The Art of Climate Action: A Push for Public Participation on the Road to Paris

October 15, 2015 (Berlin) - Optimism on climate change is quickly growing as more and more countries are preparing for the international climate negotiations at COP21 in Paris this December. Looking to expand that sense of momentum, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Human Impacts Institute (HII), a NYC-based organization focused on creatively inspiring social and environmental action, together with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), is hosting a FREE, open-to-the-public event on November 5th at the beautiful Kalkscheune in Berlin’s Mitte. Human Impacts Berlin will bring together artists, activists, government officials, designers, and other diverse experts to share their stories of climate action. “Our goal is to create diverse experiences, where we inspire each other, build community networks, and to share innovative solutions,” says Executive Director of HII, Tara DePorte.

A Human Impacts Salon is a welcoming space that invites the public to hold dialogue, learn of local and global initiatives, and see performance all inspired by climate change but approaching it from varying perspectives. “Climate change is an issue that connects to all other economic and social issues facing us today. We have a lot to learn from the successes, obstacles, and strategies of diverse communities and sectors,” remarked Vera Rodenhoff from the BMUB, who is sponsoring the salon within the Transatlantic Climate Bridge.

Human Impacts Berlin will feature leaders in the climate-solutions movement from diverse backgrounds. Speakers include leaders from Klima Fakten, Climate-KIC, anOtherArchitect, Ecologic Institute, German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Friends of the Earth, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to guest speakers, artists Mad Kate, Liz Rosenfeld, and Black Cracker will be opening up the conversations with thought-provoking performances. “I am interested in creating a situation where the audience is forced to envision a certain kind of future changed by alterations to our climate system,” states Rosenfeld. Using this style of engagement, HII hopes to spark the imaginations of the audience by creating a breeding ground for ideas and open dialogue while connecting people to actionable steps they can participate in specific to Berlin.

Human Impacts Berlin is the 9th event in HII’s international tour of climate salons of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge. Launched at the German Consulate in NYC in June of 2013, the Human Impacts Salon series engaged the U.S. public creatively and supported local climate change efforts. The series brought together creative visionaries with community leaders, environmental experts, and activists in a salon style event of performance and in depth discussion. During the 2013/2014 year, we worked with German Consulates across the U.S. in an innovative partnership to explore “making climate personal” by connecting it to issues of money, faith, innovation, politics, education, vulnerability, design, communications and collaboration. We successfully reached audiences in nine U.S. states and cities through ten salons (2 in NYC, Boston, Atlanta, DC, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston). Each event focused on a “specialty” of the local community (e.g.., D.C. and politics), brought in a diverse array of local experts and live arts performances, while highlighting lessons learned from the German climate policy and communication experience.

Human Impacts Berlin will summarize experience from the U.S. and link it with German success stories to get to a common understanding of what needs to be done for climate action. HII hopes that through international partnership and knowledge sharing, everyone can contribute to low-to-zero carbon targets. The event will be live streamed and recorded and available on the Human Impacts Institute’s and German Environment Ministry’s websites for viewers that will not be able to attend the event.

We will also continue our <<Human Impact Stories>> exhibits, first launched in partnership with German, French and EU governments in NYC, to bring the stories of 8 climate actors in the U.S. and 8 climate actors in Germany together to show how diverse actions are happening on both sides of the Atlantic to address climate change. These stories will be brought together for the November 5th event in the form of podcasts, posters, and artists live performances.

Take a look at the posters here: Human Impact Stories Berlin Posters and listen to podcasts from NYC and Marseille here:

Registration is FREE and includes a networking reception with drinks and light fare. Register at to reserve your space. Seating is limited.

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