New funding to help communities address the root causes of climate change and the ecological crisis

Office: UKNC    –    May 16, 2023

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With the world vastly off-track and heading towards runaway climate change, how do we work with others to make a difference in our homes, local communities and regions?

New funding to help communities address the root causes of climate change and the ecological crisis

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An academic from the University of Manchester, Dr Joanne Tippett, has been awarded a prestigious British Academy Innovation Fellowship with Matthew Rabagliati of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, to help break through confusion and inertia in the face of the overwhelming challenges we face with a novel approach to sustainability learning. The RoundView is a science-based framework for sustainability learning, visioning and decision-making.

The RoundView gives a clear set of guidelines for redesigning the way we do things to fit within natural cycles, so we don’t cause environmental problems in the first place. Applying these guidelines creates a shared narrative; building hope that transformative change is possible, and confidence that our actions are likely to move us towards genuine sustainability. A key innovation is conveying the message of the RoundView through three-dimensional games, using word puzzles, visual art and poetry. This allows for self-guided learning and hugely amplified reach. Over 130,000 families and community members have engaged with these games in the first year of trialling the games in heritage sites and museums.

The £120,000 British Academy fellowship forges a new partnership with the UK National Commission for UNESCO, and will help Dr Tippett to continue developing the RoundView and investigate how the framework can be rolled out globally. The funding will focus on working with communities and partners across the UK’s UNESCO-designated sites (including Biospheres, Global Geoparks, World Heritage Sites and Creative Cities) to engage communities in planning and visioning new ways to move towards sustainability in their local landscapes, neighbourhoods and organisations. This project will specifically work with communities in Southern Ayrshire and Galloway, Greater Manchester and Perth. This will include the first installation of the RoundView games in public libraries, with exhibits in Manchester Central Library and Urmston library in Trafford to be launched in Manchester City of Literature’s Festival of Libraries, 7-11th June 2023.

This Fellowship will see the development of new learning tools, including creating digital, downloadable versions that can be accessed by individuals, teachers and organisations worldwide. The fellowship will provide Dr Tippett with resources to deepen her partnership with UNESCO and to share the RoundView with international audiences.

Notes to editors

The British Academy researcher-led innovation fellowships are designed to support early and mid-career researchers to partner with organisations and businesses outside of academia to address societal challenges. The fellowships are highly competitive, with only a few awards made each year.

Dr Tippett’s fellowship is a testament to the importance of research that explores how people relate to and engage with their local natural and cultural heritage, and the transformative change needed if we are to achieve sustainability goals. It highlights the potential of the RoundView to transform sustainability learning and decision-making at all levels.

The RoundView framework is designed to enable users to explore and understand the interconnectedness of different systems, and to identify opportunities for sustainable action across a range of scales, from individual behaviour to global policy. RoundView has already been used by a range of organisations, including the National Trust, Natural England, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, the Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership, The National Trust and UNESCO to engage communities in sustainability and environmental decision-making.

Matthew Rabagliati, Head of Policy, Research and Communications at the UK National Commission for UNESCO, is the Co-Investigator on this Fellowship. He leads the organisation in developing and delivering its policy advice and research to the UK Government, Devolved Administrations, Overseas Territories and UNESCO. In this project he leads on UNESCO’s input to developing the games and the strategy for roll-out to UNESCO networks. He has extensive experience in policy analysis and synthesis in relation to UNESCO sites, and a track record of leading successful flagship projects and campaigns, including the National Value of UNESCO to the UK (2020) and Scotland’s UNESCO Trail. His competencies include: policy and research analysis, strategic communications, stakeholder mapping and engagement and communicating with sensitivity to cultural values. He brings extensive working knowledge of UNESCO and the broader United Nations system.

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