The climate fresco

by Marianne Rufet

A fun, collaborative awareness workshop

Students got together to produce a Climate Fresco with a view to raising awareness of the complexity of climate change, giving a broad overview of this vast issue, and offering key insights. This fun, collaborative awareness workshop gave plenty of scope for collective intelligence to come into play.

Students devised their own Climate Fresco, based on a deck of cards. The activity offered a fun way to learn (and rediscover) how the climate works, as well as exploring the causes and consequences of disruption. Led by Jérôme Lhote and his team, this creative workshop was directed at all Science Po Rennes first-year students. On this occasion, the team was joined by students from the Caen campus who had already had training in the activity, thus facilitating group dynamics.

 Before the game began, Jérôme Lhote reassured the participants: novices and experts can all play together. He explained the principle of the game: “In teams, players have cards depicting the different components of climate change; they work together to arrange the cards and identify the causal relationships between each component.” As they work together to place photos showing the causes and consequence of climate change in the right chronological order, participants identify how action can be taken to protect the environment. Gradually, things become more difficult, with each new card adding fresh complexities to the climate system, and the players having to establish just how they tie in with the previous cards. As they do so, they create a real climate change ‘Fresco’ together, encompassing human causes, human consequences – and the climate’s own inherent mechanisms.


A creative, educational, and collaborative game

Once all the cards have been placed in the right order and the cause-and-effect relationships have been correctly identified, players have to add colour, choose titles, supply key messages, draw, be inventive, and so on. “This stage is very important in the ownership process. After that, it’s time to debrief and wrap up. The session ends with whole-group discussion focusing on climate and other environmental issues, and inviting solutions.” It’s also an opportunity to point out that individual action accounts for one quarter of the overall solution – it really does make a difference. “Every one of us has the power to act; we shouldn’t underestimate that fact when it comes to our daily lives, our life together – and all the more so in the roles, responsibilities and jobs these students are preparing to take on,” says J. Lhote. And as he points out, “Sciences Po Rennes is the first Institute of Political Studies in France to have given the entire intake the opportunity to produce their own Climate Fresco.”

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