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Feedback - October 2020 session

The theme of the October 2020 session of the International Ocean-Climate School (IOCS) was

The Mediterranean and climate change: Impacts, people, action.

The session was a success.  Below are some basic facts about the session, along with some feedback from the participants.

Fourteen people participated, from 28 to 30 Oct 2020.  They originated from:  BrazilFranceIndiaItalyIranMoroccoSpainTunisiaUK.  (Unfortunately, two participants from Nigeria had to pull out because of internet problems.)  Ages ranged from 19 to 60 yrs; seven women and seven men.


Educational qualifications of participants were wide ranging, including high school leaving diploma, Bachelor's in business administration, BSc, hotel school diploma, Master, MBA, MSc, Engineering and PhD, with the largest portion with a Master or MSc.  The professional occupations too were varied, including volunteer in an environmental association, researcher at a university, meteorology researcher, student in environmental studies, researcher on reefs, CEO of a company, web developer, project officer, activist in climate NGOs, researcher in agent-based modelling, business person, founder and director of a climate NGO, freelance specialist in climate finance, international diplomat and university president.


The above diversity made a wonderful mix, and everyone enjoyed this multicultural and multinational group.  We especially applaud those whose time zone departed significantly from CET (Paris time).  Please see the two screen shots of our negotiations at the bottom of this page.

Several participants and the facilitator will together talk about our experience in two presentations at the 2021 conference of the EGU, European Geosciences Union, in April, 2021 -  You are most welcome to attend our sessions:

  • The Mediterranean and climate change: An online participatory simulation – Results from the front lines

  • A smörgåsbord of climate literacy methods: Outlines & experiences

Below are some comments by participants, provided in the feedback form a week or so after the school.  Comments are verbatim, as participants wrote them in the feedback form.

Your experience in a more personal way

It was a wonderful experience. With a series of people and scientists who really wanted to do something for the climate and the ocean. I felt very good with all the participants. David's management was excellent and all the discussion rooms and all the meetings were very useful to me. I think this school should be continuous and every few months all the participants come together again and express their new experiences in the role they played. Very useful information was said and a very valuable treasure was shared on Google Drive. You can read the shared material for months after school, ask David about your problems, and discuss with the people in the class.

I really liked the content and presentation of this simulation. It allowed me to learn more about computer tools. Moreover the knowledge exchange between the members was very interesting and enthusiastic. I liked the small group discussion aspect. What excited me was when we exchanged our different point of views. To have met people from all over the world and to have been able to exchange with them is a very good memory. I was disappointed not to be listened to sometimes. I would use: simulation, ocean-climate school, example of the Mediterranean see, people from all around the world, new knowledge, more aware of our society and issues.

I liked the general atmosphere of the event. David and his team created a very commutable [comfortable?] environment for the participants to be open, being themselves and feel confident, which enriches the brainstorming as people feel free to talk and not judged (at least that is how i felt). I found disappointing that some of the participant (probably me included) did not have enough knowledge to debate, so it was more a conversation than a negotiation. Keywards: #sharingknowledge #participation #conversation #listening #future #oceancare #climatechange #network-building #connect.

At the beginning I was a little scared by the idea of three days speaking English and French (I'm Italian). But everything was ok. I feel excited by the School and the environment between all of us. When I describe the experience to friends I always say that it was something really useful for my personal and professional growth. I hope that next year the School will be in presence. My key words are: "Curiosity, listening, sharing"

I think the organization of the school was very good. All tools provided (Discord, Google Drive...) to work together remotely were working fine. The presentation of Fabienne was one of the highlight of these 3 days together. It was a very enriching experience for me to meet all these people with different training and knowledge, coming from different countries...

I enjoyed the experience. However, some people actually believed that I represented the hydrocarbon industry and felt intimidated by my approach. It should be made clear at the start that these roles are only make believe in the scenario. It also showed many how such lobbyists work and they should be aware of it going forward.

I like the discussions among participants. It was fun and inspiring. I also like the variety of nationalities. Enriching moments, so much more to discover.

It was wonderful to meet new people and talk about interesting things - especially to learn from them and to be motivated and inspired.

What a great experience! I felt happy, engaged and surrounded by beautiful minds.

