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August 19Climate Change Education, Communication and Outreach: Insights from Australia and Malaysia

Special Community Call led by ECOS Colleagues at Monash University, Australia at a special time: 6PM Melbourne, Australia, 4PM Beijing, China, 10AM Central Europe/Africa, 4AM Eastern, 1AM Pacific. A special Zoom link will be provided shortly.

Pannellists and Topics

Shane FrenchSustainability and climate education at a grass-roots community level.

Dr. Susie HoHow higher education can empower agents of change.

Taryn Lane Community-led transitions to zero-net emissions.

Dr Holly Barclay and or Dr Foo Su Chern – Sustainability education initiatives in Malaysia.

Panelists Biographies

Shane French

Shane is a sustainability educator who is highly skilled in environmental awareness, education and community engagement; including twenty years’ experience developing, leading and delivering community and grassroots sustainability programs to school students, professional audiences and the general public. Shane’s time at CERES Community Environment Park in Melbourne saw him lead a team who delivered innovative and immersive excursion and incursion experiences to over 60,000 students a year, becoming one of the most utilised environmental education centres in Australia. Shane is currently studying the Master of Environment and Sustainability at Monash University, recently assisting in the creation of a new Monash education program, and completing a research internship with the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Shane is passionate about fostering connection to nature and empowering community action for sustainability and will be talking about his time in the community sustainability sector.

Dr Susie Ho, Associate Dean (International and Graduate Education), Faculty of Science, Monash University Australia and Director of the Master of Environment and Sustainability

Dr Ho is the Associate Dean (International and Graduate Education) in the Faculty of Science at Monash University. She has over twelve years experience in higher education, including in course curriculum design, teaching, and scholarly research, and a background in ecology. Dr Ho currently leads an inter-Faculty team to deliver the forward-thinking and interdisciplinary Master of Environment and Sustainability, which spans arts, science, business and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Dr Ho’s focus is innovation in sustainability education. She is passionate about fostering curricula that prepare graduates for a wide variety of careers and believes teaching and learning should also develop students’ capacity to enact positive change in society. Dr Ho creates positive and collaborative learning environments, in which students take the lead as boundary-spanners and global professionals. She will speak about how to empower future change agents, using her scholarly research on interdisciplinary sustainability education and broadening employability and impact through leadership development and industry-relevant experiences and assessment.

Dr Foo Su Chern, School of Science, Monash University Malaysia

Su Chern is a lecturer in the tropical environmental biology discipline at the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia campus. As principal investigator for a competitive research grant, she leads a group of experts from different disciplines to achieve her research goals i.e. using microalgae for carbon capture. Her passion for sustainability does not stop there. In her teaching role, Dr. Foo is the unit coordinator for the course SCI1800 (Introduction to Environmental Sustainability), a first-year general studies unit, that teaches more than 100 students from arts, business, engineering, science, and medicine. This role enables her to share new research findings on sustainability, spread awareness as well as influence the younger generation on the importance of sustainable development, a subject that she strongly believes in. In this panel discussion, she will be sharing current sustainability initiatives for the unit as well as challenges and opportunities identified in the teaching and learning of sustainability education in the Malaysian context. 

Dr Holly Barclay, School of Science, Monash University Malaysia

Holly is a lecturer currently based in the School of Science at the Malaysian campus of Monash University. She completed her PhD degree in Zoology at the University of Cambridge, UK, before moving to Malaysia. Holly is the Unit Coordinator for two undergraduate units in Malaysia: Environmental Science – A Southeast Asian Perspective and Tropical Environmental Management. Holly will share her experiences of teaching environmental topics in Malaysia, both the rewards and the challenges. She hopes to stimulate some discussion on ways of enhancing the exchange of education and outreach activities between different countries.

Taryn Lane- Australian Wind Alliance and the Coalition for Community Energy

Taryn designed and led the Hepburn Shire Z-NET project to forge a 100% renewable and carbon neutral pathway for her local community, aiming to become the first zero-net emissions shire in Australia by 2030. For the past decade Taryn has managed Hepburn Wind, the first and largest community-owned renewable energy facility in Australia. She has also undertaken a Churchill Scholarship looking at community energy projects around the world. She is a founding director of the Australian Wind Alliance and the Coalition for Community Energy. Taryn has recently developed two best practice community engagement guides for large scale renewable energy developments for both the Victorian Government and the Clean Energy Council.


July 29- ClimateChangeEducation.Org

A collaboration-building discussion following co-presentations by four Lowell Middle School students; their teacher, Natalie Stapert; and James Callahan, founder of

The student presenters are volunteer members both of Mobile Climate Science Labs and Lowell School’s Climate Club. They describe examples where they bring hands-on climate science to tens of thousands of families, and how they are contributing to serious climate action at the city scale level. Video example.

