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Masterclass event: a new conversation with the centre-right about energy and climate change‏

t f y l w

Join our masterclass: Wed 11 May, London

Climate change cannot be the concern of a relatively small number of committed environmentalists – it demands a response from across society, and in particular, from across the political spectrum. Climate change is often perceived as a left-wing issue and many on the centre-right have felt alienated from the climate conversation. If we are to break through this political barrier, the values and concerns of centre-right audiences must be adequately addressed when communicating about climate and energy.

This masterclass is designed for policymakers, advocates and campaigners from across the political spectrum whose work involves engaging people on the centre-right with climate and energy issues. Focussed around small ‘c’ conservative values, this interactive and participatory event lead by George Marshall will provide participants with a toolkit for generating constructive conversations and compelling campaigns, based on our growing body of work in this field.

For more details and to register →

Learn more about our Climate Visuals resource and our Faith project


Images are a crucial part of communication and storytelling. They have the power to reach people in ways that the written word can’t. And yet research into how people interpret and respond to climate change images has been limited to a handful of studies.

Our Climate Visuals project is the first of its kind, filling a critical gap – an evidence-based report into what makes for effective visual communication with an accompanying image library resource.  Last week we ran a webinar presenting our 7 principles for visual climate change communication, which generated lots of interest from participants from across the world.

If you have been using or plan to use the insights from Climate Visuals in your work, please tell us how! We are collecting examples of this project’s impact and would love to hear from you – please simply reply to this email. Thank you very much for your feedback.

Watch our Climate Visuals webinar →

On Monday, religious leaders delivered an interfaith climate change statement to the President of the UN General Assembly at an official event in New York. Faith shapes the values and behaviour of billions of people. We believe that for climate communicators both within and outside faith communities, there is a need to better understand the language that engages people of faith.  Join our webinar on 26 April to find out more about our international multifaith research – in particular, five narratives about climate change that work across faiths.

Register for our faith webinar →


Climate conversations: more than magic words

Recently there were some interesting reactions to a paper in Nature Climate Change on the value of framing climate messages. This opinion piece challenged the efficacy of using different frames to communicate climate change – suggesting that ‘magic words’ do not have any effect on people’s deep-rooted values and worldviews.

Framing messages about climate change in ways that resonate with people’s values is one of our key areas of expertise and, we argue, a crucial first step in building wider and deeper public engagement. As we highlighted in our own opinion piece, it’s true that there are no ‘magic words’ – but there are definitely better and worse ways of starting a conversation, and using the right language is about starting a productive dialogue, not ‘winning an argument.’ Change begins with conversations.

Read our blog on framing →

Speaking of conversations, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the figurehead for climate science at a global level, has recently been having discussions about how to communicate their findings more effectively. We attended and contributed to the first IPCC meeting dedicated to communication, where it was resolved to improve the communication of the IPCC’s findings through much closer engagement with communications expertise – a proposal we advocated for and are delighted to see.

Kind regards,
Jamie Clarke
Executive Director

Society for the Furtherance of Critical Philosophy

SFCP Bulletin

February 2016


Welcome to our bulletin, to bring you up to date on upcoming activity and information related to Socratic Dialogues that you may wish to attend.

Rene Branton- Saran

Many of you know Rene, who has been a wonderful ambassador of SFCP and a life involved in Socratic Dialogue, Rene has now decided to step down as a trustee and is now an Honorary Fellow of the Society.

Jayne Crow

We are very lucky to be able to announce that Jayne Crow is now a trustee with the Society. Jayne has worked in the caring sector for many years and is also a trained facilitator with the Society. She alongside Pat Wood is mainly responsible for the success of the Socratic Dialogue offer which takes place throughout the year in Southend on Sea.

Mitko Ivanov

Mitko is based in Bulgaria and is a philosophy lecturer, as well as a facilitator trained alongside other Bulgarian colleagues by SFCP. He is now responsible for developing our website and is currently updating it. If you have any thoughts or ideas on what you would like to see incorporated into the website, please let us know.

We are currently in the process of putting some video talking heads on the website; the first of these will be Rene.

London Marathon

Look out for our runner Dave Pitt, who will be running for SFCP in this year’s London Marathon. Any monies raised will be used to support and grow our Socratic Dialogue facilitator base. Training to become a Socratic Dialogue facilitator requires individuals to take part in a number of Socratic Dialogues; they then undertake a training course that includes both theory and practice. The training course can take up to two years to complete and does require a big commitment from those wishing to become trained facilitators. If you would like to make a donation please do so via the SFCP charity page on the ‘my donate’ website.


Dave Pitt personal profile

In order to escape the brutality of school rugby, I began running at school and have been running, racing and fitness-training myself ever since for over 40 years. I ran the first London Marathon back in 1981 and subsequently have run 7 more and am now training for this last attempt at sub 3.00 hours before age catches up with me.

I have raced for Thames Valley Harriers, Serpentine and London Irish on the road, cross country and track and I am still a (semi)-competitive runner albeit amongst the Masters Runners, and am hoping to compete in the World Masters Games in Auckland next year.

