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It’s time to take climate change personally

Dave Dunlop

03 Feb, 9:00 pm

04 Feb, 5:00 am

04 Feb, 1:00 pm

30 min

You can blame your government for not doing enough to tackle the climate crisis. Or you can take a look at how your own small, everyday actions can make a big difference for our planet.


Day by day, awareness grows of our collective need to become more active in the fight to protect the planet. But to many of us, the challenge feels so huge — almost too difficult to fathom. How then can we even begin to respond? To some it feels hopeless and too late. To others it’s just hard to get started.

This year, the pandemic has shone a sliver of optimistic light on the climate crisis: While the world has been forced into lockdown, we’ve also seen a dramatic fall in carbon emissions (17% daily global emissions in April).

And, added to this irrefutable evidence, there is a growing sense that people have had more time to consider how they live, with many feeling more connected to nature, shopping locally and not traveling as much.

So, while much of the world's activity is focused on lobbying and infrastructural changes, perhaps it’s time to unpack and explore the steps people can take to make a longer-lasting difference.

We live in a world where convenience is king, but rarely does greater convenience result in a long-term sustainable ways of living. Being sustainable and ethical in our choices takes effort. And it’s hard to navigate what will make a true difference with no real tangible measurement for our efforts.

As a way into thinking together how we, as designers, might help people approach the climate crisis, we’ll talk a little bit about SWAY — a product we’ve been developing as an R&D initiative. It helps people take action and shows how that action, when repeated, will lead to a long-lasting impact. SWAY works on the principle it doesn’t matter who you are or how you live, your demand can always be reduced

What more, as designers, can we do to bring about smaller behavioural changes that make a bigger, longer-lasting difference? Join me for this round-table to explore ways of making climate action tangible for people in a positive and democratic way.

Meet the speaker

Dave Dunlop


Chief Design Officer at ELSE

I am Partner and Chief Design Officer at ELSE, an award-winning experience design consultancy specialising in digital strategy, user experience and interaction design. I lead multi-skilled teams to deliver a range of work within product and service innovation to Design Ops. We work a 4-day week on strategic design projects with an amazing client set including O2, Nivea, UBS, Ibis, Loterie Romande and T. Rowe Price. In the last 2 years we've been establishing an R&D programme at ELSE, helping to inspire curiosity in the design teams to find solutions to difficult and challenging areas of society. As such, I've been working on a service called Sway, helping people to engage in small incremental changes to lessen their impact on the world. It's an area I've become deeply motivated on.

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