Advising BUND on developing a simulation game

Tree down? No thanks!

Members of Friends Of The Earth Germany (BUND), working at the organisations’ German headquarters, wanted to play a simulation game at an event for volunteers and local-level BUND employees. The topic was to be the preservation of a number of trees threatened by a construction project. But how to do something like that? How to develop a simulation game that actually works? We were able to help…

More and more often, we advise partner organisations on the development of their own simulation games. For them, it is often important that they develop a simulation game themselves rather than commission it. BUND was no exception. We met for a first consultation and over several hours developed the idea for the game together. We determined the learning objectives (above all: getting to know the possibilities of participation and practice mobilisation from BUND’s point of view), went through the structure bit by bit and determined the cornerstones of the scenario and the role profiles. We also discussed the tasks of the game facilitators, after all, the BUND staff wanted to play the game without assistance.

Following this, our partners from BUND elaborated on the basics, and after we had given some final feedback via telephone, the simulation game “Tree down? No thanks! Instruments of on-location citizens’ participation, using the example of tree protection” was successfully played during a BUND strategy conference in early summer 2014.

Since our colleagues at BUND were very happy with the outcome, they asked us to advise them on the development of another simulation game. This time, it was “Follow-up use of a former airport”. The process was very similar, except this time some of the materials were written by us.

Facts + Figures

Target group

Staff at Friends Of The Earth Germany (BUND) HQ

  • Helping to create a simulation game
  • Understanding the facilitators' tasks
  • Qualify to develop own simulation game



4 h plus feedback in writing and via telephone

Number of participants








  • Until recently, strategic simulation games had been new ground for BUND. Thanks to valuable, competent and intensive consultations from planpolitik, our workshops on citizen participation, tree protection and land conversion were very successful.

    Jan Korte, BUND

  • planpolitik provided us with tremendous support in the development of two simulation games on citizen participation in municipal environment protection. They advised us on the development of a conclusive game scenario and well thought-out role profiles as well as providing us with a multitude of great tips on game facilitation. Last but not least, the cooperation was a lot of fun: planpolitik's experience of many years is always combined with a great eagerness for creative new ways of thinking.

    Christine Wenzl, Sustainability strategist, Friends of the Earth Germamy. (BUND)