Todd Schenk

Climate change threatens our local communities and built environments. Public officials and other stakeholders need to rapidly enhance their understanding of the risks and adopt adaptive strategies in response. If these efforts are to be effective, the myriad of public and private actors need to find ways to collaborate, particularly when the risks cross traditional sectoral and geographical boundaries.

A recent article in Nature Climate Change co-authored by School of Public and International Affairs Assistant Professor and Global Change Center Affiliate Todd Schenk, along with Assistant Professor Danya Rumore of the University of Utah and Professor Lawrence Susskind of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, examines the use of role-play simulation exercises as tools for education and engagement. This form of face-to-face ‘serious game’ in which participants take on roles and attempt to reach consensus on challenges that are fictitious but look much like those they might face in the real world has proven invaluable for enhancing ‘readiness to adapt’. This research suggests that RPS exercises can effectively illustrate new threats and opportunities, cultivate climate adaption literacy, enhance collaborative capacity, and encourage collective action.

A view-only version of the paper may be accessed at: