UVa Bay GameUniversity of Virginia Vice President for Research
Sustainability Research Initiatives
Global Watershed Sustainability Simulation Projects


Innovative Solutions

Policy and Industry

From the US Congress to industry leaders, the Game's unique capacity to test the environmental and economic impact of policies and corporate decisions on watershed resources and communities is creating a virtual testbed for real-world challenges. In November 2010 IBM selected the UVA Bay Game as one of three global projects (the others in China and Brazil) in water safety and conservation for support through its World Community Grid network. With IBM assistance we are building a second simulation, far more detailed than the UVA Bay Game, for evaluating the watershed impact of new policies, products, services-and stakeholder and citizen behavior.

We seek additional partners, from the watershed policy community and from industry, for research to identify breakthrough solutions that may involve unconventional stakeholder collaboration.

Individual and Collective Behavior Change

In the UVA Bay Game, we see that communication among stakeholders creates a powerful new information flow that motivates behavior change and that collaboration among stakeholders leads to innovative solutions. With each gameplay, a diverse range of participants from students to natural resource managers and senior executives experience a new sense of individual and collective agency.

How can the stakeholder behavior change we observe in gameplays inform real-world behavior? How can innovative research in real-world behavior change inform our simulations?

We have recruited a second research group, including faculty members from social psychology, law, engineering, architecture, and commerce, along with managers of all UVA facilities, parking and transportation, and dining services, to test social interventions and web-based tools that yield measurable results for watershed sustainability. UVA serves as our physical and social laboratory. We have special interest in factors that trigger and sustain behavior change; in the relation between individual behavior change and the resetting of social norms; and the relation between behavior and the built environment. From these projects we anticipate many opportunities for developing new products and processes for watershed sustainability that release the untapped potential of individuals everywhere for social change.


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