What is it about?
This international series of webinars aims to discover what perspectives and insights the humanities and social sciences can bring to the issue of climate change and sustainable behavior of individuals, governments, industry and other social actors.
While conveying scientifically accurate information is important, focusing on the link with target groups' values and identities is also vital. Important questions to explore are:
- What are people's attitudes to the risks posed by climate change?
- Which role do climate issues play in their respective world views?
- How do individuals view their own capacity to act?
Seeking links between different target groups and identifying shared needs, concerns and interests is in itself a fruitful means of promoting more sustainable action. This series of seminars will address these wide ranging questions by offering a platform to speakers from Belgium and beyond. By drawing on a range of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, the Foundation aims to broaden the discussion about tools, methods and practices for strengthening climate initiatives.
25/11/2021 - Can Literature Save the Climate?
by Prof. Dr. Stef Craps, Ghent University
In this webinar, Stef Craps discusses how contemporary literature grapples with the aesthetic, ethical, and existential challenges posed by climate change, a phenomenon that defies the imagination, shakes the very idea of what it means to be human, and forces us to re-frame our relationship to the planet and to each other.
14/10/2021 - Climate Change, Nationalism and the State: A Realist Approach
By Prof. dr. Anatol Lieven, senior fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft in Washington DC
In this talk, a joint initiative of the European Policy Centre and the King Baudouin Foundation, Dr Anatol Lieven will discuss climate change as a national security issue, and the potential role of nationalism in mobilising public support for radical action, including possible tools, methods and practices for strengthening climate initiatives in order to promote better understanding, engagement and inclusive climate action. The discussion will draw on Anatol Lieven’s recent book Climate Change and the Nation State.
20/05/2021 - Climate controversies: why and how to map conflicting discourses?
by dr. Frederik De Roeck & Prof. dr. Thomas Block, Centre for Sustainable Development, Ghent University
Climate change confronts us with a number of fundamental choices. In different areas of society, the ‘normal’ way of doing things has been replaced with a series of climate related controversies: among others, there is disagreement and debate about the effects, causes and interactions between our consumption and production patterns, about the strategies and measures that should be pursued within certain sectors, and about how the costs and benefits should be distributed within society. In this webinar, we introduce discourse analysis as a tool for mapping such climate controversies, including conflicting arguments, interests, assumptions, world views and coalitions.
11/02/2021 - Mobilizing against climate change. When research in human and social sciences strengthens scientific research on climate
by Thierry Libaert, President of the Academy of Controversies and Sensitive Communication
For more than thirty years, scientific data has been available to alert us on climate change reality. However, our behavior is not changing significantly. Thierry Libaert discuss the obstacles to behavior change and the reasons for the low effectiveness of the current awareness discourse. He will also address communication approaches that are adapted to the challenges posed by the ecological transition.
19/01/2021 – How to encourage pro-environmental behavior and overcome barriers to behavior change?
by Prof. Dr. Siegfried Dewitte, behavioral scientist, KULeuven
Comfort considerations and habits are major barriers, both at the individual and societal level. On top of that, polarization has emerged as an additional challenge as pro-environmental behavior has been associated to deep political preferences, further threatening the success of interventions. What are potential ways to mitigate these barriers? And what can we learn from behavioral sciences?
19/11/2020 - Motivating climate action
by Prof. Dr. E.M. Linda Steg, University of Groningen
To mitigate climate change, it is important that people accept low carbon technology and systems, and consistently engage in climate action. Common approaches to encourage climate action typically target extrinsic motivation, by offering incentives that change personal costs and benefits of mitigation behavior. However, such approaches are not always as effective as assumed. I will discuss factors and strategies that can foster and secure intrinsic motivation to engage in climate actions. Intrinsically motivated people behave without being coerced or incentivized, even when climate actions are somewhat costly, as doing so is meaningful and makes them feel good.
14/10/2020 - Do people still care about climate change? Why careful public engagement on climate change is critical during and after the COVID-19 crisis
by Dr. Adam Corner, Climate Outreach
Summarizing polling and narrative testing conducted in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Adam's presentation will describe the key principles for effectively communicating climate change. Drawing on two decades of social science research, and reflecting on the unique challenges (and space for fresh thinking) created by COVID-19, the presentation will make the case for careful, evidence-based public engagement that can both build a social mandate for climate change and respect the sensitivities of communities impacted by the pandemic. It is vital that climate change does not fall out of the public consciousness at this critical time for global decarbonization, and approaching public engagement using sensitive, evidence-based strategies is the way to prevent this from happening.