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About The Simulation

We are living in a world of unprecedented global challenges, and each and every one of us has stakes in the future. Behind the most recent crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic – other, more perilous emergencies loom on the horizon.

Demand for minerals is increasing due to the rise of clean energy technologies. Energy production currently uses 50% more minerals than 10 years ago. The trend is expected to continue. Depending on the pace of the energy transition, the current demand for minerals may quadruple by 2040, if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be met. More ambitious climate policies may cause the demand to grow sixfold. The success of ambitious policies and of the transition towards a clean economy strictly depends on the availability and prices of critical raw materials.

About The Simulation

We are living in a world of unprecedented global challenges, and each and every one of us has stakes in the future. Behind the most recent crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic – other, more perilous emergencies loom on the horizon.

Demand for minerals is increasing due to the rise of clean energy technologies. Energy production currently uses 50% more minerals than 10 years ago. The trend is expected to continue. Depending on the pace of the energy transition, the current demand for minerals may quadruple by 2040, if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be met. More ambitious climate policies may cause the demand to grow sixfold. The success of ambitious policies and of the transition towards a clean economy strictly depends on the availability and prices of critical raw materials.

At the same time, supply and value chains of minerals are vulnerable to disruption. Climate impacts, such as river floods, tropical cyclones, crop failure, wildfires, droughts, and heatwaves, may directly hit mineral extraction sites and refineries, as well as disrupt critical trade routes. On top of that, more and more voices raise the issue of how communities and their land all around the world are exploited, raising serious health and environmental hazards.

Despite anticipating those emergencies, we, as stakeholders of the Earth, are unable to craft a consistent, united response. We need to find a new approach to navigate complexity and to communicate climate emergency effectively in spite of existing ambiguities. This new approach needs to bring together scientists, policy makers, and society and go beyond current practice relying mostly on one-way transmission from experts.

The Raw Materials Challenge Simulation aims to bridge the gap between science and science users and to create an environment for navigating complexity in a meaningful way. It is arranged, within a virtual conference center, as a series of collective decisions preceded by several meetings and discussions. Participants assume the roles of representatives of various countries and organizations responsible for global safety and well-being.

In these roles, they explore several interactive storylines offering diverse perspectives. They experienced a plausible scenario of a possible critical minerals crisis. Reacting to that unfolding chain of events, they engaged in bilateral and multilateral negotiations, at the same time being pushed in different directions by media and private interests.

At the same time, supply and value chains of minerals are vulnerable to disruption. Climate impacts, such as river floods, tropical cyclones, crop failure, wildfires, droughts, and heatwaves, may directly hit mineral extraction sites and refineries, as well as disrupt critical trade routes. On top of that, more and more voices raise the issue of how communities and their land all around the world are exploited, raising serious health and environmental hazards.

Despite anticipating those emergencies, we, as stakeholders of the Earth, are unable to craft a consistent, united response. We need to find a new approach to navigate complexity and to communicate climate emergency effectively in spite of existing ambiguities. This new approach needs to bring together scientists, policy makers, and society and go beyond current practice relying mostly on one-way transmission from experts.

The Raw Materials Challenge Simulation aims to bridge the gap between science and science users and to create an environment for navigating complexity in a meaningful way. It is arranged, within a virtual conference center, as a series of collective decisions preceded by several meetings and discussions. Participants assume the roles of representatives of various countries and organizations responsible for global safety and well-being.

In these roles, they explore several interactive storylines offering diverse perspectives. They experienced a plausible scenario of a possible critical minerals crisis. Reacting to that unfolding chain of events, they engaged in bilateral and multilateral negotiations, at the same time being pushed in different directions by media and private interests.

The simulation takes place in the near future and focuses on the social and environmental challenges connected with the increasing demand for rare earth minerals needed for a clean energy transition. To address these challenges, an international group of committed countries, organizations, universities, and research institutes form a working group to develop a proposition for a new regulation – the Charter on Raw Materials for Energy Transition.

The participants collaboratively explore the question: How to ensure a robust and responsible critical minerals supply chain in light of cascading impacts of climate emergency that originate within and outside the EU?

The simulation takes place in the near future and focuses on the social and environmental challenges connected with the increasing demand for rare earth minerals needed for a clean energy transition. To address these challenges, an international group of committed countries, organizations, universities, and research institutes form a working group to develop a proposition for a new regulation – the Charter on Raw Materials for Energy Transition.

The participants collaboratively explore the question: How to ensure a robust and responsible critical minerals supply chain in light of cascading impacts of climate emergency that originate within and outside the EU?

Applications

The Raw Materials Challenge was developed in the Horizon 2020
project CASCADES and was played as a satellite event during such events as:

The workshop was a part of the course on science diplomacy, organized jointly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS). We conducted this workshop together with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

We ran a workshop as a satellite event to the 4th International Conference on Science Advice to Governments (INGSA2021). The event took place online, on 08.09.2021. We organized this workshop together with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), in partnership with the Fonds de Recherche du Québec (FRQ) and the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA).

The participants were scientists and policy makers from all around the world.

During the COP26, we were running, together with our partners from the Cascades project, several interactive events via Chatham House Climate Risk and Security Virtual Pavilion.

Throughout the COP26, anyone could explore on their own an interactive and immersive single-player simulation about cascading climate risks.

You can still access single-player simulation:

engage.socialsimulations.org/COP26.

Together with the Cascades project, the European Centre for Development Policy Management, PIK Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Climate Analytics, and IIASA, we organized the session ‘360° view of climate impacts: experiencing the future to plan adaptation’ at the ECCA 2021 online conference.

More than 200 people with backgrounds in science policy, climate dynamics, and public administration joined for morning and afternoon workshops to take on the roles of the most important decision-makers.

In cooperation with IIASA, National Research Council Canada, ISSP (Ottawa), and Mitacs, we ran an online workshop with the simulation. The participants were policy scientists, diplomats, and young scientists and researchers interested in climate policies

Benefits

The immersive character of simulation experience stimulates
imagination, invokes emotions, encourages learning and
knowledge sharing, and motivates action.

What participants say

designers

Simulation design

Lukasz Jarzabek
Piotr Magnuszewski

Research, Narratives & Texts

Amanda Anthony
Hubert Brychczynski
Paolo Campo
Timothy Giger
Lukasz Jarzabek
Piotr Magnuszewski 
Aleksandra Solinska-Nowak

Software

Wladyslaw Zoloto

Graphics

Bartosz Naprawa

Video editing

Anna Koch

designers

Simulation design

Lukasz Jarzabek
Piotr Magnuszewski

Research, Narratives & Texts

Amanda Anthony
Hubert Brychczynski
Paolo Campo
Timothy Giger
Lukasz Jarzabek
Piotr Magnuszewski 
Aleksandra Solinska-Nowak

Software

Wladyslaw Zoloto

Graphics

Bartosz Naprawa

Video editing

Anna Koch

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    The simulation was developed in the Horizon 2020 project “CASCADES – Cascading climate risks: Towards adaptive and resilient European Societies”, in collaboration with project partners. The project has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 821010.

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