I liked the interaction with different people

Background knowledge & skills

I would have liked to have more knowledge in terms of figures on various information such as the risk of species extinction or the irreversible nature of government actions on our ecosystems. I would like to develop my knowledge in population dynamics and biostatistics. I think it would be great to invite professionals from each field in which there have been roles chosen to coach us and teach us directly what to show and what to say. This can be done as a module before starting the simulation.

Well, as a graduate student in the environment engineering, I think I still need to add to my experience and skills, and I certainly do not have enough knowledge and skills. But I had enough confidence because the participants and David supported me and did not let me feel bad. Skills such as what the desired role (for example, in my case, industry) is in climate change should be identified and focused on. I think a module should be provided beforehand.

I definitely lacked knowledge in non renewable energy and that was annoying because it prevented me from having the arguments to set up negotiations with the relevant stakeholder. I put into practice my environmental awareness, my knowledge in tourism, my people's skills, writing skills, communication skills.

I think that my skills were ok for the negotiation. I need a more specific knowledge on the different approach to negotiation in different culture/countries maybe a module with the key point in negotiation splitter by countries it could be helpful I needed a little more of "bad guys" in the negotiation.

I lack knowledge in fisheries, finance, (some) science areas. In the simulation, sometimes when somebody suggested to me that I should discuss with this person to talk about what I planned to do for my fish farm, I felt afraid to talk because I was not sure if my skills and knowledge were enough.

It was motivating for me to be able to share my knowledge about Posidonia oceanica, which is what I learned from Méditerranée 2000, with the other participants. It was good to be able to learn some specific things from each participant - especially about what really happens in their country.

Yes I felt I lacked knowledge for my role. I was not able to negotiate. => need to have the role before the beginning of the simulation Yes it could be an idea to provide a module beforehand.

I was ready to the school. Knowledge and skills could be gained when we read books that treat our topic, when we are aware, ...

I've been in intergovernmental negotiations so I know how this works I was happy to play my part.


It was a very enriching experience. Somehow it contributed to me more in a personal way than in a professional way. This might just be due to my personal situation at the time, but it is definitely a few days i will never forget. Besides that, I am used to work in a very international community but for the past year I have worked with a small group. Being able to share with such an international group again really got me really exited and the outcome was great.

The School and the simulation were well done. I learned many interesting things from the others and also improved certain life skills (listening, negotiating, etc.). The simulation helped me to (1) revise what I learned before about climate change, (2) learn more about the Mediterranean and (3) to realise how to apply what I learned from my university in the simulation.

The first memory is about the new friends all over the world! The second the surprise to know that someone knows Genova and speaks Italian! More professional the feeling to have done something really useful to increase my knowledge about Oceans and Climate issues. When I tell about the Ocean School I try to involve people to participate at the next experiences!

From the hospitality and the great work that David did for me in attending school, I have explained to my family and friends the scientific and beautiful content that I learned from my very kind friends (participants) during this course, as well as much more content on Google The drive is shared and I read it every week.

I learned a lot of things about the oceans and the Mediterranean sea and I was able to learn a lot about socio-economic subjects thanks to people who came from all over the world to do the simulation.

It was a very interesting experience, to meet people from different countries, different background, different ages but having the same interest for climate change

It was good to chat with new people interested in helping to save this planet, and I was happy to participate.

Kind and skilled people to work with. It was a pleasure to be here. We had fun and we learnt a lot.

I'll say: it was a very good experience, we were happy, different and engaged.

The friends we made


My knowledge of the climate and the oceans has increased, and I can comment on these issues better during meetings and discussions. I have also learned the general process of a new simulation for a complex process and I can apply it to some issues in my life. Systematic and group thoughts and actions have also become more prominent in my work and education, and I have come to the conclusion that good results are obtained from a community of good people.

Participatory simulation - I didn't even know it existed, glad it finally came access my way. Communication, people's skills - this experience reminded me how much i enjoy conversation and how i have always wanted to get a job in which I use it regularly, a pillar of my role. The possible scenario we might have in a few years - it made we think of the possible future scenarios in detail

It was the first time for me in a simulation so I learnt many things. For example by reading the documentation provided about climate change. I have also learnt by listening and talking with the different stakeholders during the simulation. The tool Discord with the different rooms is interesting too.

