Mobilizing knowledge to help societies transform themselves: understanding and imagining climate change

When, local time: 
Tuesday, 1 December 2015 -
11:00am to 6:30pm
France, Paris
Type of Event: 
Category 8-Symposium
John Crowley,

Given the long timespan and the global scale, environmental change poses big questions about appropriation and representation for human societies. MOST will dedicate this event to the scientific and artistic contributions to our understanding of climate change.

This event fits in the general framework of the upcoming UNFCCC’s Climate conference to be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Le Bourget.

The Anthropocene is defined as the era in which human activity has become a force of geological transformation of the Earth system. It is also the era in which humanity is aware of itself and its effect on the planet.

Helping societies transform themselves in the face of climate change requires an in-depth knowledge of this perennial situation in which we much learn to live. So a space for both scientific and artistic expression will be provided for a better understanding and representation of climate change.

Sustainability science promotes research-action, which is both fundamental and applied: fundamental in its questioning of itself and of its normative narratives; applied, in the projects that it executes, which respond to stakes of environmental change on the ground. Research-action also relies on the principle of action which is contextualised, “bottom-up”, and encourages global access to knowledge, as well as the appropriation of what’s at stake in environmental change by local communities.

Similarly, the reinvention of entrepreneurship towards better linkage between performance and sustainability will also be central to discussions: what are the best criteria and new approaches for entrepreneurs and managers to harmonize the economic performance of businesses and the research on positive social and ecological impact?


11.00 – 11.35: Introduction, social transformations in the Anthropocene
With the participation of Patrick Degeorges (Ministère de l’Ecologie, du Développement Durable et de l’Energie, France), Eva Moreno (paleoclimatologist), Henriette Walter (linguist)

11.35 – 11.50: How do we represent and communicate through art?
With the participation of Chris Morin-Eitner (plastic artist)
11.50 – 12.15: Dialogue between the social and human sciences and the arts
With the participation of John Crowley (UNESCO), Naziha Mestaoui (Artist)
12.15 – 12.45: Artistic performance and a meeting with Guy Denning

1.00pm – 2.15pm: Ethics and climate change
With the participation of Donald Brown (Penn State, USA), Virginie Maris (CNRS), Luka Omladič (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Rainier Ibana (University of Ateneo, Manilla, Philippines), Jayanti Kirpalani (Director of Brahma Kumaris in Europe & Middle East)
2.30pm – 3.00pm: Solar Impulse, a meeting with Bertrand Piccard
3.15pm – 4.30pm: Sustainability science and research/action
With the participation of Heide Hackmann (International Council for Science), Mathieu Denis (International Social Science Council), Lydie Laigle (Université Paris-Est), representative of the association CliMates
4.45pm – 6.15pm: Citizen engagement and the new entrepreneurs
With the participation of Tristan Lecomte (Pur Projet), Maxime de Rostolan (Bluebees & Fermes d’avenir), Emmanuel Soulias (Enercoop), Tony Vermeire (Economist)