Theories of change

Last week, I wrote a post criticising the climate change communication strategies of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about the role that theories of change play in shaping climate change communication strategies. A theory of change is essentially an idea about how things change in the world. Do you think political leaders make change happen, or do you think mass movements of people lead change? Do you think change is random, chaotic, or predictable? Do you think it happens through incremental improvement, or abrupt transformation? Everyone answers these questions differently and the combination of these answers makes up an individual’s theory of change.

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Communicating climate change: The case of the IPCC

I’m sitting here trying to write something about the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and I just can’t seem to get excited. This week, the final Synthesis Report that summarises the IPCC’s massive Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is out. It is the most important report on climate change that there is. It represents the latest agreed science on climate change, all wrapped up in a form that’s supposed to be digestible for policy makers and the media. I will use it again and again over the years ahead to help me to communicate about climate change with diverse audiences. But it fails to excite me. Why?

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Research as leadership

What does research have to do with leadership?

In the 21st Century, we are swimming in a vast sea of information. Indeed, we are at risk of drowning in information. Much of that information is of little value. At best, it entertains. At worst, it propagates myths, falsehoods and ignorance. One of the great challenges of this century is to find ways to wring sense out of this data sea.

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Confronting our consumerism – values for a sustainable future

Human consumption and economic growth are putting increased pressure on the Earth; our actions and policies are leading to climate disruption, loss of biodiversity, pollution, and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. We also know that consumption and economic growth do not bring happiness. How can we bring about cultural change to deliver genuine human wellbeing? […]

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