mr. Ulrich Hörning
Subbelrather Str. 247, 50825 Köln
Tel. (49 221) 55 10 56; Fax (49 221) 550 7676
E-Mail: nc@de.aiesec.org
Internet: http://www.de.aiesec

World Game Institute, Ms. Stacy Hodges
3215 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2597 USA
Tel. (1 215) 387 0220; Fax. (1 215) 387 3009
E-Mail: wgame@libertynet.org
Internet: http://www.worldgame.org/-wgi