Dr. Karen O’Brien, a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, will deliver a lecture, “Climate Change: It’s a Relationship Problem,” on October 25 at 4 p.m. in the Steger Hall Auditorium on the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech. A Zoom webinar option is also available.

O’Brien is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo, Norway. She is an internationally recognized expert on climate change and society, focusing on themes such as climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation including how climate change interacts with globalization processes and the implications for human security.

She is interested in how transdisciplinary and integrated approaches to global change research can contribute to a better understanding of how societies both create and respond to change, and particularly the role of beliefs, values, and worldview in transformations to sustainability. She is passionate about what potential there is in quantum social theory and the implications for climate change responses.

She is the co-founder and partner in cCHANGE, an Oslo-based company. cCHANGE is a beacon for individuals and organizations seeking a new perspective, inspiration, knowledge, and tools on climate change and sustainability transformations.

O’Brien was named by Web of Science as one of the world’s most influential researchers of the past decade in 2019 and 2020. In 2019 she received a Research Excellence Award from the AAG Human Dimensions Specialty Group. In 2021 she was co-recipient of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Climate Change.

Seminar sponsors include the Department of Political Science,
the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the Institute for Policy and Governance, the Global Change Center, the Fralin Life Sciences Institute, the Community Change Collaborative, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.

Seating capacity in Steger Hall will be reduced to 50 percent, for a total of 70 seats available. Admittance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Students encouraged to attend for class credit should plan to join virtually via Zoom. All university policies will be followed, including required masking.

For questions and information, please contact Laura Zanotti at lzanotti@vt.edu.