Advocacy for sustainability communication: Unseen potential of queer communicators in environmental, climate change and sustainability science

Franzisca Weder*, Swastika Samanta

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The story of climate change, of destruction and loss, is well represented in mass media around natural hazards and new scientific data (i.e., the newest IPCC report); in contrast, new concepts of restoration, eco-cultural identities, social change and sustainable development are not picked up in public discourses—similarly to how the voices of NGO communicators, activists or queer communicators are not heard in the media. Additionally, the growth of digital publishing technologies and related audience behavior not only influence public communication processes, but also challenge professional communicators, including journalists and PR professionals to scientists, artists and activists. With a series of explorative interviews in different cultural settings (Central Europe, Australia, New Zealand), we can show that queer communicators have the potential to cultivate a new understanding of sustainability communication as social conversation about sustainability, and thus, overcome the very visible old story about climate change and rather propagate the new story of sustainability and transformation. The interviews show that queer communicator advocacy focuses on mobilizing and initiating dialectic conversations, which includes community building and queering existing norms, thus choosing new pathways for communication for sustainability. The findings and the developed concept of advocacy for sustainability communication are discussed at the end of the paper, including a reflection on the limitations of the explorative character of the analysis and future research potential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13871
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Advocacy
  • Agency
  • Problematization
  • Queering
  • Science communication
  • Sustainability communication

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