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The Psychology of Inspired Collective Climate Change Action (and what gets in its way)

confer21stNovemberCPA was a partner in creating this Confer event, along with The College of Wellbeing

While climate change anxiety and denial is becoming more widely recognized as a psychological problem, less attention has been given to the psychology of a positive “Yes we can” response to tackling this daunting global challenge. This psychology conference sought to understand the way negative and hopeless feelings towards climate change actually paralyze people’s ability to engage proactively on this front. Our speakers asked:

  • What psychological factors inspire or inhibit effective action on climate change?
  • What do we know about the psychology of coordinated, collective action and cooperation?

Those devising the event started from a position that the analysis of climate change anxiety and denial offered important insights. The aim was to build on this to create a discussion that considered the importance of such emotional and cognitive processes as hope and collaboration to collective climate action. The conference examined the psychology of moving from short-term self-interest to long term sustainability; from mind-sets that block action to those that facilitate widespread participation in effective solutions.

Using a TED style format of brief presentations, the event brought together an interdisciplinary panel of 9 speakers who suggested that the key element of any solution to climate changes lay in how we think and feel together, what we can do and where hope lies.

It is hoped that videos of all presentations will be available shortly

Details of speakers

Paul Hoggett's presentation Sustainable Activism is available on this website

Sally Weintrobe's presentation The New Imagination is available on this website