Professor Michael Schmitt awarded SSHRC Insight Grant

September 06, 2023

Congratulations to Professor Michael Schmitt on receiving the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant this year! The SSHRC Insight Grant supports the research of emerging and established scholars whose work is focused on addressing complex individual and societal issues.

To avoid catastrophic climate change, we need major social transformations across social systems. Professor Michael Schmitt's research project, "Imagining a just and sustainable world: Implications for climate and social policy support", will test one strategy for motivating people to accept and work for needed pro-environmental social changes. Professor Schmitt and his students will examine whether providing people with ideas about what a sustainable world would be like increases their motivation to work to create that world.

Additionally, we know that climate change exacerbates existing inequalities and injustices, so the research will also test whether providing people with a vision of a sustainable world that is also socially just will increase support for policies that will mitigate climate change and policies that will enhance social justice. He theorizes that that levels of support will depend on the extent to which people can imagine different ways of (re)organizing human social and material life that are sustainable and just. The more that people can imagine such an alternative world, the more likely they are to work to make that world a reality.