Climate Change Reset: Learning from the Global Pandemic

20may9:00 am11:30 amClimate Change Reset: Learning from the Global Pandemic5 Session Webinar Series for Climate Leaders OrganiserSFU Faculty of Environment9:00 am - 11:30 am Event TypeWebinar & Talks,Workshop & Training

Event Details

SPEC, Participedia, North Family Foundation, SFU Faculty of Environment

Session 1: May 20, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Session 2: May 27, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Session 3: June 3, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Session 4: June 10, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Session 5: June 17, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

It wasn’t that long ago that climate action was in the spotlight, right across the country and around the world. As of February 2020, a climate emergency had been declared by more than 1,330 governments worldwide. Youth, elders, Indigenous leaders, women’s’ organizations, faith leaders and policy makers, among others, were building momentum and engaging new audiences for climate change.

Today, it’s a different picture altogether.

Last year around this time we, at SFU and SPEC, along with many other partners, were preparing to host more than 100 people at the Climate Narratives Forum. This event, which took place in May 2019, brought together climate leaders for the purpose of looking at how stories about solutions engaged communities in meaningful climate action.

Now, once again, we are called to listen, to help and to learn. In these difficult times, it is crucial to make sure that people are safe, and that they are secure socially, emotionally and financially. It can be hard to focus on climate change given everything else that is going on right now.

But now is also a time to reflect further on what the global pandemic can teach us about broader questions pertaining to social and system change. We are at a profound crossroads with respect to understanding and leveraging this moment of crisis into new possibilities for climate action.

As climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe told The New York Times:

“What really matters is the same for all of us. It’s the health and safety of our friends, our family, our loved ones, our communities, our cities and our country. That’s what the coronavirus threatens, and that’s exactly what climate change does, too.” (March 2018).

Over the course of five 90-minute sessions, we will discuss climate leadership, climate policy, communication and the need for collective action. We will hear from climate scientists, policy experts and communications leaders. We will think collaboratively about what new stories are needed at this moment, and what the pandemic is teaching us about strategy, system change and action.


Session 1

Wednesday, May 20

9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Mobilizing Action on Climate during a Global Pandemic: Lessons for Climate Leaders

The coronavirus crisis has shaken the world. Could the global pandemic be a giant reset for the planet? If so, what changes can we expect in the months and years ahead? In this first session of Climate Change Reset, we talk about how the coronavirus crisis will impact everything from the climate movement, to how we craft public policy.


Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director, Stand.Earth

Andrea Reimer, City Leader


Joanna Ashworth, SFU Faculty of Environment

Oliver Lane, SPEC

Session 2

Wednesday, May 27

9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Communicating Risk: Motivating and Equipping the Public for Climate Action

The global pandemic feels like an immediate and personal threat. But, for millions around the world, climate change still does not have the same sense of urgency as Covid-19. Why is that? What are some of the blind spots in terms of how we communicate climate risk? How do we mobilize different audiences for climate change – from those that are already very engaged, to lower-involved groups – to take climate action?


Shane Gunster, Associate Professor, School of Communication, SFU

Kamyar Razavi, PhD Candidate, School of Communication, SFU


Joanna Ashworth, SFU Faculty of Environment

Session 3

Wednesday, June 3

9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Activating Compassion and the Creative Spirit at a Time of Crisis

The coronavirus crisis is a window into some of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that emerge when systems get inundated and people feel overloaded. With all that’s going on, what are some of the ways that people have learned to adapt? In this webinar, we discuss the role of ecological grief at a time of heightened anxiety. We also examine the role of art and artists in helping people thrive.


Olive Dempsey, Facilitator, Engagement Strategist & Coach, Reconnecting to Life

Kendra Fanconi, Artistic Director, The Only Animal Theatre Company


Oliver Lane, SPEC

Session 4

Wednesday, June 10

9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Climate Justice and Vulnerable Communities: Investing in Resilience

The global coronavirus crisis has laid bare the stark inequalities that exist in our society. The crisis has forced people and governments all over the world to actively challenge status quos and to seek ways to provide basic economic support for all who need it. The climate emergency similarly calls on us to push for transformational changes. Here, we explore how solutions-oriented climate journalism and other forms of digital storytelling can enhance social and environmental justice.


Emilee Gilpin, Journalist, Canada’s National Observer

Session 5

Wednesday, June 17

9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Identifying Top Actions for Climate Leaders: What is the New Story We Need to Tell?

Using the participatory elements of a design jam, we will brainstorm to identify ideas and solutions for effective climate leadership. Participants will work collaboratively to identify tangible actions they may take in their personal climate leadership practice. We will also explore creative communications methods for climate action.

Hosted by:

Jesi Carson, Participedia

Tara Mahoney, SFU CityStudio



(Wednesday) 9:00 am - 11:30 am


SFU Faculty of Environment

The Faculty of Environment is a part of SFU: The Canadian university that is Engaging the World

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