Resilience Lab at COP26

Highlights from the Resilience Lab Launch, 2nd November 2021

2 November 2021 | Glasgow, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Lab introduced its overarching theme; shifting mings, shaping the future

Resilience Lab audience
Resilience Lab audience

On Tuesday, 2 November, the Resilience Lab at COP 26 started on a journey to “break mental boundaries” and imagine a resilient world. With the theme of "Shifting mindsets, shaping the future," the opening day featured the following events:

  • Launch of the Resilience Lab: “Shifting mindsets, shaping the future”
  • Futur/io Wake-up call COP 26 - Live from Glasgow
  • Awareness – Acceptance – Action: a new approach to collective behavior change
  • Thinking with the future in mind
Youssef Nassef, Director of the Adaptation Division, UNFCCC Secretariat
Youssef Nassef, Director of the Adaptation Division, UNFCCC Secretariat

The Lab was launched by Youssef Nassef, Director, Adaptation Division, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, and moderated by Tia Kansara, Government Advisor on Net Positive Environmental Impact in Cities. In his address, Nassef emphasized the need to look at the future through a transformational lens.

Kotchakorn Voraakhom, CEO, Porous City Network, at the event launch
Kotchakorn Voraakhom, CEO, Porous City Network, at the event launch

Following Nassef’s opening remarks, the audience took part in a sensory experience, triggering a creative flow of ideas. Participants included: Kotchakorn Voraakhom, CEO, Porous City Network; Kim Stanley Robinson, Science Fiction Writer; Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, expert on mitigation and adaptation of Indigenous Peoples; and Andrew Zoli, Chief Impact Officer at Planet. The session allowed participants to realize their impact on the greater environment and recognize that humans are usually missing from perspectives on nature.

  The audience participating in an exercise.
The audience participating in an exercise.
The Panel from Futur/io’s wake-up call COP26. L-R: Tia Kansara, Government Advisor on Net Positive Environmental Impact in Cities; Dianne Dain, Chief Innovation Officer, World Humanitarian Forum; Harald Neidhardt, Curator and CEO of Futur/io Institute; and Marc Buckley, UN Advisor and SDG Advocate.
The Panel from Futur/io’s wake-up call COP26. L-R: Tia Kansara, Government Advisor on Net Positive Environmental Impact in Cities; Dianne Dain, Chief Innovation Officer, World Humanitarian Forum; Harald Neidhardt, Curator and CEO of Futur/io Institute; and Marc Buckley, UN Advisor and SDG Advocate.

During the Futur/io wake-up call session, panelists shared their thoughts on the shift towards resilience after 2030. The panel was chaired by Harald Neidhardt, Curator and CEO of Futur/io Institute, and included Tia Kansara, Marc Buckley, UN Advisor and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate, and Professor Dianne Dain, Chief Innovation Officer at the World Humanitarian Forum. They concentrated on the need to become conscious of the inner senses while still connecting with the surrounding nature.

Awareness-acceptance-action session. L-R: Kim Stanley Robinson, Science Fiction Writer; Wolfgang Blau, international journalist; Michael Weisberg, University of Pennsylvania; Vanessa Berlowitz, award-winning wildlife documentary producer; and Kian Bakhtiari, Founder of The People.
Awareness-acceptance-action session. L-R: Kim Stanley Robinson, Science Fiction Writer; Wolfgang Blau, international journalist; Michael Weisberg, University of Pennsylvania; Vanessa Berlowitz, award-winning wildlife documentary producer; and Kian Bakhtiari, Founder of The People.

During the session on ‘Awareness-acceptance-action,’ panelists and participants addressed the question of what is required to generate behavioral change. The panel was chaired by Professor Michael Weisberg from the University of Pennsylvania who welcomed to the stage: Kim Stanley Robinson, Science Fiction Writer; Vanessa Berlowitz, award-winning wildlife documentary producer; Wolfgang Blau, international journalist; and Kian Bakhtiari, Founder of The People. They addressed the challenges of underrepresented voices, and the fundamental disconnect between humans and nature, which hinder adequate action.

Thinking with the future in mind. L-R: Marc Buckley, UN Advisor and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate; Stephen Reicher, Psychology Professor at St Andrews University; and Kim Stanley Robinson, Science Fiction Writer
Thinking with the future in mind. L-R: Marc Buckley, UN Advisor and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate; Stephen Reicher, Psychology Professor at St Andrews University; and Kim Stanley Robinson, Science Fiction Writer.

The final session explored how we can think in the present moment with the future in mind. It was chaired by Marc Buckley and featured Stephen Reicher, Psychology Professor at St Andrews University, and Kim Stanley Robinson, Science Fiction Writer. The session considered how society operates through an economic and psychological lens, and underscored how neoliberalism and an economic system, which is based on incorrect societal assumptions, dismantle community solidarity. The panel concluded that to move away from destroying the planet we live on, we need to fundamentally rethink who we are.

On Wednesday, 3 November, the Resilience Lab will discuss the first of the eight Resilience Frontiers pathways towards a desirable future: Transforming humanity’s relationship with nature. The program is as follows:

Resilience Lab Day 2 Programme of Events
Resilience Lab Day 2 Programme of Events

For more information about the Resilience Frontiers at COP 26, the programme of events and any updates, visit their website, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

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