What is the role of interculturalists in the fight against climate change?

20 March 2022 | Community in Action, Practitioners

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CCC Break 13 January 2022
What is the role of interculturalists in the fight against climate change?

In the spirit of the theme for 2022 and looking into the future we thought this was an appropriate way to start, challenging our role in regards to a very relevant topic; climate change. Linda Aspey, being one of the signatories to an open call to all coaches, and global coaching bodies, in their role in the fight against climate change joined us to inspire our conversation.

The discussion was about the need to change our culture to ensure that we have a chance to meet the challenge we are faced with and also about the need to preserve culture, to reflect on what is important to us and finding ways to preserve this by changes in our behaviour.

Our discussion started on an individual level; what can we do as individuals and how can we  make different choices? Moving on to a more systemic level, how can we create awareness and change on a societal level. 

An example from the Netherlands was made, can we rely on technical fixes to save a country below sea level? Can cities be moved in a small country? While journalists and some politicians are calling out, who is listening and taking action? Turning off the lights at home is something most of us have been taught but how can we turn off the lights at night in the office buildings or skyscrapers in our cities? 

How do we communicate in a fun way, so that people listen despite the seriousness of the topic. Of course the film “Don’t Look Up” was mentioned a few times as it visualizes the dilemma. Many call for change but we don’t want to be the ones to start. How do we get past this point? An example of successfully changing a culture and societal behaviour was the drive against drinking and driving.

We celebrated several of the participants who have taken many measures already to create change by reducing travel, going vegan, not wrapping gifts, eating mindfully, taking measures to be energy efficient, fixing and repairing broken items instead of throwing them away and also those who have started to bring the conversation to their professional lives and clients by bringing it up in light conversation or even choosing clients based on their climate action or turning down clients on the basis of their industry or non-action. 

We acknowledged the importance of everyone finding their roles and maturity on this journey. There is so much to do and a call for revisiting this conversation within SIETAR was clear. Who would be better placed to change culture while allowing reflection on what is important to us than interculturalists working globally, or across cultures.

We never started the conversation about what we need to do, to take on this challenge but perhaps this is the next step.

Ideas for further exploration

Thank you for this summary of our CCC Break discussion to Linda Aspey and Camilla Degerth and thank you  for intriguing discussions to all our participants!

For any further questions, remarks, even more pieces of advice, feel free to contact us: Contributor: Linda Aspey, linda@aspey.com , or connect via: LinkedIn 

SEU Moderator: Camilla Degerth, camilla.degerth@gmail.com or connect via LinkedIn 

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