Changing the Frame 2019 - The Science and Art of Communicating for Transition

Changing the Frame 2019 - The Science and Art of Communicating for Transition

Illustration of Birds and Human Trees
Key Info: 
  • Join internationally recognised scientists, writers and artists in various media, into the science underlying the process by which we make sense of the world and how we can use this knowledge to become more effective communicators
  • Explore the importance of framing, values and metaphor in transforming individual and societal narratives
  • Learn how to harness modern vehicles of mythology: television, film, internet memes

With Kate Raworth, Rob Hopkins, Tom Crompton, Jonathan Dawson, Manda Scott, Chris Rapley and Robin Webster

Fee: 
£ 2 200.00
NOTE: Course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions.
The programme will run from Monday of the first week to Friday afternoon the last week, and includes twenty nights private accommodation from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure. This course is an elective on our Economics for Transition postgraduate programme. It is open to external participants who would like to deeply explore this subject material and who can join us for the whole three-week programme.

We live in a precarious moment in the fortunes of our civilisation, and indeed in those of the many species, ecosystems and future generations that find themselves threatened by it.  It is a moment where a deeper and broader understanding is needed into the systemic roots of the various crises converging upon us – as well as how we might creatively respond to them.

Politically progressive researchers and writers have often laboured under the illusion that providing ‘the strongest arguments’, substantiated by copious data, would be enough to win the day.  However, it is becoming increasingly recognised that effective communication is a science as well as an art, and that at least as much attention needs to be devoted to the "how" of communication as to the "what".

Of particular importance is the growing understanding of the importance of values and frames in how people make sense of the world and in guiding their attitudes and behaviours. So, campaigns to promote pro-social behaviours that appeal to people’s extrinsic values (to do, for example, with economic benefit or increased social status) may in the long run have the perverse effect of diminishing motivations deriving from intrinsic values associated with love and generosity.

Similarly, skilful use of visual and verbal/written metaphor is increasingly recognised as central to effective communication.

This course provides an opportunity for a deep dive, in the company of internationally recognised scientists, writers and artists in various media, into the science underlying the process by which we make sense of the world and how we can use this knowledge to become more effective communicators in the service of liberation.  In addition to a study of the science underlying effective communication, there will be ample opportunity for solo and/or collaborative creativity, coached by our team of writers and artists.

The course will provide an exploration of:

• insights derived from behavioural economics and neuro-neuroscience into the process by which people make meaning in the world and form (and change) their worldviews
• the importance of framing, values and metaphor in transforming individual and societal narratives
• a history of the rise of today’s dominant economic narrative, neoliberalism, and the role played by skilful communication strategies in its emergence
• the framing of alternative models and how they might be constructed in different narrative and artistic structures
• experimenting with creative expression in the company of a gifted, international, multi-modal learning community and teachers
• how to harness modern vehicles of mythology: television, film, internet memes
• personal life-frames and habits; how these are conditioned by the dominant societal narratives; and how to shift inner and outer frames as mutually supportive processes

This course will be taught at Schumacher College, an innovative centre of ecological excellence that for the last quarter century has been pioneering holistic approaches to learning across many disciplines.  The learning journey will take place in the beautiful surroundings of the Dartington estate in South Devon.

This course is an elective on our Economics for Transition postgraduate programme. It is open to external participants who would like to deeply explore this subject material and who can join us for the whole three-week programme. 

The course is designed to support:

• socially engaged writers seeking to make their work more effective, informed by the science of communication
• writers and artists of all kinds seeking to collaborate across artistic forms
• campaigners seeking to integrate the arts intelligently into their work to make it more effective, fun and engaging

With Kate Raworth, Rob Hopkins, Tom Crompton, Jonathan Dawson, Manda Scott, Chris Rapley and Robin Webster
Kate Raworth

Kate Raworth

Kate Raworth is a renegade economist focused on exploring the economic mindset needed to address the 21st century’s social and ecological challenges, and is the creator of the Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries.  She is a Senior Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, where she teaches on the Masters in Environmental Change and Management. She is also a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.  Her internationally acclaimed idea of Doughnut Economics has been widely influential amongst sustainable development thinkers, progressive businesses and political activists, and she has presented it to audiences ranging from the UN General Assembly to the Occupy movement. Her book, Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist is being published in the UK and US in April 2017 and translated into Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Japanese.  Over the past 20 years, Kate’s career has taken her from working with micro-entrepreneurs in the villages of Zanzibar to co-authoring the Human Development Report for UNDP in New York, followed by a decade as Senior Researcher at Oxfam.

