An exceptional year for planpolitik is drawing to a close. We have grown again, and – thanks to our amazing team’s extraordinary efforts – we have launched and implemented countless new projects. And now we are looking forward to doing pretty much nothing for 2 weeks (see photo, shot on one of our trips to Vietnam). We say thank you to all our partners for the successful collaboration and wish you all the best for the festive season and for 2015!
A short overview of a year full of highlights:
Our online simulation game platform is finally taking shape and has been tested more than 30 times over the year – only a proper name is still missing for it.
With the EYE2014 project for the European Parliament in Strasbourg we successfully implemented planpolitik’s biggest ever project.
“EDC for All” and “ImTeam4U” are our first collaborative EU-funded projects with partners from other countries, and they even include trips to locations as tempting as Portugal and Slovenia.
Our “Junite”-project is nearing completion – an innovative social-network-platform through which young kids can learn about the pitfalls of digital networking
With “Re-negotiating Peace” on the Paris Peace Conferences in 1919 we have developed and facilitated one of our most complex simulation games ever, which is also our first one with a historical scenario.
We have facilitated 135 workshops and events – some of them lasted a few hours, others a whole week.
We have added seven new foreign destinations to the list: Vienna, Budapest, Sintra/Portugal, Maribor/Slovenia, Sapa/Vietnam, Gdansk and Basel – all of them are worth a visit. And in Germany we have delighted the 200th location with a visit (Darmstadt it was), but we are still waiting for an invite from the state of Saarland.
In short: 2014 was quite busy, and now we’re looking forward to the short break coming up.
The confirmation came on the day of planpolitik’s traditional end-of-year get-together. We won the bid for a European Commission project on educating young people about the role of regions like the German Bundesländer in European politics – through the use of simulation games of course. And only an hour later came the next cry of joy: Our online platform has won the UN’s PEACEapp award which promotes digital games and gamified apps as venues for cultural dialogue and conflict management. We had a lot to celebrate!
But one after the other: After a three-year pause we are finally working again with the EU Commission’s representation in Germany. What is special about this project is that it includes an online portal. This platform is intended to allow for participants to interact, to exchange their views and ideas and to get further information on the topics of the simulation games. In addition, teachers can access all materials for facilitating the simulation games by on their own.
The PEACEapp award is given by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the UN Development Program (UNDP). It includes the presentation of the project at the Build Peace Conference (Link: www.howtobuildpeace.org) in April 2015 in Cyprus. The prize money will of course be invested in the further development of the platform.
An exceptionally intensive seminar for students of the Master of European Studies at Viadrina University Frankfurt/Oder on “The EU and its external neighbours”. It included a very successful two-week online simulation game followed by face-to-face negotiations on site in Frankfurt. For us this was a clear example of the added value of blended learning formats, particularly at university. And this was our first ever online game with a fictitious scenario: “Disputed Elections in Fontania”. The simulation game was enriched by units on theory and an extensive evaluation phase in which the experiences from the game were transferred to the real world.
Just in time before Christmas we have developed an entirely new simulation game – on commission by the Rural Area Forum – Network Brandenburg. And, unusually for us we have developed the game in its entirety but it was then facilitated by the Forum’s own trainers –with great success. The game is set in a fictitious rural district in Brandenburg in the year 2019 when the financing of public transport is up for debate. Many conflicting voices are brought forward, negotiations involve vested interests as well as proposals for alternatives – and all of this in times of shrinking public budgets. A fascinating project about a question which will soon become virulent in many regions in Germany.
This was a very nice end of the year workshop with 15 women from the Turkish NGO Uçan Süpürge („Flying Broom“) focusing on a simulation game specifically developed for this occasion. The simulation game will be used in a larger project with the goal to raise women’s capacities for participating in local politics in Turkey. We would be delighted if our game and the ToT could contribute to activating women at the local level in Turkey. Let the brooms fly!
In early 2015 we will facilitate a total of 10 simulation games, seven of which online, on commission from the European Information Centre in the state of Lower Saxony. We are particularly happy about this commission, as it includes online simulation games, one of the most recent innovations at planpolitik. To make it even better, Prof. Dr. Monika Oberle of Göttingen University will – as she already did for some of our analogue games – do surveys with the participants in order to empirically test the learning outcomes. Of course we are very curious to learn about the results.