06 June 2019

RISK researcher Thomas Schinko at #speakout festival and in ORF TV show "Thema"

On May 30, 2019 RISK researcher Thomas Schinko was an invited speaker at the #speakout festival in MuseumsQuartier in Vienna. The event provided a forum where not over, but with young people was spoken and where the young participants could talk about pressing issues, such as climate change. He also invited ORF reporters to observe a role-play simulation in Upper Austria.

© Mika Baumeister | Unsplash.com

© Mika Baumeister | Unsplash.com

Panelists at the #speakout festival discussed with close involvement of the audience “hot topics” for the younger generation, including nutrition, consumption and mobility. Thomas Schinko participated in the panel “Lifestyle and sustainability: (how) can one combine the two?”. The session was moderated by two editors of the Austrian newspaper KURIER, who organized the event jointly with MuseumsQuartier.

"Our European lifestyle is not sustainable and may eventually escalate the current climate crisis into a climate disaster. If everyone on this planet would live the way we do in Austria, we would need 2.8 planets Earth. Since we don’t have more than one, we all must change – individually and collectively – and better manage our resources. ", said IIASA scientist Schinko during the discussion.

The panel discussed environmental and health benefits from less meat-heavy diets, the effect of current prices not reflecting actual environmental costs on consumption behaviors, as well as national and international tax and subsidy systems, such as the EU's common agricultural policy (CAP). While bottom-up changes in individual behavior will indeed play an important role in the transition towards a more sustainable society, Thomas Schinko pointed out that it is at least as important to change the top-down political and legislative framework conditions. This is in line with what civil society organizations such as FridaysForFuture, ParentsForFuture or ScientistsForFuture are calling for.

The previous day (May 29, 2019) the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) featured a TV report "Thema" focusing on climate change – the impacts for today and the future, and what can be done to mitigate the problem. The report highlighted the role of contemporary civil society organizations such as FridaysForFuture in terms of raising broad awareness of this important topic.

Austrian researchers from three different institutions were interviewed, IIASA scientist Thomas Schinko among them. He invited the ORF team to the Mühlviertel region in Upper Austria to observe the implementation of a role-play simulation developed within RISK’s research project RESPECT

The RESPECT role-play simulation

The overall aim of the role-play simulation is to support decision makers in closing policy-implementation gaps for climate risk management (CRM) in Austria. Furthermore, the role play method allows for a better understanding of the complex risk and decision context, as well as of the risk management measures, their effectiveness and possible positive and negative effects. The simulation also leads to a better mutual understanding of the actors and enables the joint prioritization and bundling of measures.

The focus of the particular role-play implementation documented in the ORF report was drought risk, one kind of climate-related risk highly relevant for Mühlviertel. In previous years damages resulting from drought events already caused substantial losses in the agricultural and forestry sector. Local actors who also acted as participants in RISK’s role-play simulation vividly described this critical situation in the TV report. The participants rated the role-play simulation as very useful for identifying the often unclear roles and responsibilities in the CRM implementation.

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Last edited: 06 June 2019


Thomas Schinko

Acting Research Group Leader

Equity and Justice Research Group|Population and Just Societies Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 467


Leitner., M., Glas, N., Babcicky, P., & Schinko, T. (2019). Klimarisikomanagement (KRM) in Österreich: Bestandsaufnahme der Stakeholder-Landschaft und der Governance-Strukturen für die Klimarisiken Hochwasser & Trockenheit/Dürre. RESPECT Working Paper No.1. Umweltbundesamt, Wegener Zentrum für Klima- und globalen Wandel (Universität Graz), IIASA

Bednarik, P., Bayer, J., Magnuszewski, P., & Dieckmann, U. (2019). A game of common-pool resource management: Effects of communication, risky environment and worldviews. Ecological Economics 156, 287-292. 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.10.004.

Lintschnig, M., Schinko, T. , Ortner, S., Kienberger, S, Leitner, M., & Glas, N. (2019). Rollen und Verantwortlichkeiten im lokalen Klimarisikomanagement. Handbuch zum Rollenspiel-Workshop Klimarisikomanagement. Graz, Austria: Wegener Center Verlag. ISBN 978-3-9504501-9-4

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