Theme 4 on Governance and Communication will be led by Sam Dupont from the University of Gothenburg.
COMMUNICATION AS A DRIVER FOR CHANGE
Sam Dupont has recently been appointed as Coordinator of SUREAQUA’s Governance and Communications theme. He is an Associate Professor at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, and is a Principal Investigator at the recently founded Centre for Collective Action Research (CECAR).
“I was excited when I was approached to help build the new SUREAQUA Centre. It complemented our work within CECAR perfectly.”
“I learned the hard way that I had to become a better communicator as I started to interact with journalists, policy makers and economists”, says Sam.
He will work with the other partners from SUREAQUA involved in aquaculture, green energy, different types of food, and energy from the sea.
“In a way, this is a perfect storm – Bioeconomy projects are blooming all over Nordic countries. SUREAQUA can be the cement between all these initiatives”, the new Coordinator says.
COMMUNICATING TO CONNECT
Sam's ambitions for CECAR are to explore new ways of communicating and drive collective actions related to global challenges. One of the aims is to engage people who are not necessarily interested in the topic to start with.
“It’s always easy to connect with people who are already convinced – you won’t make a big difference with them. So we are developing new strategies. One example is to work with artists and kids as we did for the “I am the Ocean” project. (see video below)”, he says.
"We explore how we can make people care and reconnect."
"People tend to be disconnected from nature and from environmental threats. It is hard to be connected to something invisible such as climate change," Sam continues. "So, we try to find ways to make the invisible visible."
Several activities are already planned within CECAR, and Sam hopes that SUREAQUA will be a platform to develop some joined activities. “We want to develop an efficient communication strategy within SUREAQUA – we will develop creative communication tools to optimize message delivering to each stakeholder.” he says.
Sam's first task as Coordinator for communications will be to reach out to the industry community and collect information on their needs within the framework of SUREAQUA.
“Working across disciplines and sectors can be difficult. You are not necessarily speaking the same language and you may want different things. It is all about building trust – this is a cool challenge!”, says Sam.
“It’s all about building trust– this is a cool challenge!”
To find out more about the I am the Ocean project, click here.
Dr. Sam Dupont is a researcher in marine ecophysiology at the University of Gothenburg and an Honorary Assistant Professor at the School of Biological Sciences, Hong Kong University. His main research topic is on the impact of increased CO2 and related changes on marine species and ecosystems. He is also heavily involved in developing efficient strategies to communicate scientific results to stakeholders at various levels, and promoting the importance of doing so.
Image acknowledgements: Image grab from video produced by John Areblad, Kanvassfilm
"This is a perfect storm – Bioeconomy projects are blooming all over Nordic countries. SUREAQUA can be the cement between all these initiatives.”