Climate Change Storytelling Project

Storytelling is how we develop individual and collective identities that define the ends we seek... Storytelling is how we access the emotional, or moral, resources for the motivation to act on those ends. - Marshall Ganz, The Power of Story in Social Movements

About the Project

Addressing the climate crisis begins with talking about climate change topics openly, regularly, and in community. The Motion + Media Across Disciplines (MMAD) Lab team has created an educational and artistic forum where individuals, students, and community members are invited to explore their personal experience with climate change and the emotional impact these changes are having. 

As part of the project, The MMAD Lab has collected and shared stories to increase awareness of climate change and action with videos, public speaking engagements, community visioning sessions and art work. 

The stories below are part of the Climate Change Storytelling project of The MMAD Lab and the UMD Office of Sustainability, made possible through a 
2023 SDG Research Grant through the University of Minnesota Global Programs and Strategy Alliance. More details about this grant project can be found here.

UMD students: Be Good to Each Other

University of Minnesota Duluth students share hopeful thoughts about addressing the climate crisis. Be good to each other. Nature is beautiful. Gratitude. The rapidly changing climate is not your fault. Keep moving forward. Breathe...

Alexis Elder's Climate Community Connection

University of Minnesota Philosophy Professor Alexis Elder and her class discuss the climate crisis in their class Climate Community Connection. Students are creating ideas to solve climate problems and going out into the world. Humans can innovate, humans can change.

David Bowen's Wilderness

University of Minnesota Duluth Art Professor David Bowen talks about his art installation "Wilderness" as it relates to climate change and trash in our oceans; an artwork combining Pacific wave movements, servo motors and plastic bags. "Wilderness" draws attention to how human activity is affecting everything: climate change, plastic pollution. Let's get people thinking about it.

Duluth Community Climate Conversations

Duluthians talk about climate change and hope, loving nature and caring for each other. Ideas to spread.

Climate Confessions

Climate Confessions is an interactive chalk art project for people to write or draw "confessions" they have relating to climate change. When it comes to the environment, everyone should have the opportunity to be a part of the discussion. By confessing our faults, fears and general thoughts, we can humanize climate change and relate to one another. 

The First Earth Day At National History Day

Margaret, a high school student in Duluth, talks about the history of Earth Day, environmental activism since the 1970s, and what can be done to reduce climate change. 

Solar Power at UMD

This is a video produced by the UMD Sun Delegation explaining how solar power on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus works. A practical how-to guide to solar power.

A family's climate change journey

Mark and Katya Gordon and their children take students sailing around Lake Superior to raise awareness about climate change and Lake Superior.

International Climate Clock Projections

Drone footage: artists Daniel Benoit, River Akkeman and Lisa Fitzpatrick created a projected climate clock and waves on the Duluth Energy Systems building in downtown Duluth, highlighting the importance of rapid climate action. 

Climate Duluth: with Tone Lanzillo and Lisa Fitzpatrick

A discussion of climate change, community and hope; how Duluth as a community can grow together in taking steps to mitigate climate change in the beautiful outdoors.

Climate Justice with Bret Pence

Bret is the Director of Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, a climate justice organization. He believes the best thing anyone can do as a climate action is just start talking about it! Tell people why you care about climate change: friends, relatives... Don't be afraid.  He also gives a quick overview of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the largest federal funding for climate action, rebuilding a cleaner, more just infrastructure. 

Ocean Grass

UMD's Art and Design instructor Cecilia Ramon's installation "Ocean Grass" is a grass map of the ocean currents.