Fall 2020 the Climate Anthropologist conducted a study regarding unorganized and individual litter picking in urban spaces. The project "The value of litter" was conducted in cooperation with Empact and received funding from the regional research funds in Oslo. We aimed to understand what motivates people to pick litter in urban environments, what...
What the Climate Anthropologist does:
learn more about my areas of expertise
Ethnography and qualitative research
In order to solve issues one has to understand exactly what the problem really is. In-depth insight makes it possible to create better solutions.
Development of user-oriented solutions. Design of software, products and services that help users live more sustainable.
Our work and goal
The Climate Anthropologist aims to help overcome the gap between climate solutions and the people they are developed for. By applying tools from social anthropopology I'm able to gain unique and deep insight into the underlying challenges of making a new solution work. Complemented by UX design methods I can help further develop local climate and environmental solutions so they work optimally for the people they are supposed to work for - ultimately making sure people can use, and will continue to use, new solutions, and promote the behavioural changes we need for a sustainable future.
Why social anthropology?
Passionate entrepreneurs and researchers are constantly developing new innovative solutions that are supposed to help people live more sustainable and contribute to system change. Often these ideas are based on one's own experiences - quite often, at the end of the process, we find this fantastic and innovative product, system or service - that people are not using, because they don't understand it, they don't see the value or they can't make it fit into their lives.
Solutions have to be adapted to the people they are made for. To do that one has to work with real people and learn from them about their needs and wishes. Only by grounding our work in such understanding kan we make solutions that people will use - and will continue to use! That is what we need to achieve to create long-term behavioural change, and that is after all what we are aiming for.
Challenging our assumptions.
As experts in our field we know too much about the topics we work with. What we assume people will think, want and do will therefore never match with what people actually think, want and do. The only way to gain insight into these factors is by working with real end-users and learn about their lives, habits, worldviews, and so on. Ethnography is a powerful tool that provides deep an nuanced insight into these dynamics.
What people say and what people do are two completely different things.
People are awful at predicting their own behaviour. Asking people directly, whether in interviews, focus groups or surveys, about their future behaviour will not provide proper answers. People have limited insight to their own actions - especially(!) when it comes to topics like climate, environment and sustainability - these topics are morally loaded. Most people care about them. People will therefore answer based on how ther perceive themselves and how they wish to be - not how they are actually being. Anthropologists are trained in working with people to uncover their actual behaviours, motivations and values, which provides a solid base to build new solutions upon that are actually adapted to people's complex daily lives. This way I can help you adapt your solution so it will actually be used.
What previous partners and clients say
Emil Holmeide Blattmann
Founder / Empact
"She has really inspired us with her enthusiasm and expertise. The methods and mechanisms she has applied and introduced to us have been incredibly educational. We learned quickly that our views on how people perceive litter were more fragmented than we had hoped and believed. Tessa's report will therefore be absolutely central in our future work."
/ Viken County Municipality
"Tessa delivered a very interesting and relevant presentation to employees of the county municipality which we appreciated greatly. She adapted the content and message to our fields of work, and answered questions well. It has been easy and uncomplicated to work with her, and communication has been straigthforward all the way. I can most strongly reccomend a cooperation with the Climate Anthropologist!"
Olav Strand Ruud
/ The Anthropology Days in Trondheim
"She was skilled, secure and informative, and displayed the ability to teach advanced and complicated concepts in an understandable and transparent manner. The team from The Anthropology Days are incredibly satisfied with her, and look forward to seeing more of her in the future.
Programme manager / VHS Hietzing
"We highly appreciated working with Tessa, a reliable and committed, very precise and competent lecturer. Besides the well-balanced PowerPoint presentation, she gave the participants a generous amount of time for questions and comments."
read more under "Previous projects"
"youngsters against greenwashing" is an Interactive workshop including excercises, polls, and discussions. The goal is to provide young people with the tools to think critically and holistically in the battle against greenwashing. The workshop furthermore promotes climate involvement, insight to these important topics, and contributes to coping...
Sunday the 1st of March many motivated participants showed up at the Sjøstjerna Cafe in Drøbak, in spite of the snow and rain. The theme for this afternoon: Greenwashing - what it is, how to not get tricked by it. Because not everything that seems green necessarily is.
"We learned thought-provoking facts and got to explore thoughts together. You get challenged by learning how buzzwords might be misguiding". (feedback from participant).
VHS (der Wiener Volkshochschulen) is an institution for adult education which offers courses and classes for people from all walks of life. I was invited to lecture about my research project on climate change at their department in Hietzing.
What role does climate change play in our everyday lives? This was the question I wasked myself and which lead to a year-long research project.
Towards the end of my master studies I got the chance to be part of a research project in Siberia. The team consisted of a group of researchers from the university of VIenna and translators. My personal research project examined ecotourism and remoteness. Despite language barriers we established a good cooperation with local guides and tourist...
Publications and media
Kuckuck - Notizen zur Alltagskultur
Article: Climate change "on the body": Anecdotal evidence, experts and the complexity of localized knowledge.
Søppelets verdi (2020)
Rapport: En antropologisk studie av uorganisert søppelplukking i Oslo
"Antropologi, hva er det for noe?" 19.02.2020
Artikkel: "Tessa (25) fra Drøbak har en yrkestittel du neppe har hørt før" 27.01.2020