#14, June 2023

Raccords #14 : How can “Fresks” pave the way for change?

How can “Fresks” pave the way for change?

Climate Fresk (from the word “fresco”) is a wildly popular thematic storyboarding concept created by an NGO of the same name. A playful, collaborative, and educational activity, it brings citizens together to demystify the major complex challenges of our time. What accounts for the massive appeal of this unique approach—the use of a game to explore the natural and social sciences and to reconstruct contemporary social paradigms, the causes and effects of climate change, and the collapse of biodiversity?

Imagine the scene: people volunteer or are invited to take part, sometimes knowing little or nothing about each other, their curiosity provoked by the prospect of tackling these major issues together. Through dialogue and the intelligence of the group, they must organize 42 cards in a logical sequence to help explain the causes and effects of human activities and planetary limits. At the end of the three-hour activity, participants return to their individual milieus with a renewed appreciation for the systems governing our world. More broadly, they are inspired by the solidarity and social capital that can be acquired within a community of learners. From then on, the effects of this training grow exponentially, continuously refreshed by the influx of new leaders and the creation of new Climate Fresk communities.

But is understanding the causes and effects of social and environmental problems enough to solve them? Is overcoming ignorance a meaningful gesture toward positively changing the system? Raccords met with these innovators in gamification to understand the bet they’re making: to bring about change by—first and foremost—creating a shared understanding of the current socio-ecological impasse. If we rely on the tenets of systems thinking, behavioural change requires a series of transformations, including a recognition of the paradigms that govern how we coexist. Raccords invites us to consider the Climate Fresk model as a lever for creating “small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos” with the power to shift us towards a sustainable system.


Redefining our social norms to overcome the socio-ecological impasse

For the past decade, Laetitia Guibert has been helping companies integrate environmental and social dimensions into their business models. After experiencing frustration with the slow pace of the progress she observed, she launched the ACT Transition project, for which she co-developed La Fresque des Nouveaux Récits and the organization of the same name. Based on the latest findings in neuroscience, La Fresque is a tool that enables individuals, companies, and institutions to imagine a different—and better—future. Nothing less. Raccords caught up with her to discuss her revolution of ideas.

Raccords #14 : Redéfinir nos normes sociales pour vaincre l'impasse socio-écologique. Un entretien avec Laetitia Guibert, animatrice de la Fresque des Nouveaux Récits.


Gaining a fuller understanding of biodiversity

Raccords #14 : Donner à la biodiversité toute la compréhension qu'elle mérite. Un balado avec David Roy, animateur de la Fresque de la Biodiversité.

Point of contact for the Biodiversity Fresk in Quebec, David Roy explains how this collaborative, scientific, and “serious” game helps us, through its reliance on collective intelligence, to better understand the systemic dimension of biodiversity loss and its impacts.


Learn about climate change through a playful, collaborative activity

Through its decentralized, participatory approach, Climate Fresk encourages the rapid, large-scale dissemination of a shared understanding of climate issues. In just five years, the organization reached its ambitious goal of “Fresking” one million people.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Benoit Waeckel, a particularly active member of the Climate Fresk community in Quebec, and of filming the workshop.


Top picks from Raccords and our guests

Resources for furthering our understanding of climate systems and creating narratives geared towards the socio-ecological transition.

Browse previous issues of Raccords