Have you played this Swedish card game for climate action?

This week, SI scholar Mumtaheena Rifat, who is currently pursuing his masters degree in Architecture and Planning Beyond Sustainability at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, shares her experience of an unusual board game.

Have you played this Swedish card game for climate action?
Photo: Private

The Climate Call Card Game by Klimatkoll Guldheden AB was developed in Gothenburg with the aim of creating a fun yet insightful way of raising awareness and open up dialogue about how much we can affect the environment with our everyday activities. The main goal is to generate a wakeup call for climate change and the ecological footprint while engaging the participants with a fun activity.

As a student of Master of Architecture and Planning Beyond Sustainability at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, I had the chance to attend a lecture by one of the developers of the game, Erik Sterner. This lecture was given during the course of Sustainable Development for Design Professionals, an academic course targeting all of first year architecture students. During the course, more than a hundred students from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds came together to try out the game.

In the Climate Call Card Game, two teams compete in guessing the ecological footprint of different kinds of activities as well as arranging these activities according to their emissions levels. Some of these activities can be pretty common and seem harmless to us, but it’s all just a matter of perception and about learning through trial and error. The estimations are based on the research of a climate researcher at Chalmers University of Technology.

The experience of playing this game was not only valuable because we learned about how our everyday actions are impacting the environment. It was also very entertaining to play with fellow classmates and see their reactions and to reflect about the information provided on the cards. After playing for a while, we were really involved in the concept and, in order to win, we were all very invested in analyzing and calculating ecological footprints.

In the reflection time that came afterwards, we realized that through the game we learned, in a fun and competitive way, about how harmful everyday activities can be for the environment. Besides this, I truly feel that the knowledge the game gave us will have a real impact on our habits, either in our daily lives or on our professional decision-making. Upon sharing our experience with the NFGL network in Gothenburg, the Innovation Board also decided to plan a small workshop focusing on the Climate Call Card Game in addition to the official events calendar.  

Recently, we have started to discuss the feasibility of developing the game further for specific fields and we plan to invite the Game Developers to get further insights and inspiration. On the same note, we consider this to be an ideal networking exercise as well as a team experience for all the event participants. We look forward to having more discussions among ourselves about climate change and our role as future global leaders, each of us from our respective fields and towards a common goal.


Lagom: The best way to achieve social health?

Ronoh Philip, who is studying for his masters degree in Infectious Disease Control at Södertörn University, explains why he thinks the Swedish concept of 'lagom' is the best way to achieve good social health.

Lagom: The best way to achieve social health?

During my one week orientation program on August 2019 at Södertörn University, we were presented with many aspects of Swedish culture and practices. One of the new aspects that I learnt was the “lagom culture”, As I quote one of the presenters about applying lagom to our studies, he said: ”Lagom will reduce your stressful burdens of hectic lecture schedules and ensure that you spend equal time of working and socializing in the university.”

So being a student with a background in public health and society, I got interested and searched for the deeper meaning of lagom, and how it can  apply to society and health. I found out that it is a Swedish way of life, it is a concept which means not too much and not too little, just enough. I learnt that it came from a Viking tradition laget om which means 'around the group' and was allegedly used to describe just how much mead or soup one should drink when passing the bowl around in the group.

If this concept is applied to achieve social health goals, it would really fit well. So, what is social health at first? Social health is how you interact with other people and adapt in different situations, it deals with how people in society deal with each other. It is important to note that there is a close link between good social health and improvement of the other aspects of human health, this can lead to the achievement of SDG goal of good health and wellbeing. It also leads to self-satisfaction and happiness; no wonder Sweden is ranked as one the happiest countries in the world. It is ranked 7th in 2019, according to world happiness report. I believe lagom has a big role in this achievement.

In the country where I come from, Kenya, one of the greatest challenges we face in our society, is the ability for people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds to interact and form positive and cohesive relationships with each other. From my perspective, when I finish my studies and return, lagom will be worth implementing in the workplace, the place where I live and the society as whole, as it is the best way of finding simple, attainable solutions to our everyday worries like stress, eating better, having downtime and achieving happiness. It’s a balance of work and life, so everything is in sustainable existence with each other.

My goal during my entire university studies at Södertörn, will be to learn more about the lagom principle and also be able to apply it on our SI NFGL Local Network platform, because it is surely one of the best ways to achieve a good  work-life balance, reaching consensus with my colleagues and adapting a team minded approach in dealing with issues in an organization and the society.