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Research Article

Conversations on grief and hope: a collaborative autoethnographic account exploring the lifeworlds of international youth engaged with climate action

Lisa JonesLisa Jones

Lisa Jones is a Reader in Education at the University of Hull. Her research focuses on issues of educational and social injustice, including climate justice, and her work utilises co-creation, participatory action research and creative, arts-based approaches.

,
Katie J. ParsonsKatie J. Parsons

Katie J. Parsons is a transdisciplinary researcher at the University of Hull. Katie uses creative participatory approaches when working in collaboration with children, young people, families and communities on climate change, environmental education, disaster preparedness and social action.

,
Florence Halstead§Florence Halstead§§

Florence Halstead is a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at the University of Glasgow, where her research focuses on the intersection between society, climate change and education. Her work utilises Participatory Action Research and Community Collaboration and seeks to utilise place-based initiatives to mobilise sustainable, climate resilient transitions.

,
Diep Ngoc NguyenDiep Ngoc Nguyen

Diep Nguyen Ngoc works as a researcher in Vietnam and is interested in how science can support climate change, mitigation and adaptation. Her research focuses on evaluating climate-related risks and vulnerabilities, the impacts of extreme weather events on coastal ecosystems and the use of decision support systems and nature-based solutions in coastal planning and climate strategies.

,
Huong T.M. Pham**Huong T.M. Pham****

Huong Pham Mai works for a non-profit organisation as an income generation officer in Vietnam. She is very interested in solutions to mitigate and responses to climate change, especially in the agricultural sector.

,
Dinh-Long Pham††Dinh-Long Pham††††

Dinh-Long Pham is a French-born Vietnamese climate advocate passionate about youth engagement, social justice and climate change. His work focuses on empowering youth across Asia-Pacific to take climate action at three levels (persona, collective, systemic) and use their skills to make the world a better place.

,
Charlotte R. Allison‡‡Charlotte R. Allison‡‡‡‡

Charlotte Alison is an alumnus of the University of Hull, working in education for over 10 years in a range of settings. Currently, Charlotte works at a play centre which promotes imaginative play in children and reflects on the small changes in daily life in regards to climate change.

,
Mae Chew§§Mae Chew§§§§

Mae Chew is an environmental justice advocate and Youth Parliamentarian living in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Her work harnesses the power of policy, technology and storytelling to champion the role of Indigenous knowledge in strengthening resilience against climate change. She will be pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Yale University from autumn 2023.

,
Esther Bird¶¶Esther Bird¶¶¶¶

Esther Bird has mainly focused her action in the environmental and education sectors, attempting to ensure that young people have a seat at the table and a space where their voices can be heard. This work includes reducing inequality in education and taking action to help prevent climate change.

,
Amy Meek***Amy Meek******

Amy Meek has been involved in environmental action from a young age when, at the age of 12, she co-founded and co-ran the educational charity Kids Against Plastic (KAP) with her younger sister. The charity has engaged a team of over 240 young people around the world as part of the KAP Club, and its Plastic Clever scheme has had over 1,500 schools and numerous cafes and businesses sign up since its launch.

,
Sam J. Buckton†††Sam J. Buckton††††††

Sam J. Buckton is a transdisciplinary social scientist based at the University of York as a Research Assistant and PhD researcher. He works across both academic and non-academic contexts to understand how to steward societal transformations for overcoming the world’s growing interlinked environmental and social crises, including climate change.

,
Khang Lê Nguyễn‡‡‡Khang Lê Nguyễn‡‡‡‡‡‡

Le Nguyen Khang has also participated in research projects with academics from Japan in Vietnam alongside of his work in the Youth Advisory Board. His work focused on engaging in action along coastlines such as collecting rubbish, soil core, marine debris in the mangrove and mudflat with the quadrat method.

,
Alison Lloyd Williams§§§Alison Lloyd Williams§§§§§§

Alison Lloyd Williams holds research posts at Lancaster University, the University of Hull and Fukushima Medical University. Her work draws on creative, arts-based methods to research youth and community participation in disaster risk management, recovery and resilience building.

