Conference aims to place moral responsibility

Aarhus, 27 October 2009


Conference in Denmark aims to place
the moral responsibility for climate change

A conference at Aarhus University in Denmark takes a radically different approach to the question of climate change when it opens next week. The conference will not talk about climate politics or climate science but focus on how we as individuals can take moral responsibility for and maybe even enjoy better life styles because of climate change.

The issues will be tackled from the very beginning of the conference called “Responsibility Across Borders: Climate Change as Challenge for Intercultural Inquiry on Values”. The conference opens with an untraditional dialogue session on

Tuesday 3 November from 14.00 to 17.00 hours
Auditorium 1
Building 1441
Frederik Nielsens Vej
Aarhus University

The dialogue session is the last in a number of dialogue sessions in Aarhus celebrating the centenary of the national exhibition in Aarhus in 1909. The aim of the sessions has been to share ideas and create networks across many different boundaries, and this dialogue session is no exception.

The session will gather academics from within philosophy, education, journalism and economic psychology who will be asked about the specific responsibilities of their professions to help the world's citizens to grapple with climate change.

Representatives from Maersk Line and Grundfos will talk about the possible contributions from the business world. And a representative from the People's Climate Summit in Copenhagen will answer the question of how you make sure that the views of all cultures are heard when 10,000 people meet for the summit in December.

Program schedule

14.00-14.30: Velcome speeches by mayor of Aarhus, Nicolai Wammen, Aarhus University and conference organisers

14.30-15.30: Opening speech: Releasing Climate Change to Speak with Many Voices

Professor of climate change, Mike Hulme, from East Anglia University in Britain will hold the opening speech.

For years, Mike Hulme undertook traditional scientific work in the area of climate change. But now his focus has changed from science and technology to culture. According to Hulme, climate change is not a problem with a technical solution, but rather a cultural phenomenon with unlimited potential for innovation and positive change that can lead to better life styles for human beings.

15.30-16.00: Coffee break

16.00-17.30: Dialogue Panel Session: Intercultural dialogue on values: Why?

Professor Hans-Henrik Holm from the Danish School of Media and Journalism asks representatives from the worlds of academia, business and civil society how they can help the world take moral responsibility for climate change. And how do we facilitate a truly global dialogue about the values inherent in climate change?

On the panel are:

Professor Fred Dallmayr, University of Notre Dame, USA
Dallmayr is one of the world's leading experts on intercultural poltical philosophy and ethics with wide-ranging knowledge of both Western and Eastern cultues and philosophies.

Professor Timothy Reagan, Central Connecticut State University, USA

Reagan is internationally well-known for his work on language, pedagogy and education in an international perspective.

Professor Susannah Priest, University of Nevada, USA

Priest works in the area of journalism and science and her research focuses on how scientific issues are presented in the mass media and what that means for means for public opinon formation and engagement in science and science policy.

Professor John Thøgersen, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University

Thøgersen is an expert on economic psychology and does research on what motivates individual consumers to behave in environmentally responsible ways.

Niels Due Jensen, chairman of the board, Grundfos
Due Jensen plays an active role in the public debate about international dialogue, and Grundfos sponsors the Global Dialogue Prize that is awarded for superior research in the area of intercultural dialogue and values studies.
Jacob Sterling, Maersk Line

Sterling is General Manager for Sustainability at Maersk Line

Kristine Holten-Andersen, People's Climate Summit
Holten-Andersen is one of the organisers of the alternative climate summit, People's Climate Summit, that expects to attract 10,000 people for activities in DGI-byen in Copenhagen in December.

17.30-19.00:  Welcome reception                    

The media are welcome to take part in all or parts of the opening session and also in the welcome reception that the conference hosts from 17.30-19.00 hours. All speakers will be present during the reception, and we will be happy to help journalists set up interviews during the reception.

We would like to hear from you, if you want to take part in the opening session and/or the welcome reception. Just send a mail to media consultant Kirsten Sparre at You can also write to this mail if you want help in setting up an interview with one of the speakers.

For more information about the conference:

Project manager Jacob Bock,, phone +45 89 42 65 49

For more information about the contents of this press release
Media consultant Kirsten Sparre,, phone +45 20 94 03 49

You can see the full program for the conference at the conference website 

ICON Aarhus University