Digital Politics 1: First, They Break You Down
“A short series on UK political messaging, social media, and the Culture Wars…The first is about the recent past, and the power of segmentation. The second is about the present, and what happens when complaint gets weaponised. And the third is about what progressives can learn from fandoms.” Also see Sunder Katwala writing for Labour Together.
A New Era in Climate Communications
“Our intention for A New Era in Climate Communications is to facilitate a digital knowledge hub, a place to learn, inspire and support, a place to explore and to break down the communication barriers standing in the way of solving the climate crisis. Working together is not an option, it is an imperative. United, we can bring together the knowledge that bridges the gaps between data and emotion, information and action, and work with each other in new ways to shape the campaigns, messaging and stories that will help determine our future.”
Citizens are Hungry for Change
“The UK public overwhelmingly back state intervention to improve the food system. Citizens see that food is at the crux of many of the issues facing us today. They want government to make sensible policy decisions that protect people and planet, and they want powerful food businesses to be more accountable…UK citizens across all demographic, age and political groups reject ‘nanny state’ concerns and want the government to do more to fix food.”
Sustaining the Political Mandate for Climate Action
“Responding to the climate crisis is a fundamental challenge for politics today. But how do UK politicians, charged with leading the way, navigate the issue?” A sober(ing) view of how politicians in the UK are viewing the complex dynamics of pursuing sufficient change, offering 7 conclusions for how to strengthen and support political action on climate change.
Climate, Security and Migration
“The vast majority connecting climate and security right now are progressive voices, or those of a pro-climate persuasion. They do so because they think it expands the coalition of people concerned about climate change…(we have) some time to ‘inoculate’ public and elite debate if we wish to, and if we have the infrastructure to do it. We find the best narratives for doing this in Europe are focusing on the ‘Bad Guys’ who perpetuate…malign narratives.”
Politicians have a public mandate for climate leadership
Evidence that climate risks are a more effective focus than co-benefits and costs: “the far bigger political danger…is being caught on the wrong side of a visibly growing problem and looking complacent or blind to the risk…The public might not know the policy detail; but they know that climate change is a major long-term risk to their own families and communities, and are waiting for leadership.”
Ecological and Social Transitions – Co-creating the Pluriverse
“In the face of climate collapse, trust in governments has broken down. How can we best unite social movements to approach this challenge?” The report identifies and explores four ‘Narrative Communities’ who are driving the conversation around ‘Transition’, and the need for a new social contract.
Ecosystem Map (BETA)
“We will only succeed in achieving a just transition if we build partnerships together and collaborate…The Ecosystem Map enables global changemakers to explore and identify potential allies, contribute to the data, and help map the growing range of movements, organisations, funders, and more who are working to address the climate and ecological crisis.”
Lights, Camera, Impact!
“20 Years of Research on the Power of Entertainment to Support Narrative Change” offers an attempt to answer some common questions: “How do we really know these strategies are working? Are there key factors that can be culled from existing evidence to shed light on the conditions under which narrative change strategies are most impactful?”, offering rigorous recommendations for both practitioners and funders. (Thank you for the signpost Alice Sachrajda)
Refugee Week: Compassion
“For Refugee Week’s 25th anniversary we invite you to celebrate what compassion looks like in action. Together we can create a shared understanding of compassion to ensure we are extending it widely to all….Dangerous anti-migration government rhetoric continues, along with inhumane conditions for asylum seekers…We invite you to show us how arts and culture can help widen our circles of compassion”. The latest polling suggests that efforts like this are working.
New research shows a mixed picture on race: 4 in 10 members of the public think some races are naturally harder working than others, yet 9 in 10 people support action to tackle racism. The full groundbreaking Testing Times report – involving 20K participants - gives an insight into the language and information most likely to move people towards anti-racist thinking.
Challenging the “atomised” approach to assessing and responding to misinformation – ”We researchers become so obsessed with labeling the dots that we can’t see the larger pattern they show” – calling for a recognition that “people aren’t influenced by one post so much as they’re influenced by the narratives that these posts fit into.” The answer involves breaking out of silos and learning to participate on the ground, in pursuit of “healthy information ecosystems”.