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Salish Sea, emerging issues, evidence-based hope, environmental leadership, solution-based communication


In April 2023 and March 2024, the Salish Sea Institute engaged hope scholar and thought-leader Elin Kelsey, for events with the common theme of sharing information about evidence-based hope and helping the audience apply that thinking to combat the pervasive doom and gloom narrative that persists about climate change and the environment in general.

The first event was a 2 ½ day Hope for the Salish Sea (HSS) intensive environmental leadership workshop specifically co-designed and led by Elin, Ginny Broadhurst, Director of the Salish Sea Institute, and Mavis Underwood of Tsawout Community, WSANEC Nation. The Salish Sea Institute also organized a series of speaking engagements for Elin at Western Washington University (WWU) including an undergraduate Climate Change class; a keynote at a regional conference for people in higher education; a hybrid talk to faculty, staff and community members; an informal gathering with community members at a local pub; and a small luncheon with students.

This paper draws from Elin’s book, Hope Matters: Why Changing the Way We Think is Critical to Solving the Environmental Crisis, as well as materials presented at these events and anecdotal responses of participants. It explores the complexity and power of climate emotions and recognizes the impact of the dominant narrative of doomism on meaningful environmental action, organizational effectiveness, and mental health.


Salish Sea Institute




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