I’m from Birmingham originally, but moved to London in 1976 to work as a youth worker in Notting Dale.  After nearly 30 years of community work, I then spent 6 years running a bar and music venue within a community setting. Now, in a yet another career change, have become a fitness instructor and personal trainer. I specialise in working with older people who wish to maintain strength and endurance. My first female client ran a personal best in the London Marathon in 2015, improving by 5 minutes and running a time of 4hours 23 minutes at the age of 74. I live in West London with my partner Tina, and our new kitten, Hattie.


Events that may be of interest to you

Socratic Dialogues in Southend on Sea, on the following Saturdays at

Nazareth House St Joseph’s, 111 London Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1PP

  • Saturday 7th May
  • Saturday 12th November

These dialogues will be facilitated by Jayne Crow.

Café Philo on the Isle of Wight

These take place in various libraries on the Isle of Wight.

Socratic Café

Takes place once a month in London. It uses some of the approaches that may be familiar to those of you who have attended a Socratic Dialogue before. An ethical question is discussed in a relaxed friendly setting and we have three rules

  • Speak from your own experience
  • Theories are left at the door
  • Active listening for understanding

The next café philo takes place at The Uxbridge Arms Public House 6.30 – 9.00 p.m. in Notting Hill on Saturday 5th March. The pub is an old traditional British pub serving real ales.

Nearest tube Notting Hill Gate or Kensington High Street.

If you would like more information on Café Philo or Socratic Café please don’t hesitate to contact us via this e mail address.

Upcoming Socratic Dialogues taking place in Germany

As some of you may know there are regular Socratic Dialogues which take place in Germany. For full details and enrolment form please visit www.sfcp.org.uk

Hannover, 19th March 16.00 hours – 24th March 13.00 hours

Vander Lemes:  What is an altruistic act? [SD in English]

Springe, Near Hannover 29th July 16.00 hours – 31st July 13.00 hours

Sarah Banks: When is it right to stop helping? [SD in English]

Springe, Near Hannover 31st July 16.00 hours – 3rd August 13.00 hours

Marije Altorf: When should I judge? (SD in English)

Munster, near Dortmund 30th Sept 16.00 hours – 2nd October 13.00 hours

Angella Hodgson: What does it mean to ‘be valued’? [SD in English]


2 day Socratic Dialogue taking place in Carlisle, (near the Lake District

Carlisle, (Border City between England and Scotland) nearest airports Glasgow Prestwick, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool.

Saturday 28th  (9.30 – 5.00)  and Sunday 29th May (9.30 – 1.00)

Our question will be  ‘When should I prioritise my own needs over others?’

Facilitator Angella Hodgson

This will take place in the border city of Carlisle, ideal location for those of you who wish to take advantage of the bank holiday weekend and stay on longer or use it as a base to travel around the Lake District.

If you want further information please e mail angellahodgson@yahoo.co.uk

Small Grants

If the only thing stopping you attending a Socratic Dialogue is finance, please feel free to apply for a small grant to cover your costs. The process is simple and quick and we particularly welcome those who have never attended a Socratic Dialogue before, as well as though in education and the caring professions, students and those living on universal benefits.



Venue Use


Venues – we are always searching for reasonably priced venues throughout the U.K. preferably with availability at the weekend as well as during the week. If your organization has a room to let at preferential rates to charities please let us know.

If you know of anyone who might be interested in participating in a future dialogue, please ask them to email socraticdialogue@sfcp.org.uk and we will add them to our mailing list.


Please note, in keeping with our confidentiality policy, your contact details will not be shared with other people registered with SfCP or passed on to any other organizations.

Southend educators become Borough’s biggest solar generators | Southend-on-Sea Borough Council‏

Visit the Southend Borough Council website for more information.

Socratic Dialogues 2016 Dates & Venue





Dates for 2016:

Saturday 13th February

Saturday 7th May

Saturday 12th November

(Flyers and Enrolment Forms will be circulated nearer each date)


Time: 09.30 – 16.30

Coffee & Tea available at 9.30 to ensure a prompt start at 10.00

Lunch 12.30 to 13.30 (participants can either bring a packed lunch or purchase food from shops near the venue).


Venue: Nazareth House St Joseph’s

111 London Road





There is a small enrolment fee of £10 to help cover the cost of renting the venue. While ideally this fee should be paid in advance payment by cash or a cheque made out to SfCP can be made on the day.




SfCP Contact Person: Pat Wood

If you have any queries please contact Pat by email

woodly@fastmail.co.uk or by text on 07867 556

Cancelled – SE Essex Women’s Environmental Network – Free event

Get Involved: Understanding Parliament

South East Essex Women’s Environmental Network has invited the Houses of Parliament Outreach Team
to present a two-hour workshop to help us better understand how Parliament works and how best we
can lobby and make our views known, understand how Parliament works and learn how to campaign.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

6.45 for 7.00 pm start

Friends Meeting House
18 Dundonald Drive

Please contact Sharon of South Essex WEN on 07947 655947.

Booking is essential as places are limited.

Please phone after 6 PM.

Poster attached – Get Involved poster a.pdf