Climate Story Lab Berlin

Helping Urgent Environmental Stories Go Further

Climate communication is more critical than ever before: we need excellent storytelling to achieve its full potential and reach the audiences that matter. Out of this conviction, we will bring the Climate Story Lab to Berlin to discuss sustainable storytelling with experts. Together, we aim to create innovative, diverse and sustainable climate storytelling approaches and foster transdisciplinary partnerships. The core question will be "How do we tell the climate crisis?"





Location: HRFFB Festival Centre @ BUFA, Oberlandstraße 26-35, 12099 Berlin

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, only a limited number of people can participate in the events in person. However, the entire event and sessions in smaller groups will also be available to virtual participants. Registration is required for online participation, but no participation fee is charged. More about the CONFERENCE TICKETS here.

Tuesday 06.10.2020

09:00 - 09:30: Welcome

Introduction by Anna Ramskogler-Witt (Human Rights Film Festival Berlin) & Vivian Schroder (Impact Producer).

09.30 - 10:20: Key-Note: Climate, Conflict and Conflict Transformation

Andrew Gilmour will speak about the effects of the Climate Crisis on Human Rights.

His presentation is followed by a Q&A.  

10:20 - 11:00: Climate, Conflict & Hunger

This panel will give a deeper insight into the correlation between the climate crisis and its resulting conflicts and hunger.


Networking, Coffee and Cake.

11:15 - 11:30: Quick Intro: Projects 1-3

The creative minds behind the projects are going to give a short insight into their ideas for sustainable climate communication.


1. "The Zimov Hypothesis"
2. "Kippelemente - A Climate Communication Guide".
3. "Menschenrecht vor Bergrecht" / "Human Right before Mining Law". 

11:30 - 12:00: Climate Storytelling & Impact

Amazing Beadie Finzi of our partner DocSociety will give you an insight into the concept of Impact Producing.

12:00 - 13:00: Climate: Race & Gender

With Tonny Nowshin (Climate activist) & Juan Auz (Hertie School of Governance).

When it comes to climate crisis , women and girls⁠ - especially those living in rural areas and those living below the poverty line - are most affected by natural disasters, pollution, oil spills and more and most vulnerable to the climate catastrophy/mostly exposed to climate-related vulnerabilities. As a result, the effects of such disasters generally further exacerbate existing inequalities. For women and people of colour, structural and institutional racism has placed them at the centre of environmental injustices. Particularly POC and indigenous people often face higher rates of exposure to unclean water, pollution, and many have been stripped of their land and resources in the name of modernisation. At the same time, the inclusion of the most vulnerable groups of our global society and the representation of their voices, perspectives and demandsin the media, at climate conferences is desperately lacking. Together with experts, we want to discuss the reasons and ways to change this (to integrate gender and race considerations into climate communication, policies, plans and actions).


Network and enjoy a delicious vegan or vegetarian lunch.

14:00- 15:00 Impact Logic & Impact Campaigning

How can impact be measured, how can we create sustainable campaigns and projects with mesurable impact. Elias Schneider of the Berlin based organisation Phineo will give a short overview on how to develp an impact logic together with Vivian Schröder from Good Pitch. 

15:00 - 15:15: Quick Intro: Projects 4-6

The creative minds behind the projects are going to give a short insight into their ideas for sustainable climate communication.


4. "Climate Monologues".
5. "Future Diaries". 
6. "Camilla Plastic Ocean".


Networking, Coffee and Cake.

15:30 - 16:30: Art, Activism & Climate Change

What role can art and activism play to shake people up, to urge large cooperations corporations to act and motivate politicians to adopt sustainable legislation? We will discuss these questions with the amazing Yes Men, the Peng Collectiv and members of Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion. The discussion will be followed by in-depth breakout sessions.

Break out sessions:

1) Film & Activism
by The YesMan

2) Art & Activism
by Carolijn Terwindt from Peng!

