Research Partnership

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

Project Member Profiles

Rules of the Game

Virtual Meet-up

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.

Contact UpSWinG

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©2019 UpSWinG Collaborative Research Project

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