Ökotopia – Online training for a climate friendly society

Dieses Projekt wird aus Mitteln des Klima- und Energiefonds gefördert und im Rahmen des Programms “Neue Energien 2020″ durchgeführt

Cover“Ökotopia” is an online training for teenagers and pupils. There they can enter a utopian world online: In “Ökotopia” individual emission trading takes place – i.e. every product and every service must be paid both in conventional currency and carbon credits (so-called “carbons”). The participants have to complete different tasks in “Ökotopia” and thus learn how their decisions in daily life have impact on the climate. Teenagers recognize playfully – without any moral threats – a way in which climate change can succeed. The game will be distributed both by social media and teachers – accompanied by educational material.

Problem and initial situation

Raising awareness for climate change and climate-friendly behaviour currently mainly focuses on two aspects: knowledge and threatening messages. It is well known in environmental psychology and pedagogy that this procedure is not viable. Knowledge alone is not sufficient for behaviour change. Threatening messages often lead to paralyzing feelings of powerlessness. “Ökotopia” opposes the problem through a positive vision for the future.

Content and goals as well as the chosen method

“Ökotopia” demonstrates a possible alternative society, which is not based on fears. On the basis of an online game young people can learn about an alternative society in which the economic system is in harmony with nature. The central economic innovation in “Ökotopia” is individual, personal emissions trading. Thus there are two currencies: In addition to the conventional currency all products and services also have a climate price, paid in so-called “Carbons”. Each person in “Ökotopia” annually receives the same number of carbon credits as an unconditional basic income. In this way the use of the environment is distributed fairly. It depends on a person’s lifestyle, how well he/she can economize with these two budgets.

The online-training-game consists of three phases.

  • Entering “Ökotopia”: In the introduction the participants learn the concept of carbon footprints and the rules of the game (economic instruments) of “Ökotopia”. They can choose from a set of lifestyle the one which reflects their values best.
  • Concretise “Ökotopia”: The participants have to make consumer decisions: Providing themselves with food, getting housing space, making mobility decisions, organizing their leisure time. All consumer decisions are filed with realistic carbon footprints. Every decision has a potential impact on their personal finances and their own carbon budget. Both currencies should be used carefully. Each decision has an influence on the quality of life and determines thus the subjective well-being of a player. The maximization of quality of life is thus the ultimate objective, which has to be achieved under these conditions.
  • Leave “Öktopia”: It is important to consolidate the learning outcomes. The decisions during the game are reflected back to the participants. Which area of life needs the most of money and climate credits? How important are those aspects for me personally? The lifestyle is questioned. The game can be played in class, evaluations within a group are possible. Also the transfer into the real world is ensured: tips and discussions on climate-protection are provided. Via a link to the new social media a further debate is encouraged. Teachers receive accompanying teaching materials.

Aims: After a visit in “Ökotopia” participants should…

  • keep the faith that a climate-friendly society can indeed become reality,
  • have learned about correlations between economy, society and ecology in a playful way (Carbon Footprint, economic winners and losers in climate-protection, lifestyle etc.,
  • have experienced self-efficacy („I can participate in a change!“),
  • reflect a „sustainable lifestyle“.


  • The online-training-game “Ökotopia“, which collects and evaluates all the games for two years
  • Accompanying teaching materials for teachers
  • Final report with scientific backgrounds
  • Dissemination through social media, panel discussion, press release, radio reports.

[date] News

[paper] Publications

Facebook – oekotopia.spiel

[person] Contact

[website] Project website


[people] Project partner

[people] Client

[projects] Related projects

[book_open] Related themes

[duration] Project duration

  • 01.01.2012 – 31.12.2013
Dieses Projekt wird aus Mitteln des Klima- und Energiefonds gefördert und im Rahmen des Programms “Neue Energien 2020″ durchgeführt

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