4 December 2018

Reframe event: shaping frames to influence culture

The event focused on how to shape frames and shift culture for a better world

Nathalie McDermott, On Road media

Environmental communicators and funders gathered at ZSL London Zoo to reflect on how we change deeply-held narratives about environmental issues. The Reframe event was organised by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), the Comms Lab and the Environmental Funders Network.

There is growing understanding of the power of ‘reframing narratives’ to influence mainstream culture and behaviour on environmental issues. The value in understanding narratives is clear from the FrameWorks Institute report, Getting Below the Surface, which was published by the UK Branch in 2017. The report shows that the way scientists and NGOs communicate about the ocean can undermine the public’s ability to grasp the scale and urgency of the change required.

Reframe explored how to shape frames and shift culture for a better world. The event brought together experts in communications and framing from a range of fields. Speakers included Nathalie McDermott, who explained how On Road’s work engaging with popular culture has led to some sea changes in public opinion about transgender issues. Abigail Scott Paul spoke about the Joseph Rowntree Foundation‘s initiative on reframing poverty, while CGF’s Louisa Hooper explained what the Foundation has learnt about creating influential communications about marine conservation.

For those who couldn’t make it on the day, all of the talks are available to watch on the Foundation’s YouTube channel. The short films are packed with lessons, tips and food for thought, designed to help communicators to frame the issues they’re working on more effectively.