Re-grounding humanity in the Anthropocene – Tackling the cultural drivers of the Planetary Emergency

April 25, 2023

PWIAS Interim Director, Dr. Vanessa Andreotti, participated in the European Commission’s Knowledge for Sustainabilty Talk: “Re-grounding humanity in the Anthropocene – Tackling the cultural drivers of the planetary emergency” on April 20, 2023. This series invites colleagues from EU Institutions, bodies and agencies to take a broader, long-term perspective, beyond the immediate policy-making calendar and aims to offer disruptive and uncomfortable wisdom to make EU narratives and policies more robust.

The ways in which societies, institutions and citizens relate to and value nature have played a key role in the interconnected biodiversity, climate change, natural resource and health crises we face. How can we reframe the relationships between humans and nature? Holistically understanding humans’ deep interconnection with other life forms and ecosystems could lead to new motivations to protect nature and accelerate the societal transformation we need to live well within the limits of the planet.

The April 20 talk explored questions about rethinking our relationship with nature and each other and how our deep-sitting worldviews, values and belief systems inter-relate with the poly-crisis and influence our policies, our visions of success, purpose, progress, modernity and of the future. Are climate change and nature loss just symptoms of our relationship with nature and between ourselves? Do we need to look at some of our philosophical and psychological fundamentals, challenge our anthropocentrism and re-ground humanity to survive in the Anthropocene?

Stream the video.

Talk participants also included Lorenzo Benini from the European Environment Agency (EEA), Unai Pascual, University of Bern, and Basque Centre for Climate Change, Julia Kim from the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan, and Tom Oliver from Reading University.

For additional reading on this topic, download the PDF of the event program and background materials.