3) Protest & Activism
by Carla Reemtsma from Fridays for Future

4) Action & Activism 
by Cléo Mieulet & Juliane Ried from Extinction Rebellion

16:30 - 17:00: Best Case: Agents of Change

Brighton Kaoma has started a radio show at the age of 14 to discuss climate change in his home country Zambia. In 2015 he co-founded Agents of Change and throughout Africa they are now training teenagers to become journalists and to host their own radio shows. Today he is an Associate of Columbia University, WWF Presidents’ Adwardee and Queen Elizabeth II Youth Leadership Adwardee.

17:00-17:30: Climate & Psychology

Our psychology plays a major role in our perception and action. In this conversation we want to find out why it is so hard for many of us to change our behaviour towards a more sustainable future. We will also explore how communication and storytelling of the climate crisis can inspire and motivate people to change their behaviour withthe importance of personal fates and emotions to make the abstract topic of the climate catastrophe more tangible/concrete.

17:30 - 18:00: Group work: Impact

We end the day with a group work on impact. Taking everything into account what we learned during todays sessions. Thinking about how we can create impact with our tools for our 6 selected projects.

Guests meet Guests

Connect with other participants at the Guests meet Guests.

Wednesday 07.10.2020

9:30 - 9:45: Welcome & Recap

Anna and Vivian will give a short overview of their learnings of the first day and summerise the highlights.

9:45 - 10:20: Dramaturgy & Form

Form follows function – this can also be said for the dramaturgy of your project. Each media form needs to think differently about approaches. You can just create one concept that fits all. Together with Inga von Staden of the Interactive Media Foundation and media scientist William Uricchio we will dive deep into this question.

10:20 - 11:00: Project I - The Zimov Hyphotesis

Presented by Denis Sneguirev & Khadidja Benouataf

The Zimov Hyphotesis is a film by Denis Sneguirev. Produced by Arturo Mio, 13 Productions, Arte, Take Five, Ethnofund

In deepest Siberia, two Russian scientists, Sergey and his son Nikita, are conducting a unique experiment: the Pleistocene Park. In this remote place, the Zimovs want to restore the Siberian steppe ecosystem to save the planet from a environmental disaster: the thawing of permafrost. This frozen soil holds billions of tons of methane beneath the earth's surface. Just a few degrees warmer, and the fragile permafrost will set off its climate bomb. The film follows four seasons of this scientific and philosophical quest



Networking, Coffee & Cake

11:15 - 12:30: Greenpeace on a new campaign trail

First we gain insight into the extensive campaignwork (of Greenpeace before we discuss in smaller groups how different forms of activism can create long-lasting change in break-out-session. Amongs the experts are colleagues from Patagonia,

1. Campaigns & Activism

by Kirsten Brodde from Greenpeace

2. Social Business & Activism

by Roos van de Weerd from Patagonia

3. Facts & Activism

by Carel Mohn from

12:30 - 13:10: Project II - Kippelemente

Presented by Sophie Michel & Selma Weber

Kippelemente is a clearly laid out brochure on sustainable climate crisis communication. The guide offers practical help for media professionals to circumvent negative narratives and to use the power of language in the fight against the climate crisis. It is designed to serve as a basis for workshops to teach the key aspects of climate crisis communication, i.e. help media professionals to understand the effect of their own reports and to put them into words that reach the intended outcome.


Network and enjoy a delicious vegan or vegetarian lunch.

14:00 - 14:15: Introduction: Climate & Facts

Chief Editor of Carel Mohn will give insights into his years of experience with communicating facts, scientific evidence and how these scientific results can play a crucial role in informing people on the one hand and can discourage people on the other hand. A tightrope act.

14:15 - 14:45: Petra Pinzler «Vier fürs Klima» (4 for the climate)

ZEIT journalist and author Petra Pinzler has written a book in 2018 about her family trying to live CO2 neutral for a year. A lot has happened since. What has she learned?

14:45 - 15:30: Climate & Future

Together with our partner Save the Children, we will venture a deeper lookinto the future and see how the Climate Crisis will continue to affect our future (and the one of the following generations) in a even more disastrous way. Together with young climate activists from Nigeria, Kenya, India and Colombia we will hear about their hopes, fears and why they protest every Friday. 

