Our multi-disciplinary research partnership links academic and non academic partners in order to co-create research knowledge with existing government and grassroots level organizations and networks so that findings can be incorporated into these organizations’ work. Our existing partners consist of: (1) Brace Centre for Water Resources Management at McGill University (Canada); (2) the Education and Competence Studies Group at Wageningen University (The Netherlands); (3) Signature Games (the Netherlands); (4) the Games Institute at the University of Waterloo (Canada); (5) the UNEP-DHI Center for Water and Environment (Denmark); and (6) DHI Water & Environment (Canada). These partners bring a diverse range of disciplines relating to water governance, sustainability, hydrological and ecosystem modeling, social learning, serious games, and their use as interactive learning tools.
The study of the role and value of serious games for social learning and collaboration in the context of transboundary water governance cannot be conducted by any one researcher alone. Hence, by forming our comprehensive partnership, we will be able to catalyze and integrate the different strengths of our partner organizations and bring together significant knowledge, skills and expertise. The combination of academic partners and collaborators, the private sector, non-profit organizations, and independent experts allows theoretical concepts to inform and test games that are developed for use in the practitioners’ work towards sustainable water governance.
In addition to the above-described partner organizations, this partnership also involves collaborators who have substantial knowledge and experience of the research areas related to the research project, and of the specific water governance challenges in the selected study areas. These collaborators – that also form the Advisory Board for this partnership – consist of:
- Antoine Verville with the Regroupement des organismes de bassins versants du Québec (ROBVQ) and the North American Network of Basin Organizations (NANBO);
- Bill Werick a member of the IJC (International Joint Committee) International Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Task Team;
- Deborah Grantham with the the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University;
- Larry Susskind with the Consensus Building Institute;
- Nicolas Milot with the Regional Round Table for the Upper St. Lawrence and Great Montreal Area and the University of Quebec in Montreal;
- Tony Maas with the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) in Canada.
Project Member Organizations
McGill UniversityMcGill University (Canada) The research will strengthen ties between the Centre and water practitioners in Quebec and the Great Lakes region through co-developing projects that contribute to academic knowledge on the use of serious games in the water sector and allowing practitioners to use the platforms to address long-standing issues related to water governance challenges. McGill will provide expertise in the areas of integrated and adaptive water resources governance, system dynamics modeling, as well as social learning and multi-stakeholder collaboration processes.Montreal, QC CanadaUniversity of WaterlooUniversity of Waterloo (Canada), through the Games Institute, will provide expertise on the design and development of digital and serious games, and this project provides an opportunity to apply the findings of the SSHRC-funded IMMERSe partnership project on digital games to a new sector, the water sector. The proposed partnership will inform and benefit the IMMERSe project through the opportunity to expand research on players’ experiences with serious games to a new sector (i.e. water resources) that has not been studied in any detail to date.Waterloo, ON CanadaWageningen UniversityWageningen University (Netherlands), through the Education and Competence Studies Group, will bring expertise in learning arrangements between different societal actors focusing on a common sustainability challenge, and the understanding, development and assessment of the sustainability capacities/competences that emerge. To capitalize on Wageningen’s expertise in social learning, they will provide ongoing feedback on and support the dissemination of results and findings of our research. This project will inform a new program that is being developed at Wageningen University on ‘Science Communication and Learning in the Digital Age’.Wageningen, NLSignature GamesSignature Games (Netherlands), this NGO will provide expertise on public policy, particularly collaborative/interactive/participative policy and decision-making, and on the use of multi-player serious games to address policy issues related to sustainability. For example, they have designed and facilitated simulation games for the Port of Rotterdam and the Netherlands Institute for Spatial Research. Hence, this group will contribute particularly to the assessment and testing of existing serious games, and they will also play a key role in facilitating game-play sessions during the stakeholder workshops in the study areas.NetherlandsDHI GroupDHI Group (Denmark and Canada), through the UNEP-DHI Center for Water and Environment and DHI’s local office in Canada, has experience in developing serious games for the water sector elsewhere that can be applied to the Canadian context. The group will benefit from the proposed project through the opportunity to test and refine their existing games designed to promote sustainable water management in Canada.Denmark and Canada
Project Member Profiles
Associate Proffesor, Director IWRM Program
Jan Adamowski holds a position as an Associate Professor and the Director of the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Program with the Department of Bioresource Engineering at McGill University. His expertise lies in hydrological and participatory modelling, and adaptive and integrated water resources management. As the PI of this project, he is mainly responsible for overseeing all aspects of the project, including managing finances and directing the Coordinating Committee.McGill UniversityPost-Doctoral Fellow
Wietske Medema is a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University, and supports the management of this research project. After four years in Sri Lanka, where she was involved in water projects in areas of institutional development, capacity building and stakeholder participation, she completed a PhD in integrated and adaptive water resources management at Cranfield University in the UK. Her research interests focus on the potential of virtual platforms and digital tools to facilitate social learning and wider actor and stakeholder interactions.McGill UniversityPhD, MSc
Alison Furber recently completed a PhD in environmental engineering at The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and is now an MSc research student at McGill University. Her interest in equitable sharing of resources came during her PhD, when she spent a year living and working with rural communities in Ghana building water and sanitation systems. Her current research explores the use of coupled hydrological - socioeconomic models for participatory long-term strategic planning and management of watersheds.McGill UniversityProfessor of Social Learning and Sustainable Development
Arjen Wals is Professor of Social Learning and Sustainable Development with Wageningen University, UNESCO Chair in the same field and Adjunct Faculty member of the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. His expertise is in social learning and sustainable development, and hybrid learning arrangements between different societal actors focusing on common sustainability challenges.Wageningen UniversityHead of Serious Games
