One common challenge which many universities that offer investment-related classes face, is to have students make the connection between theoretically learned investment principles and their application to real-world financial markets. It is even more difficult to teach students who plan to engage in sustainable investment principles on how to optimally balance between performance- and sustainability-related features such as Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Scores. Despite the fact that both university partners have some experience with stock market games, those games are usually played with real stocks and fake money on currently developing markets.
Such games have however several caveats: (a) not every market environment is interesting and/or challenging, (b) it is hard to evaluate performance-related features in comparison with sustainability-related features as such information is usually not simultaneously available. We believe that to really engage students such a simulation should (i) be played in a shorter period of time (e.g., one day if played in class or two weeks if played remotely), (ii) include several years of (simulated) market developments, (iii) provide all relevant information on companies as well as the market outlook in a condensed and readily accessible manner and (iv) be competitive, meaning one group’s loss is another group’s gain.
As we have not found a provider of such a game anywhere and our initial inquiries with other institutions of school and higher education has shown that there is a big interest in such a game, we have decided to bundle our ideas and collaborate with one of the most experienced players in the field of online business games for higher education (CESIM) to create an innovative, thrilling, and immersive game.
In short, we plan to develop a secure, user-friendly, and high-quality online investment management game (IMAG) that allows teams of students to compete against each other. Participants in the simulation play the role of investment advisors, and the goal set for them in the game is to satisfy the needs of their clients in terms of (i) protecting their savings against inflation appropriately, (ii) fighting climate change by investing according to the UN’s principles for responsible investments (UNRI) as well as the EU’s Green Deal that “aims to mobilize private investment for the transition to a climate-neutral economy”. Thereby we support the implementation of the EU’s 2021 Digital Education Act and address “digital transformation” as the most relevant priority of our project, followed by “the fight against climate change” as well as the creation of a “stimulating and innovative learning experience”.