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EESS talk on "Decision making: a serious game!"


Event details

Date and time 07.05.2019 12:1513:00  
Place and room
Speaker Dr Alice Aubert, SNSF Ambizione fellow in the Cluster of Decision Analysis, Dept Environmental Social Sciences, EAWAG

received in 2018 a 4-year SNSF Ambizione grant for an interdisciplinary project on citizen involvement in complex decision-making, in particular for wastewater infrastructure. The focus is on gamification and behavioural operational research. Initially trained as an environmental scientist, she carries out the research at Eawag – the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology.
Category Conferences - Seminars
Recently, many call for public participation to support environmental decision-making. Methods enabling structured and transparent decision-making when facing complex problems need to evolve. Environmental Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is such a decision-making method. Urban wastewater management (UWM) is a good example of a complex decision that would benefit from citizens’ participation. The reason is that UWM relies on public investments, and alternative UWM options can induce changes in the daily life of end-users. Knowing the preferences of stakeholders and ideally of many end-users would facilitate decision-making.
So far, applications of environmental MCDA mostly fit the deliberative democracy framework, where selected stakeholders are included in decision-making. However, one could use environmental MCDA in a participatory democracy framework, involving many citizens, as well. However, this raises the following question: How to elicit reliable preferences from many citizens?
Gamification and serious games are nowadays pervasive. Increasingly more people use them to communicate about the complexity of the real world with simplified models. Gamification and serious games trigger psychological factors, which in turn have behavioural impacts, such as enhancing participation, and learning. However, scientifically rigorous evaluations of their actual benefits and possible drawbacks are scarce.
During the talk, I will discuss the gamification of environmental MCDA for online preference elicitation, based on experimental results. The first prototype tested with students produced encouraging results. The online-gamified preference elicitation tool helped participants to learn about UWM, and to construct preferences. The prototype requires improvements, and complementary experimental testing.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free
  • This event is internal


  • EESS - IIE



Environmental sciences - society interface Participatory decision-making Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis process Gamification and serious games for decision-making Wastewater management Citizen participation