15:30-16:15: Project III - Menschenrecht vor Bergrecht / Human right before mining law

Presented by Ellen Baker

What many people don't know is that in 2020, in Germany, people are facing losing their family homes to coal minig - even as Germany starts its 'coal phase-out'. But one group of villagers are fighting back. Menschenrecht vor Bergrecht is a legal fight led by villagers faced with eviction to make way for the Garzweiler II coal mine. In two separate court challenges, they will tackle the legal question of expropriation, and whether the government's new coal phase-out law goes against Germany's own constitution.


Networking, Coffee & Cake

16:30 - 17:00: Best Case: Taste the Waste

A film by Valentin Thurn

Why do we throw away so much food?
And how can we stop this kind of waste?

Amazing but true: On the way from the farm to the dining-room table, more than half the food lands on the dump. Most of it before it ever reaches consumers. For instance every other head of lettuce or potato.

European households throw away 100 billion Euros worth of food each year. As much as the annual turnover at Nestlé, the world´s largest food corporation. The food we throw away in Europe would be enough to feed all the hungry people in the world two times over.

Why are ever-greater quantities being destroyed? We seek explanations: from supermarket sales staff and managers, from bakers, wholesale market inspectors, welfare recipients, ministers, farmers and EU bureaucrats. It’s a system that we all take part in: Supermarkets constantly have the complete selection of merchandise on offer, the bread on the shelves has to be fresh until late in the evening and everything has to look just right: One withered leaf of lettuce, a crack in a potato or a dent in an apple and the goods are sorted out; containers of yogurt as early as two days before the ‘sell by’ date has expired.

Agriculture is responsible for more than a third of the greenhouse gases worldwide because farming requires energy, fertilizers and land. What’s more, whenever food rots away at a garbage dump, methane escapes into the atmosphere, a climate gas with an effect 25 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. In other words: when we waste half of our food that has a disastrous impact on the world climate.

Agriculture is responsible for more than a third of the greenhouse gases worldwide because farming requires energy, fertilizers and land. What’s more, whenever food rots away at a garbage dump, methane escapes into the atmosphere, a climate gas with an effect 25 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. In other words: when we waste half of our food that has a disastrous impact on the world climate.

17:00 - 17:30: ’Senseless': how artificial intelligence is frying the planet

With  Sheila Hayman

17:30 - 18:00: Climate Crisis & Refugees

Kira Vinke from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) will introdcue the idea of the climate passport, how the idea was born and has gathered voices around the world.

Guests Meet Guests

Connect with other participants at the Guests meet Guests.

Thursday 08.10.2020

09:00 - 09:15: Welcome & Recap

Anna and Vivian will give a short overview of their learnings of the previous day and summerise the highlights.

09:15 - 10:00: Climate & Literature: In conversation with Ilija Trojanow

Jan Sebastian Friedrich-Rust (Aktion gegen den Hunger Germany) will be in conversation with renowned Author Ilija Trojanow on Climate Fiction and on the impact that literature can play.

10:00 - 10:40: Project IV - The Climate Monologues

Presented by Michael Ruf

"The Climate Monologues" is a dodumentary theater play about the consequesnces of climate change on the lives of people in different parts of the world - performed by a network of hundreds of actors in Germany and other countries. 
As several months will be spent to look internationally fot interviewees, even more could be done with the stories. I would love to find ways to develop spin offs: other ways to narrate the stories or how to combine the narratives with other ways of communication.


Networking, Coffee & Cake

11:00 - 11:30: Introduction: Climate Justice

Together with Juan Auz (Hertie School of Governance) we will discuss the meaning of climate justice and why is it so imporant to talk about it.

11.30 – 12.30: Connecting with Others: India & Kenya

Our lovely friends & colleagues in India and Kenya are also hosting shortly climate storytelling conferences and workshops around the time of our lab in Berlin. In this session we will talk about the differences and similarities in the approaches of climate storytelling.

