The SHAPE of effective climate change communication: Taking a RoundView

Joanne Tippett, Fraser How

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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The challenges of developing new approaches for climate change adaptation and mitigation cannot be solved unilaterally. We need to work together strategically and communicate more effectively. This requires more than just sharing a simple message – it requires widespread learning and capacity building for change.
Decades of action research have led to the development of two frameworks that support this. First, the ‘SHAPE’ framework gives an understanding of the characteristics of learning initiatives for capability building. Second, the ‘RoundView’ gives a systems-based framework for understanding environmental problems. It helps people understand the underlying causes of climate change, and offers a set of positive guidelines to help us actively navigate towards a desired future.
Applying the SHAPE framework in climate change communication helps make fundamental environmental ideas accessible to a wide range of people, from primary school children to board room executives. This builds skills amongst participants to both explore and respond to the issues. The aim is to increase not just participants’ capability to act, but also their motivation and enthusiasm for change, together with their ability to communicate effectively with others towards this end.
This paper presents the SHAPE framework, providing a guide to key concepts and approaches to consider in the design of climate change communication and learning initiatives. It reviews evidence gathered so far regarding the efficacy of SHAPE and the RoundView in terms of increasing understanding, capacity and motivation for change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Climate Change Communication
EditorsWalter Leal Filho, Ulisses Azeiteiro, Evangelos Manolas, Anabela Mariza Azul, Henry McGhie
Place of PublicationBerlin, Heidelberg
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages372
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-70066-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-70065-6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2017
EventWorld Symposium on Climate Change Communication - Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Feb 201724 Feb 2017

Publication series

NameClimate Change Management


ConferenceWorld Symposium on Climate Change Communication
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • sustainability education
  • climate change
  • capacity building
  • systems thinking
  • change management

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Policy@Manchester


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