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Why a ‘values-based approach’ is needed to tackle the climate crisis

Maria Birnbaum
Social Media Coordinator & Copywriter

Together we can: values-based climate solutions

Dr. Sami Asad, is on a mission to address social and climate issues.

In this Silicon Republic article, Dr. Sami Asad, professor of sustainability and environmental science at Tomorrow University, shares his call for a values-based approach to tackling the climate crisis. His belief is inspired by the remarkable recovery of the red kite, a bird of prey that was nearly extinct in the UK by the 1940s due to persecution, pesticides, and habitat loss. Thanks to collaborative conservation efforts, the red kite has made an incredible comeback, demonstrating the power of sustainable policies and community involvement.

Dr. Asad emphasizes that the revival of the red kite shows nature’s amazing ability to recover when we invest in sustainable practices and work together. “If we collaborate, we can do it. We have done it before,” he says, stressing the importance of involving the public, businesses, and policymakers in environmental conservation efforts.

Bridging the gap between academia and the real world

With a background in ecology and conservation, Dr. Asad’s research on sustainable resource use, including palm oil and forestry, revealed a disconnect between academic research and practical solutions. He noticed that while much research was being conducted and published, it wasn’t always translated into actionable solutions involving local communities, NGOs, and businesses.

This realization led Dr. Asad to focus on teaching at Tomorrow University, where he aims to educate individuals from diverse fields, including the public sector, NGOs, and start-ups, to collaborate on innovative solutions to environmental and social challenges.

Embracing innovation and technology

Dr. Asad is excited about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in tackling environmental challenges. AI has totally transformed wildlife monitoring, making it much faster and easier for conservationists to analyze data. This means they can protect species more effectively.

AI is also making big strides in climate forecasting. Tools like Google’s DeepMind’s GraphCast are getting really good at predicting extreme weather events. This is a game-changer for planning how we deal with and prevent climate disasters.

AI also empowers people to get involved in science. With events like the Big Garden BirdWatch, anyone can help collect important data about nature. AI helps identify species accurately, making the data super valuable for research and conservation. It’s like having a high-tech assistant for all our citizen scientists out there!

A values-based approach to learning

Dr. Asad’s teaching philosophy at Tomorrow University is rooted in a values-based approach. He encourages students to reflect on their motivations for learning and how they can apply their skills and values to create a global impact. This approach emphasizes the importance of ethical and sustainable practices in business and innovation.

He also addresses the challenge of greenwashing, advocating for transparency and accountability in corporate sustainability efforts. Research shows that companies that genuinely invest in social and environmental practices also see increased profits, highlighting the alignment of ethical values with business success.

So, how can we address the climate crisis?

Dr. Asad points out that effective communication is crucial for addressing the climate crisis. Most important here is understanding the values and interests of each audience. He tailors his communication strategies to different audiences, whether environmental scientists, government officials, or business leaders. This approach ensures the messages resonate with the audience and fosters collaborative efforts to limit global heating and protect the planet.

Optimism for the future

Dr. Asad is both hopeful and practical when it comes to solving the climate crisis. He points out that businesses are starting to see more profits by investing in sustainability. Even though we're just at the beginning of this shift, the benefits are already showing. The key now is to speed up these efforts to tackle the urgent threats of climate change.

At Tomorrow University, Dr. Asad’s teachings encourage students to become proactive leaders in sustainability. He promotes a values-based approach to drive real change. The future of our planet relies on our ability to work together, innovate, and stay true to our values as we face environmental challenges.

Learn more about our programs here.

Maria Birnbaum
Social Media Coordinator & Copywriter
Maria Birnbaum
Social Media Coordinator & Copywriter

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