Discussion of Catan: Oil Springs and Demonstration at Bay Area Schools Environmental Conference

Event Date: 
February 4, 2012 - 2:30pm
San Jose Athletic Club, San Jose, CA

Settlers of Catan OilEureka! Oil has been discovered on Catan! That’s right, oil has been discovered on the island of Catan!  And after many years of study, the great engineers of Catan have learned ways to improve production using this valuable new resource, both by converting it into other resources and enabling the upgrade of cities into metropolises.

Recognizing the value of making sustainability education fun and engaging, Worldwatch's Erik Assadourian has helped develop Catan: Oil Springs, a non-profit scenario for the award-winning board game that  integrates a new resource into the mix—oil—and brings with it the opportunity for players to develop significantly faster, but not without risking industrial pollution and disasters such as coastal flooding triggered by climate change. Other sustainability challenges, including issues of development disparity, the resource curse, and limits to growth are integrated seamlessly into the game, where players struggle with whether they should use oil to grow even as they risk undermining the productivity of their lands and even risk inundation of the entire island of Catan.

At the Bay Area Schools Environmental Conference lunch, Erik will present " Educators' New Assignment: Teaching Sustainability." He will be discussing the many ways that educators are introducing sustainability into lesson plans, classroom activities, and the broader school culture with the goals of expanding students' environmental knowledge, making their behavior more sustainable, and most importantly, helping to shift cultural norms more broadly in society.

Later in the conference, Erik will also present a separate breakout session, "Catan: Oil Springs: Using Games to Teach Sustainable Management in a Constrained World,"where he will discuss the production of an environmental scenario for the board game Settlers of Catan and how it is being used as a teaching tool on issues like the tragedy of the commons, climate change, and growth on a finite planet.   

Erik will be teaching and playing the board game Settlers of Catan after the conference concludes (4 p.m.) with any interested conference attendees at Fourth Street Pizza (150 E Santa Clara Street, San José) a pizza parlor which is just three blocks away from the conference venue. Join us at:

Bay Area Schools Environmental Conference
Corithian Center (San Jose Athletic Club) 
196 North 3rd Street
San José, CA 95112

Learn more about the event here

Read more about Settlers of Catan: Oil Springs.