News | MPA Students from Zhejiang University perform well in 2023 NASPAA Simulation Competition


The 2023 Wildfire Student Simulation Competition was held at Fulbright University Vietnam on Feb 25. Xu Gaochen, Xu Mengran, Zhang Jiawei, Wang Xinyi and Wu Binshuai, the five MPA students from Zhejiang University, performed well in this competition. The group of Xu Gaochen and Xu Mengran won the champion of Asian Division.

Team members (left to right): Zhang Jiawei, Wu Binshuai, Xu Mengran, Xu Gaochen, Xu Yuanshuo, Ding shasha, Wang Xinyi.

The 2023 NASPAA Global Student Simulation Competition (Asia Division) attracted students fromsix different countries and regions including China, Vietnam, Korea, Philippines, Jordan and Liberia to participate.

 The competition was featured by the Forio Wildfire Simulation which is designed by Professor Matt Koschmann of the University of Colorado Boulder. Players created a joint wildfire mitigation plan for the fictional town of Westmount through the simulation website. Five different roles were playing in it including the mayor, the manager of the municipal water authority, the US Forest Service district ranger, a representative of a local coalition and a representative from an environmental organization. Each role had to take into account of factors such as financial budget, environmental assessment index, public opinions and prompt messages. Through negotiation and communication with team members, each role had to balance their own individual interest as well as group’s collective goals to came up with an ideal wildfire mitigation plan for an area consists of five regions from March to September.

Five rounds of simulation operation was carried out leading by a round leader.. Each round had a different theme and required a lot of discussion and decision-making. With that, a policy memo was created and submitted  . During the simulation, the judges comprehensively evaluated each team's communication, negotiation, teamwork and critical thinking skills through on-site observation and questioning. After the simulation, each team made a final presentation and debated with the judges.

The final score consists of three parts, the simulation computed score 25%, the judge observation score 25% and the group presentation score 50%. After comprehensive evaluation, Xu Gaochen and Xu Mengran’s group won the champion of the Asian division of the NASPAA Student Simulation Competition.

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)is an international association and accreditation body of public affairs schools. The simulation competition taught players communication and negotiation skills as they balance their roles against their team goals to collaborate on a joint wildfire mitigation plan. In addition, as part of NASPAA's initiative to improve how they embody diversity, equity, and inclusion as an organization and as an essential part of public service education.