Saffron and NRGI launch game-changing global resource simulation Petronia

Saffron Interactive, one of the most well-loved, well-established digital learning experts, worked with the National Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) to create Petronia, a simulation that allows learners across the globe to put their resource governance skills to the test.

Petronia is a 4-8 hour immersive simulation set in the eponymous nation following a monumental national resource discovery. Learners take on the gamified challenge of managing a host of stakeholders and trade-offs to deliver the best results for a whole country and its people. The nuances of resource governance are brought to life through a hands-on digital experience. The simulation is driven by an impactful narrative, which changes based on the learner’s decisions.

The simulation is being delivered online to a global audience of authorities, journalists, consultants, activists and more. NRGI chose to take this route to ensure maximum reach for a subject that is more important than ever before. National economies are continuing to develop at an increasing rate, and resource governance is at the heart of this development’s success – or failure. Petronia exists to help the people of those countries achieve the former.

The gamified simulation format, one of Saffron’s specialties, brings to life what is traditionally an extremely complex sphere by giving users the chance to consult, analyse and make decisions themselves – decisions that have consequences down the line on a national scale. These consequences are lent weight by an emotionally resonant narrative, one that the learner remembers.

The self-taught, self-paced format further enhances learner autonomy, and supplements NRGI’s other offerings of face-to-face training and MOOC. It further enhances NRGI’s already-extensive support for national governance learning and provides global reach on a global issue.

‘Being given the opportunity to support NRGI in their mission to encourage better and more open natural resource policy and management was thrilling,’ says James Tyas, Project lead at Saffron. ‘Especially with a client that was open to adopting a highly innovative approach that puts learners in the driving seat.’

‘Many developing countries have natural resource wealth orders of magnitudes greater than the development aid they receive. Yet they are unable to benefit from these valuable assets, making the resource curse one of the most profound challenges in the field of development,’ explains Katarina Kuai, Senior Capacity Development Officer at NRGI. ‘Finally with Petronia, we are breaking down the barriers to the public’s understanding of the issues and empowering citizens to recognize their own role in demanding better management of these finite resources.’

Further emphasising the accessibility of the course, it is available free to the public online in all countries. Anyone with an interest in seeing how they fare in the delicate balancing act that is managing a nation’s resources can take on the challenge here.