Collaborating for the Common Good in the Fight Against Climate Change

Researcher earns grant to spread climate change solutions between local communities

While climate change is debated in scientific and political communities, citizens are dealing with environmental effects every day. Smaller cities have gone about enforcing their own climate change innovations in order to reduce carbon emissions and improve their well-being.

James Dearing, a Brandt Endowed professor in the Department of Communication, wishes to explore how these innovations can be scaled up to benefit more people facing the worrying effects of climate change. Now, with a grant of $375,478 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dearing can move forward.

“We have found that inventors of effective interventions often don't know how to grow their solution so that more communities and people can benefit from them, and also that public health officials are likely to influence each other's decisions about what to try for improving health and reducing carbon emissions,” said Dearing. 

The goal of the project is to encourage understanding between stakeholders so they can effectively spread these ideas. This will be achieved through the development of different types of content that will be given to decision makers in order to showcase ideas through a social lens, since many of the solutions also have a positive effect on public health.

The content will include things such as videos, podcasts, webinars and presentations. Called “multi-solving innovations,” these multimedia deliverables will hopefully teach and inform officials on how to make decisions around climate change in the sphere of public health. 

By John Castro