While the evidence of climate change and plastic pollution abounds around us, many people still deny the problems and few of us have made substantial and sustained behavioral changes to address them. In two studies, we focus on the impact of art on sustainable behavior. Art sometimes makes us see things differently and put ourselves in the picture. How can art be used to communicate the need to make difficult behavior changes, such as the need to live a more sustainable life or reduce our consumption of plastic? In the first study, forthcoming at the Academy of Management Journal, we investigate social entrepreneurs’ use of multimodal (visual images and verbal interactions) online and offline to influence people to live a plastic-free life. In the second study, still underway, we examine the effects of the Plastic Entanglements exhibition at the Palmer Museum on stimulating reflexivity about plastic and our relationship to it.
This is part of Smeal's Center for the Business of Sustainability Research Seminar Series.