On the occasion of the AAAS, the EU Policy Lab is in Boston! Yesterday we got the chance to visit the MIT Media Lab and we organised a Scenario Exploration System (SES) session with a small group of students.

Inventing a better future

The MIT Media Lab is an interdisciplinary research laboratory funded in 1985. Staff and students are doing innovative research ranging from cognition and learning, to electronic music, holography and computing. Their main focus is on innovation through design.

We were given a complete tour of the facilities and we got a glimpse of the domains of their activities. We met with Ariel Noyman, a research scientist who had also come to the JRC a couple of months ago to give a lecture on the novel tools used by the Media Lab for  urban planning. At the end of the tour we met with Peter Cohen and Ryan McCarty, to discuss future possibility of cooperation between the Media Lab and the EU Policy Lab.

Playing the SES at the MIT

In the afternoon we met with 5 MIT students from the Technology and Policy programme, interested in experiencing the SES. The session was extremely dynamic and fun. It was the first time we played with a group of friends and probably this made the difference. The students chose to play the Sustainable Transition edition, focusing more on the energy sector because of their studies. They demonstrated a strong interest in understanding the game development process and were well aware of the main global issues around energy such as energy demand growth, fossil fuels and environmental degradation, sustainable energy grids or public awareness.

playing SES


The students found the game very enjoyable and seemed enthusiastic about it. Playing the SES was a good way  for them to learn about the interaction among different stakeholders and to understand and take into account other people’s views. They really got into their roles and particularly enjoyed the real life cards, through which they could bring the real world randomness in the picture.

We want to thank the students and the MIT for their hospitality! Over the next 3 days we are bringing the SES at the AAAS, you can follow us on twitter #policylab4EU !



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