I learnt to listen a little more I understand that I speak to much and I have to listen more It was useful to understand the different approaches from people living in different countries It was useful to try to perceive the body language only by a screen view

It was good for me also as it showed me when some parties aren't prepared how lobbyists can get things past. I see this with some governments with little or no capacity to work on such things.

I realized that if we really want to have a voice or an impact in our society, we must also have political power. So I would like to study politics associated with my studies in ecology.

Skills: Listening, Speaking, Negotiating, Being creative. The simulation helps me think about geography that I learned from my university.

Learn to think more in a collective way and more sustainable. New thoughts in climate and oceans area that can be put into actions.

Trust, Simulation, Work in groups

How to interact with people

Participatory simulation

In my opinion the complexity of the Ocean and Environmental issues was already clear. What I try to support was, in fact, the Systemic Vision in my participation at the negotiation. I think that this kind of meeting are more useful to "open the mind" more that find a real solution. As an Ambassador of "EN-Roads" by Climate Interactive I run several workshops, meetings and negotiations. The approach, in comparison with the Ocean School, is similar even if the workshop last for two hours and not for three days. When I run a workshop I'm focused more to involve the participants to share ideas and feelings more that to reach an effective result in numbers.

Multiculturalism: For people who might have not had experience working (or living) in an international community, this experience can be a real eye opener. Interdisciplinary: Potential to learn about other roles, other career paths, even other professional life styles. Negotiations: If you get a good negotiating (even aggressive) group, this experience is a good training to real life challenging communications.

It was a new experience for me, who has always worked with mathematical models. I try to use this kind of simulation in my personal issues such as my education. Intelligent Group modeling My experience with this type of modeling has been a civilized mindset with an awareness of what is happening and can happen in the future.

Participatory simulation was interesting and engaging. It pushed you to act as if you were a role in real life. However, I think that it is quite complex and stressful (for me) to use participatory simulation if lack of knowledge in a role.

A very good approach. I gave a similar workshop in India on carbon certificates and the UNFCCC back in 2011 that ended with such a simulation. A good learning process, even for me, who was teaching at the time.

This kind of simulation is very important to open our eyes to the reality of our world. It allows to want to invest ourselves for a fairer and more sustainable world because we have important roles.

The simulation is a good way to learn about the complexities of things. It helps to be engaged, be creative, be motivated and be inspired.

Once they participate and once they feel engaged, they will never find any problem, their hands will be free to write easily...

I got a very good insight into human psychology

Recommending to a colleague

If you are looking for a multicultural, multidisciplinary, challenging, exiting experience, and are interested in ocean and climate, do not miss this event. If you wanna practice your negotiation skills then you must not miss it at all!

I would say them that it's really nice to meet new people with the same goal in terms of learning new things and sharing our experiences together and create a plan that can be done in real life despite it is a simulation.

It's a really great experience to improve your environmental knowledge, to know new people involved in environmental issue and to improve your negotiation skills

Good content, good people and attractive topics will be the three parameters I introduce.

I can recommend, but nobody I know works in this field who doesn't already know it.

Useful and worth participating. You will really get something out of it

Yes, it was an amazing learning experience

Just do it! You'll be very glad.

Overall experience & learning

Now after several weeks after the experience, please indicate your general level of satisfaction

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In media - LinkedIn


Laksh Sharma

Founder of The Reading Lamp | FFF Delhi coordinator | Founding Team Member Nawaazish | Love Helping People | Let's Connect!

  • I am happy to show you guys the Certificate of attendance at the online course "The Mediterranean and climate change Impacts, people, action" by the International Ocean-Climate School of the Ocean Open University, Cagnes, France, that i took in October 2020.

  • In the course, we were asked to perform a simulation where as stakeholders, in the realm of climate change, we present our argument to push for a sustainable future (or maybe not !) while keeping our interests in mind and helped us engage in a dialogue that made me understand the interconnected need for action among the stakeholders in real life.

  • Thank you for this great course and letting me attend and understanding my financial constraints.

