14 June 2017
OECD Headquarters, Paris

"The World’s Future", A Sustainable Development Goals game

IIASA and the OECD team up to test a simulation game developed by IIASA researchers on Sustainable Development Goals 

With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 SDGs, the international community has created a comprehensive and indivisible set of goals attaching equal importance to environmental, social and economic concerns. This acknowledges for the first time that transformation to sustainable and resilient societies cannot happen with a “business as usual”, siloed approach, and that a systems approach is a necessary condition for successful transformation.


At the same time, a number of tools are being developed to support policymakers and other actors in society in designing, implementing and supporting coherent and integrated policies in pursuing the goals and targets, and to consider transboundary and intergenerational impacts. One such tool – or simulation game – is being developed by IIASA called The World’s Future – A Sustainable Development Goals Game. This serious role play game functions as an experiential playground based in scientific systems research. The game challenges participants’ understanding of sustainability dynamics and their ability to innovate and collaborate towards the global goals.  

Given the close synergies between IIASA’s systems thinking approaches and OECD’s work on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD), the two organisations have teamed up to test this tool on a small and interested group of OECD sectoral experts and officials from Member States. The meeting will be held on June 14, and its purpose is to:

  •  Test The World’s Future game as an experiential playground for learning and understanding as well as for prototype development with a view to applying tools at national level;
  • Gain insights into the interconnected and systemic nature of the SDGs including synergies and trade-offs;
  • Clarify the role and value of a PCSD approach to SDG implementation and identify possible areas of action.


The World’s Future Game is developed in collaboration with the RISK program at IIASA and CRS (Center for Systems Solution) as part of the “Systems Thinking for Transformation” (Systrans) project. Systrans is a one-year exploratory SAF-project which aims at better understanding systems thinking as a core 21century competence, connects with other systems thinking initiatives and develops prototypes for engagement and learning scenarios to foster systems thinking in policy makers and young actors in society.

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Last edited: 18 May 2017

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