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  1. Thank you Christophe. I could follow most of it via the automatic translation :-). One query I have with the use of the games you describe is that they depend on academics moderating the session. Do you think these kind of exercises might become part of the toolbox of extension agencies? And would that be desirable?

    1. Hi Marco, thank you for watching my frenchy talk 😉 You’re right, training a local facilitator is key. In the case presented here, the two first sessions were co-facilitated and the last one was handled by the local facilitator without me. Involving people from extension agencies with excellent skills in communication and education is a strategy that proved to be efficient in past similar processes we implemented in Bhutan. Learning to master the playing rules and the game mechanics is not such a big issue with this kind of simple games. It might be slightly more tricky to convey the idea of using the game to support social learning consistently with the principles of the companion modelling approach. The debriefing of the gaming session is not meant to formulate recommendations but to identify questions to be investigated in a collaborative and transdisciplinary way. Yet, clearly, such tools might be used to convey pre-established messages: the possibility of using them to manipulate local people exists. We must remain vigilant in transferring not only the tool but also the approach that aims to use it to promote the collective commitment to envision jointly trajectories towards sustainable futures. I’m convinced we should foster ways for academics and extension agencies to work together more closely.

  2. Looks like an interesting process for bringing people together to learn. Could you explain a bit more if there are ways that the participants can creatively contribute to defining management measures, modifying any provided by the researchers or coming up with new management measures of their own?

  3. Hello Bryan, thank you for your comment!
    During the sessions played in Kenya, the role of the protected area manager was not assigned to one of the participants: the zoning of the protected area (3 cells) was set up by the session facilitator without the explicit intervention (as a player) of the manager himself. We then observed how the participants took this information into account when choosing the zones in which they decided to harvest resources, and whether they decided on their own on collectively validated measures to ensure that the harvest was sustainable. In one session, the players decided to reduce the number of people they sent to harvest resources, in another one they decided to set up their own system of rotating the harvesting zones. In companion modeling games, rules are left open: participants have a great deal of freedom to propose measures of their own not mentioned as rules of the game. It can even go as far as the creation of new roles, and sometimes the result of a session of a generic game like the one we used in Kenya leads to the creation of a specific game.

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