The language of debate & communication about climate change in Flanders



Palace of the Academies, Brussels

The language of debate & communication about climate change in Flanders


Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten

Activiteit in het kader van de Denkerscyclus 

Language never simply represents facts but always also conveys stance, often in half-hidden ways. This colloquium wants to raise awareness of the importance of language as a medium in the debate about climate change and climate action, which engages people not only cognitively, but also socially and emotionally. 

At the final colloquium of “The language of debate and communication about climate change” Kjersti Fløttum and Mike S. Schäfer presented their analysis of climate change communication in Flanders, and formulated recommendations for enhanced and inclusive communication.

Representatives from education, media management, science communication, government, and citizen initiatives were invited to respond to the recommendations and reflect on their implications for Flanders. Participants were involved in this reflection during afternoon break-out sessions.


Welcome and introduction. Presentation of the report by the thinkers. Panel reactions
Reporting from the break out groups


1 Registration 09:30 - 10:00
2 Welcome and introduction 10:00 - 10:30
Elisabeth Monard, President KVAB (speaker)


3 Presentation of the report by the thinkers 10:30 - 11:30
Kjersti Flottum, Thinker-in-residence (speaker)
Mike Schäfer, Thinker-in-residence (speaker)
4 Panel reactions 11:30 - 12:45
Nic Balthazar, (panel member)
Peter Boussemaere, (panel member)
Kim Buyst, (panel member)
Barbara Debusschere, (panel member)
Pascale Mertens, (moderator)
05 Lunch 12:45 - 14:00
6 Break-out groups 14:00 - 15:00
  • Citizen initiatives (Nic Balthazar)
  • Journalism (Barbara Debusschere)
  • Education (Samuël Fouret) 
  • Science communication (Steven Janssens)​
  • Government (Lorenzo Terrière)

7 Reporting from the groups 15:00 - 16:00


8 Closing 16:00 - 16:30
9 Reception 16:30 - 17:30