Business and Commercial Role-Play:

Hydropower In Santales Dealing With The Social And Environmental Impacts Of Energy Development


Jennie Hatch under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind

Six-party, multi-issue negotiation focused on issues of public engagement in hydropower-based
energy development


Please note: you must order a copy (a.k.a. license/usage fee) for every person participating in the simulation in your course. This simulation has multiple roles, so you will be unable to complete your purchase without meeting the minimum quantity requirement of copies per role.

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PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. All Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.

Bulk Pricing Discount

For bulk orders, we offer the following pricing discounts. Please note that these only apply to bulk orders of the same simulation.

  • Between 100-250 copies – 10% discount
  • Between 251-500 copies – 25% discount
  • More than 500 copies – 50% discount
Log In or Register to download the free Teacher's Package Sample.


The Ortega Company is a new hydroelectric company that hopes to build a hydropower plant in the Cordillerana region of Santales, a fictitious South American country. In a departure from normal operations, the company has asked several different communities if they are interested in allowing a hydropower plant to be developed within their borders. Of the nine communities originally considered, two have expressed preliminary interest in the project. One is the town of Villaverde, located along the Reposado River. The development of the project could bring jobs and infrastructure investment to Villaverde, but would probably reduce the flow of the river, which could threaten the livelihoods of many community members.

The Ortega Company is seeking broad support for the project and has invited representatives from the nearby indigenous community, local residents, the mayor’s office of Villaverde, and the local environmental NGO (nongovernmental organization) to meet with a representative from the company to discuss their concerns. In addition, the company has hired a professional mediator.



  • Expose participants to different viewpoints and interests regarding energy development and related land use dilemmas
  • Importance of voicing those different interests and perspectives early in the project development process (e.g. for identifying project impacts and possible design alternatives)
  • Questions about the role and responsibility of the mediator in: helping parties listen to each other, raising constructive options, clarifying solutions reached, and drafting written agreements
  • Build competency with brainstorming creative options based on party interests
  • Address fundamental value differences as a key source of disagreement among parties



This negotiation itself may be run within 2 – 3 hours (which includes a 30 minute prep period at the beginning). An additional 30 minutes prep time could be added should the instructor ask participants who have been assigned the same role in separate negotiation groups, to gather and discuss their role prior to the actual negotiation.
The instructor should allow at least 1 additional hour for debriefing.


For all parties:

  • General Instructions
  • Transcription of the Local Radio Announcement

Role Specific Confidential Instructions:

  • Representative of the Junta de Vecinos – Villaverde
  • Mayor of Villaverde
  • Representative of Los Robles
  • Representative of the Ortega Company
  • Representative of the Environmental NGO
  • Mediator

Teacher's Package:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note



A digitally enhanced version of this simulation is available through the iDecisionGames platform and includes the following features:

  • An Instructor’s Guide summarizing the negotiation concepts covered in the simulation, a quick review of simulation logistics, and a ready-to-use set of debriefing slides;
  • Highlights from background readings that will help both students and instructors gain a better understanding of negotiation concepts and methods covered in the simulation;
  • Pre- and post-simulation questionnaires instructors can use gauge each student’s grasp of the core concepts before and after participating in the simulation;
  • PowerPoint slides that introduce key concepts before the simulation and highlight lessons for debriefing;
  • Real time, interactive, data analytics provided via the iDecisionGames platform.

To order the Hydropower Enhanced Package click here.

Hydropower In Santales Attributes

Time required: 3 - 4 hours
Number of participants: 6
Teams involved: No
Agent present: No
Neutral third party present: Mediator
Scoreable: No
Teaching notes available: Yes
Non-English version available:
Author: Jennie Hatch