Climate Connections in Marseille

How do we inspire people to take climate action? What do we need to effectively communicate complex problems and solutions? And Who are the people leading the way in our communities?

Imagine you could explore these questions, while walking through your city viewing beautiful artwork and listening to great stories. Human Impacts Stories Marseille, launched October 9th, 2015 (see photos of the launch at Longchamp Palace), during the arrival of the <<Climate Train>> and the <<Festival of Science>> does just that by creating a "climate walking tour" of the City of Marseille at five sites in the City Center--Palace Longchamps, the Mayor’s office of the 2nd and 3rd quarter, the Villa Mediterannée, Museum of History of Marseille, and at the Observatory of Marseille, where we can all explore climate change in a personal way through the tales of diverse, local people and their perspectives, experience, and actions. Passers-by can also enjoy conversations of participating climate experts at

After the October 9th opening at the Palace Longchamps, artists Tara DePorte ( NYC) and Marina Gavaldão (Marseille) joined forces with the Human Impacts Institute, labex OT-MED, IMéRA, l’OSU-Pythéas and the DRRT to work with world-renowned climate scientists, policymakers, and activists to create 10 murals exploring how we can make climate change personal, connect it to issues such as migration, health, the city, and more, and inspire you to take action. These murals were installed during the 10th Anniversary of the Arts Festival P.O.C. and were then used for a city-wide, interactive installation, Human Impact Stories Marseille <<Climate Connections>>, and paired with the stories of people from the region who are researching and implementing local solutions to climate change in diverse ways. DePorte engaged passersby throughout the day in a photo series about the emotions we experience when we think about climate change. Take a look at the photos here: "What's your emotional reaction to climate change?"

The Human Impact Stories program of the NY-based NGO--- Human Impacts Institute (HII)--makes climate science and solutions fun and beautiful, while inspiring each us to do our part by telling the local, personal stories of people taking climate action in diverse ways, Through a combination of visual design, podcasts, and artistic installations, Human Impact Stories make the people behind climate action come to life. Using storytelling as a basis for connecting people with the "why should I care", while also giving us key information we need to take action. Take a look at the launch of the Human Impact Stories program with "Climate sHeros of NYC" in June, 2015, at the French Consulate in NYC.

The second series of Human Impact Stories <<Climate Connections>> shares climate stories from the area around Marseille, France, where HII's Founder and Executive Director, Tara DePorte, is developing the series, which showcases local researchers and practitioners who are connecting climate change to other issues central to our daily lives. "Research shows that if people are able to personally connect to complex--often overwhelming--issues such as climate change, then they are more likely to care and want to be a part of the solution," commented Ms. DePorte, "By both connecting climate change to other issues that we all think about regularly, such as money, food, our health, and also sharing the stories of local people who ARE making a difference, we see a real opportunity for inspiring YOU to get involved."

With climate change impacts being felt around the world and a combined hope and fear of anticipation of what our global leaders will agree to at this year's international climate negotiations, COP21, in Paris, engaging the general public in climate change and giving them the tools to take action is more critical than ever. DePorte, who is a research fellow at the Institut d'Etudes Avancées (IMéRA) and the labex OT-Med of Aix-Marseille University is excited to be partnering locally with these institutes, as well as OSU-Pythéas and the regional government, DRRT, to develop the series. "Today, more than ever, it's important to highlight our 'wins'", remarked DePorte, "if I can see that the people from my community are taking climate seriously and coming up with innovative ways to address it, then I start thinking 'hey, if they can do it, why not me?'' And that's what Human Impact Stories Marseille is out to achieve: inspire us all to get going on climate.

See photos of the “climate walking tour” installation in the City of Marseille>>

Check out the list of participants in the project below.

Listen to their stories here:

Climate Change, Economics and Migration

  • Mourad Ezzine, Director, Center for Mediterranean Integration, World Bank

Energy, Transportation and Climate

  • Lounes Tadrist, Directeur, Laboratoire IUSTI “Institut Universitaire des Systèmes Thermiques Industriels” (IUSTI, UMR 7343), Aix-Marseille Université and CNRS

Climate and Society

  • Suzanne de Cheveigne, Directrice de recherche (senior researcher), CNRS, Directrice du Centre Norbert Elias (UMR 8562 CNRS-EHESS-UAPV-AMU)

  • Annick Delhaye (député région, PACA), Vice-Présidente déléguée au Développement soutenable, environnement, énergie et climat de la Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

The City and Climate

  • Joel Guiot, Director, LABEX Objectif Terre - Bassin Méditerranéen (OT-MED) and Distinguished Research Fellow (directeur de recherche de classe exceptionnelle) of CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research)

  • Hubert Mazurek, Director, L’Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD)

Agriculture and Climate

  • Bernard Seguin, (Retired) Directeur de recherches (classe Ex) à l'INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)

Water and Climate

  • Céline Dubreuil-Imbert, Programme Officer for Water, Plan Bleu / UNEP

  • Nicolas Roche, Aix-Marseille University - AMU Coordinator of the AMU's Research Pole "Environment" M2P2, Waste and Wastewater Treatment Team (UMR CNRS 7340)

Pollution, Health and Climate

  • Dominique Robin, Directeur, Air PACA

Law and Sea Level Rise

  • Marie-Laure Lambert, Maître de conférences HDR – Section CNU: 02, Laboratoire LIEU + CEJU Centre d’Etudes Juridiques d’Urbanisme, Enseignant/chercheur : – Aix-Marseille Université CEJU Centre d’Etudes Juridiques d’Urbanisme

  • Vincent Moron, Professor, Centre Européen de Recherche et d'Enseignement des Géosciences de l'Environnement (CEREGE)

Risk and Perception of Risk

  • Alexandra Schleyer-Lindemman, Maître de Conférences en Psychologie, Aix-Marseille Université / UMR ESPACE 7300 du CNRS, équipe Arbois et Arles

  • Xavier Giraud, Maître de Conférences, Aix-Marseille Université Centre Européen de Recherche et d'Enseignement des Géosciences de l'Environnement (CEREGE)


  • Sandrine Maljean, Directrice de recherches au CNRS – Directrice du CERIC, CERIC (UMR 7318 DICE CNRS-Aix-Marseille Université), Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales et Communautaires

  • Nicolas Haeringer, Chargé de Campagne, 350 France

Participating Artists

  • Tara DePorte, Founder and Executive Director, Human Impacts Institute

  • Marina Galvadão, Climate and Ecosystem Services Specialist and visual artist (Marseille)

Thank you to Invoking the Pause, IMéRA, and OT-MED for inspiring and supporting this program.

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