,
Thu Thị Võ¶¶¶Thu Thị Võ¶¶¶¶¶¶

Thu Thi Vo is a researcher at the Vietnam National University – Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (VNU – CRES). She has more than 10 years working in the field of natural resource management, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and community development.

,
Huệ Lê****Huệ Lê********

Hue Le is senior researcher and lecturer at Vietnam National University – Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (VNU – CRES) in Hanoi. Dr. Le’s research focuses on natural resource management, land tenure, climate change and gender.

,
Anh T.Q. Nguyễn††††Anh T.Q. Nguyễn††††††††

Anh Nguyen is a researcher at SoilTechLab in the Department of Soil Resource and Environment, University of Sciences, VNU from 2018. Her research focuses on the effect of climate change on biogeochemical cycle of some plant nutrient elements (As, Si, K) in the common agro-ecosystem in Vietnam.

,
Christopher R. Hackney‡‡‡‡Christopher R. Hackney‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡

Chris Hackney is a NUACT Fellow in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University. His research focuses on the impact of climatic and human activities on the flows of water and sediment through large river and delta systems.

,
Daniel R. Parsons§§§§Daniel R. Parsons§§§§§§§§

Dan Parsons is a Professor in Geosciences at Loughborough University and is also Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation. His research interests extend from sediment transport and fluid mechanics to climate change and anthropogenic impacts on earth surface processes and the associated hazard and risk to communities.

Abstract

This paper explores the lifeworlds of international youth involved in climate and/or environmental social action, narratives that have been largely absent from a literature that has tended to focus on ‘traditional’ youth activists located in the urban Global North. Written as a novel collaborative autoethnography involving youth as co-authors, the paper a) collectively reflects on the stories of youth from different countries and cultures on their journeys towards climate action, and b) foregrounds an emotional framing to examine these experiences. The youth co-authors, whose experiences are the focus of this paper, form part of innovative international Youth Advisory Board, set up to provide peer support to youth new to climate and environmental social action, as part of our British Academy Youth Futures-funded participatory action research project. We examine the youth’s narratives exploring opportunities and barriers they have navigated, their inspirations and the intersections with a range of other socio-cultural factors.

Keywords

youthclimate actioninternationalactivismparticipatory
View the PDF for the full text of this article
Published on: 2 November 2023
Volume: 11
Issue: Supplementary issue 3
Article ID: 069
Pages:69 - 117
Copyright statement
© The author(s) 2023.
Cite this article
Jones with Parsons, Halstead, Nguyen, Pham, Pham, Allison, Chew, Bird, Meek, Buckton, Nguyễn, Williams, Thị Võ, Lê, Nguyễn, Hackney, Parsons (2023), ' Conversations on grief and hope: a collaborative autoethnographic account exploring the lifeworlds of international youth engaged with climate action ', Journal of the British Academy, 11(Supplementary issue 3): 069 https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/011s3.069

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Thematic article

Normal View Dyslexic View

Conversations on grief and hope: a collaborative autoethnographic account exploring the lifeworlds of international youth engaged with climate action

Lisa JonesLisa Jones

Lisa Jones is a Reader in Education at the University of Hull. Her research focuses on issues of educational and social injustice, including climate justice, and her work utilises co-creation, participatory action research and creative, arts-based approaches.

,
Katie J. ParsonsKatie J. Parsons

Katie J. Parsons is a transdisciplinary researcher at the University of Hull. Katie uses creative participatory approaches when working in collaboration with children, young people, families and communities on climate change, environmental education, disaster preparedness and social action.

,
Florence Halstead§Florence Halstead§§

Florence Halstead is a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at the University of Glasgow, where her research focuses on the intersection between society, climate change and education. Her work utilises Participatory Action Research and Community Collaboration and seeks to utilise place-based initiatives to mobilise sustainable, climate resilient transitions.

,
Diep Ngoc NguyenDiep Ngoc Nguyen

Diep Nguyen Ngoc works as a researcher in Vietnam and is interested in how science can support climate change, mitigation and adaptation. Her research focuses on evaluating climate-related risks and vulnerabilities, the impacts of extreme weather events on coastal ecosystems and the use of decision support systems and nature-based solutions in coastal planning and climate strategies.

