HERA deployment in Estonia

Presentation of HERA to Estonian students

Piloting activities took place within the Ecosystem Services course of Tallinn University during winter-spring of 2021. 27 students in their 2nd and 3rd year, working already on their thesis in the same field. These students were also involved in case studies and seminars with practical field activities combined with serious gaming. Ecosystem services, as socio-economical concepts, tightly connected with the understanding of the ecosystem functions offer ample opportunities to integrate activities from different disciplines. Students learned through gaming, and specifically a board game of Ecosystem Services, and ICT solutions, and specifically http://avastusrada.ee for mapping and reviewing the ecosystem services, or lack thereof, in a city. Although students are focused mainly on their studies, given that this course combines different disciplines, it summarizes and systematizes students’ previous theoretical knowledge, helping students to understand the connection between economy, social systems, and environment. The HERA game was included as part of this academic year’s activities.

The HERA game was presented and explained for students during lectures. Watching the tutorial video and playing the game was homework. Students engaged with an early version of the “flood” scenario, which was created specifically for this activity. Players were also encouraged to discover the game options and reflect on how to implement ecosystem services concepts in the game.