About the sessions

Last changed: 02 June 2023

Here you find information about the sessions on the programme meeting.

Welcome and brief information sharing

Anke Fischer and Eva Friman


The diversity of our ideas on sustainability and change - workshop

In this workshop, we revisit the original idea of what we wish to achieve with the Mistra Environmental Communication programme, as stated in the programme description: “… to reframe environmental communication, i.e., to mainstream an advanced and inclusive understanding of environmental communication in research, policy and practice such that it can effectively underpin and foster sustainability transformations”.

In our daily work we often take for granted that we know what we ourselves and others mean by concepts like communication, sustainability and transformation, but do we really?

The aim of the workshop is to give us the opportunity to reflect upon our own and others' perceptions of these concepts and to explore how the activities we are involved in in the programme are related to them. Based on the discussion we will generate an overall picture (or map, or narrative) of the diverse ideas of sustainability, transformation and communication that the program contains, which will be presented as a starting point for further reflection at a later stage.

Target Group: Everyone who is working with, researching or interested in questions related to communication, sustainability and transformation. We especially welcome our partners from non-academic organisations to join in this discussion, to broaden our perspectives beyond the academic frame of reference.

Participation: Preferably in person, but online is possible too.

Contact: Lotten Westberg


Short talks Day 1

“Deliberative authority, is that a concept that can shed light on facilitation practice?”

Martin Westin

This talk reports on findings from a study of a collaborative governance process within Swedish forest policy. Based on the findings, the concept of deliberative authority is used in an attempt to explain how facilitators structure communication between actors with divergent interests and world views.

“Environmentality and environmental subjectification of local water coordinators"

Amelia Mutter

In 2018, the Leva project was introduced with the aim of improving local engagement for water management. Through the project, local water coordinators were employed to help facilitate the introduction of more measures to improve water quality and biodiversity. Through the lens of environmentality, this project can be understood as a new technology of environmental governance. This presentation will give a brief introduction into the challenges posed as the local water coordinators attempt to navigate their new position within the complex network of regulations, institutions, and priorities.

"Co-design, Paskaia´s superpower in Mosquitia, Honduras." 

Magnus Bergström

About communication in the design of a climate compensation project beyond CO2 in Honduras together with the Miskitu indigenous community of Truksinasta. With photos and a projector, we have worked together with different stakeholders to try to reach a common understanding of a wicked problem.

Website: www.paskaia.se 

“I don’t know if we should have that discussion now”

Hanna Bergeå

Participatory dialogues are abundant in natural resource management, as are also the experiences of them. Dialogues have been criticized for not living up to the high ambitions, and for being processes where the mandates are unclear. Our interest has been to investigate how objections about mandate, frames and meaningfulness of the participation are expressed and dealt with in the dialogue interaction. The talk presents an analysis of different ways through which such doubts about are raised and managed, originating from our corpus of recorded conversations in meetings from five NRM case studies.


Findings from two years of research into power and conflict in sustainability dialogues

What do we know about power and conflict in sustainability dialogues? Two years ago we started to investigate power and conflict in sustainability dialogues. We zoomed in on dialogues initiated by public authorities such as agencies, municipalities and county councils. Over these years we have analysed as well as tried to improve dialogue practice based on our findings. We have worked with urban development in Uppsala, we have explored water governance around Lake Mälaren, we have investigated land use planning in Sápmi and we have done participant observation within Swedish forestry policy. During this seminar, we will present our findings so far and we invite you to discuss these initial findings. Among other things we will explain the central dilemma for dialogue leaders: to be in a position of power in a practice that centers around critique of hierarchical power. We will discuss the pitfalls and possibilities with having dialogues between public authorities and rights-holders, and outline what deliberative authority means in dialogue practice.

Target Group: Everyone who is working with, researching or interested in dialogue practices related to sustainability questions

Participation: Preferably in person, online participation limited to presentation

Contact: Martin Westin, Fanny Möckel


Reception discussion on the documentary film Gállok - Workshop

Gállok (2018) is a documentary film directed by Truls Andersen and produced by Deep Sea Productions. It focusses on the prospective operation of a new iron ore mine in Gallok (Kallak), next to the Swedish world heritage site of Laponia, and the conflicts among the mining companies, the local population, and indigenous and environmental activists. The film features the life of Tor Tuorda, a nature photographer committed in a dual struggle: the protection of nature and the ban of the mine’s operation, and the reclaiming of his Sami identity.

In this workshop, a number of key scenes will be collectively analysed and discussed, through the prism of the ideological struggles that underpin the human-nature relations, as they appear in the film.

Target Group: The workshop will be relevant to the WP5 team of academic and societal partners, and to all interested in how environmental issues, and their connected struggles, are represented in audio-visual media.

Participation: In person and online

Contact: Vaia Doudaki


Complicating Visibility In Global Sustainability Networks

This panel discusses findings from research on transparency practices in two types of sustainability networks:  sustainable global supply chains, and global environmental reporting networks, highlighting such issues as representation, reporting practices, circularity, viability, sensemaking and knowledge It brings together seven researchers from WP4 to present brief five minute summaries of their work examining visibility and transparency in these networks. The audience will be invited to consider the significance and relevance of these findings as well as directions for future research.

More information about the session: Complicating Visibility In Global Sustainability Networks

Target Group

Participation: In person and online

Contact: Shiv Ganesh


The messy wild gardens of Biotopia - What happens when you invite wildlife to public parks?

