As a result we have been commissioned to partner with leading academic institutions, scientists and government agencies, to train and mentor staff and individuals to deliver effective environmental communication.
About our training
Much public engagement training around science and environmental outreach focuses on voice projection, self-confidence, lack of jargon etc. However, we believe that the major factor in successful communication and behaviour change is to focus on the Values of the audiences you are communicating with.
Values are the beliefs and motivators - largely subconscious - that underpin our attitudes to almost everything we encounter. Over a quarter of a century of quantitative research shows that our Values are the determining factor in what makes us pay attention to something, make choices, or perform an action, before we have really thought about the consequences.
The training we offer works with leading experts to use the sciences of mind and brain, psychology and neuroscience, language and creativity to appeal to the Values, beliefs and motivators that influence people’s decision-making. Using tools such as Cultural Dynamics we teach about the three hidden worlds of ‘Settlers', ‘Prospectors' and ‘Pioneers’ and how to effectively communicate with each - and in ways that they are ready to receive.
The Values of each group are often used by marketing and media companies to reach differing sectors of the public, and by organisations to assess policies, processes and procedures. Ongoing social survey research has tracked and forecasted the changing Values, beliefs and motivations of the UK population, and similar research has been conducted in over 40 countries by similar organisations.
Successful communication also relies upon many other techniques which our workshops can include, subject to time and budget, such as:
3 dimensions of storytelling
Polarisation of views
3 lenses of perspective
Use of language
Emotions v facts
~ Knowledge share with organisation
~ Training participants
~ Mentoring participants
~ Community collaboration
~ Public testing at events
For the course or workshop, participants receive training in all of the above, with a focus on Values, delivered by our experienced team which includes specialists in training, social science, media, creativity, arts, public presenting, outreach and events.
Next, dependent upon time and budget, they are then matched with artists, scientists, creative experts, community groups and organisations to co-design and co-produce, innovative outreach activities.
Our team then mentor participants for a period of weeks and use our proven expertise in public outreach and logistics to refine their offering. Finally, we facilitate and accompany the trainees to take part in public events and festivals where they get to practice - and have evaluated - their enhanced public outreach skills.
We regularly collaborate with Dr Kris De Meyer, a Research Fellow at Kings College London whose research focuses on translating neuroscience and psychology research into actionable communication and science/policy practices on climate change and the environment. He is a core member of the UCL Policy Commission on Communicating Climate Science, producer of the award-winning documentary, Right Between Your Ears (exploring the neuroscience and psychology of entrenched views), co-creator of children's radio series Climate Explorers, and the participatory theatre piece, The Justice Syndicate. He regularly speaks on BBC radio and TV about polarisation in society, and why fake news can be so believable. In this TEDx talk he explores polarisation; how people become entrenched in their views and the gridlocked debates these opinions lead to. He posits a challenge: how can we communicate with those who see reality radically different to us?
We have run this training with early career researchers at Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and university staff. We have trained staff from agencies such as DEFRA, Natural England and National Trust, as well as running workshops for County and District Councils, Coastal Management bodies and young people’s groups.
In a typical year Incredible Oceans takes part in, or organises, between 60-70 large-scale and small public outreach events, with a diverse portfolio that ranges from: Afro-Caribbean cultural celebrations to major science festivals; major tourism expos to evenings at the Royal Geographical Society; human behaviour change conferences to music festivals; county shows to high street pop-ups. We specialise in reaching non-self-selecting audiences and take part in festivals and events attended by those not necessarily attracted to science or environment.
Contact us to see what we can do to work with your organisation.