Levevei, a Norwegian webpage and podcast series exploring personal and societal transformation, has published a long-form interview with Karen O’Brien. Together with host James Alexander Arnfinsen, Karen discusses her views on global challenges, the process of transformation and adaptation to climate change. The conversation covers the origins of cCHANGE, the concept of the Three Spheres Framework and how those perspectives are integrated in the cCHALLENGE project. Together Karen and James elaborate on the connections between personal and systemic change, and considers why behavioral change and technical responses that fail to consider the systemic aspects remain such a difficult endeavour. Ultimately Karen offers her thoughts on how the prospect of transformation is currently being approached in the Norwegian context.
Here are a few quotes from the interview:
“We [currently] put the burden on individuals without necessarily recognising the systemic and social factors that perpetuate our behaviours.”
“…the manifestations that we see out there are reflections of our understandings of hierarchy, or freedom […] they are reflections of the dominant paradigm or discourse…”
“How can we actually change the physical structures and landscapes very effectively, so that it becomes easy [for people] to change? This goes beyond nudging people…it becomes facilitating and engaging people in alternatives that challenge what we tend to think of as non-negotionable and given.”
“It is amazingly impressive what cracking open a little bit of agency in people […] where it can lead to.”
Listen to the podcast:
Around the 20 minute mark Karen and James references Milda Jonusaite Nordbø’s PechaKucha talk about her experiences with cCHALLENGE. That talk may be viewed here (in Norwegian).
Visit the Levevei website here. There are several interviews in their back catalogue that should be a good listen for those interested in the subject of social transformations.
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Photo: Microphone. [Cropped] Credits: Ernest Duffoo/Flickr/CC-license.