Farhad Bolouri

Seeking Ph.D. position (M.Sc. Environmental Engineering)/ Research on Sustainable Development

  • Certificate of attendance at the online course "The Mediterranean and climate change: Impacts, people, action" by the International Ocean-Climate School of the Ocean Open University, Cagnes, France; October 2020.  Thank you for this great course.

Ricardo Parigi

Amministratore Unico MUST - Comunicazione Ambientale

  • This is my Certificate of attendance at the online course "The Mediterranean and climate change: Impacts, people, action" by the International Ocean-Climate School of the Ocean Open University, Cagnes, France; October 2020.  Thank you.

Article by Ricardo Parigi, one of our participants

Thank you, Ricardo, for this excellent article.

Translation into English (original Italian below).

(to be done)

Original in Italian.

Copied, with persmission, from the excellent website:

URL of the original article:

Come sarà il Mediterraneo nel 2050?

L’edizione 2020 dell’International Ocean Climate School si è focalizzata sul Mediterraneo. Come si raggiungeranno gli obiettivi di sostenibilità delle attività, dalla pesca all’industria, sulle acque del Mare Nostrum? Attraverso la simulazione e il gioco di ruolo, un approccio nuovo, divertente e interessante, alle tematiche ambientali.

Nei giorni scorsi, dal 28 al 30 ottobre, si è svolta la International Oceans Climate School, a cui ho partecipato in prima persona. Perché ve ne parlo? Perché credo possa essere un’esperienza da condividere e da diffondere. Organizzata e condotta dal professor David Crookall dell’Université de la Mer di Cagnes sur Mer, la International Oceans Climate School è un evento annuale ufficiale della Commissione Oceanografica Intergovernativa dell’Unesco come parte della scienza oceanica per lo sviluppo sostenibile delle Nazioni Unite.

Il Mare Nostrum del 2050

L’edizione di quest’anno, contrariamente al solito, si è tenuta online e ha visto la partecipazione di esperti e scienziati di molti paesi del mondo, dal Brasile all’India. Lo scopo della tre giorni di lavori è stato quello di immaginare come nel 2025, guardando gli obiettivi già raggiunti, si perseguiranno quelli da raggiungere entro il 2050 per tutte le attività, dalla pesca all’industria, che si affacciano sulle acque del Mediterraneo, zona che, in quanto italiani, ci coinvolge ovviamente in prima persona.

Interpretando la Cop

Per rendere efficace e coinvolgente l’attività di tutti i partecipanti, siamo stati chiamati a interpretare i differenti portatori di interesse che partecipano alle sessioni Cop (Conferenza delle parti sul Clima) organizzate dalle Nazioni Unite. Attraverso la simulazione molto articolata e complessa ciascuno di noi – io rappresentavo le Tecnologie Pulite – ha negoziato con lo scopo di ottenere oltre agli obiettivi del proprio ruolo anche quelli più generali.

Un Parlamento Climatico del Mediterraneo

A un livello successivo della simulazione abbiamo ipotizzato la costituzione di un Parlamento Climatico del Mediterraneo al fine di condividere soluzioni comuni per il nostro mare. Confesso che, un po’ intimorito dal dover negoziare in inglese e francese, mi sono presto sentito a mio agio con quelle e quelli che poi sono diventati amiche e amici (dopo tre giorni così intensi non volevamo più scollegarci e abbiamo già attivato numerose attività comuni).

Giochi di ruolo per l’ambiente

In quest’esperienza – che vi consiglio fortemente di fare il prossimo anno in presenza – ho scoperto e apprezzato i diversi punti di vista e i differenti approcci ai temi ambientali. Sono fortemente convinto che attraverso la simulazione e il gioco di ruolo (gamification) anche gli adulti possono stimolare la propria creatività e modificare in modo proattivo e propositivo le proprie convinzioni e atteggiamenti riguardo ai cambiamenti climatici.

Per saperne di più:

Saperenetwork è...

Riccardo Parigi, genovese, comunicatore ambientale, titolare Must Srl. Si è laureato in filosofia, ed è formatore, facilitatore, business coach, crisis manager. Si occupa di tematiche ambientali dal 1991. Docente AIAS Academy (Associazione italiana esperti ambiente e sicurezza). EN Roads Ambassador. Practitioner PNL.

URL of the original article:


Two screen shots of our negotiations

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