Towards a Thriving Planet Guest Speaker: Karen O’Brien

08-28-17 Radical Transformational Leadership: What does this imply? Guest Speaker: Karen O’Brien

Towards a Thriving Planet

Join us for this radio show. You will hear Professor Karen O’Brien who is a leading international expert on the social and human dimensions of global environmental change. Karen shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Albert Gore, Jr. We will explore the powerful roles people can play in forging connections between different themes and fields, breaking ground for new ways of thinking, and opening up exciting frontiers for transformations to sustainability. We will discuss how to shift perspectives on climate change, from seeing it as a technical problem linked to greenhouse gas emissions to a social and human issue related to past and current systems and cultures that are undermining natural ecosystems and human well-being.

Climate change is a broad and deep problem, linked to social and cultural patterns, to globalization processes, and not the least to the beliefs, values and worldviews that perpetuate systems that undermine human and ecological security. When it comes to climate change, there is a tendency to look at people as the problem – reducing them to the size of their personal carbon footprint, rather than activating individual and collective agency and the human potential to shift systems and create alternative economic and social relationships. It is not surprising that many people feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem and are convinced that they cannot really make a difference, as if our small actions are insignificant. In research, education, and engaged action. We will use a conscious full spectrum approach to change the narrative on climate change, helping people to recognize that they matter more than they think and they have an important role to play in leading change.

Ninth Episode: Guest in the 2nd segment:  Karen O’Brien

Bio: Professor Karen O’Brien is a leading international expert on the social and human dimensions of global environmental change. With 30 years of experience in climate change research, her work forges connections between different themes and fields, breaks ground for new ways of thinking, and opens up exciting frontiers for transformations to sustainability. Throughout her career she has held an unwavering commitment to understanding the human dimensions of climate change. Karen shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Albert Gore, Jr. She has many publications, including an award-winning book on Environmental Change and Globalization: Double Exposures. She received the Burtoni prize for excellence in climate change adaptation research and an award from students for excellence in teaching.  She is a co-founder of cCHANGE, an initiative that helps people to recognize the powerful role that they play in transformation to sustainability.

As a radical transformational leader, Karen’s work is grounded in a commitment to equity and integrity.  Her research has made significant contributions to shifting perspectives on climate change, from seeing it as a technical problem linked to greenhouse gas emissions to a social and human issue related to past and current systems and cultures that are undermining natural ecosystems and human well-being.  She has contributed to shaping the international agenda for global change research, opening up for research that recognizes humanity’s potential for generating radical transformations to a thrivable world.

Karen O’Brien
Department of Sociology and Human Geography
University of Oslo
P.O. Box 1096 Blindern
0317 Oslo, Norway
Email: karen.obrien@sosgeo.uio.no
www.cchange.no
Twitter: @cCHANGE_OBrien
Current Research: AdaptationCONNECTS project
http://www.sv.uio.no/iss/english/research/projects/adaptation/

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