Curating Content To Support Learning About Humanity's Transition

Posts tagged with:  Climate Change programme

By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 8 Apr 21

After a couple of weeks of hiatus (early spring is definitely Bank Holiday season here in Cyprus), this blog series returns for its final look back at the Acorn Study. To extend the metaphor, it is time to look at the forest floor and examine the new growth. Before we do that, I would like to add a reminder that this study includes a far-from-representative sample and cannot draw conclusions with global applicability. It is fair to say that most of the participants are from what psychology calls WEIRD societies (western, educated, industrialised, rich, and democratic). Still, it is relevant …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 9: Seedlings Read More »

After a couple of weeks of hiatus (early spring is definitely Bank Holiday season here in Cyprus), this blog series returns for its final look back at the Acorn Study. To extend the metaphor, it is time to look at the forest floor and examine the new growth. Before we do that, I would like to add a reminder that …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 9: Seedlings Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 18 Mar 21

Picking up right where we left things, let’s dive straight into more of the patterns. It is a commonly-accepted stereotype that those of us with access to social media distractions spent most of the pandemic doomscrolling. There might be an element of truth to that (I know that I downloaded two new social media platforms within the last year). Still, when it came to knowledge or awareness, we see that media, social or traditional, was not the primary source in participants’ stories. Instead, there has been movement towards the central space of combining multiple sources of knowledge and tempering what …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 8.2: And then COVID happened Read More »

Picking up right where we left things, let’s dive straight into more of the patterns. It is a commonly-accepted stereotype that those of us with access to social media distractions spent most of the pandemic doomscrolling. There might be an element of truth to that (I know that I downloaded two new social media platforms within the last year). Still, …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 8.2: And then COVID happened Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 11 Mar 21

The Acorn Study began in the autumn of 2019. As often happens, most stories were collected in its early days in the flurry of sharing that followed its release. As the initial flood stopped, stories kept coming in, slowly but steadily, until the collection was closed down at the end of 2020. In between those two dates, something changed. The theoretical possibility of a pandemic arriving sooner or later became a reality. Even though COVID-19 wasn’t the Black Death in terms of mortality, it was more than enough to shut many of us in our homes, make more of us …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 8.1: And then COVID happened Read More »

The Acorn Study began in the autumn of 2019. As often happens, most stories were collected in its early days in the flurry of sharing that followed its release. As the initial flood stopped, stories kept coming in, slowly but steadily, until the collection was closed down at the end of 2020. In between those two dates, something changed. The …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 8.1: And then COVID happened Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 4 Mar 21

In 2018, Jem Bendell, a sustainability leadership professor, wrote a paper that took the possibility of near-term societal collapse due to climate change extremely seriously (you can read the whole thing here). I would like to spend a little bit of time on this paper because it was the theoretical basis for one of the multiple-choice questions (and, therefore, analysis filters) that participants confronted in the Acorn Study. The paper set out four key aspects of what the author calls the Deep Adaptation agenda: resilience, relinquishment, restoration, and reconciliation. One of the paper’s critical discussions and preoccupations is discussing the serious …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 7: Hope, loss, and sacrifice Read More »

In 2018, Jem Bendell, a sustainability leadership professor, wrote a paper that took the possibility of near-term societal collapse due to climate change extremely seriously (you can read the whole thing here). I would like to spend a little bit of time on this paper because it was the theoretical basis for one of the multiple-choice questions (and, therefore, analysis filters) …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 7: Hope, loss, and sacrifice Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 25 Feb 21

As always, let’s start with one of the high-level patterns in our collection: the sources of knowledge or awareness in the actions or stories shared. The largest cluster of stories is at the top of the triad, showing that in most stories, knowledge came from social or mass media, with a secondary group at the centre of the triad, indicating a combination of all three sources of knowledge. There is a scatter of stories all over the rest of the triad. Notably, there are fewer indications that experts are a principal or primary source of information and awareness in stories. …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 6: Knowledge and information – always needing more? Read More »