"Coral Woman" documentary by Priya Thuvassery with Sophy Siviraman
"Thank you for the rain" with Emily Wanja and Julius Mbatia

12:30 - 13:10: Project V - Future Diaries

Presented by Alexander Herrmann

Future Diaries is a storyworld set in our century in which 3 competing systems are struggling for domnance on a planet shaken by climate catastrophe. One of them is set around UTOPIA - an algorithm which distributes all resources fair and equal among its users. In our graphic novel series she will send herself back in time to meet YOU on your favorite social media channels - trying to understand this strange species she was creating to help: Humanity.


Network and enjoy a delicious vegan or vegetarian lunch.

14:00 – 15:00: Climate Intervention / Litigation

Discursive, legal, financial and artistic interventions can be effective tools to change the mindset of people and even lead to long-lasting policy changes. After a short info-session, we will have the chance to discuss these approaches with Miriam Saage-Maaß from ECCHR in break-out-sessions.

1) Climate Intervention by Miriam Saage-Maaß from ECCHR

2) Climate & Children's Rights by Susanna Krüger from Save the Children

3) Climate & Finances by Phillippe Singer from Leaders for Future.

4) Climate & Nature by Kristin Reißig from WWF

15:00 - 15:40: Project VI - Camilla Plastic Ocean

Presented by Angelica Böhm

Transmedia Storytelling: Camilla Plastic Ocean Plan

Angelica Boehm founded in 2015 and it has been growing until now. 
The project is a mix of fantasy-setting on environmental problems. It combines arts and filmmaking at Filmuniversity Babelsberg with the scientific expertise from Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. 
A short-story is the red line. Numerous international artists create paintings, concept are, 360 degree-short-movies. VR-expereince and more.


Networking, Coffee & Cake

16:00 - 16:30: Climate & Comedy

The wonderful Belina Raffy gives us a crash course in sustainable stand-up and the power of humor. 

16:30 - 17:00: Best Case Scenario: Theatre - "vollehalle"

It all started with trying to bring the debate around climate crisis into theatre and "vollehalle" was born. Starting in 2017 Martin Oetting and Kai Schächtele have learned a lot on their way to finding a set-up that works and reaches the people. With Maren Kling and Michael Bukowski they are now four on stage: Finding the right balance between not leaving people deflated after the show, but rather inspired has not always been a smooth path.

17:00 - 17:40: Wrap Up

Anna & Vivian will sumerize the last three days for you.

17:00 - 17:40: Public reading by Ilija Trojanow

Ilija Trojanow will talk to us about his book "EisTau". 

Link to information about the book in German:

Guests meet Guests

Connect with other participants at the Guests meet Guests.

Speakers at the Climate Story Lab Berlin (selection)

Submitted projects

In a public call for projects, we have asked storytellers to submit climate related projects. We selected six of these creative storytelling projects to be presented as part of the Climate Story Lab.
In brainstorming sessions, at open-tables and more, input, expertise, partnership or funding will be offered. Together we will work at the submitted projects to make the best storytelling out of it. 

The selected  projects:

The inaugural Lab took place in New York in July 2019, followed by Climate Story Lab UK in London in March 2020 both initiated and organized by DocSociety and Exposure Labs. Watch the video to get some first impressions of the concept.

Date: October 1, 2020

Start: 8:30 am

End: 6:00 pm

More Information


Storytelling can be a powerful tool to expose injustice, fight stigmatization and encourage others to stand up and speak out. On 1 October, we will discuss the impact of best case examples, the risks survivors face and new media guidelines. We will also learn about trauma-sensitive approaches and the need for mindful storytelling. 

Date: October 2, 2020

Start: 8:30 am

End: 5:30 pm

More Information


In many ways, the current coronavirus pandemic serves as a catalyst for distributing lies, misleading information and conspiracy theories. The effects of disinformation, hate speech and populist speech on political life and democratic and social values are now becoming brutally visible. On 2 October, we will discuss strategies for resisting populism, the spread of disinformation and internet and social media use to propagate hate speech.

Date: October 5, 2020

Start: 8:30 am

End: 6:30 pm

More Information


On 5 October, Berlin will host internationally renowned experts from a wide range of fields. Together with experts and storytellers, as well as representatives of German politics and civil society, we will think about how we can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the challenges we face and how to overcome them.

28. JANUARY 2021