Choosing action over despair and harnessing the power of communication and education against climate change. These are the characteristics that define the work done by the founders of Hallo Klima and Future Minds. We talked with Katharina Benedetter, co-founder along with Marianne Dobner, about their strategies to communicate climate change to different types of public.
A pragmatic approach and Hallo Klima
Although sometimes the term ‘climate change’ can feel abstract, climate research papers point out that 71% of extreme weather events were more severe due to human-caused climate change. This conclusion obtained by Carbon brief is an example of the mounting evidence of climate change effects. Examples like that one pushed Benedetter and Dobner to start Hallo Klima, three years ago. “We thought, okay, there are both ways we could go now, either we fall into depression or we get active. We decided on the second one,” says Katharina. She and Marianne created a series of workshops from which tangible outcomes can be experienced.
Their strategy is focused on communicating about climate change by making the topic relatable to people’s daily lives. “We conduct our workshops on climate communication from a strategic point of view: what would be useful for executives, for PR businesses, to social workers, to children even.”
For adults, they connect climate issues to familiar activities like cooking, and for children, use tangible experiences like digging in the soil. “What’s always important in climate communication, or in any communication, is that you reach the person you’re talking to on their emotional and value-based level so that they can get an ‘aha’ moment”: Benedetter and Dobner achieve this mainly through Hallo Klima and Future Minds.
Hallo Klima is a nonprofit organization that organizes workshops throughout the year. On the other hand, when talking to businesses and executives, the idea is to help them navigate the evolving landscape of sustainability regulations and integrate sustainability into their long-term vision and business models. Which they do through Future Minds. In both scenarios, their approach is hands-on, pragmatic, and tailored to different age groups, which can be more effective than abstract discussions.
Looking ahead with purpose
As Benedetter and Dobner continue their impactful journey, the future promises more innovative strategies and wider engagement across the societal spectrum. With their hands-on workshops eliciting ‘aha’ moments and their strategic consultancy guiding corporate sustainability, they are shaping a world where climate action becomes an integral part of businesses. As they empower individuals, communities, and companies alike, the resounding message is clear: informed action is the most potent antidote to climate despair.
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