Introduction and context
On September 7, 2021, the Journal of Science Policy and Governance (JSPG), in partnership with UK Science and Innovation Network and the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University (CSI) organized a workshop on re-imagining positive climate futures, geared towards early career researchers interested in writing about climate change solutions.
The event featured authors who had previously published in JSPG’s climate special issue on climate change solutions sponsored by UK SIN. Authors discussed these topics with ASU CSI's Climate Imagination Fellows, who are talented authors from around the world working on creating stories that envision positive, and scientifically grounded climate futures designed to inspire climate action and efforts for greater resilience by policymakers and other governing bodies.
While this event was leading up to the COP26 conference, the topic of climate resilience is an evergreen topic to discuss and highlight ways to create better futures, in particular with the release of the recent IPCC climate report and the COP27 conference coming up later this year.
For this event, Emily Cloke, British Consul General in Los Angeles, covered the UK’s key goals for COP26 and actions taken by the UK towards net zero, as well as plans by the British Consulate in Los Angeles ahead of last year’s conference.
Joey Eschrich, editor and program manager at CSI, moderated a panel discussion with CSI Fellows Libia Brenda, Hannah Onoguwe and Vandana Singh (read more about their work). Panelists discussed how to tell a story that responds to local challenges and climate issues, but also speaks to people around the world, and how to get inspired to write fiction about the climate crisis.
Published authors from the JSPG/UK-SIN climate special issue participated in subsequent discussions related to the workshop theme, including:
In breakout rooms, workshop participants created their own narratives on climate change policy solutions focused on: climate migration and displacement; advocacy and coalition building; and transforming institutions and industries. CSI fellows, along with published authors from the special issue and other participants, worked on a quick story generation process that involved imagining a realistic real-world setting for climate action, a focal character who represents a community or group of stakeholders, and a conflict animated by divergent visions for the climate future of that setting. Based on the foundation of articles from the special issue, groups explored themes and points of conflict about science, technology, policy, and values that are global in scope, but also play out in complex and diverse ways in different physical and human geographies. In the end, published authors and other early career participants learned about process and improvisation and modeling a way of thinking about imagining positive climate futures.
Interested in partnering on future events with JSPG? Contact CEO Adriana Bankston at CEO@sciencepolicyjournal.org.
Post written by Adriana Bankston & Joey Eschrich.