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New stories for a new, more beautiful world : claiming authorship of the climate story

Hendersson, Heidi LU (2017) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20171
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Sustainability philosophers claim that we are at the impasse of stories, finding ourselves in a blank chapter between the old and the new. The old story, characterized by separation, technological arrogance and human superiority over nature, is unfolding in an ecological crisis giving space for a new narrative defined by inter being, cooperation and balance. It has been put forward that this crisis is climate change, a phenomenon that epitomizes the old as well as acts as a bridge to the new.

In this thesis I argue that the climate crisis in all its destructive force also holds the potential to act as an imaginative resource around which we can create new narratives for a new world.
Seeing that stories are a key driver for change... (More)
Sustainability philosophers claim that we are at the impasse of stories, finding ourselves in a blank chapter between the old and the new. The old story, characterized by separation, technological arrogance and human superiority over nature, is unfolding in an ecological crisis giving space for a new narrative defined by inter being, cooperation and balance. It has been put forward that this crisis is climate change, a phenomenon that epitomizes the old as well as acts as a bridge to the new.

In this thesis I argue that the climate crisis in all its destructive force also holds the potential to act as an imaginative resource around which we can create new narratives for a new world.
Seeing that stories are a key driver for change there is a growing realization within the sustainability field that we need to move beyond science to look at the narratives of the current ecological development. But we also need storytellers to lead the way forward. In this study I am engaging the ones I believe should pioneer the new story, sustainability students, to see whether or not they claim authorship of the story.

The research uses a novel approach in the pursuit of identifying and claiming ownership of the climate story called “Rising strong” which takes the form of exploratory workshops focused on emotional storytelling. Through this process I address the question of how sustainability students relate to the story on climate change and how they situate it within the bigger narratives as well as identify barriers and catalysts for authorship.

The research shows that there is no clear sense of personal authorship or connection to the climate story and a lack of confidence in any revolutionary endings, yet still a slight belief in co authorship. Some of the catalysts for authorship identified in the research process were creativity, recognition of emotions, curiosity and group interaction. Barriers were restricting objectivity, lack of confidence in agency, complexity and shame. One of the most crucial findings was the re-occurring theme of cooperation which points to the story-transitioning being both an individual journey and a group effort.

In order to empower sustainability students to claim authorship of the climate story, create their revolutionary endings and embark on the new chapters for a more sustainable world it therefore seems like there should be an emphasis on the curious, collective and creative story-making framed by emotional recognition. (Less)
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author
Hendersson, Heidi LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
storytelling, co-authorship, authorship, stories, climate change, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2017:035
language
English
id
8916860
date added to LUP
2017-06-21 16:07:01
date last changed
2017-06-21 16:07:01
@misc{8916860,
  abstract     = {Sustainability philosophers claim that we are at the impasse of stories, finding ourselves in a blank chapter between the old and the new. The old story, characterized by separation, technological arrogance and human superiority over nature, is unfolding in an ecological crisis giving space for a new narrative defined by inter being, cooperation and balance. It has been put forward that this crisis is climate change, a phenomenon that epitomizes the old as well as acts as a bridge to the new.
 
In this thesis I argue that the climate crisis in all its destructive force also holds the potential to act as an imaginative resource around which we can create new narratives for a new world.
Seeing that stories are a key driver for change there is a growing realization within the sustainability field that we need to move beyond science to look at the narratives of the current ecological development. But we also need storytellers to lead the way forward. In this study I am engaging the ones I believe should pioneer the new story, sustainability students, to see whether or not they claim authorship of the story.

The research uses a novel approach in the pursuit of identifying and claiming ownership of the climate story called “Rising strong” which takes the form of exploratory workshops focused on emotional storytelling. Through this process I address the question of how sustainability students relate to the story on climate change and how they situate it within the bigger narratives as well as identify barriers and catalysts for authorship.

The research shows that there is no clear sense of personal authorship or connection to the climate story and a lack of confidence in any revolutionary endings, yet still a slight belief in co authorship. Some of the catalysts for authorship identified in the research process were creativity, recognition of emotions, curiosity and group interaction. Barriers were restricting objectivity, lack of confidence in agency, complexity and shame. One of the most crucial findings was the re-occurring theme of cooperation which points to the story-transitioning being both an individual journey and a group effort.

In order to empower sustainability students to claim authorship of the climate story, create their revolutionary endings and embark on the new chapters for a more sustainable world it therefore seems like there should be an emphasis on the curious, collective and creative story-making framed by emotional recognition.},
  author       = {Hendersson, Heidi},
  keyword      = {storytelling,co-authorship,authorship,stories,climate change,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {New stories for a new, more beautiful world : claiming authorship of the climate story},
  year         = {2017},
}