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Climate Fresk: Using game play to understand climate change

26% of greenhouse gas emissions come from food. 50% of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture. 94% of global mammal biomass (excl. humans) is livestock. Aviation accounts for only 2.5% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. One-in-four people do not have access to safe drinking water [1].

Do these statements make you understand our climate crisis more, less or does it leave you despondent?

There is no doubt that for many of us, the actions needed to combat climate change can be overwhelming and sometimes contradictory. Do we really understand what is required, as citizens, to make a significant impact? Here is where the Climate Fresk comes in. We discovered Climate Fresk a few years ago and have now turned evangelisers about the methodology. This approach does not seek to preach to participants, but instead equips them to become aware of climate change as a wide-reaching issue and then act. It balances scientific facts with the beliefs and motivations of individuals.

But what exactly is the Climate Fresk?

The Climate Fresk is a scientific, creative, and collaborative workshop designed to raise awareness of climate change in a playful way. It was conceived in 2015 by Cédric Ringenbach, former director of the renowned French Think Tank, The Shift Project, and is based on the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The project is promoted by the French association, La Fresque du Climat, whose ambition is to raise awareness among 1 million people worldwide. This association trains facilitators whose mission is to disseminate the tool and support individuals and organisations. With scientific rigour and pedagogy, this tool makes it possible to quickly discover how climate ‘functions’ and the cause-effect of its imbalance. The workshop also provides the keys to understanding how to act effectively, and stimulates creativity and group dynamics.

Who is it aimed at?

The Fresk is aimed at all kinds of people and organisations: universities, schools, public bodies, and multi-national companies. Schools, universities, companies are all mobilising to train their teams as part of their sustainability and CSR strategy.

“The uniqueness of the Climate Fresk workshops is that it is accessible to all, (from inexperienced to trained audiences, and you never leave the workshop neutral...empowered or pessimist, you always gain new insights to make your own opinion,”
Esti Sanvicente
Three o’clock co-director and Climate Fresk facilitator
How do the workshops work?

The fresk runs as a card game with 42 cards and is available in youth (11-15 years old) and adult versions. There is approximately 1 facilitator for every 12 participants (1 facilitator/6 participants for online workshops) and lasts three hours. During the workshop, the facilitator is instructed to speak as little as possible. Participants are encouraged to actively define their activities and consequently the chain of impact on the climate. What follows is a group discussion and an exchange of perceptions and ideas.

Due to the success of the Climate Fresk, it has been adapted to inspire fresks in other sectors: the mobility mural, digital industry, biodiversity, oceans, waste... which allow participants to go deeper into more specific themes.

The Climate Fresk and Three o'clock

At Three o’clock, we’re a team dedicated to causes of the climate and the environment. We pride ourselves in our participatory design approach and the Climate Fresk is an example of the services we offer. We are trained facilitators and can adapt the fresk based on your organisation’s needs.

Awareness-raising: We provide climate, mobility and digital fresks to make teams aware of the impact of their actions on the climate and its consequences.

Action: This workshop complements the awareness-raising workshop and aims to identify actions that each citizen/employee can implement to reduce their carbon footprint by gradually achieving changes in beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour.

Transformation: We offer support for the transformation of companies, which includes an internal communication strategy, competitions and challenges and ideation workshops. All this to motivate towards a transformative action in the community context.

We offer this service in person and digitally, in multiple languages and have already trained almost a hundred people. We’re currently running these workshops as part of our projects and invite you to sign up –