As always, let’s start with one of the high-level patterns in our collection: the sources of knowledge or awareness in the actions or stories shared. The largest cluster of stories is at the top of the triad, showing that in most stories, knowledge came from social or mass media, with a secondary group at the centre of the triad, indicating …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 6: Knowledge and information – always needing more? Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 18 Feb 21

This week we are looking at the dimension of time. Time is a central concept in all kinds of contexts, and it is an anchor that is often used when people interpret their stories. The core ideas of past, present, and future can take on different labels and nuances depending on the specific nature and context of a collection, and they do just that here as well. Moreover, by positioning the story in relationship with all three of these we subvert a little bit the linear approach to time, at the same time as using it as a heuristic (a …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 5: Looking backwards, looking forwards Read More »

This week we are looking at the dimension of time. Time is a central concept in all kinds of contexts, and it is an anchor that is often used when people interpret their stories. The core ideas of past, present, and future can take on different labels and nuances depending on the specific nature and context of a collection, and …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 5: Looking backwards, looking forwards Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 11 Feb 21

  Without further ado, let’s pick up where we left off last week! We ended the post on a series of questions, which we can now start to follow up on, and let’s start from one that focused on an outlier:       Do people who have positive expectations from business see responsibility differently? We can examine that question by isolating the stories where there was particular emphasis on the potential of businesses.   To save people the trouble of referring back to the previous blog in the series, this is what the overall pattern around responsibility looks like: …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 4.2: Individual, collective, other Read More »

  Without further ado, let’s pick up where we left off last week! We ended the post on a series of questions, which we can now start to follow up on, and let’s start from one that focused on an outlier:       Do people who have positive expectations from business see responsibility differently? We can examine that question …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 4.2: Individual, collective, other Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 4 Feb 21

  We are now at the stage where we start to dig into the patterns and ask what they might be telling us.  Let’s start by looking at two triads that look at possibility and responsibility, involving similar factors from different angles. The first triad is more positively-oriented; it is an expectation of good things to come. It has three large clusters of stories close to individuals, governments, and at the centre, the latter suggesting a combination or collaboration of all three. Business is a minor outlier here.  Responsibility, the core idea behind the second triad is a bit more …

Part 4.1: Individual, collective, other Read More »

  We are now at the stage where we start to dig into the patterns and ask what they might be telling us.  Let’s start by looking at two triads that look at possibility and responsibility, involving similar factors from different angles. The first triad is more positively-oriented; it is an expectation of good things to come. It has three …

Part 4.1: Individual, collective, other Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 28 Jan 21

Before going into the meat of this section, let’s talk about triads and dyads a little bit, and the representation of patterns on them, so people know what they are looking at. A warning that this post is a bit longer than I intend to make them, partially because of this additional section in the beginning. Those of you familiar with SenseMaker are welcome to skip this paragraph and the next one, but I hope it will make this series more accessible to everyone who is not. As covered in the previous post, we asked people to share an action they …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 3: Small actions Read More »

Before going into the meat of this section, let’s talk about triads and dyads a little bit, and the representation of patterns on them, so people know what they are looking at. A warning that this post is a bit longer than I intend to make them, partially because of this additional section in the beginning. Those of you familiar …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 3: Small actions Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 21 Jan 21

Almost every SenseMaker collection, no matter what it is, contains some garden-variety multiple-choice questions. These may appear simple, but they can often be deceptively tricky. They depend on multiple things, such as which categories are significant to our question (for example, might the patterns associated with children’s stories be different to those of adults?), or the balance of how many are too many. In return for our concern, these multiple-choice questions provide us with filters that allow us to look at the data from different perspectives (you will see that in future posts), as well as an at-a-glance setting for …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 2: A background to the patterns Read More »

Almost every SenseMaker collection, no matter what it is, contains some garden-variety multiple-choice questions. These may appear simple, but they can often be deceptively tricky. They depend on multiple things, such as which categories are significant to our question (for example, might the patterns associated with children’s stories be different to those of adults?), or the balance of how many …

Looking back at the Acorn Study; Part 2: A background to the patterns Read More »


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