21 Apr
Reid building, Glasgow School of Art

Engaging with Climate Change

A Conference & Workshop

From the personal to the social: Climate psychology and the sense of responsibility

Glasgow School of Art, Saturday 21st April 2018

The GSA is internationally recognised as one of Europe’s leading university-level institutions for the visual creative disciplines. It is a fitting location for a conference on the psychology of climate change, which will attempt to creatively push the boundaries of our understanding of climate change and ask how we –as individuals, in community and as a society – should be thinking and acting in accordance with these existential challenges.

Programme summary

This conference will be of interest to all who are interested in becoming more effective in getting the message of climate change across to neighbours, friends, families, organisations and institutions. Brought to you by experts in climate psychology, the conference does not presuppose prior knowledge in the field.

The conference brings into consideration notions of personal and social responsibility. What is the difference between the personal and the social in questions of climate change? What does it mean to be personally responsible for global warming? What difference does it make if individuals refuse to fly, if the plane takes off anyway? How do we escape from the anxiety of feeling that there is nothing we can personally do about climate change? Should we be aiming to decrease, mitigate or adapt to climate change? Can we be radically hopeful, or should we be realistically pessimistic? Our speakers, both founder members of the Climate Psychology Alliance, have been working around such questions for many years, and bring their experience and knowledge to our conference.

The Climate Psychology Alliance Scotland has recently been founded as a means of bringing a psychoanalytically informed perspective to these issues in Scotland. By using psychologically informed approaches, the CPA aims to:

• help to illuminate the complex individual and cultural responses we are witnessing as the crisis unfolds
• contribute to the difficult task of getting people to engage with the unthinkable, and
• help people to develop resilience, so that they can contribute to sustainable communities and prepare for change.

In CPA Scotland we aim to combine theory and experience. The programme for our 1st Annual Conference brings together thoughts and feelings through lectures and experiential sessions with the aim of encouraging steps towards thoughts and feelings that can lead to actions for individuals, groups and communities.

Guest Speakers

Rosemary Randall is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist (retired) who has worked widely on the use of small groups to foster social change. She is co-founder of the community group Cambridge Carbon Footprint and co-founder of the Carbon Conversations project. She has written widely on the psychology of climate change and is co-author with Andy Brown of In Time for Tomorrow? The Carbon Conversations Handbook. She is a founder member of the CPA and on the Advisory Board.

Paul Hoggett is Chair of the Climate Psychology Alliance. He has been an ‘activist’ off and on (more off than on) for over 40 years and wrote a book Partisans in an Uncertain World about the contradictions of political engagement 25 years ago. He is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at UWE, Bristol, an OPUS Fellow and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

Students only £10. Book here.