Can we make a difference?

Aug 2, 2018 by

Wrap-up session

We first discussed the economical and political issues we have learnt since the first day. In particular, students shared the ideas and perspectives from the last session: Ecological Economics – the environment of the economy by professor Sigrid Stagl. This was a very impressive and clear presentation on ecological economics in versatile aspects. It started with the evolution of how ecological economics developed and included also other novel and attractive issues.

Simulation Event by Helga Kromp-Kolb and Lisa Bohunovsky

This is a classic game in business school. The aim of the game is to simulate real situations to show how individuals in society are classified and grouped in terms of net value. Throughout this game, the participants were encouraged to have an insight into the problems of current economical mechanisms in which rules and norms imposed by the system are largely affecting the individuals and different groups’ behaviors.

Firstly, everyone was provided with a different amount of initial value. Participants then were classified into 3 groups in terms of the initial value, which are the poor, the middle-class and the rich. This reflects reality that there is no equality in society. In a second step, by individual trading, the resources were redistributed and thus changed individual’s economical position. Thirdly, bonuses were assigned to each group, but their allocation had to be decided within the group. For example, in the poor group, all the bonus went to the individuals that either were the richest or the poorest within the group. Finally, in the last phase only the richest had the power to redesign the rules of trading and accounting systems while the other two groups could only give proposals.

After the game, the participants gave feedbacks both on emotions, positive strategies and alternative solutions.

As a short conclusion, this game helped to broaden and strengthen our understanding of the significance and the potential of alternative economic and monetary systems. We personally draw the following reflections from the wrap-session: sometimes it may be necessary to change the system in which behaviors occur. Furthermore, if rules do not have legitimacy, they will not be obeyed. Finally, what seems fair to those in power is not likely to seem fair to those who are out of power.

Written by: Amphai Wejwithan and Ying Chen

Based on the lectures held by: Helga Kromp-Kolb and Lisa Bohunovsky (“Simulation Event”)