Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change

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Monday, 30 April 2012

How to talk to a climate change denier

Stategically communicating with people who have dissenting views on climate change is based on:
  • identifying common ground 
  • respect 
  • hold your own views - explain what you think 
  • talk about your personal journey to gain these views 
  • worldview 
  • offer rewards gained from a change in practice.

Adapting to climate change: people and ecosystems

Using nature to help people adapt to the changing climate. A video produced by IUCN Meso America. Good use of visuals to explain abstract concepts such as ecosystem based adaptation! But how strategic is this video? The intended audience is government decision makers. The pay off is a call to invest in legislation and treaties. Of course also needed, but much more needed are a number of specific behaviour changes in urban planning, agriculture, water management etc. They now seem to get the subconscious message "lets wait for new law and international conventions"! Maybe IUCN should make different pay offs for different audiences, just a small intervention at the end of the video. Or stop the video before the pay off and ask audiences to come up with what changes they think they should make in their sector. There are new resources to help us to be more strategic in climate change communication. And if you have twenty minutes, watch this video by George Marshall.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Wealth and government intervention

Wealthier nations are less likely to favour government intervention. This is one of the conclusions of the study Acceptable behaviour by the Ipsos Mori Social Research Institute. The study looks into the acceptability of government interventions (information, incentives, restrictions, bans, legislation against companies, or not getting involved at all) on issues such as smoking, food, environment and pensions. The research was carried out in 24 states across the globe. In all cases there is a rather high degree of support for behaviour change policies. Support decreases when the force of the intervention increases. Almost half of the respondents have a negative attitude towards the "Nanny State". The study is also of interest when looking into support for the environmental conventions.

How wealth reduces compassion

Wealth and abundance give us a sense of freedom and independence from others. The less we have to rely on others, the less we may care about their feelings. This leads us towards being more self-focused. Upper-class people also may be more likely to endorse the idea that “greed is good.” These are some of the conclusions of studies by Berkeley psychologists Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner. They looked at whether social class (as measured by wealth, occupational prestige, and education) influences how much we care about the feelings of others. In Scientific American of 10 April 2012 Daisy Grewal describes their experiments and findings. I wonder whether affluence also influences one's attitude to biodiversity and the community of life?
The new biodiversity barometer is out! The report is rather optimistic as they conclude that 63% of the respondents are aware of biodiversity and 96% have heard of sustainable development. The report also indicates that there is high awareness but low understanding, as many people do not really know what biodiversity implies. Personally my feel is that as consumers of beauty products respondents may also have a greater affinity with concepts such as 'bio' and that might be the cause of the high awareness rates.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Unilever Sustainable Living Plan

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan communicates well. Reading diagonally you get a good impression of ambitions and results. Through clicking you get to see details and background information. A good example of reporting and social responsible corporate communication.

Ecological handprint

The Ecological Handprint reframes the notion of sustainability. It expands on the Footprint by bringing together the interrelated goals of sustaining the biological integrity of the planet and insuring sustenance for those in need. This new concept adds value as the Footprint is a limited communications and accounting tool because it is not designed to include the related conditions of human development — issues such as poverty, literacy, access to education, and other aspects of human rights and social justice. Sonoma University is bringing out a book - in an on line process - to further clarify the concept.

Sustainability Pathways

On the new sustainability website of FAO I came across this photo: for me it symbolizes resilience as a core value of sustainability. The website also features a new definition. New for me at least: Sustainability means ensuring human rights and well-being without depleting or diminishing the capacity of the earth's ecosystems to support life, or at the expense of others well-being. It is a multi-dimensional concept encompassing environmental integrity, social well-being, economic resilience and good governance: each of these sustainability dimensions involves several issues and all dimensions need to be considered. Sustainability is an ambitious objective that can be reached through different pathways.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012