Lowell School students are eager to connect with Climate Clubs and other student-based organizations around the planet: to learn from, to share and support one another. Video of the ECOS Community Call forthcoming.

July 22– GloCha, Digital Innovation for Climate Mobilization, and the Road to COP26

Miroslav Polzer | Vienna Energy Forum

Dr. Miroslav Polzer, a founding member of ECOS, provides an overview of digital innovation, and the plans to prepare for COP26. Miro is the founder of IAAI (International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges), which aims to get everyone engaged in the implementation of global goals and especially climate action, IAAI’s main initiative is the global challenges multistakeholder partnership, GloCha.

In order to overcome institutional boundaries and in order to provide an open and participatory organizational framework for cross-institutional cooperation, resource mobilization and multi-partner program implementation, IAAI has initiated the global challenges multistakeholder partnership GloCha, which aims to complement and support nation state focused and existing global cooperation structures like the United Nations.

GloCha focusses on three key pillars of the deep societal transformation to low Carbon societies:  (1) culture, (2) technology and (3) organizational innovation.

IAAI GloCha activities in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November 2021 that will be presented in the ECOS community call are: (1) Digital Climate Pact/Individual Climate Action app and platform, (2) individual climate friendly lifestyle standard setting conference with UNESCO MOST: “What is a good life in times of climate emergency?”, (3) Citizens and Youth Climate Action Consortium in the context of the Race to Zero Campaign, (4) Youth Climate Action Leadership Award and (5) digital innovation for resource mobilization for youth climate action with crypto stamps and digital bonds.

July 8

Powers of 10-  seeking “sweet spots” for rapid climate and sustainability actions between individual and global scales (paper published in Environmental Research Letters).

Co-authors Avit K. Bhowmik, Mark S. McCaffrey, Abigail M. Ruskey, and Chad Frischmann provide an overview of their new model for thinking about scale and how to find the “best fit” for climate action.

Using a new “Powers of 10” (P10) logarithmic framework of people, from single individuals to everyone on the planet, the researchers analyzed the range best suited for deploying 72 different solutions modeled by Project Drawdown, in order to project the number of people that were the best fit to benefit from a particular approach, both financially and in overall climate risk reduction. 

The researchers have found that a “sweet spot” size of between 10,000 and one million people is the most suitable scale fit many solutions aimed at rapidly reducing climate change impacts and risks. They outlined a “people-centered” approach for rapid greenhouse gas emissions reduction and carbon sequestration.

The P10 framework offers a new tool for individuals, planners, governments and organizations to examine a wide range of global challenges that require decentralized local responses and individual actions, including human rights, pandemics, and disaster response. 

One of the paper’s lead authors Avit Bhowmik, Assistant Professor at Karlstad University, Sweden stated “We urge for shifting focus from nation states and decentralizing climate action. The success of climate action lies in creating agency at scale that really matters”. Mark McCaffrey, another lead author and the UNFCCC Co-Focal Point for ECOS, added, “We are suggesting an “inside out” middle path that prioritizes climate efforts between community and urban scales, where global and local scales converge, that will help catalyze the level of individual, household and local practices that will be required to maximize climate action the soonest.”  

Also see: Powers of 10 to the People! essay by Mark McCaffrey

June 24- The Climate Engagement Initiative: a call to action for national governments to step up their commitment to public engagement on climate change

George Marshall, Founding Director, Climate Outreach (Europe’s leading climate change communicators) introduces the Climate Engagement Initiative (CEI) is a high level, multi-partner, international initiative that is ambitious in its aim to strengthen national governments’ commitment to public engagement on climate change, so that it becomes ‘front of mind’ in the design and application of all climate policy. Only then can we bring about the broad social mandate that the world needs for meeting our emissions targets and adapting to climate impacts.

June 17- Large-scale CO2 removal: What is it and how can the youth help govern it?

The IPCC says that limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires not only big emissions cuts, but also removing CO2 from the atmosphere at a scale that has never been tried before. Many CO2 removal approaches have been proposed, including nature-based solutions, and technological approaches. But none are ready to be deployed at the scale and the speed necessary, and in all cases would bring risks, costs, and trade-offs, as well as potential benefits. There is currently insufficient international governance to manage the difficult decisions ahead. What role can young people play in governing large-scale CO2 removal?

June 10- #Learn4Climate Campaign

What is the #LearnForClimate Campaign? How does it relate to the goals of the UNFCCC Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) initiative? How can I get involved? In this overview, the ECOS Team provides details about this new campaign to increase climate literacy and engagement at every level of society.