Rob Hopkins

Rob Hopkins

Rob Hopkins is co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and the Transition Network. He has many years’ experience in education, teaching permaculture and natural building, and set up the first 2-year full-time permaculture course in the world in Kinsale, Ireland, which was also the first community to develop an Energy Descent Action Plan. Futhermore, Rob set up the Hollies Centre for Practical Sustainability in Ireland. He is author of The Transition Handbook and The Transition Companion, and publishes www.transitionculture.org, recently voted the 4th best green blog in the UK.

Tom Crompton

Tom Crompton

Tom Crompton has worked on values and social change for nearly a decade, initially with WWF’s, whose work whose work in this area, Common Cause, started in 2008 with the publication of Tom’s report Weathercocks and Signposts. Currently, Tom is engaged in a productive collaboration involving WWF and Scope that is allowing them to test many of the principles advanced through Common Cause. Tom is now coordinating the establishment of The Common Cause Foundation.  His other publications include Meeting Environmental Challenges (co-authored with Tim Kasser).

Jonathan Dawson

Jonathan Dawson

Jonathan Dawson is a sustainability educator, currently working as coordinator of Schumacher College’s innovative Economics for Transition postgraduate programme. He has a deep fascination with the power of narrative and language to shape how we understand the world and as a potential source of radical change in the norms, values and behaviours of our societies.  Until recently a long-term resident at the Findhorn ecovillage and a former President of the Global Ecovillage Network, he has around 20 years’ experience as a researcher, author, consultant and project manager in the field of small enterprise development in Africa and South Asia. Jonathan is the principal author of the Gaia Education sustainable economy curriculum, drawn from best practice within ecovillages worldwide, that has been endorsed by UNITAR and adopted by UNESCO as a valuable contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. He has taught this curriculum at universities, ecovillages and community centres in Brazil, Spain and Scotland.

Manda Scott

Manda Scott

Manda Scott is a novelist, columnist, blogger, leftwing activist and screenwriter.  Formerly a veterinary surgeon, her first novel was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and her fourth nominated for an Edgar Award.  She began writing contemporary crime novels, shifted to historical fiction with the Boudica: Dreaming tetralogy and the ROME series of ancient world spy thrillers. These days she writes complex, interwoven dual time line thrillers exploring, amongst other things, the truth behind the mythology of Jeanne d’Arc and the origins of the CIA.   In 2017, she took a break and became a student again on the Economics for Transition post-graduate degree at Schumacher. Her dissertation explores the neurophysiology of narrative and her aim now is to find ways to shift and shape the world’s narrative to one that will make us who we need to be.

Chris Rapley

Chris Rapley

Chris Rapley CBE is Professor of Climate Science at University College London. He is a Fellow of St Edmund's College Cambridge, a member of the Academia Europaea, a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Chairman of the London Climate Change Partnership. His previous posts include Director of the Science Museum London, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, President of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, and Head of UCL's Earth Observation satellite group.

His current interests are in the role of climate scientists in society and the communication of climate science. He is Chair of the UCL Commission on Communicating Climate Science.  Prof Rapley was awarded the 2008 Edinburgh Science Medal for having made 'a significant contribution to the understanding and wellbeing of humanity'.  His recent venture in communicating climate change via theatrical performance was awarded five stars by the Guardian’s Micheal Billington and described as ‘….better than good: it is necessary’.

Robin Webster

Robin has been a researcher, journalist and communicator in the environmental sector for fifteen years, and on climate change specifically for the last decade. She first became interested in how we talk and think about climate change - and the disconnect that often exists between the political debate around climate and the conversations held elsewhere - whilst working as a climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth. Robin subsequently helped start up the climate science and energy blog , where she spent several years disentangling the intricacies of climate policy for a wider audience. She most recently worked as a researcher for the European Climate Foundation, and over the course of her career she has advised a large number of grassroots NGOs, universities and campaign organisations, writing extensively about food sustainability, the global energy system and climate impacts amongst other issues.

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A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.
 

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?
     

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.