Have you played this Swedish card game for climate action?

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

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.