Transformation conference 2013
An innovative "extreme dialogue" and a conference reception in the Oslo City Hall kicked off the 2013 conference "Transformation in a Changing Climate".
The conference is an arena where researchers, artists, entrepreneurs and engaged individuals will meet and talk about transformational issues to build a common platform and language.
Connect brain with hearts and guts
The dialogue was moderated by Nisha Pillai from BBC World News and included an array of people discussing climate change and weather extremes and different options for a more sustainable future.
The dialogue was composed of a number of small panels, bee hives and interactive elements to engage the audience. In the words of moderator Nisha Pillai it was designed to "connect the brain with both the hearts and guts" of the conference participants.
The first speaker, the Rector of Oslo University Ole Petter Ottersen, agreed and also emphasised the need for a transdisiplinary approach:
"Humankind has never had to deal with as complex issues as today's challenges. We need to look beyond the different disciplines and connect them."
Mehjabeen Abidi-Habib from the Government College University Lahore, Pakistan said:
"We are a country that is governed by the behaviour of its water, from the glaciers down to the sea. Now the water has started to misbehave."
Abidi-Habib talked about the importance of looking not only at the material destruction of extreme weather, but also on the deep and personal psychological trauma of losing not only your possesions but your role in society.
Getting people engaged
Another central topic was communication and how we get people engaged in the necessary transformation to a low-carbon society. Idar Kreutzer, Finance Norway, described the problem as follows:
"Hell doesn't sell, you have to try to motivate people to do look for solutions and have a vision."
Cathrine Moestue, a psychologist, agreed and added that according to research within social psychology, social norms are key to make people change their behaviour:
"Knowing that your neighbours have changed behaviour is the strongest incentive for changing your own."
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