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Mode 4: Motivating action

Creating tangible avenues for change, or what Judy refers to as motivating action, is perhaps one of the most important mechanisms through which nature can be re-made.

Motivating action means doing more than just challenging existing narratives and proposing new ones; it involves actively conducting real-world initiatives — such as political activism, business ventures, economic interventions, urban development projects, systemic advocacy work, education and training programs, and awareness-raising — to tangibly restructure our relationship to the environment, often at the local or national level.

Here are some examples:

  • Seed, Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network. Their aim is to build a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people for climate justice. Their vision is “for a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities, powered by renewable energy.”

  • Energy For Opportunity (EFO), a not-for-profit organisation established by Simon Willans and Paul Munro in West Africa in 2008 to “instil a philosophy of renewable energy use across the broader community.” To find out more, watch this video.

  • #StandingRockSyllabus, created by the NYC Stands with Standing Rock Collective (2016), a group of Indigenous scholars and activists, and settler/ POC supporters. The collective states, “this syllabus project contributes to the already substantial work of the Sacred Stones Camp, Red Warrior Camp, and the Oceti Sakowin Camp to resist the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens traditional and treaty-guaranteed Great Sioux Nation territory.”

  • Write2Know, a letter-writing campaign founded in 2015 that assists people to write letters to Canadian federal scientists and Ministers to gain access to environmental data and information about potential impacts to their individual and community health. They also run campaigns such as the 2016 campaign on flame retardant chemicals.

  • Milkwood is a permaculture business, operating as both a farm and an education provider in New South Wales, Australia. Their purpose is to “teach skills for growing, designing + living like it matters.” Check out this 3 min video to find out more about what they do.

What do you think?

  • Do these types of projects appeal to you? Why or why not?
  • Do any of these projects also fit into other modes of intervention (e.g. disrupting existing narratives)?

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This article is from the free online course:

Environmental Humanities: Remaking Nature

UNSW Sydney

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