IMD MBAs simulate the world climate summit and running a global company to understand how business, society, and the environment interconnect

Country delegates navigate the landscape of negotiations, forming temporary alliances that align with their interests. Industry representatives seize the opportunity to broker side deals, leveraging their influence and connections to secure favorable outcomes. Climate activists disrupt the status quo by cutting off the building’s electricity, amplifying their cause. Snacks and fruits disappear along with some of the food and agriculture industry spokespeople, hinting at the potential realities of food shortages. Amid it all, the Presidency strives to uphold order. 

This was the scene on 13 June when IMD students, in a grand culmination of our UN visit, engaged in the future of climate negotiations – a simulation crafted by our professor, Knut Haanaes, where our version of COP 28 came to life. Through the World Climate Simulation game, we embodied nations, private/public sectors, and NGOs and gained valuable insights into collaborative strategies to tackle the urgent global issue of climate change. Participating in complex sustainability challenges, we developed a holistic understanding of the interconnectedness between business, society, and the environment.

IMD is about creating an immersive learning experience for its students. These interactive experiences have transformed how I learn, pushing me to test my skills in a real-world environment and quickly adapt to changes. The last week of Module 4 was all about putting the learnings of courses such as accounting, finance, strategy, and negotiations into practice.

After closing the conference on climate issues we transitioned into a new universe of Arcadia. In this alternate reality, we formed teams and took charge of subsidiaries within a corporate headquarters to launch new products. With crucial decisions to be made on importing raw materials, production capacity, marketing strategies, and managing profits, we witnessed firsthand how the different aspects of a business interacted.

Piece by piece, we assembled the puzzle of running a successful business, discovering the intricate connections between its various components. Adding to the fun was the freedom to set our own Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for success. Whether it was market share, company image, or return on capital employed (ROCE), we charted our journeys to victory. The ultimate winning team wasn’t solely determined by market dominance, but by our unique KPIs that showcased our desired objectives and aspirations.

The game, and the week, ended with a bottle of Champagne and, with the sound of Queen’s anthemic We Are The Champions playing in the background, we all felt like we had emerged victorious.

Special thanks to Jonas Haertle, United Nations Institute for Training and Research, and Clea Kaske-Kuck, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, for joining us in mirroring COP 28.


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