The 2nd Vilm Conference on Identity in a Globalized World: Social Psychological Barriers and Catalysts for Action Addressing Global Climate Change

“The 2nd Vilm Conference on Identity in a Globalized World: Social Psychological Barriers and Catalysts for Action Addressing Global Climate Change”

Organized by Gerhard Reese, Jutta Proch, Ilka Gleibs, and Amir Rosenmann from 8 May 2015 to 11 May 2015, Island of Vilm, Germany

The global climate crisis has become one of the most prominent and persistent global threats. According to the latest reports by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world is in a process of irrevocable, manmade changes of natural habitats and climate that concern human and non-human life alike. Even as global awareness of climate change and its negative effects is increasing, effective actions to counter this challenge are still lacking. Cross-national cooperation seems essential for efforts to curb climate change and mitigate its effects. In other words, individuals and societies have to stand together against this global challenge. In this, the challenges brought on by global climate change exemplify the counteracting processes of globalization: on the one hand, a driving force of the problem (e.g., through acculturation to the global consumer culture, and the energy intensive demands of the globalizing world); While on the other, a vehicle to remove cultural barriers and accelerate cultural innovations (e.g., transnational communication, large-scale movements) that allow cooperation and concerted efforts to address climate change.

How can a social psychological analysis of globalization inform our understanding of climate change mitigation behavior? How do the profound social, informational and technological changes that are at the heart of globalization transform us and our societies as we face this challenge? And can global problems – such as climate change – form the base for global action and perhaps emergence of global social identities?

In this small-group meeting we plan to examine the social psychological barriers that hinder effective action against global climate change, as well as the catalysts that may facilitate them. We focus on dynamics of social identity in a globalized world, and how these dynamics impact on individuals’ and groups’ responses to global climate change. More specifically, employing the conceptual and empirical tools of a social psychological approach, we are interested in macro-level (ideological-political and socio-cultural contexts) and micro-level (individuals) processes as well as their cross-level interactions.

Thus, we are particularly interested in contributions from researchers who have conducted research on globalization and social identity, with a focus on domains that are relevant for collective action vis-á-vis climate change and related processes (e.g., climate migration, intergroup relations, collective action, efficacy, pro-environmental behavior). We are open to contributions from both psychology and other social sciences dealing with globalization, identity, and climate change mitigation (e.g., economists, political scientists, sociologists). The conference will be held from 8 May to 11 May 2015 near Stralsund in Germany. The conference venue on the Island of Vilm in the Baltic Sea, provides a serene frame for productive group discussions. By train, it is 3 hours north of Berlin. As in our previous meeting in May 2013, we are keen to keep the meeting on a modest scale of around 20-25 researchers. Talks will be in single sessions with 45 min slots to allow sufficient time for presentation and in-depth discussion. Confirmed Keynote Speakers are Prof. Immo Fritsche (University of Leipzig, Germany) and Prof. Janet Swim (Penn State University, USA).

Fur further information, please contact the local organiozers Dr. Gerhard Reese ( or Dr. Jutta Proch (