Dr Lorena Pasquini
Lorena has a background of both research and practice into a range of issues that sit at the crossroads between society and the environment. Over the last 20 years she has worked as a researcher, fundraiser, consultant, practitioner, project manager and lecturer. After her PhD, Lorena worked for the Working on Fire Programme, one of South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programmes, where she developed first-hand experience of the realities of adapting the country to the impacts of climate change.
Thereafter, she went back into academia, spending most of her time at the University of Cape Town, where she is still an Honorary Research Associate. Her research spans the interrelated areas of individual, organisational and institutional change towards greater sustainability and resilience to the impacts of global changes, focusing on the “wicked problem” of climate change. The unifying theme of her research is exploring the key factors and processes that could drive transformative change in society – at various levels – towards a more sustainable and resilient future. Some of her areas of specific research work and expertise on climate change include: the governance of climate change issues at local government, urban and policy-making levels; climate change psychology, engagement, communication and behaviour change; climate change risk, vulnerability and adaptation; transformations to sustainability; and climate change health impacts and vulnerability. Lorena is a World Social Science Fellow in Sustainable Urbanization (International Social Science Council) and a contributing author to the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (Africa chapter, section on climate change perceptions).
Currently, she works for Just Share, a South African non-profit shareholder activism organisation. Just Share exercises the rights and powers of shareholders, using evidence-based research and strategic advocacy and activism, to force recognition of the role that the private sector should play in driving urgent action to combat climate change and reduce inequality.
When not working, Lorena's normally involved in some sport or activity, particularly in the great outdoors.