Module II: Actors & Strategies

  • February 15 – Introduction

Spend this time finishing the readings for module I, the first 3 chapters of Massey’s Ways of Social Change and writing your assignment.

After class, read up on the models presented in the ASC Course Companion: Three spheres of transformation (by O’Brien & Sygna), Views on Sustainable Development (by Hopwood et al) (both were readings in Module I) and Three Horizons (by Sharpe)


  • February 22 – Olivia Linander

Gregor Vulturius – Building bridges and changing minds – Insights from climate communication research and practice

Wen Stephenson – The Student-Led, Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement

Article in the Guardian: Greece’s solidarity movement: it’s a whole new model – and it’s working

Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning – Points of intervention


Scilla Elsworthy: Fighting with nonviolence


Derek Sivers: How to start a movement



  • February 29 – Sean Westcott

Elisabet Garriga and Domènec Mélé  – Corporate Social Responsibility Theories: Mapping the Territory

Dave Roberts and Christine Woods – Changing the world on a shoestring: The concept of social entrepreneurship

Rebecca Solnit – Poisoned Apples


Michael Porter – The case for letting business solve social problems

Further reading:

Aneel Karani – The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility



  • March 7 – Helena Strömberg

Viktor Kaptelinin – What is activity theory?

Article in the Guardian: Winning the persuasion game. So what’s the trick for making it happen?

Elizabeth Shove – Beyond the ABC: Climate change policy and theories of social change

Jenny Cross – Three myths of behaviour change

Further reading:

Fiona Spotwood – Cycling from a social practice theory perspective

Mark Van Vugt – Averting the Tragedy of the Commons: Using Social Psychologic Science to Protect the Environment



  • March 14 – Doreen Stabinsky

Antto Wihma & Harro van Asselt – Great Expectations: Understanding why the UN climate talks seem to fail

Kevin Andersson – Crisis is worse than we think and scientists are self-censoring to downplay risk

Jonathan Rowson – Top down, bottom up, side to side, inside out: 4 types of social change and why we need them all

Tasso Azevedo – Hopeful lessons from the battle to save the rainforest



  • March 21 – Joakim Medin

Rob Nixon – Slow Violence (Introduction)

BBC News: Last foreign journalist to leave embattled town

Joakim Medin (Vice news) – Cocain allegedly found at home of Islamic state leader

Brian Palmer – Courage can be almost as contagious as fear



  • March 28 – Reading week

  • April 4 – Literature seminar

  • April 11 – Diego Galafassi | Sustainability Transformations

Stockholm Resilience Centre – What is resilience?

Olsson et al – Sustainability Transformations – a resilience perspective

How to apply resilience thinking:

Further reading: 

Allen et. al: Panarchy – theory and application


  • April 18 – Lisa Färnström & Paulo Zucotti | Art and Change

Sandra Hayes & Lyle Yorks – Lessons from the Lessons Learned: Arts Change the World When . . .

Nancy J. Adler – Finding Beauty in a Fractured World: Art Inspires leaders – Leaders Change the World

Olafur Eliasson – Why Art Has the Power to Change the World

The big question: can art change the world? Eight manifesta artists respond



  • April 25 – Communicating Sustainability

The Guardian – Communicating Sustainability is a subtle attempt at doing good

CRED – The Psychology of Climate Change Communication

Per Cromwell – The Anatomy of Virality