Professional Simulations

Conducted either face-to-face or through our customized web-based communication system, ICONSnet, our simulations are based on real-world issues that immediately draw in participants. Results are unscripted and outcomes are determined by participants' efforts and decisions. The simulation experience launches participants into skill application and immediately crystalizes lessons learned.

The following simulations represent a sample of our capabilities. We specialize in customizing and developing simulations that will meet the unique needs of your organization.

Negotiation Simulations

Globalization and Nigerian Oil
oil worker descending steps around oil tankThis simulation brings together a range of local and international actors to explore the issues associated with economic development in a resource-rich but traditionally impoverished and conflict-affected region in Africa. Simulation roles include representatives from an international oil company, international financial institution, international non-governmental organizations, local civil society groups, and military and civilian leaders from the Nigerian government.

International Whaling Commission Working Group
whale's tail breaking surfaceThe challenges of international negotiations and of maintaining international regimes become apparent to participants in this simulation which re-creates discussions among four nation-states (Australia, Kenya, Mexico, and Norway), each of which have a very different position on what the future guidelines for whaling in international waters should be. Participants are tasked with coming to a consensus agreement despite the varied interests and positions among the relevant parties.

Piracy
skiff and ship off Somali coastAs pirate activity in the Indian Ocean continues to wreak havoc on the world's shipping industry, this simulation challenges participants to engage in tense negotiations on the international response to this growing "business." Can these groundbreaking negotiations produce a deal to address the human and economic dilemmas at the heart of piracy in Somalia? Or will they end inconclusively, returning to the status quo of ever-greater danger in the world's shipping lanes?

Solid Waste Management
trash on caribbean beach In this face-to-face simulation, the island of St. Ann is facing environmental, economic, and health threats due to poor solid waste management. There are only two real landfills on the island, both of which are old and already far beyond their capacity. Informal dumping has led to ground water pollution and collection services are barely provided. Issues associated with solid waste management have consequentially impacted various constituent groups including indigenous people, business owners, municipal and national government leaders, and neighboring island countries. International organizations have offered to fund reforms, but the local and national leaders must agree on their priorities. Can the elected officials and civil society leaders reach agreement in this complex face-to-face negotiation?

U.S. Senate
U.S. CapitolParticipants in this simulation become involved in the same kind of decision making and research that is involved in Senate committees. Toward that end, each group of participants plays the role of one senator who serves on 2-3 committees, such as 1) Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, 2) Commerce, Science and Transportation, 3) Environment and Public Works, 4) Finance, and 5) Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. During the simulation, a wide range of bills are considered and participants must work through potentially divisive issues and manage conflicts among the varied interests at play.

Crisis Simulations

Crisis in Valleyton
a dam in ArizonaA severe flood is threatening the town of Valleyton, Arizona. Choices about how and where to divert the water could dramatically affect the flood's impact on local farmers, businesses, residents, and tourism. This face-to-face simulation explores high-stakes negotiations with state, local, and federal stakeholders, including the USDA, FEMA, Chamber of Commerce, Mayor's Office, Governor's Office, and EPA.

Crisis in North Korea
North Korean flagThis simulation places participants in the role of the leaders of China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States as they attempt to determine the cause of a recent explosion in North Korea and de-escalate tensions between the parties. "Crisis in North Korea" explores the complexities of negotiating in an atmosphere of mutual mistrust and the challenges of making decisions in a crisis. This simulation is designed to run in a two to three hour session.

Crisis in Kashmir
map of Kashmir regionThis simulation focuses on the Indian subcontinent, an area of striking ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity that has seen several major wars, and many internal conflicts. A particular flashpoint between the principal regional powers, India and Pakistan, has been Kashmir, a majority Muslim region that has been split between three countries for decades. There are six teams in this simulation, representing the United States, India's government and military, and three groups within Pakistan. Participants must navigate through a series of intense, potentially volatile events testing their crisis management skills.

Request information about the ICONS Project's simulation-driven trainings, or contact:

Jonathan Wilkenfeld
ICONS Project Director
301-314-7703
jwilkenf@umd.edu

ICONS Project