In the context of our ActivateChange project, we analyse how trainable cognitive, emotional and relational capacities relate to responsiveness and resilience to the climate crisis.
While research into the effect of such capacities on sustainable behaviour and the psychological toll of climate change is still nascent, there is an urgent need to organise and amplify this promising work and deploy insights from the wider evidence base to improve policy. Against this background, the project conducts and compiles substantive research and produce guidance upon how mindfulness and compassion training can:
•Influence the mindsets and paradigms that underpin attitudes to the environment and related solutions (e.g shift from atomistic to holistic perspectives);
•Increase our ability to cope amid climate impacts (e.g. loss, ecological grief, anxiety, lifestyle change);
•Increase our ability to support change for sustainability at social, organisational and political levels (e.g. mitigation of cognitive biases and denial).
The aim of the project is to:
1. Protect the environment by increasing individuals’ responsiveness to the climate crisis, through advocating appropriate application of psychological capacity-building programmes, like mindfulness courses, in public policy.
2. Empower individuals to build resilience amid disruption, uncertainty and ecological collapse through widening access to contemplative training programmes.
3. Strengthen the resilience of communities in the face of climate disruption through widening access to contemplative training programmes that build relational capacities and shift mindsets.
4. Encourage innovation in contemplative interventions that make them more effective at achieving aims 1-3.
Apart from Lund University (LUCSUS), the project cooperation partner and project participants include: The Mindfulness Initiative (MI), the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group, UK, and WWF, the world’s leading independent conservation organisation. The project is further supported by MI's Patrons, including Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn (Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA).