Green Tease Reflections: Are we COPing?

15th September 2020

Tuesday 8th September 2020. This event, organised in collaboration with Climate Art and game designer Matteo Menapace, brought together participants to play an online game, designed to provoke considerations around how to effectively engage with COP26 coming to Glasgow in November 2021

How the Game Works

To play the game, participants work in groups of 4, coming up with ideas to respond to Challenges submitted in advance of the event. These challenges were concerned with the different goals people might have for COP26 and included:

  • How might we inspire and bring about real changes which reduce Scotland’s emissions and have a lasting impact?
  • How might we engage local communities in COP?
  • How might we develop approaches to collaboration between the arts and civil society that can be replicated in the future?

Each member of the group produces an idea and pitches it to the rest of the group. These ideas aim to fulfil the overall success criteria that determine whether they are ‘winning’ the game:

  • Policy Influence: Our ability to affect decisions made as part of the COP negotiations or leverage the presence of COP to affect UK, Scottish, local government or sector policy.
  • Public engagement: Our ability to reach and involve members of the public to consider climate change, adopt behavioural shifts, and take steps to change broader society.
  • Capacity: Our ability to keep our work around COP26 going, including time, resources, money, and avoiding burnout or negative environmental consequences through our actions.
  • Community Building: Our ability to create effective connections and collaborations across a broad array of demographics, sectors and geographies that will yield long-term benefits.

The team votes for their favourite idea and submits it to a ‘Fortune Teller’, which predicts whether the idea is likely to succeed. They then update their ‘success trackers’ to see where they are making progress and where they are struggling. You can watch Matteo’s video about how to play the game below.

What were the outcomes?

Some of the favourite ideas presented were:

  • How might we challenge the transport industries to go greener via the arts? Installations in heavily congested areas of detectors that would emit sounds of various kinds in response to high pollution levels.
  • How might we make sure that different practitioners and organisations are aware of each other’s plans? Collaborate with a web designer and SEO experts to create a catalogue of activity which is easy to navigate and has clear and distinct criteria. People can also post things they need, resources/expertise etc and people can nominate themselves to contribute.
  • How might we learn about nature based solutions from skilled practitioners of contemporary arts and crafts around the globe? Set up pairings bringing together Scottish based craftspeople with craftspeople based in areas on the frontlines of climate change. These pairings communicate via online platforms and produce work in dialogue, responding to sustainable making advice that they offer each other. These will be exhibited in the lead-up to COP26 in Glasgow.
  • How might we challenge the transport industries to go greener via the arts? Workshops and events with artists addressing green issues held on board public transport (such as train carriages) travelling to Glasgow that is ‘commissioned’. Report the impact to transport companies.

Each team played a few rounds of the game, coming up with new ideas to tackle new challenges and continually updating their progress on the ‘success trackers’. We then came back together to discuss our experiences and share our favourite ideas. Some thoughts that emerged from the discussion were:

  • Capacity was the criterion that all teams struggled with the most as actions that advanced the other aims tended to reduce our capacity. Teams found that in later rounds they had to focus more on developing ideas that would regenerate or sustain their capacity.
  • People from differing backgrounds had highly contrasting ideas of what constituted effective ‘policy influence’ or ‘public engagement’. It was commented that this discussion alone could form a whole day event.
  • A number of participants said that they would like for there to be more spaces to discuss and develop the ideas that they came up with as part of the game and some felt that it was a shame not to have more time for this as part of the event.

Take a look at the ‘slides’ that were used for the gameplay to read more ideas and feedback.

Image of the game's success trackers. 4 rows numbered 1 to 10 and labelled Policy Influence, Public Engagement, Capacity, and Community Building. A cube is positioned at one number on each row, indicating the team's score.

The success trackers used by players to tell whether they were winning the game. Created by Matteo Menapace.

Next Steps

You can find out more about our co-organisers at:

Further resources for planning for COP26:

If you are reading this before the 12th of October 2020, you can come along for some more discussion about COP26 at the October Green Tease Online Meetup.

For more information or guidance on COP26, please get in touch with lewis.coenen-rowe@creativecarbonscotland.com.


Green Tease

Green Tease is a network and ongoing informal events programme, connecting creative practices and environmental sustainability across Scotland, as part of our culture/SHIFT programme.  Creative Carbon Scotland runs the Green Tease Open Call, which is a funded opportunity supporting sustainability practitioners and artists to exchange ideas, knowledge and practices with the aim of building connections and widening understanding of the role of arts in influencing a more sustainable society.

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