June 3- Europe’s Climate Pact and plans for a NDC Campaign in Latin America

European Commission’s Laura Maanavilja, who has served as the negotiator for the European Union with the UNFCCC’s Action for Climate Empowerment initiative, provided an overview of the EC’s ambitious Climate Pact, which has an open consultation requesting feedback until June 17, 2020. A webinar aimed at organisations and networks interested in the Pact is scheduled for 15 June.

Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Campaign- Latin America– Danae Espinoza and Isatis Cintron, both active ECOS members, offered an overview of plans for a campaign aimed at increasing ambition Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) for Latin America through the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Further details of this initiative will be available soon.


May 27- Rebooting Our Imaginations- a community check-in & round table discussion on Kim Stanley Robinson’s essay How the coronavirus is rewriting our imagination about ourselves, about the future, about climate change. Participants read and discussed the essay. Here is an excerpt:

The virus is rewriting our imaginations. What felt impossible has become thinkable. We’re getting a different sense of our place in history. We know we’re entering a new world, a new era. We seem to be learning our way into a new structure of feeling.

In many ways, we’ve been overdue for such a shift. In our feelings, we’ve been lagging behind the times in which we live. The Anthropocene, the Great Acceleration, the age of climate change—whatever you want to call it, we’ve been out of synch with the biosphere, wasting our children’s hopes for a normal life, burning our ecological capital as if it were disposable income, wrecking our one and only home in ways that soon will be beyond our descendants’ ability to repair. And yet we’ve been acting as though it were 2000, or 1990—as though the neoliberal arrangements built back then still made sense. We’ve been paralyzed, living in the world without feeling it.

May 20Education for Transformation: The significance of paradigms, politics, and practices.
Dr. Karen O’Brien of the University of Oslo will examine “education for transformation,” and why it is so important to explore alternative paradigms and practices to empower climate change action. The Three Spheres of Transformation, focusing on the relationship between the practical, political, and personal dimensions of change, will frame discussion on activating “quantum social change”. A Professor in the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo, Norway, Karen has published, written, and co-edited numerous books, including “Climate Change, Ethics and Human Security,” and “The Adaptive Challenge of Climate Change.” Her most recent book, co-authored with Robin Leichenko, is “Climate and Society: Transforming the Future.” She is currently involved with transformational leadership, Science Education for Action and Engagement towards Sustainability (SEAS), and the implications of quantum social theory for climate change responses.

Dr. Karen O’Brien provides an overview of quantum social theory and education for transformation.

May 13ClimeTime: a model for climate learning. Dr. Deb Morrison of the University of Washington shares the progress made in Washington State in infusing climate science and solutions throughout the curriculum. ClimeTime is a state-led network for climate science learning that helps teachers and their students understand climate science issues affecting Washington communities, and it is fast becoming a model for other climate learning efforts around the world. Deb was born in rural Canada to a family of loggers and mariners and a scientist, an educator, a mother, a climate and anti-oppression activist, an elected official, and a member of the ECOS Core Team. 

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May 6Office of Climate EducationResources for teachers on Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. Drs. Lydie Lescarmontier and David Wilgenbus of the IPCC Office of Climate Education share the work of their Paris-based organization. David Wilgenbus, who serves as Chief executive officer of the Office of Climate Education, is an astrophysicist by training. His expertise is the production of educational projects and the professional development of teachers. Lydie Lescarmontier is a glaciologist, specialized on the functioning of emissary Antarctic glaciers. From 2015 to 2017, she was vice-president of the French committee of APECS (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists) promoting education and science in polar regions, and today is a young researcher and polar guide in the Arctic and Antarctic. Slides of their presentation are available here.

April 29- Youth Climate Program– Jen Kretser manages The Wild Center’s climate change engagement programs including the Youth Climate Program, which was highlighted by the former White House Office of Science and Technology; interpretive programs for visitors; green building education and design; and the farmers market and other climate related initiatives and partnerships.

April 9- ECOS in Latin America

ECOS in Latin America- Challenges and Opportunities
Isatis Cintron and Danae Espinoza provide background on the climate education, communication and outreach challenges in Latin America. April 9, 2020
Roadblocks to Quality Education in an Era of Climate Change
Christina Kwauk of the Brookings Institute shares highlights of her paper Roadblocks to Quality Education in an Era of Climate Change. April 1, 2020
Storytelling Accelerating Climate Solutions
Emily Coren is a science communicator with a background in biology and science illustration, developing tools for producing cultural stories to improve the rate of climate mitigation and adaptation.