Learning From the Global Pandemic

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It wasn’t that long ago that climate action was in the spotlight, right across the country and around the world. As of February 2020, a climate emergency had been declared by more than 1,330 governments worldwide. Youth, elders, Indigenous leaders, women’s’ organizations, faith leaders and policy makers, among others, were building momentum and engaging new audiences for climate change.

Today, it’s a different picture altogether.

Last year around this time we, at SFU and SPEC, along with many other partners, were preparing to host more than 100 people at the Climate Narratives Forum. This event, which took place in May 2019, brought together climate leaders for the purpose of looking at how stories about solutions engaged communities in meaningful climate action. 

Now, once again, we are called to listen, to help and to learn. In these difficult times, it is crucial to make sure that people are safe, and that they are secure socially, emotionally and financially. It can be hard to focus on climate change given everything else that is going on right now.

But now is also a time to reflect further on what the global pandemic can teach us about broader questions pertaining to social and system change. We are at a profound crossroads with respect to understanding and leveraging this moment of crisis into new possibilities for climate action.

As climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe told The New York Times:

“What really matters is the same for all of us. It’s the health and safety of our friends, our family, our loved ones, our communities, our cities and our country. That’s what the coronavirus threatens, and that’s exactly what climate change does, too.” (March 2018).

Over the course of five 90-minute sessions, we will discuss climate leadership, climate policy, communication and the need for collective action. We will hear from climate scientists, policy experts and communications leaders. We will think collaboratively about what new stories are needed at this moment, and what the pandemic is teaching us about strategy, system change and action.    

About the organizations leading the program

About Faculty of Environment's Professional Programs and Partnerships

Located within the Dean’s office of the Faculty of Environment, the Professional Programs and Partnerships aims to bring evidence-based, engaged learning experiences to professionals working in environment-related fields. Programs are delivered by SFU faculty or in partnership with experienced professionals in the field. Many of these programs are interactive and experiential.Partnerships with community agencies, NGOs, professional associations and local governments extend learning and research into communities.

Learn more here

About Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC)

SPEC empowers local communities in the Lower Mainland to build a greener future through their interactive programs and activities. The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) is a non-profit, charitable and volunteer-driven organization, founded in 1969 and is one of the oldest environmental NGOs in Canada.

Learn more here.


North Family Foundation