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Grounding our Hope in the Hard Work Ahead

On Sunday, the International Environmental Communication Association wrapped up its 2015 Conference on Communication and Environment in Boulder.

Bridging Divides: Spaces of Scholarship and Practice in Environmental Communication brought together researchers, practitioners, artists and students from around the world, and on the first full day of the conference, treated them to an inspiring and inspired keynote address by Dr. Susanne Moser.

In this 50-minute talk, entitled "Hope: A Bridge Without Railing," Dr. Moser explores what hope means, how we can stay hopeful, and how we can make hope work for us in the face of global climate disruption and other social and environmental challenges. If you ever wondered whether there is hope and what it looks like, you need to watch this talk. It begins with conference program Co-Chair Max Boykoff introducing Susanne Moser.

IECA invited to the 2015 European Communication Summit

ecscover.pngMy main goal while a member of the leadership of the IECA is to get our work out in the world so it can help do good. So when the IECA was invited to send a speaker to the 2015 European Communication Summit in Brussels, and that speaker turned out to be me, the new Vice Chair of the IECA, I was jazzed. 

Anticipation and Disruption was the theme of this year’s European Communication Summit which is put on by the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD). This is an association of mostly business communicators concerned mostly about, well, business. Of course their business concerns include social responsibility and that is where I came in. I spoke about how people in all sectors of society are anticipating the disruption climate change is and is going to cause in the world, and how the IECA has valuable resources to share with business communicators to improve their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting on climate change and sustainability.

PRE-CALL FOR INTERESTED PARTICIPANTS IN NEW BOOK PROJECT ON PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

In 2004, SUNY Press published Communication and public participation in environmental decision making, a volume co-edited by myself, John Delicath, and Marie-France Elsenbeer.  This book contained chapters derived from the 2001 Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) that had a public participation theme.  In my opinion, this volume has made a significant contribution to the field, including a much-cited chapter by Sue Senecah on the "trinity of voice" concept.

Research in this area has flourished since then, including the recent book Citizen voices:  Performing public participation in science and environment communication (Intellect, 2012), co-edited by our wonderful European colleagues Louise Phillips, Anabela Carvalho, and Julie Doyle and published as part of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) book series.  I highly recommend this volume.

After returning from this month's COCE conference in Boulder CO, at which I heard a number of insightful papers addressed current trends and practices, I decided to launch a new project--a new edited volume that features work exploring theoretical, applied, and critical dimensions of community engagement in environmental decision making at local, regional, national, and global levels.  I have asked Gregg Walker (Oregon State University) and Kathleen Hunt (Iowa State University) to co-edit this project with me (thanks Gregg and Katie!).

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