About the Institute
The Winchester Institute for Climate and Social Justice is a dynamic and transformative hub of knowledge and action dedicated to addressing the pressing challenges of our time. Our mission is to provide a platform for holistic and interdisciplinary exploration, collaboration, and advocacy at the intersection of the humanities, media, and climate/social justice.
Our Core Principles
Our institute recognises that today's complex issues require nuanced understanding. We are committed to fostering an environment where individuals can engage in deep, contextual learning that goes beyond the surface and embraces the complexity of our challenges. Through seminars, workshops, and immersive experiences, we aim to empower participants with the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary to navigate the intricate landscape of climate change and social justice issues.
Meaningful progress often emerges from diverse perspectives coming together. We believe in the power of collaboration across disciplines. Our institute encourages scholars, activists, artists, and professionals from various backgrounds to collaborate on research projects that examine the multifaceted dimensions of climate change and social justice. We aim to uncover innovative solutions and generate impactful insights by leveraging collective expertise.
Action Research Methodologies
Beyond academic inquiry, we are dedicated to the principle of action research. We understand that change requires more than words; it demands tangible action. Our institute seeks to bridge the gap between theory and practice by engaging in projects addressing climate and social justice issues. We aim to be at the forefront of advocacy, policy reform, and community-driven initiatives, making a real difference in the world.
We believe meaningful change begins with personal and societal transformation. Our institute is committed to creating spaces for individuals to reflect, question, and evolve their perspectives. Through artistic expressions, media narratives, and community engagement, we aspire to inspire transformative thinking, leading to a more just, sustainable, and equitable world.
Recognising the critical role of policy and governance in climate and social justice, we actively engage in advocacy and political discourse. Our institute seeks to influence policy decisions, advocate for ethical and sustainable practices, and promote local, national, and global social justice. We aim to be a driving force in shaping policies prioritising the planet's well-being and its inhabitants.
We invite individuals and organisations committed to pursuing knowledge, justice and sustainability to join us on this transformative journey. Together, through the intersections of the humanities, media, and climate/social justice praxes, we can examine, transform and create a brighter future for all.
Current Collaborative Partners/Consultancies
- BBC World Service
- Christian Aid
- Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC)
- Big Green Week
- Extinction Rebellion (Winchester)
Current action-research projects
- Hot Topics: Key Stage II Hip Hop Environmentalist Learning Resource.
- Our Lady of Climate Justice: An Icon for climate justice reflection for Key stage II
- Singing Climate Justice: Gospel songs intersecting racial justice and climate justice
- Stop It! AI technology in support of injustice policing practices.
- Documentary film: The future of the Commonwealth from the bottom up
News and Events
Nov. 2023: In an interview with PBS News Hour, Prof. Robert Beckford supports calls by Caribbean nations for the royal family to pay reparations for slavery. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript.
"The only way, as an economic entity, is to dig into your own profits from this genocide and make recompense. And I'd expect King Charles to do just that." Prof. Robert Beckford
Oct. 2023: In a blog for Black History Month, Prof. Robert Beckford explains why those who profited from the trans-Atlantic slave trade must pay reparations, and why this issue is so personal to him. Read Prof. Beckford's blog.
29 November 2022: Prof. Robert Beckford as one of the Keynote Speakers at Race for Climate Justice, The Africa Centre, central London. Uniting climate activists from ethnic minority communities, faith leaders and people from climate organisations, this event aims to celebrate, connect and share learning around inclusive ways of creating an environment within the mainstream climate justice movement in which black and brown voices are valued and heard.
On 13 October 2022, we were honoured to welcome eminent climate scientist Professor Bill McGuire. In a talk titled Hothouse Earth: an inhabitant's guide, Prof. McGuire explained the science behind the climate crisis and presented a blunt picture of the sort of world our children will grow old in and our grandchildren grow up in.
"The next ice age has probably been postponed", Prof. McGuire told his audience of staff, students and members of the public. "Even though we were well on our way to the next one." The climate scientist discussed devastating effects such as dramatic sea level rise, tsunamis, landslides and the possible shutting down of the already weak AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a system of ocean currents), which would cause cooling and sea level rise in the Northern Hemisphere. He also highlighted social effects such as increased conflict and war, famine and forced migration as vast areas of low-lying land become submerged.
"Climate scientists don't shout loudly enough and politicians don't want to know", he said, urging people suffering from climate anxiety to become climate activists and swell the grassroots ranks calling for urgent action.
climate scientist Professor Bill McGuire and ICSJ Director Prof. Robert Beckford
On 2 October 2022, Prof. Beckford was a guest speaker at the Rally for the Earth event at Winchester Cathedral, as part of Winchester Green Week. Find out more about Winchester Green Week and Rally for the Earth.
The ICSJ led on our student engagement with COP26, the crucial climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021. Three students travelled to Glasgow along with ICSJ Director Prof. Robert Beckford, to add their voices to the growing chorus calling for urgent action on climate change. Prof. Beckford also took part in a major climate engagement event in Glasgow Cathedral, alongside the Kingdom Choir and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. To find out more about the University's response to COP26, explore the COP26 webpage.
Contact the Institute
Background image by Callum Shaw on Unsplash