Image courtesy of Morien Jones (


The project “Storytelling for Resilience – Communicating Systemic Approaches to Climate Change” brought together climate change adaptation specialists from across a spectrum of natural and social sciences.

It addressed two central challenges for increasing our resilience to extreme events:

(1) to make complex research results more accessible and tractable for decision-makers;

(2) to acknowledge that decision-makers include the general public as they self-organise and respond to new local challenges, in parallel to higher-level policy and practice.

To address both of these challenges the programme adopted a novel approach: storytelling for climate change adaptation. State-of-the-art storytelling training brought a set of fresh communication and engagement skills to participants, whether climate change researchers or practitioners.

Following training, the programme also worked to demonstrate the effectiveness of storytelling in bringing about real-world impact, through application to a specific, existing research case study with a flood-prone community. Complementary illustrations were developed to disseminate information (through stories) to a wider audience, including higher-level policy-makers and the general public.



Illustration by Alanah Knibb

Programme Team

Melissa Bedinger, University of Edinburgh (formerly Heriot-Watt University)

Esther Carmen, The James Hutton Institute (formerly University of Dundee)

Prof. Lindsay Beevers, Heriot-Watt University

Ioan Fazey, University of Dundee

Alanah Knibb, Freelance Illustrator

Julia Bentz, University of Lisbon 

Ingrid Coninx, Wageningen University