What Motivates a Pro Environmental Culture?

Join us at the 10th Making Cities Liveable Conference 2017, 10 – 11 July 2017 at Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor

Ms Meg Argyriou, Head of Engagement at ClimateWorks Australia will be attending this year’s conference, speaking on the topic of “What motivates a pro environmental culture?”

How can we better inspire engagement and action in audiences currently ‘uncommitted’ to pro environmental attitudes and behaviours? Drawing on social research, this presentation aims to challenge our assumptions through the lens of one of the most complex environmental challenges: climate change.

Meg Argyriou

As we move to tackle some of the complex social and environmental challenges in a rapidly growing and evolving world, the magnitude and rate of change required is likely to create uncertainty and anxiety across the population.

This uncertainty can provide motive for business, government and communities to reduce their ambition on areas like environmental action.

An antidote to that uncertainly is an educated and engaged constituency that helps provide the ‘fertile ground’ to help socialise the achievability and benefits of such large changes. The question becomes, “How do we drive the interest for that deeper discussion in a world where the volume of information is overwhelming and the everyday person doesn’t need ‘another problem’ to think about?”

This phenomenon is no more apparent than through the lens of climate change. Unlike other issues where the weight of scientific evidence may be enough to provide the impetus to act, progressing the climate change agenda requires more than technical solutions.

Our cities are a rich tapestry of attitudes and opinion, often informed by personal world views. The presentation will explore the need for a ‘cultural roadmap’ as well as a technical one.

Whilst approaches that tap into a sense of social responsibility and the moral imperative may be an effective means to engage with more committed audiences, are they enough to drive the involvement of the broader population?

If not, what do we need to do differently? What are the key things we should be thinking about as practitioners or policymakers?