MOSES: role play game for sustainability

Sustainability knowledge and skills are highly regarded competencies by many companies and organizations; it can be seen as an additional requirement that business/system must satisfy. The main contribution of this project is to propose a quantitative method for modeling and integrating sustainability issues in the analysis of business alternatives in building a coal power plant in a port area.

We have developed a sustainability model implemented in a simulator which has been used as a tool in a role play game experience.

Some sustainability models available in literature consider as inputs a homogeneous set of quantities drawn from a single aspect of sustainability, such as environmental system or the social one, indeed there examples were multiple aspects were considered combining for instance environmental and economic impacts with operational issues. MOSES is moving forward to embed a comprehensive approach able to qualify each scenario with several indexes (outputs) at a time using a scalable architecture.

A valuable approach to model sustainability combines necessarily the human and the ecological system. The human system consists of the economy related to such aspects as health, work, economy, education and policies while the ecological system consists of air, land and water with a system of systems (SoS) approach.

Among the indicators, belonging to different systems, MOSES is able to calculate classical sustainability scalars, like the carbon footprint, which allows eventually comparisons with other models. The concept of ecological footprint is a valuable indicator of ecological sustainability of a system or an activity. Taking into account resources that a population/activity exploits and the main wastes generated, it is possible to convert them into a corresponding land size needed for the assimilation of the above mentioned quantities.

Our model assumes that an established port area is subject to some development proposals, with concurrent actions to be performed on its main activities. In order to set the simulation in a realistic environment the model has been tailored on a real city Italian city, facing the Tyrrhenian sea, and with one commercial and military port, hosting the arsenal of a Navy. Environmental impact, and thus sustainability issues, for a plant so close to the residential areas are a major concern for both the electrical utility and the population, due to the emissions and the possible degradation of air quality.

The military base, on the other hand, is less impacting from the environmental point of view, but extends of a big share of the available territory. Both realities have a strong impact on the occupation of the inhabitants and on the local economic framework.

The simulator is also equipped with a mappingtool which visualizes the use of the soil in terms of intended use, superimposed to a satellite picture. The total area is divided into colored areas according to the intended use of the surface: light blue for the power plant, red for the military base, black is the available surface, blue is the sea, yellow the industry and green is the maximum available green area (grass) needed to compensate the emissions of the power plant, if available.

MOSES is able to quantitatively represent the sustainability of different design alternatives. MOSES allowed to properly conduct a game based experience: the player can understand the tradeoffs between sustainability and other business goals and make informed decisions. The negotiation game permitted to train sustainability-specific decision-making skills.

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