The Simulation Summit™

Purpose

Simulation Summits™ help local citizens and leaders recognize and overcome legal and policy obstacles that prevent them from implementing effective climate adaptation strategies that protect their human rights—including access to food and water, security, health, justice, and equity. Bringing local people together with scientists, legal experts, artists, and public health practitioners, Simulation Summits empower communities to analyze climate threats specific to them, and identify customized legal and policy barriers and responses to these barriers. Strategies may include litigation, developing new fiscal mechanisms for supporting adaptation, collaborative planning efforts, amicus briefs that support domestic institutions to consider human rights impacts of climate claims, and increasing access to local legal, financial, and technical resources.

Implementation

Simulation Summits™ are roundtable Socratic Dialogues focused on bringing a diversity of voices into the climate justice conversation. Socratic Dialogues, as described in the Fred Friendly Seminar program, are role-playing exercises, proven to help participants “put aside talking points and rhetorical speeches,” allowing them to “reveal the complexity of issues with greater depth, and drama, than a standard debate would ever expose.” This powerful model was successfully tested for use in a climate justice context at The Three Degrees Conference on Climate Change and Human Rights in May of 2009. Summit host communities are selected based upon the urgency of the threats they face and their interest in participating.

The Simulation scenarios crafted for each Summit may be based upon the intensive research work of a multidisciplinary team of graduate students enrolled in Three Degrees Warmer’s University of Washington Climate Justice Seminar. Seminar students work in teams to analyze anticipated climate impacts in the Summit focus regions, and assess adaptation strategies to further climate justice.

Dissemination

Although Simulation Summits are localized to focus on specific, impacted communities, their results could have great value to all climate impacted regions. In order to make Summit research, analyses, and recommendations available to all interested parties, Three Degrees Warmer is investigating building interactive web platforms to host this information and connect participants from various host communities to each other, empowering them to learn, share, and collaborate across state and regional lines. These sites will offer case-study-style information, resources, online simulations, and models to benefit the public, members of other impacted communities around the world, and other NGOs and multilateral organizations such as the UN and the World Bank. Finally, the platform will be a place to share interactive film and web content generated through seminars and Summits, leveraging the power of the web to showcase multi-media products, host community stories and lessons-learned, and demonstrate the powerful results of the Simulation Summit™ process.

Read about our Latest Seminar: The Power of Scenario Thinking for Climate Adaptation (hosted in Seattle and Friday Harbor, Washington, September 7–10, 2011) here.

About the Photo

Top-left: A bicyclists travels through the Altiplano in the high Andes. © Benjamin Drummond

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