The EU Policy Lab is preparing to develop a new version of the JRC award-winning Scenario Exploration System (SES) – a serious board game – to engage with uncertain and contentious futures of migration and its implications for EU policy-making.

Drawing on the success of the Sustainable Transitions edition of the game that helped stimulate numerous discussions with a range of stakeholders around future directions for sustainable EU economy, we will now proceed with the migration version of the SES in two steps.

First, we are teaming up with the OECD Development Centre to turn the 2030 international migration scenarios from their Perspectives on Global Development report (to be published this year) into a new version of the SES. We hope that this will serve both the OECD and the JRC in familiarising different stakeholders with the excellent scenarios developed by the OECD and in helping them to actively explore what different future migration patterns might mean for their area of work.

Playing the SES among colleagues

Playing the SES among colleagues

Second, we will prepare an EU-specific version of the 2030 migration scenarios that will go further in considering the implications of different migration futures for the EU and its policies. This process will culminate in the development of an EU-focused version of migration SES. It will be used both to engage with external stakeholders affected by EU migration and asylum policies and to stimulate forward-looking discussions inside the Commission about EU’s responses to future migration and integration developments.

The Sustainable Transitions edition of the SES had already been used to explore migration issues both at EU and national level (Germany) in demonstration sessions. Now that we are formally engaging in this project, we gathered other JRC colleagues who will be involved to test the current version of the SES on a migration-specific topic. This took place on July 19, 2016. The Sustainable Transitions of the SES (as it is now) proved to be a surprisingly flexible framework that accommodated the migration focus without any difficulties even though it was not initially considered as an important topic for the sustainable economy scenarios. However, it was also made clear that there is a lot of potential to enhance the depth of the discussion and the utility of the tool by tailoring the game specifically to the migration context. The results of this project will be ready in 2017.

If you would like to share your experiences with applying serious gaming to migration/migration policy issues with us, do let us know at: alice.szczepanikova@ec.europa.eu

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