When: January 26, 2017
Who: Renee Lertzman, PhD
Where: WWF’s Washington, D.C. Headquarters (1250 24th St. NW, Washington, DC 20037)
About the seminar:
In the global effort to address elephant poaching and the broader scourge of wildlife crime, greater attention has been focused on consumption of illegal and unsustainable wildlife products, the driver of most poaching. Conservationists are redoubling efforts to reduce demand for ivory and other products. With the stakes so high and the prognosis for elephants, rhinos and other wildlife so dire if we falter, we must widen our search for solutions. This requires venturing into disciplines beyond the domain of traditional conservation — and tapping into novel sources of inspiration and expertise to probe the complex, nuanced nature of this demand. This lecture presents the recent collaboration with WWF and Dr. Renee Lertzman, “Reducing Desire for Ivory: A Psychosocial Guide to Address Ivory Consumption.” This Guide represents a foray into new territory for conservationists: a psychosocial approach to demand reduction. Drawing from cutting edge psychology and neuroscience, this lecture examines how societal and cultural forces combine with individual experiences and emotions to generate a desire for ivory. With deeper knowledge of the hidden factors that give rise to desire, we gain a more intimate understanding of the ivory consumers we need to engage. Through this stronger connection with our target audiences, we can more effectively redirect their desire away from ivory. Redirecting desire, thereby diminishing ivory demand, represents a major step toward making the world safe for elephants.
About the speaker:
Dr. Renee Lertzman is a researcher and communications strategist, applying psychosocial insights to conservation, environment and climate sectors for effective messaging and engagement. She advises a range of governmental, NGO, private and public sector organizations, as well as supporting environmental educators and professionals through workshops, seminars and trainings. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Grist, Huffington Post, DeSmog, Vice, Climate One, and numerous podcasts. She holds a MA in environmental communications from University of North Carolina, and a PhD in psychosocial research from Cardiff University. Her book, Environmental Melancholia: Psychoanalytic Dimensions of Engagement (Routledge) is now out in paperback. She speaks and teaches internationally and is based in Berkeley, California.
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