The “Resilient People + Climate Change” Conference is happening October 21–22, 2009, in Vancouver, BC. Part of the “Gaining Ground Resilient Cities” Summit (with guest speakers including Paul Hawken and Majora Carter), the Resilient People Conference will explore the human psychology of the adjustment to climate change and other rapid global shifts. Specifically, the conference will examine ways to foster “psychosocial resilience among human populations via storytelling, narrative, and organizational preparedness.”
The conference is being pioneered and co-organized by Three Degrees friend and Huffington Post blogger, Sanjay Khanna. In his coverage of the Three Degrees Conference for the Huffington Post, Sanjay proves himself a deep thinker and a profound thought leader. He argues that other than motivating politicians to take drastic action on climate change, “the real reason we may need to re-frame climate change as a human rights issue is so that more people pay attention to the fact that the climate crisis we are facing today reflects the sum total of man’s inhumanity to man.” Sanjay’s premise is so hard to hear that it’s easy to ignore. The Resilient People conference is a brand new forum seemingly created specifically to confront “man’s inhumanity to man” square in the face. The conference is well timed, eliciting the need for more honest communication about the impacts of climate change leading up to COP 15.
The conference sessions offer a true test of the successes and failures of our climate change narrative, bringing together minds to transform flat, equivocal, uninspiring, and unimaginative semantics into a more holistic uncovering of the ideas and passion left—until now—without a powerful enough story. This conference is mining deep for gold. Speakers include Three Degrees Panelist Victoria Hykes Steere, Iñupiat and Human Rights Lawyer, Alaska, USA; Michael Littrell, Cultural Mythologist, Victoria, BC, Canada; and Grace Akumu, Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment Report, and Environmental Activist, Climate Network Africa, Nairobi, Kenya.
For more on Sanjay, here is his bio:
Khanna is a writer and futures thinker. His articles on politics, technology, the economy, the environment, and the potential psychological impact of climate change have been published by The Huffington Post, Reuters, Worldchanging, Sun-Times News Group, and Communication Arts. He has been interviewed by Swedish Radio about communicating to children about climate change, and will have an upcoming article on the challenge of communicating climate change published in the journal Nature in the run up to the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, that is being held in December 2009.
Nearing the start of the second decade of the twenty-first century, Sanjay’s goal is to encourage personal and community resilience amid disruptive climate change and long-term economic instability. He examines trends holistically and dynamically, complementing Western notions about the future with Indigenous ecological insight that traditional elders have supported him to communicate. Sanjay has synthesized and distilled environmental, social, technology, and mental health trends for the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Nokia Corp., and Yamaha Motor Corp., USA.
His perspective on global affairs has been informed by scenario-planning training with senior strategists from oil majors, financial institutions, manufacturers, and the U.S. government.