IAPH launches Port Endeavor game to share port projects applying UN Sustainable Development Goals in practice

In partnership with APEC and UNCTAD/TrainforTrade, first live game sessions held with port managers from Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America, with additional games foreseen with Sustenuto.

At the UNCTAD TrainforTrade Port Endeavor game debut, hosted by the Port of Gijón

In partnership with APEC and UNCTAD/TrainforTrade, first live game sessions held with port managers from Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America, with additional games foreseen with Sustenuto.

IAPH is delighted to announce the global launch of its Port Endeavor game, with first official live person sessions having been held last week in Belgium in partnership with the Antwerp Port Training Center and this week in Spain together with UNCTAD as part of its TrainForTrade program, hosted by the Port of Gijón.

Port Endeavor draws on real life examples from the 200+ strong IAPH World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) database of projects and best practices on how ports integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) into their business models and operations. The aim of the game is to increase awareness among port management, staff and professionals working in port communities on how ports are already applying the UN Sustainable Development Goals to their business, to ultimately accelerate adoption of these measures in the port sector.

Designed by port specialists for playing by port executives, management and employees alike, the game invites players to represent a fictional port with a specific role and objectives and to team up with other participants in that port to accumulate the highest number of UNSDG badges by deciding to spend limited budgets on sustainable activities. Teams get additional bonus points for achieving personal Endeavor goals as well as collecting SDGs based on the Program’s five areas of interest such as Climate and Energy and Community Outreach. Port teams can also be impacted by occasional disruptive events which are also based on real life cases.

The knowledge base for Port Endeavor was created at a joint UNCTAD-IAPH Workshop in Geneva in 2019

Seeds sewn for the game at an UNCTAD – IAPH Workshop in Geneva

The notion of the game was first considered following a workshop conducted by IAPH and UNCTAD in Spring 2019. The workshop aimed to identify which priorities were being assigned by ports in terms of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and to set a roadmap going forward. Participants from around 30 IAPH member ports were joined by academics, representatives from financial institutions and shipowners over a two-day period to conduct several exercises around the SDGs based on concrete port project examples.

Technical Director Antonis Michail takes up the story: “Once we had accumulated the participant’s excellent feedback from the UNCTAD Geneva Workshop, we felt that the next step to disseminate the World Ports Sustainability Program database needed to combine their input within the dynamics of a serious game to bring the projects to life in the eyes of port managers and port community players.”

The game dynamics and content were then developed by the IAPH team together with gaming experts, sustainability managers from the Port of Antwerp and other partners. It was then fully tested and ready to play in March 2020 during the IAPH World Ports Conference. Dr. Michail commented:

“Then unfortunately the pandemic struck, cancelling the Conference and our live game. So we rethought some of the game dynamics and deployed learning tools to create an online version of the game, which was then played successfully in early 2021 by port executives remotely from Africa, Europe, North and South America. This was hosted by our first training partner, namely the Antwerp Port Training Center.”

The first live game was hosted by APEC for international port executives at the Antwerp Port House

“Now we are delighted to return to play the physical version, last week at APEC at the Port of Antwerp’s Port House for their International Management Training course and this week at the Port of Gijon, on one of the Port Management Courses organised by UNCTAD and their TrainforTrade Program for port professionals from Latin America. This second game has been played in Spanish, with TrainforTrade having assisted in adapting the game materials with the support of our hosts Port of Gijón.”

Playing the game – APEC and its port players from Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America

IAPH aims to disseminate the game through its licensing partnerships with organizations such as APEC and UNCTAD TrainForTrade as well as with Sustenuto, a Belgian-based consultancy offering sustainability advisory services to organizations such as terminal operators, logistics- and port-related enterprises.

Rolling the dice of chance to see if an event happens during a round

"The Port Endeavor game is an eye-opener for port managers to receive direct feedback on their strategies and decision mechanisms to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals in a context of limited resources and time pressure", says Mark Assaf, Chief of HRD Section/TrainForTrade at UNCTAD.

IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven concluded “In addition to Port Endeavor, IAPH has ambitious future plans to further develop its World Ports Sustainability Program. Our well-established annual World Ports Sustainability Awards competition is expanding our database of projects and best practices. Our recent agreement to use WPSP as the base for all projects of the CEM Global Port Hydrogen coalition is an example of this, as are the upcoming adjustments to the WPSP Areas of Interest to reflect the growing demand for IAPH member ports to improve their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and reporting.”

For more information on playing Port Endeavor, please contact our Technical Director Antonis Michail : antonis.michail@iaphworldports.org

Adding up scores of the four teams from 20 Latin American ports, terminal operators and administrations

Contacts for release:

Victor Shieh, Communications Director, IAPH

Email: victor.shieh@iaphworldports.org

Kirsten Raeymaekers, Team Enabler, Antwerp Port Training Center

Email: Kirsten.Raeymaekers@portofantwerp.com

Mika Jouhki, Digital media and communication consultant, TrainForTrade Programme, UNCTAD

Email: mika.jouhki@un.org

Evelyne Van Cleven, Sustainability Communications Advisor, Sustenuto

Email: evelyne.vancleven@sustenuto.com