What is the role of various emotions in climate change communication and education?
What kind of research projects are currently running in Finland in relation to these themes?

Please join renowned communicator and author Elin Kelsey and many Finnish scholars in an international webinar:
10th February 2022, 14.00 Finnish time / 11 AM UK Time / 7 AM East Coast time in US

Dr. Elin Kelsey is an internationally known expert in environmental communication, education, and advocacy. Her newest book for adults is Hope Matters: Why Changing the Way We Think Is Critical For Solving The Environmental Crisis (2020), and she is also an award-winning children’s book author (see below for more information about Kelsey).

In Winter 2022, Kelsey is joining Finnish scholars through a grant by Kone Foundation. She is hosted by ILVIES, a specialist organization in climate communication, and especially its board member Dr. Panu Pihkala. Known for eco-anxiety research, Pihkala has co-operated with Kelsey in the recent Existential Toolkit for Climate Justice Educators project, and he will serve as the host for the webinar.

The keynote speech by Kelsey will be commented by two Finnish experts in climate communication, Hanna Nikkanen and Mikko Pelttari. Both are experienced journalists who have worked in several ways with climate communication and published popular books about the subject in Finnish.

The exchange between Kelsey and Finnish scholars will be continued through a roundtable of notable Finnish research projects, all funded by the Kone Foundation. They study topics such as youth climate activism and emotions (NYT!/NOW!), non-human animals and emotions (ELÄÄ), and empirical ecocriticism and emotions (Ilmastokirjallisuus).

Please register here to receive the password.

Read more about the Existential Toolkit for Climate Justice Educators project: www.existentialtoolkit.com
Read more about  ILVIES, a specialist organization in climate communication: https://ilmastoviestinta.fi/info-in-english


Part A:

14.00 Opening words: Introducing Dr. Elin Kelsey and Finland / Dr. Panu Pihkala

Keynote by Elin Kelsey:
Climate Communication and Emotions: Why Evidence-Based Hope Matters in an Age of Eco-Anxiety and Climate Doomism

With the existential threats of climate change and the global pandemic, many people are experiencing overwhelming emotions of anxiety, fear, or anger. But at the same time it is critically important to find evidence-based sources of hope that are achieving positive results that we can amplify. In this keynote address, author and scholar, Dr. Elin Kelsey explains the importance of being hopeful and offers tools for self care and meaningful climate justice action. For Kelsey, hope is a “brave political act” that requires courage and commitment in the face of uncertainty. She will share how this approach can be tailored through various forms of communications including children's books, animated films, social media campaigns and more.

a) Hanna Nikkanen, award-winning Finnish climate journalist
b) Mikko Pelttari, climate journalist and author


Part B:

Roundtable on Finnish projects and initiatives
- NOW! project (education & youth studies), Mari Pienimäki
- Kirjallisuus ja lukeminen ilmastokriisin aikakaudella (empirical ecocriticism and climate literacy), Toni Lahtinen
- ELÄÄ! Elonkirjon äänettömät (non-human animals, media and emotions), Elisa Aaltola

Comments by Dr. Kelsey

Discussion: Environmental communication, education, and emotions

Closing at 16.30 at the latest

Language: English

Ask about the event by sending an email to: panu.pihkala ( at ) helsinki.fi

More information about the speakers

Elin Kelsey
In addition to research articles, Kelsey’s influence can be seen in the hopeful, solutions-focus of her clients, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and other powerful institutions where she has served as a visiting fellow including the Rachel Carson Center for the Environment and Society, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Stanford University in the Graduate School of Education. Kelsey co-created #OceanOptimism, a twitter campaign to crowd-source marine conservation solutions which has reached more than 100 million shares since it launched in 2014. She regularly serves as an author/artist in residence, leading hopeful environmental workshops with kindergarten to university students across North America and around the world. She is a feature writer and podcast host for Hakai Magazine and a best-selling children's book author. Her newest book for children, A Last Goodbye was published in April 2020. Read more about Kelsey.

Hanna Nikkanen has worked in several ways with climate journalism, including a famous Finnish climate book Hyvän sään aikana (2017) which won the annual non-fiction book award and gave rise to a new climate journalism media with the same name. She leads the climate communication project of Long Play, a Finnish digital platform which specializes in longform journalism.
Mikko Pelttari is a climate journalist who has recently published a climate literacy book for adults, Lämpenevä maa – ilmastolukutaidon käsikirja (2021) and a children’s book about climate change (Näkymätön myrsky, together with Jenna Kunnas, 2019).
Panu Pihkala has concentrated in his research on eco-anxiety, education, and emotions. He is the author of two popular books about eco-emotions in Finnish.
Mari Pienimäki is postdoctoral researcher at Tampere University who conducts highly multidisciplinary research. She focuses mainly on youth, media and educational issues. In her current position, she is responsible of the action research NOW! which studies minors’ opportunities and obstacles to environmental citizenship in our mediatized society. See more here.
Toni Lahtinen is a literature scholar who has specialized in eco-criticism. He has edited the first eco-critical anthologies in Finnish and is currently working on a monograph on literature during the Anthropocene. Lahtinen is also the coordinator and a founding member of the ENSCAN (The Ecocritical Network for Scandinavian Studies) research network.
Elisa Aaltola is a philosopher known especially for her work in animal philosophy and moral psychology. Among other publications, she is the author of Animal Suffering: Philosophy and Culture (2012) and Varieties of Empathy: Moral Psychology and Animal Ethics (2018) as well as around 40 peer-reviewed papers.

Photo credit: Agathe Bernard

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