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Professor Ockie Bosch (email)
Systems Design and Complexity Management
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6460
Mobile: +61 417 076 122
Ms Robyn Mills (email)
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Getting young people to completely change the way they tackle problems is the target of a new computer game competition for schools being introduced to Australia for the first time at a launch today, 26 July, by the University of Adelaide Business School.
Under the 'Starting with the Young' program, teams of Adelaide high school students will govern fictitious countries that are in despair with the goal of stabilising them within a virtual 12 years. The teams compete firstly against other teams within their school and then in a November final between schools.
The teams will need to balance the conflicting demands of production, the environment, education, health, politics, quality of life and population growth using the simulation game Ecopolicy.
University of Adelaide systems scientist Professor Ockie Bosch says the schools competition is just one step towards the societal change needed to tackle "the multitude of difficult, long-term global challenges ahead".
"There are no quick fixes," Professor Bosch says. "We can't solve complex problems with our traditional linear thinking; we need to think in systems.
"All decisions have ramifications ‒ both positive and negative. Some are intended consequences, others not intended, yet everything is interconnected."
Professor Bosch says 'Starting with the Young' would start the process of teaching the next generation about interconnected thinking. They would learn how to shift from traditional, mainly linear, approaches to problems - simple cause and effect - to a new way of thinking, while having fun with an engaging simulation computer game.
Up to 40 Adelaide high schools will be the first in Australia to take part in the competition which is already popular in some European and other countries. In Germany this year, more than 3000 schools and 175,000 children took part in the competition.
In Adelaide, the final will be held in November with the winners competing against winners of other countries at the World Conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences next July on Cat Ba Island, Vietnam. Here teams will be able to obtain advice from international systems scientists and government and business representatives.
At the University of Adelaide, Professor Bosch and his Systems Design and Complexity Management team in the Business School will be also using the Ecopolicy game for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
Further information can be found here.