UNESCO World Conference

Happy to have been invited to discuss nature and people relationships and implications for education together with brilliant colleagues at the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development! #ESDfor2030 https://en.unesco.org/events/ESDfor2030https://en.unesco.org/events/ESDfor2030

Hope through action 2 (article in English)

Here is a tip about a popular scientific article that I wrote two years ago. It focuses on climate change worry and coping but also includes sections about hope through action in the form of prefigurative politics. The focus of this project! I was invited by Matthew Taylor, the Chief Executive at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), to write an article to the RSA Journal. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“In prefigurative politics, people and movements bypass the status quo to bring about societal change by creating alternative social relations and practices locally instead of confronting power structures directly. In this approach, individuals try to disrupt unsustainable norms and routines by finding cracks in the system. An individual or movement invokes hope within themselves but can also be a role model for others, thereby slowly eroding the current, unsustainable order. In this way, they are trying to prefigure a more sustainable future.”

Ojala, M. (2019). Eco-anxiety. RSA Journal, 4, 2018-19, 10-15.

Please, follow this link if you want to read the article: https://medium.com/rsa-journal/eco-anxiety-323056def77f

Hope through action 1 (article in Swedish)

Ett tips om en populärvetenskaplig artikel i den finländska tidskriften IKAROS där jag bl.a. berör det teoretiska ramverket i detta projekt. Ett litet smakprov:

“Men det som främst sägs väcka detta hopp är att tillsammans med andra agera kollektivt i nuet så som man vill att framtiden skall te sig. Man lever i enlighet med de ideal man hyser och de förändringar man önskar skall ske. Genom praktiska handlingar visar man att ett annat sätt att leva är möjligt. Detta väcker en förkroppsligad form av hopp. På samma gång kan man fungera som en förebild för andra som blir nyfikna och inspirerade att också agera. Hoppet sprider sig.”

Läs mer genom att klicka på denna länk:


Young people, climate change engagement, power, and resistance

On Wednesday March 17 at 6 PM I will keep an online presentation about young people, climate change engagement, power, and resistance! In Swedish (unfortunately)… However, I will soon be writing more in this blog about the study that I base this presentation on! If you are interested in the presentation, see this link: http://www.cemus.uu.se/17-mars-framtidsakademin-2021/

Update and new article accepted

An update: Two out of three planned data collections in the project are now finalized. The survey study with senior high-school students and a follow up interview study. We perform data analyses and write articles for the moment. Interesting results are on their way! The project will continue until at least February 2022.

In addition, I have performed yet another small data collection (pilot study) with university students.

I also collaborate with a post doc, Malin Anniko, who is financed by Örebro University’s strategic research area Food and Health. We have written an article that is based in theoretical thoughts about young people, ambivalence around climate friendly food choices, and different ways of dealing with that ambivalence (me) and some analyses of the pilot data (Malin).

This article is now accepted for publication!

Ojala, M., & Anniko, M. (2020). Climate change as an existential challenge: Exploring how emerging adults cope with ambivalence about climate-friendly food choices. Psyche og Logos (accepted)

Some popular scientific presentations

I have held many popular scientific presentations during the last couple of years of which most are about my other work with young people and coping with climate change. However, some have also touched upon the work in this project about food activism and climate friendly food choices and ambivalence. Some examples:

Sept 2020. Ungas klimatoro – hoppfullt eller hopplöst? Fenomenalen Science Center, Visby, Gotland, September, 8, 2020

Feb 2020: Klimatpsykologi. Klimatstudenterna, Örebro Universitet, Örebro. February, 25, 2020

Feb 2020: Klimatoro som drivkraft till handling eller handlingsförlamning? Klimatfrågan ur ett beteendevetenskapligt perspektiv. Ljud och Bildskolan. Kreativa Gymnasiet, Linköping, February 4, 2020

April 2019: Klimatoro som drivkraft till handling eller handlingsförlamning? Klimatfrågan ur ett beteendevetenskapligt perspektiv. Klimatkommunernas årsmötesdagar, Örebro

October 2018. Panel discussion with Gustav Fridolin, Minister for Education and spokeperson for the Green Party (Miljöpartiet) in Sweden, about young people and climate change. In Örebro on October 30, 2018. Café Grön

Oral presentation at the scientific conference EARA 2020

In September I presented some preliminary results from the survey study with senior high-school students at an invited symposium at the conference: EARA 2020, Porto, Portugal. Chair for the session was Professor Katariina Salmela-Aro, University of Helsinki.

Unfortunately, I was not visiting Porto since the conference was online due to Covid-19. Since I was not in Porto, I will instead illustrate this post with a picture from a visit to Visby, Gotland in September

Ojala, M., & Anniko, M. (2020). Ambivalence about climate friendly food choices and coping among emerging adults. Part of invited symposium: ”Climate change and young people” Chair: Prof. Katariina Salmela-Aro at EARA 2020, Porto, Portugal, September 2-5, 2020 (online conference due to Covid-19)

New article about trust in climate change science

A new article about young people’s trust in climate change science is now published in the scientific journal Children’s Geographies.

In this article I theorize around the role that trust in climate change science play in, on the one hand, how young people cope with climate change and, on the other hand, how they cope with conflicts in relation to, for example, climate friendly food choices. Trust is seen as a relational and emotional phenomenon that is important for young people’s identity development.

Deciding which behavioral option that is most sustainable is a complex and difficult task for both lay-people and experts, because of different trade-offs that have to be considered in light of environmental, social, and health aspects. This makes an in-depth investigation of the role of trust in science, scientific knowledge claims, and specific experts important, not least because trust is often seen as something that reduces social uncertainty and complexity

Therefore, trust in science most probably play an important role in everyday youth climate engagement, for example in prefigurative practice/politics in relation to climate friendly food choices.

Ojala, M. (2020). To trust or not to trust? Young people’s trust in climate change science and their climate change engagement. Children’s Geographies https://doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2020.1822516https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14733285.2020.1822516

Practices of possibility in Nottingham

20180406_171548Visiting Sarah Amsler, Associate Professor in Education at University of Nottingham, to learn more about her exciting work about, for instance, prefiguration, critical pedagogy, practices of possibility and hope. Great discussions! Lots of inspiration for my new project. Sarah has written one of the most brilliant and inspiring books that I have ever read: The Education of Radical Democracy. Strongly recommended!

Just before the visit I also bought the book Social Sciences for an Other Politics: Women Theorizing Without Parachutes edited by Ana Dinerstein, where Sarah has written an interesting text about hope. What a good subtitle of a book! Cannot wait to read the rest of the chapters. In addition check out this exciting blog about a research hub involving a lot of interesting persons (not only researchers) and projects: Gesturing toward decolonial futures https://decolonialfutures.net/


Starting the project…

20180319_214205After a period of teaching the project finally is in its starting phase. On March 20th I held a presentation in Oslo, Norway (as plenary speaker) about my research, including an overview of this project. This presentation took place in a very interesting workshop arranged by the research group SIG COSER (Challenges of Sustainability in Educational Research).

The intention is to submit a paper to a special issues of the journal “Acta Didactica” (Editors Marianne  Ødegaard and Elin Saether at Oslo University) where the theoretical framework of the project is presented and practical implications for learning and for teacher education is elaborated upon. I am going to connect this to the concept of “critical emotional awareness”, which I have written about in some earlier papers (see the publication section of this blog).

I am writing on an ethics application, hopefully the application will be accepted and the interview study with young food activist can start in May. Right now I am in Nottingham visiting Associate Professor Sarah Amsler to, among other things, learn more about her work on practices of possibility and hope.  More on this later.