Making your arguments heard in a collective framework

The simulation is a dynamic pedagogical exercise with a double purpose: first, to immerse students in a real-life situation; and, second, to give them an opportunity to examine the various solutions to the problems raised in a collective context. With the help of a specific scenario, the simulation allows students to better evaluate the complexity of a decision, the process leading up to it, as well as the stakes involved. A simulation entails, based on considerable research, reproducing a real situation in a collective context, with arguments on both sides, that culminates in a public choice through a process of negotiation, consultation and deliberation.

Simulation exercises can take different forms: negotiation (the “Richelieu 3.0” module on French maritime strategy), debate (the European Heritage Prize), simulation-action (in the form of a hackathon), or computer-based (simulation of a health crisis). For all these exercises, emphasis is placed on feedback from practitioners, which allows for critical perspective on the experience.

This exercise stimulates the imagination of participants, enabling them to establish links between knowledge, know-how (learning through doing) and social skills (stronger interpersonal relations). Students learn about themselves, but also about the constraints imposed and the opportunities presented by the format, rules and frameworks chosen for the exercise.

Some examples

Simulation: Challenges of a French maritime strategy for 2030

On November 29 and 30, 2016, the School of Public Affairs, HEC and FORCCAST organized the first “Richelieu 3.0” simulation at Sciences Po on the challenges of a French maritime strategy for 2030. Roughly fifty students participated in this intense negotiation experience.

The event launched on November 29 with a roundtable on biodiversity and sustainable development issues. Participants included Biodiversity Minister Barbara Pompili and Hédi Larbi, a former Tunisian minister and professor at Harvard.

Simulations are pedagogical exercises in which participants immerse themselves in the complexity of a situation, in this case, maritime issues raising major debates in public affairs today, at the interaction of the public and the private: energy transition, sustainable development, industrial policies, etc.

Throughout the simulation, students played different roles in a series of situations: for instance, politicians, high-level civil servants, large firms, SMEs and start-ups, associations, European actors, etc.

At the end of the event, the real actors involved in the sector came to share their experience and knowledge with the students.

The Sciences Po European Heritage Prize (Cultural Policy and Management concentration)

Inspired by the European Heritage Label initiated by the European Commission, the Sciences Po European Heritage Prize (fr.) is organized by the Cultural Policy and Management concentration at the School of Public Affairs. It brings all the students from the program together for a unifying and innovative event.

Throughout the spring semester, first-year master’s students work to create an innovative cultural project, on one of the proposed sites, around a theme like counter-culture (2016) or minorities (2017).

For an entire semester, the students participate in different professionalizing workshops to develop their projects.

Then, after a day-long event of public presentations and debate, a professional jury awards the prize to one of the projects.

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