Dr. Harry Hilser and Human Geography: Why Understanding Behavior Change May be the Key to Climate Policy

Ep. 26

“This is about creating a culture of care.”

Dr. Harry Hilser - Human Geography: Why Understanding Behavior Change May be the Key to Climate Policy. I’m so pleased to welcome Dr. Harry Hilser to the podcast today. Harry is the Program Director for Selamatkan Yaki (SY), a conservation program based in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. SY protects the habitat and remaining populations of the Critically Endangered Sulawesi crested black macaque (Macaca nigra), whilst supporting local initiatives, developing alternatives to hunting and capacity building for local communities. He has a Ph.D. in Human Geography primarily focused on connectedness to nature and pro-social and pro-environmental behaviors. Harry is also the Co-Founder of Lestari Environmental Education Consultancy. Lestari facilitates the transformation of communities and society, working within the social and environmental sciences to combine education and conservation practice with sustainability, behavior change, and principles of nature connection. They collaborate with NGOs, universities, governments and businesses to deliver high-impact projects and implement innovative strategies for change. I met Harry through a shared passion for Project Vesta; a non-profit promoting accelerated weathering in order to capture carbon absorbed in the world's oceans. We talk about Harry’s beginnings in the English countryside to a small island working with primates and everything in between. His human geography and ethnography studies have allowed him to observe how different cultural drivers impact climate change. We discuss the link between pro-social and pro-environment, the behavioral motivations that drive humans, and how belief systems impact conservation and environmentalism. Harry also gives his thoughts on what he sees for both the future of climate communications and the shift he’s seeing in climate and sustainability education. Harry’s optimism for systemic change in policy and regulations as they relate to climate change is inspiring.

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