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Lessons learnt from “Climate Club”, a negotiation simulation of multilateral diplomacy and politics

How can the insights of the IACM community be used to train diplomats and policymakers for effectively mitigating climate change? Partnering with an intergovernmental organization, we have sought to develop a simulation that transfers many of our community’s research findings from social science to practice. The outcome is “Climate Club”, a six-party simulation that allows negotiators to sharpen their integrative negotiation skills in a simplified but realistic conference scenario. In late 2020, we have conducted three test-runs of the simulation. The lessons that we have learnt so far concern, e.g., the pros and cons of allowing for a mainly quantitative evaluation of negotiation performances. We have concluded that while a quantifiable outcome may motivate competition-oriented negotiators, it may poorly represent the multi-facetted nature of diplomatic and political negotiations. Our lessons learnt also concern the intersection of leadership training and negotiation success, the pro and cons of using fictitious parties in real-words scenarios, and the different functions that instructors can have during a simulation.

Val Ade
Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences

Philip Grech
ETH Zürich

Aimee Lace
Columbia University
United States


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