Steffi Bednarek is an internationally recognised thought leader and consultant on climate psychology and complexity thinking. Her work supports organisations to adapt to the inevitable mental-health impact that climate change has on many people and advises on strategies that allow an emotionally and psychologically resilient ‘response-ability’ in a time of climate anxiety and global upheaval.
No matter who we are or where we are, the impact of climate change affects all of us. Yougov research found that 55% of the British population feel that their mental health has been negatively affected by worries about climate change. Google reported that the search term ‘climate anxiety’ has increased exponentially worldwide and 75% of millennials feel that the future is frightening. Frightened and unsettled people don’t make good decisions.
Overwhelm does not only manifest in climate anxiety but can also lead to avoidance, irrational behaviour, a loss of engagement, escape into fictitious solutions, vulnerability to manipulation or extremist views, etc.
People need support in learning how to regulate their nervous systems in a time of ongoing change and upheaval. There is much we can do to equip people with the skills that allow them to meet challenges in ways that neither deny nor amplify the complexity of the task ahead. Psychological resilience allows people to face difficult truths, to focus on what is meaningful in life and to take courageous action.
Steffi has worked for government, corporates, financial services, higher education and NGOs, providing practical and evidence-based tools that increase resilience and regenerative thinking. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, the BBC, Ed Miliband’s “Reasons to be cheerful’ Podcast, Resurgence Magazine & the Ecologist and numerous international journals.
Her book ‘Climate, Psychology and Change” has been called ‘a work of wisdom and radical ideas’ by Satish Kumar, ‘an important contribution to the climate debate’ by systems thinker Fritjof Capra and has been endorsed by Bill McKibben, Nora Bateson and many others.
25 years of experience in depth psychology, trauma therapy, complexity thinking, and climate psychology inform her work as well as many years in leadership positions. Steffi is an Associate of the Climate Psychology Alliance, ‘Firekeeper’ at the World Ethics Forum and Associate of the American Psychological Association’s Climate Change Group. She is also Co-founder of the Journal ‘Explorations into Climate Psychology’ and has authored many articles and several book chapters in addition to her own book, which will be published in June 2024.
“Trying to create systems change to avert climate disaster is sometimes a very stressful thing to do. We are constantly exposed to the unimaginable consequences of climate inaction. I recently had the privilege to be in a workshop on climate psychology run by Steffi . Very rarely have I experienced such skilful insight, facilitation and the holding of space to enable deep thought and reflection. Steffi’s professionalism and experience is now enabling me to think different thoughts and to reconsider some approaches to both my work and my personal life. I very highly recommend her to you. I very much hope to work with her again in the future”.
Simon Brammer, Head of Cities, Ashden
“Steffi was a force field for creative change. She attuned beautifully to the participants, was careful to honour their vulnerable defences and yet found ways to open the doors to radical departures. She understands the terrifying nature of our current emergency, is potently challenging to complicity while still being empathic, warm hearted and cooly clear”.
Chris Robertson, Climate Psychology Alliance
"Steffi was a joy to work with and proactively suggested ideas for the event. Steffi's deep knowledge, and nuanced presentation was instrumental in the event being a huge success, leading to an increase of 43% in our sustainability ambassador membership. Much of the post event feedback specifically mentioned how the ideas that Steffi shared were the key takeaways for the audience".
Christian Hull, BNY Mellon
"Steffi Bednarek’s methods to understand and cope with climate anxiety are highly insightful and effective. It was a great pleasure to work with her”.
Jennifer Revell, Estee lauder Companies
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