Jan 30: Open CEFO seminar with Panu Pihkala: Ecological grief and Experiences and insights from Finnish projects

Warmly welcome to an open CEMUS Research Forum, CEFO, seminar with Panu Pihkala, adjunct professor of environmental theology in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Helsinki on ecological grief and Finnish projects!

When: January 30 at 13.15-15.00

Where: Baltic Library, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, see map here: https://link.mazemap.com/RfksggEB

Online: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/66569880688

Seminar topics
The seminar will focus these two sections:

1) Ecological grief
Panu Pihkala’s recent research article discusses many types of loss and grief in relation to ecological issues. The graphical abstract helps to see some main themes. I argue that understanding the nuances and variations helps people to engage constructively with ecological grief.

Read more here: Ecological sorrow: Types of grief and loss in ecological grief (TOC)

2) Experiences and insights from Finnish projects
Projects around eco-emotions, such as the following:

    a) Toivoa ja toimintaa (Hope and Action)
    Project about participatory action and eco-emotion activities for young people. We worked mainly with upper levels of comprehensive school (yläaste) and highschool teachers & youth, but the materials can be used with people of different ages. https://toivoajatoimintaa.fi/ (in Finnish)

    b) Eco-anxiety project in social and health sectors
    Funded by the Ministry of Social and Health matters, this multi-year project has produced many kinds of resources and activities. The current focus (2023-2024) is on educational institutions and students. www.ymparistoahdistus.fi See the English summary at
    Support for distress associated with climate change in Finland – “The mind of eco-anxiety”

    c) Ilmastoajatuksia (“Climate thoughts”) project in youth work.
    I just wrote a book chapter where I discuss this, and more broadly the theme of how to engage with climate emotions in youth work, to the EU Youth Partnership series. Ilmastoajatuksia – Opas nuorisotyön ilmastokasvatukseen (in Finnish)

Dr. Panu Pihkala (b. 1979) is an adjuct professor (title of docent) of environmental theology in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Helsinki. His interdisciplinary research deals with the psychological and spiritual dimensions related to environmental issues and especially climate change. Pihkala has become known as an expert in eco-anxiety. He is also affiliated with HELSUS Sustainability Science Center.

After publishing several academic articles on the theme, Pihkala’s first book on eco-anxiety was published in Finnish in October 2017 (“Päin helvettiä? Ympäristöahdistus ja toivo”) and it raised much public discussion in Finland. Pihkala was awarded the National Prize for Adult Education (Sivistyspalkinto) in 2018 by The Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation (Kansanvalistusseura). Pihkala’s second book on the topic, “Mieli maassa? Ympäristötunteet” (“Environmental emotions”), was published in October 2019.

Read the full biography and see publications here: https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/persons/panu-pihkala