,
Huong T.M. Pham**Huong T.M. Pham****

Huong Pham Mai works for a non-profit organisation as an income generation officer in Vietnam. She is very interested in solutions to mitigate and responses to climate change, especially in the agricultural sector.

,
Dinh-Long Pham††Dinh-Long Pham††††

Dinh-Long Pham is a French-born Vietnamese climate advocate passionate about youth engagement, social justice and climate change. His work focuses on empowering youth across Asia-Pacific to take climate action at three levels (persona, collective, systemic) and use their skills to make the world a better place.

,
Charlotte R. Allison‡‡Charlotte R. Allison‡‡‡‡

Charlotte Alison is an alumnus of the University of Hull, working in education for over 10 years in a range of settings. Currently, Charlotte works at a play centre which promotes imaginative play in children and reflects on the small changes in daily life in regards to climate change.

,
Mae Chew§§Mae Chew§§§§

Mae Chew is an environmental justice advocate and Youth Parliamentarian living in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Her work harnesses the power of policy, technology and storytelling to champion the role of Indigenous knowledge in strengthening resilience against climate change. She will be pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Yale University from autumn 2023.

,
Esther Bird¶¶Esther Bird¶¶¶¶

Esther Bird has mainly focused her action in the environmental and education sectors, attempting to ensure that young people have a seat at the table and a space where their voices can be heard. This work includes reducing inequality in education and taking action to help prevent climate change.

,
Amy Meek***Amy Meek******

Amy Meek has been involved in environmental action from a young age when, at the age of 12, she co-founded and co-ran the educational charity Kids Against Plastic (KAP) with her younger sister. The charity has engaged a team of over 240 young people around the world as part of the KAP Club, and its Plastic Clever scheme has had over 1,500 schools and numerous cafes and businesses sign up since its launch.

,
Sam J. Buckton†††Sam J. Buckton††††††

Sam J. Buckton is a transdisciplinary social scientist based at the University of York as a Research Assistant and PhD researcher. He works across both academic and non-academic contexts to understand how to steward societal transformations for overcoming the world’s growing interlinked environmental and social crises, including climate change.

,
Khang Lê Nguyễn‡‡‡Khang Lê Nguyễn‡‡‡‡‡‡

Le Nguyen Khang has also participated in research projects with academics from Japan in Vietnam alongside of his work in the Youth Advisory Board. His work focused on engaging in action along coastlines such as collecting rubbish, soil core, marine debris in the mangrove and mudflat with the quadrat method.

,
Alison Lloyd Williams§§§Alison Lloyd Williams§§§§§§

Alison Lloyd Williams holds research posts at Lancaster University, the University of Hull and Fukushima Medical University. Her work draws on creative, arts-based methods to research youth and community participation in disaster risk management, recovery and resilience building.

,
Thu Thị Võ¶¶¶Thu Thị Võ¶¶¶¶¶¶

Thu Thi Vo is a researcher at the Vietnam National University – Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (VNU – CRES). She has more than 10 years working in the field of natural resource management, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and community development.

,
Huệ Lê****Huệ Lê********

Hue Le is senior researcher and lecturer at Vietnam National University – Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (VNU – CRES) in Hanoi. Dr. Le’s research focuses on natural resource management, land tenure, climate change and gender.

,
Anh T.Q. Nguyễn††††Anh T.Q. Nguyễn††††††††

Anh Nguyen is a researcher at SoilTechLab in the Department of Soil Resource and Environment, University of Sciences, VNU from 2018. Her research focuses on the effect of climate change on biogeochemical cycle of some plant nutrient elements (As, Si, K) in the common agro-ecosystem in Vietnam.

,
Christopher R. Hackney‡‡‡‡Christopher R. Hackney‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡

Chris Hackney is a NUACT Fellow in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University. His research focuses on the impact of climatic and human activities on the flows of water and sediment through large river and delta systems.

,
Daniel R. Parsons§§§§Daniel R. Parsons§§§§§§§§

Dan Parsons is a Professor in Geosciences at Loughborough University and is also Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation. His research interests extend from sediment transport and fluid mechanics to climate change and anthropogenic impacts on earth surface processes and the associated hazard and risk to communities.