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Positive Climate Change Narratives - WCS Book Club
Thursday, August 26, 2021, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM PDT
Category: Events


Join the WCS LA Chapter for a stimulating conversation about Kim Stanley Robinson’s book “The Ministry for the Future”.

  • This event is complimentary for all WCS members. No promo codes needed.
  • Refer to the membership options here.

Join the WCS Los Angeles Chapter’s discussion on Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel, “The Ministry for the Future” and why optimistic climate change narratives about the future are important in the fight against climate change.

Picked by President Obama as one of his favorite books of 2020, “The Ministry for the Future” is a novel set in the near future which describes the disastrous consequences of climate change and the steps humanity takes to mitigate them. The novel follows an agency, established under the Paris Agreement, whose mission is to advocate for the world's future generations of citizens as if their rights are as valid as the present generations. The book chronicles the many different ways that the Ministry promotes climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as the resulting social and political unrest stemming from climate change impacts. Through its characters, Robinson's novel includes a wide range of diverse voices from around the planet that express different perceptions and experiences of climate change.

The discussion will be moderated by - Ursula K. Heise, Chair of the Department of English and professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA and by Natalie Zandt, WCS member and Founder and CEO of MeterLeader.

Come and enjoy a meaningful conversation about positive climate change narratives, and how we as individuals can leverage positive climate change narratives to further the cause of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Ahead of the event please do your best to read The Ministry for the Future ($14.99 on kindle, $24.99 hardcover, $6.95 on audiobook) and join our Slack channel to engage in discussion while reading the book.

Event Agenda (PT)

  • 5:00-5:05 Arrival and Introductions
  • 5:05-5:10 Zoom etiquette, housekeeping items
  • 5:10-5:25 Book Summary + Insights from moderator and co-host
  • 5:25-5:40 Breakout Session 1
  • 5:40-5:55 Re-group and share
  • 5:55-6:10 Breakout Session 2
  • 6:10-6:25 Re-group and share
  • 6:25-6:30 Thank you and wrap-up

This event is limited to 500 attendees and is open to people of all genders.

Ursula Heise


Chair of the Department of English and professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA

Ursula K. Heise is the Chair of the Department of English and professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and former President of ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment). Her research and teaching focus on contemporary literature and the environmental humanities; environmental literature, arts, and cultures in the Americas, Western Europe and Japan; literature and science; science fiction; and narrative theory.

She is editor of the series Natures, Cultures, and the Environment with Palgrave, and co-editor of the series Literature and Contemporary Thought with Routledge. She is co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities (2016) and Managing Editor of Futures of Comparative Literature: The ACLA Report on the State of the Discipline (2017). Her books include Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, and Postmodernism (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (Oxford University Press, 2008), Nach der Natur: Das Artensterben und die moderne Kultur (After Nature: Species Extinction and Modern Culture, Suhrkamp, 2010) and, just out, Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species (University of Chicago Press, 2016).

She is also a co-founder of UCLA’s Lab for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) and producer and writer of Urban Ark Los Angeles (www.kcet.org/urbanark), a documentary created as a collaboration of LENS with the public television station KCET-Link.

Natalie Zandt


Founder & CEO of MeterLeader

Natalie Zandt is the Founder & CEO of MeterLeader, a web platform that allows users to easily create and participate in energy saving competitions that are integrated with real-time PG&E, SDG&E, and SCE utility data. Prior to starting MeterLeader, Natalie worked as an energy efficiency consultant for over 6 years, implementing energy efficiency programs for utilities in California and Maryland. Natalie is passionate about combining her interests in technology, UX design, and behavioral science, in order to positively impact the environment. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction, drawing, and hanging out at the beach.