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What does extreme weather mean for us?
Episode 326th March 2024 • So, now what? • Gates Cambridge
00:00:00 00:35:10

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The episode explores the topic of extreme weather and its impact on communities and asks: What does extreme weather mean for us?

The speakers highlight the importance of connecting research to real-world impacts and the need for collective action. They discuss the devastating losses of climate disasters, the challenges of adaptation and the power of nature. They also emphasise the importance of empowering marginalised communities and amplifying their voices in climate action. 

In addition, the episode explores innovations in policy, including capacity building, local action and storytelling - getting local communities affected by climate change to tell their stories. 

We conclude by encouraging listeners to ask questions, take climate action, and connect to local initiatives.


  • Extreme weather events have devastating consequences, including the loss of traditions, cultures, and intangible heritage.
  • Collective action and collective intelligence are crucial in addressing climate change and its impacts.
  • Youth empowerment and inner well-being are essential for building resilience and creating a sustainable future.
  • Data, responsible AI, and storytelling play a significant role in tackling misinformation and driving climate action.
  • Innovations in climate policy include capacity building, community empowerment, and inclusive decision-making.



Introduction and Climate Reality


Experiences in Extreme Environments


Impact of Extreme Weather Events


Bringing People and Voices into Climate Action


Unseen Consequences of Extreme Weather


Loss of Traditions and Indigenous Knowledge


Finding Balance and Adapting to Extreme Weather


Challenges in Super Tanker Countries


Proving the Urgency of Collective Action


Leveraging Data and Responsible AI


Innovation in Climate Policy


Recognizing the Importance of Nature


Inner Development Goals and Wisdom


Tackling Misinformation and Polarization


Innovation in Policy and Climate Action


Taking Action and Asking Questions


Dr Ramit Debnath @RamitDebnath is a university assistant professor and an academic director at the University of Cambridge. He is a fellow of Churchill College and Cambridge Zero and has visiting role at Caltech. Ramit sits on the steering committee of Cambridge's new Centre for Human-Inspired AI (CHIA). With a background in electrical engineering and computational social sciences, Ramit designs collective intelligence approaches to provide a data-driven, complex system-level understanding of barriers to climate action in the Anthropocene, their interactions, and how these translate to leverage points for policy and behavioural interventions at scale.

Songqiao Yao @songqiaoyao is the founder of WildBound, an innovative sustainability and education venture that empowers sustainability leadership through expeditions, advocacy and creative expressions. Prior to founding WildBound, Songqiao gained her interdisciplinary and cross-cultural experience as a researcher, activist and entrepreneur working on global issues such as food, water and climate change. She has worked on China-EU, China-US projects on climate change and has consulted for agriculture and private sector development in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.

Victoria Herrmann @VSHerrmann is the managing director of The Arctic Institute, a National Geographic Explorer and Assistant Research Professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service where her research focuses on Arctic cooperation and politics and climate change adaptation in the US and US Territories. Herrmann is also an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) IF/THEN Ambassador and works to empower girls and women in STEM. She has been named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 40 under 40 list, a North American Young Leader by Friends of Europe and one of 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy worldwide by Apolitical.




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