Biotopias stökiga trädgårdar - Vad händer när man bjuder in vild natur i parkmiljö?

We are all invited to the natural history museum Biotopia to see how they work with exhibitions and activities around biodiversity. During approximately two hours we will experience and hear about their work,  in particular, about their project within the frame of Mistra-EC, which addresses the challenges of communicating about ‘untidy’ and ‘wild’ nature in urban parks. There will be time for discussions and we will be invited to participate in a pilot survey. Fika will be served in the beautiful environments.

Target group: This session aims to gather as many participants as possible of the programme participants.

Participation: In person only. This session will be organized as a field visit to the natural history museum Biotopia in Uppsala’s city centre, so only in-person participation is possible.

More information about Biotopia: In English - Biotopia

Contact: Hanna Bergeå


Hur kan vi utveckla ett verktyg för reflektion över ledarskap i dialoger och samverkan?

Ledarskap i dialoger och samverkan är en viktig, men svår uppgift. Det är en balansgång mellan att leda och följa en grupp. För att utveckla sådan ledarskapsförmåga krävs reflektion över knepiga situationer som vi har erfarit som dialog- och samverkansledare. Vi har under de senaste åren utvecklat ett verktyg för stödja sådan reflektion: Reflektionscykeln. Under denna workshop samlar vi en grupp av spännande personer som har olika perspektiv på dialoger och samverkan. Syftet är att vidareutveckla reflektionscykeln särskilt med avseende på facilitatorns roll och maktanalys. Under workshopen kommer vi tillsammans genomföra test av reflektionscykeln och diskutera vad vi därmed lär oss om reflektion, dialog, samverkan och ledarskap. Workshopen ger möjlighet till att knyta kontakter och dela erfarenheter mellan oss som är intresserade av dialoger och samverkan.

Target Group: Closed session

Participation: In person only

Contact: Martin Westin


Co-creation – what is it and what is it good for?

Within Mistra Environmental Communication in general, and in work package 3 – science and knowledge co-production – in particular, we aim at co-producing knowledge and co-creating transdisciplinary solutions to the contemporary complex and urgent sustainability challenges we face. In doing so, we aspire to reframe the way we communicate about these challenges, and rethink who should be part of the meaning-making of sustainability transitions.

In WP3, we have created a co-creation lab as a platform to experiment, collaborate and together learn to navigate sustainability transformations.

But what is co-creation really, and what reasons are there for us to choose this way of producing knowledge? Welcome to a session where we explore the whats and whys of this epistemological framework.

Target group: All Mistra EC partners interested in the topic are warmly invited, while partners collaborating within WP3 are particularly welcome.

Participation: In person and online

Contact: Eva Friman


Short talks Day 2

“Talking about strategic communication – how environmental communication strategists speak about their work”

Lars Hallgren

In this presentation we will discuss how environmental communication strategists talk about communication and change when they in interviews, lectures and focus group discussions describe their work with communication campaigns and how these representations of communication reproduce and connect to different fields of communication theory. We find that although the in communication theory often criticized transmission- and conduit metaphors dominate in the communication strategy language, also phenomenological, semiotic, critical and social constructionist ideas about communication and change are involved and used in pragmatic strategic communication planning. We also recognize that the domination of transmission- and conduit metaphors is founded in the close connection between conceptual definition of strategy as goal orientation, and these models. We suggest that the practice of environmental communication strategy production would gain from developing a reflexive language which more explicitly make use of the plethora of theoretical perspectives.

“Room effects on consumer interaction with sustainability campaign and purchase choice”

Ann Eklund

Based in the Goal Framing Theory, we evaluate the impact of the room environment on purchase choice in a simulated online purchase scenario. The study was undertaken in a full-scale lab, where participants visited three different home-like room environments intended to prime hedonic, gain, and normative goal frames. In each room participants viewed parts of a sustainability campaign and made purchase choices in a simulated online shop.

"Art and environmental communication – Digesting Waves"

Sofie Joose and Holly Keasey

In a series of six working labs, artists, curators and researchers collectively explore tensions and possibilities in art as a societal force for sustainability change. In this speedtalk, Holly Keasey (independent artist) and Sofie Joosse (researcher in EC at SLU) report and reflect on the first event in the MISTRA-EC working lab series: a carefully designed meal, inspired by the formation of waves at sea and within ourselves. Following a wave, participants are encouraged to relate to each other, and take further strokes towards rethinking, refeeling and relearning our relations as part of the biosphere. Please tune in to get a taste of this event!

If you have any questions please mail: sofie.joosse@slu.se and/or holly@thewetcentre.org


Storytelling for the planet – what is it, who does it and why?

Storytelling for sustainability has become ever more popular. While the term storytelling suggests a uniform approach, storytellers work in very different ways: from scientific to artful storytelling, and from persuasive or manipulative storytelling to collaborative initiatives. Please join us in this session on the storytelling project funded by the strategic reserve of Mistra-EC in which we first shortly present our mapping exercise of storytelling for sustainability and discuss the assumptions underlying these different approaches. Next, we will together try out and discuss an interactive tool that we are developing. This tool is meant to help understand and critically evaluate the challenges, possibilities and consequences of different storytelling approaches. We conclude with discussing possible ways forward in the Mistra-EC research and work on storytelling. Your input and involvement are much appreciated!

Target Group: Everyone with an interest in approaches of storytelling for sustainability

Participation: In person only 

Contact: Fanny Möckel