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Free: College Curriculum Package Simulates Oil Crisis

Free: College Curriculum Package Simulates Oil Crisis

Designed for University Classrooms


Spring 2008

Author: Eric Rosenbach, Faculty Affiliate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (on leave)


Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), in collaboration with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, has created a free college curriculum box set that includes all of the materials needed to conduct an energy crisis simulation in your classroom. The exercise is based on Oil ShockWave™, SAFE's one-of-a-kind oil crisis simulation, which has featured participants such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Dan Yergin and former director of the CIA R. James Woolsey.

In the classroom version of Oil ShockWave, students play the roles of U.S. Cabinet members developing a policy response to a potentially devastating crisis that affects global oil supplies. Situations are presented primarily through pre-produced newscasts, video briefings and insert cards handed to the students during discussion. The exercise vividly illustrates the links between oil, the economy, and national security.

The box set, called Oil ShockWave™ College Curriculum, contains maps, multimedia components, simulated newscasts, a range of background materials, and an instructor's manual. To ensure that the latest information is always available to you, the box set will be fully web-supported at (coming this summer).

By participating in this exercise, students will quickly discover the challenges and opportunities facing government leaders today as they deal with one of the world's most urgent questions: How will we balance competing security, economic and environmental priorities while ensuring the stable supply of energy?

The box set is provided free of charge for use in educational settings and is designed for individuals teaching a variety of classes, from courses dealing with energy and the environment to those focusing on national security, crisis management and international relations.

To order the box set, please click here.

By signing up, you agree that you plan to use the case for teaching/educational purposes.

For more information, or for questions about how you can use the box set in your classroom, please contact SAFE Director of Operations Josh Nerpel at (202) 461-2372.

About Oil Shockwave

Oil ShockWave is a scenario exercise developed by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE). It is designed to explore the economic and national security consequences of U.S. oil dependence. The exercise presents a working group of presidential advisors with a series of simulated disruptions to the global supply and distribution of oil. SAFE has conducted Oil ShockWave a number of times since 2005 when the exercise was first introduced. Past simulation locations include: the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; the 2007 Aspen Strategy Group's Summer Session; and most recently in Washington, D.C. on November 1, 2007.

See a list of former participants.

See New York Times story about Oil ShockWave.


For more information about this publication please contact the Belfer Center Communications Office at 617-495-9858.

For Academic Citation:

Rosenbach, Eric. "Free: College Curriculum Package Simulates Oil Crisis." Announcement, Harvard University, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Spring 2008.

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