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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
The Psychology of Inspired Collective Climate Change Action (and what gets in its way)

A conference - London

Saturday 21 November 2015

In partnership with the

While climate change anxiety and denial is becoming more widely recognized as a psychological problem, less attention has been given to the psychology of a positive “Yes we can” response to tackling this daunting global challenge. This psychology conference seeks to understand the way negative and hopeless feelings towards climate change actually paralyze people’s ability to engage proactively on this front. Our speakers will be asking:

  • What psychological factors inspire or inhibit effective action on climate change?
  • What do we know about the psychology of coordinated, collective action and cooperation?

We start from a position that the analysis of climate change anxiety and denial offers us important insights. We want to build on this to create a discussion that considers the importance of such emotional and cognitive processes as hope and collaboration to collective climate action. This conference will examine the psychology of moving from short-term self-interest to long term sustainability; from mind-sets that block action to those that facilitate widespread participation in effective solutions.

Using a TED style format of brief presentations, the event will bring together an interdisciplinary panel of speakers who will suggest that the key element of any solution to climate changes lies in how we think and feel together, what we can do and where hope lies.


John Bunzl
John Bunzl is a businessman, writer, and founder of the Simultaneous Policy (Simpol) campaign. For over 13 years he has lead the campaign to revolutionise the way citizens use politics to change the world and continues to use his position as a campaigner and thought leader to address some of the questions that stop us from making lasting global change. More >>

Jo Hamilton
Jo is a researcher at the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute, currently focusing on community-led energy projects. She has a background in community climate change engagement and action, and will soon begin a PhD investigating the role of emotions in taking and sustaining action on climate change. More >>

Professor Paul Hoggett
Paul Hoggett is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He has over twenty years experience researching welfare change and the politics of community life for funders such as the ESRC, Home Office and European Foundation. More >>

Dr Chris Johnstone
Chris Johnstone is a medical doctor and resilience specialist who for more than two decades has taught and written about the psychology of inspired responses to concerns about the world. Drawing on his experience treating people with addictions, he’s worked closely with the Transition movement in applying insights from health psychology to tackling oil dependence. More >>

George Marshall
George Marshall co-founded COIN in 2004 with Richard Sexton, and he is currently Director of Projects. George has 25 years of experience working across the environmental spectrum – from community level protest groups to senior positions in Greenpeace and the Rainforest Foundation to consultancy work for governments and businesses. More >>

Maggie Turp
Maggie Turp is a practitioner psychologist and analytically-trained psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice. She is a visiting lecturer at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and an independent trainer, offering workshops on the effects of trauma on self-narrative, the physical expression of psychological distress and - more recently - the psychology of climate change. More >>

Rosemary Randall
Rosemary Randall is a psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist who has been involved in the environmental movement since her 20s when she was part of the editorial collective of 'Undercurrents' magazine. With Andy Brown she developed the award winning Carbon Conversations project which uses a psychological, small-group approach to helping people reduce carbon emissions. More >>

Professor Christopher Rapley
Professor Chris Rapley CBE is Professor of Climate Science at University College London. He is a Fellow of St Edmund's College Cambridge, a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a member of the Academia Europaea, a Board member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Chairman of the European Space Agency Director General's High Level Science Policy Advisory Committee, and Chairman of the London Climate Change Partnership. More >>

Sally Weintrobe
Sally Weintrobe practices as a psychoanalyst and is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She has written and talked extensively on how to understand what underlies our widespread disavowal of climate change. More >>


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BASIC RATE (inc refreshments)

CPD RATE (inc refreshments, handouts and Certificates of Attendance)

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 8 hours will be provided at the event

Tavistock Centre
120 Belsize Lane

09.00 Registration and coffee
09.30 Start
10:50 Coffee
13:15 Lunch
15:30 Tea
17:00 End