Testimonial : Replicating the spirit and atmosphere of a COP

The context :

The Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Etranger (AEFE) is a public body responsible for connecting French schools abroad. With COP 28 taking place at the end of 2023, the AEFE has chosen to take advantage of this event to involve high schools in Canada and the United States in a major project: simulating a COP biodiversity session. With 10 high schools involved in the 4 corners of North America, the AEFE relied on Glowbl to make these 3-hour remote sessions a real-life immersion for 150 high school students and teachers in the excitement of an international conference.  AEFE’s Nicolas Louisot takes a look back at the experience.

The challenge :

10 schools are involved in this project. We already had to find a platform capable of connecting separate classrooms and facilitating discussion between the 150 students. But above all, and this was crucial, we wanted these 3 hours to be dynamic and interactive, to interest the participants in the workings of a COP and raise their awareness of biodiversity.

Why Glowbl ?

Our aim was to create a dynamic experience that would encourage eco-delegates to meet, discuss and exchange ideas. After some research, we discovered Glowbl, which offers exactly the environment we wanted: flexible, it allows both communication and free movement… We can create thematic tables and thus reproduce the atmosphere of a UN conference !

Preparation time :

We’ve created a schedule that we’ve been able to improve thanks to exchanges with the Glowbl team and their attentive listening. 

An initial period on Glowbl is planned so that students can get to know the tool and make it their own.

Animation and functionalities :

The overall project takes place in 3 stages. An initial preparatory phase based on Glowbl and the discovery of negotiation. 

A second period devoted to working on the text of the charter, so that students can start building their inventory. 

Thirdly, the 3-hour COP session itself. For this session, the participants will be organized into 2 groups: 1 group to write an introductory speech on the wishes of young people, the other press group who will wander between the workshops, from delegation to delegation, to witness what’s going on behind the scenes and then provide the journalist’s version of the event. 

We wanted this project to be an opportunity for the students not only to deepen their understanding of the subject of biodiversity, but also to hone their invaluable negotiation and argumentation skills.

To achieve this, we chose to use sub-group work, collaborative notes, video sharing, quizzes and polls. 

In terms of facilitation, we’ve planned to alternate between plenary sessions, for example at the time of the speech, sub-group work around collaborative discussions and co-constructed notes, games and quizzes. The promise of continuous engagement !

Feedback with Glowbl :

The team’s availability and responsiveness is much appreciated! They are always ready to offer good advice and suggest improvements to the animation or to the running of the project, and in the event of problems, solutions have always been found, establishing a win-win partnership that I highly recommend.

As far as the participants are concerned, so far only the first stage of the project has actually taken place, but the feedback has been very positive. There were no major technical problems, the coordination between the various players went smoothly and, above all, the happy students all got involved without dropping out! At the end, a survey enabled us to measure student satisfaction, with 37 very encouraging responses for the future: “We loved meeting the others, it was fun! There was a great atmosphere” “We loved chatting on the tables” “Everything was interactive, it was great ».

Advice that other organizations can use to set up an equivalent system :

I recommend Glowbl to all my colleagues, trainers and teachers, for organizing workshops as well as for having off-line discussions, which are quite impossible on Zoom. 

To create a dynamic among participants, I recommend alternating between plenary sessions and sub-group exercises. It’s very effective and easy to do on Glowbl. 

Another great advantage of this tool is that everything is directly accessible, so you can integrate all your materials, documents, exercises, games and quizzes in the same place, and alternate sessions. The environment is also very attractive and can even be customized.