Bridging the Gap – Engaging People on Climate Change: Green Drinks December Forum

  • 6 December 2018
  • 19:00 - 21:00
  • WeWork @ Hunan Road, Shanghai

The environmental movement has been gaining steam but still faces barriers. More people than ever are in tune with the impacts that humankind has on the planet, and yet the increased support and attention from the media has ignited backlash in the form of big industry, politicians, and climate skeptics.

On a deeper level, these reactions are completely understandable. Climate change seems too big to tackle. Even though it is well-documented scientifically; even though we see its effects in the growing severity of natural disasters and storms; even though it is already threatening many people’s ways of life, it is easier for us to turn away. As Naomi Klein wrote in This Changes Everything:

“I denied climate for longer than I care to admit… I told myself the science was too complicated and that the environmentalists were dealing with it… A great many of us engage in this kind of climate denial… We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything. And we are right.”

The environment has become a sensitive topic for people to bring up those around them, be they colleagues, friends or loved ones. But being able to engage others on this issue and help them to see that there are ways they can help is crucial.

On December 6th, at the 116th Green Drinks sustainability forum, we aim to answer the following questions:

  • Despite all the science, the research and the evidence apparent in nature, why are many people still in denial?
  • Why is it so difficult to communicate about climate change?
  • How can we share information without causing upset?
  • What is the best way to explain the importance of the issue, and to encourage people to make changes to their lives?


About the Speakers

Ann Chen, Assistant Professor of Art, NYU Shanghai
Topic: Art, Environment & Social Engagement
Background: Ann is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and researcher based in New York and Shanghai. She has made short films, photographs, sculptures, sound works, residencies and workshops that interrogate the spaces we occupy, from internet infrastructures to boreal forests and oil fields in the Canadian Northwest. She is interested in art production as a form of engagement and inquiry.

She is an Assistant Professor of Art at NYU Shanghai Interactive Media Art and was previously a Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow and a UnionDocs Collaborative Studio Fellow. She has an MPS from NYU ITP and a BA College of Letters with Honors from Wesleyan University.
Tilman Rieger, Senior Consultant and Business Mediator, 8C Consulting
Topic: How Compassionate Communication can help to connect people and motivate them to collaborate constructively.
Background: With 15 years of human resources and 10 years of corporate international leadership experience, Tilman is an HR and Leadership expert, who is deeply committed to and passionate about cross-cultural communication. Tilman designs, conducts, and facilitates leadership training and workshops for both managers and associates across different business fields and cultural backgrounds, and is an experienced and certified executive coach with special expertise on the field of business mediation/ conflict management (non-violent or compassionate communication), transactional analysis, mindfulness and career transitioning.

Rachel Berkley, Freelance Director/Producer
Topic: Reaching Chinese Audiences: Using Positive Messaging to Effect Change
Whether we’re talking about climate change, sustainable development or the effects of pollution on the environment, effecting positive change in China is a vital piece to any worldwide solution. But in a country with tightly controlled media content and an aversion to negative press, spreading a message of change can be difficult at best. So how can a filmmaker effectively reach Chinese audiences? What is the best strategy for making a difference through film?
Background: Rachel is an independent filmmaker who has been living and working in China for 18 years. After working as a full-time producer for Shanghai Television Station for nearly a decade, she went on to direct the Chinese versions of reality formats, including Super Nanny, China’s Next Top Model, and The Amazing Race. Two years ago, she left the reality TV industry to focus on making environmental and socially conscious documentaries for Chinese audiences. Her mini-doc Meeting Mr. Forest, about Chinese investment in the African timber industry, was released earlier this year and she is currently filming nature documentary series Underwater China.

Event Details

6 Dec 2018 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
WeWork @ Hunan Road, 328 Hunan Road, Near Gaoyou Road, Shanghai
Shanghai Library Line 10 Exit 3