Chengzi Chew is the Head of Serious Games with UNEP-DHI, a not-for-profit collaboration between DHI and the UNEP. His expertise is in the development of serious games simulating watershed systems, and he coordinated the development of Aqua Republica, an online serious game to promote sustainable water management.UNEP-DHIDirector DHI Water & Environment Canada
Patrick Delaney is the Director of DHI Water & Environment, Canada. His expertise is in hydrological modelling and the development and application of water modelling technology.DHI Water & Environment CanadaProfessor of Applied Games, Innovation & Society
Igor Mayer is a professor of Applied Games, Innovation & Society at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands. This professorship is affiliated to the Academy for Digital Entertainment (ADE), one of whose departments is the Game Academy. He combines his professorship with being an entrepreneur, author and visiting professor at the School of Management and Economics of Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), China.NHTV Breda University of Applied SciencesProject Leader of Learning Innovation and Gaming
Qiqi Zhou obtained her PhD in gaming for integrated spatial planning at Delft University of Technology and is now a project leader of learning innovation and gaming at TIAS School of Business and Society, Tilburg University, both locate in the Netherlands. Her expertise is in designing and facilitating management games. She is also collaborating international projects and giving speeches in different events.TIAS School of Business and Society, Tilburg UniversityDirector of the Games Institute
Neil Randall is the Director of the Games Institute with the University of Waterloo and his expertise is in games studies, virtual worlds, game design and narratives. He is currently leading an SSHRC-funded partnership project called IMMERSe on players’ experience of, immersion in and learning through digital games.University of WaterlooAssistant Managing Director
Antoine Verville is the Assistant Managing Director with the Regroupement des organismes de bassins versants du Québec (ROBVQ). His expertise is in regional planning and development, integrated water resources management, stakeholders involvement, and impacts of climate change on water resources. He's also involved in the North American Network of Basin Organizations (NANBO).ROBVQCoordinator Regional Round Table for Upper St.Lawrence & Great Montreal Area
Nicolas Milot is the coordinator of the Regional Round Table for Upper St.Lawrence & Great Montreal Area. This table is a permanent deliberative process dedicated to the implementation of St. Lawrence River integrated management. He is also adjunct teacher at the Institut des sciences de l’environnement of the Université du Québec à Montréal where he studies natural resources governance and climate change adaptation.Regional Round Table for Upper St.Lawrence & Great Montreal Area.Faculty Fellow
Deborah Grantham is a Faculty Fellow with the the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University, and works closely with educators who are providing education on water resources management across New York State. She is involved in water resources education programs for the communities along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, and provides knowledge of opposition to lake level regulation changes in these communities.Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell UniversityChief Knowledge Officer
Larry Susskind is the founder and chief knowledge officer, teacher, trainer, mediator, and urban planner with the Consensus Building Institute. He is one of the founders of the field of public dispute mediation having meditated fifty complex disputes in the United States and in other parts of the world. He will particularly provide guidance on how to evaluate the extent to which science-based role-play simulations contribute to the readiness and capacity of stakeholders to undertake collaborative efforts.Consensus Building InstituteRetired Senior Planner
Bill Werick used to work as a senior Planner at US Army Corps of Engineers until retirement. His expertise is in transboundary water management, water conflict resolution and shared vision planning. He will particularly provide guidance as to the stakeholder issues in Lake Ontario and processes of conflict resolution.US Army Corps of EngineersFounding Member (FLOW) and Independent Consultant
Tony Maas is a founding member of the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) and independent consultant. His expertise is in sustainable water governance and policy in Canada, particularly in relation to collaborative governance processes and the ecosystem considerations for water management. He provides guidance on development and implementation of regional and national policy, as well as a link to other stakeholder organizations.Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW)
Rules of the Game
Everyone submits a personal picture and completes a publicly viewable profile before they are able to view any website content and participate in discussions. The website showcases partners and collaborators and their locations around the world to create conditions for engaging collaboration.
Fruitful collaboration comes from asking questions and sharing ideas and knowledge. Partners and collaborators are asked to contribute to the content of the project website through Blogs, Tweets, Facebook posts, links to resources, etc. The project PI, project partners and project coordinator’s tasks are to look at these proposed sub projects and teams, and provide support for planning, implementation, monitoring, and coordination.
Capability and Commitment
We ask each partner and collaborator to make a commitment to the project by asking them to provide 1 or 2 specific project ideas that they are willing to take charge of and commit to. For each of these project ideas, partners and collaborators are asked to develop a short project plan including activities outline, skills and expertise needed, and suggestions for potential collaborators, either from within the existing team or outside. Each of these projects will eventually have its’ own research team, objectives and milestones that are worked towards. Each team reports regularly reports progress to the website.
Each of the teams are asked to share results, findings and impacts of their specific projects. We aim to provide flexibility as a platform which is desirable; but shared experiences are important because these trigger peer conversations and collaboration. Team members will be asked to regularly interact with other members of their team as well as those of other teams and in that way provide a rich environment for sharing ideas and knowledge. To increase the impact of our partnership and project, members are also asked to share the website and platform with other potentially interested people and organizations.
Members have access to diverse knowledge, skills and expertise through a network of international partners and collaborators. The coordinating project team is very open and willing to actively pursue funding and resources for any new project ideas that contribute to the overall research goals. This collaboration provides those organizations and people that have developed serious game to test and refine their simulations. The website will provide the opportunity to increased exposure of members research to the wider public, and publicize course material or online game links.
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