The World’s Future SDG Simulation



University of Waterloo
Organizations/areas of the university involved

10 universities/colleges across Canada


An interactive educational simulation designed to teach participants new ways to learn about and take action for the SDGs.

The World’s Future is an interactive educational simulation designed by IIASA and the Centre for Systems Solutions. SDSN Canada is training representatives from 10 member institutions to run the simulation and engage students, staff, and faculty across Canada. We hope the simulation will teach participants new ways to learn about and take action for the SDGs through an interactive experience to better understand the interconnected nature of the SDGs and the tradeoffs required to achieve them. 


We created a Community of Practice with member trainees and are sharing resources on hosting, marketing, and learning from the simulation. 

Results and impact measured or expected

We expect to engage over 1,000 people across Canada to participate in the simulation from April 2021-April 2022. We plan to measure changes in participant learning throughout, such as what are the impacts on participant understandings of the SDGs, what is the impact on student willingness to engage in further discussion, volunteer work, or research about the SDGs, and how prepared do faculty feel to teach and develop new materials on the SDGs?

Connection with the SDG framework

The SDGs are a complex and critically important issue for our world. Teaching this complexity is challenging. Simulation games offer a compelling way to distill complexity into an engaging and informative platform. The simulation helps teach how to conceptualize the complex issues surrounding implementation of the SDGs, skills for effective communication and collaboration across different stakeholder interests, strategic planning for action, and presents new techniques for teaching.

Barriers and follow up

The training process is self-paced online and the materials can be complex to understand. Arranging multiple demo training sessions is an important way to ensure that moderators feel comfortable applying the training in actually running the simulation.

Transferability of the initiative

Absolutely! The simulation is an online platform that can be accessed by any institution as long as someone has gone through the appropriate moderator training. There is no fee to use the platform for non-commercial purposes once trained.