IECA invited to the 2015 European Communication Summit

Richard Doherty's picture

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.

There were about 50 people at the sessions and in the middle of my talk I asked them to stand up and form small groups to introduce each other and share an experience with climate change that they had. I gave them a few minutes, but it took me a few tries to get them to stop talking so I could finish my presentation. The point was that some research has shown that the best way to get people to take action on climate change is to have them share their experience with it.

In my presentation I shared how higher education has embraced sustainability, pointing to organizations like AASHE, ACUPCC, Second Nature, as a possible models and inspiration for business. I also highlighted some recent environmental communication research on business and CSR to spark their interest in connecting with (and even collaborating with) academics.

We have yet to see the “official” ratings for my presentation from the ECS, but I did receive on email from a fellow in Flanders thanking me "for your very inspirational session at EACD” and had a few questions from the audience that our Chair, Soenke Lorenzen, helped answer. I feel like I made a small bit of progress in my goal of getting our work out in the world and look forward to the next opportunity