NeuroClima: Connecting Policymakers and Citizens through AI-powered Tools to Facilitate the Green Transition

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Will the European Union achieve the goal of becoming climate resilient by 2050? Are we ready for an Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change that is smart, swift, and systemic enough? How could we design efficient, effective, initiatives and approaches that meaningfully include citizens in the shaping, proposition, and application of climate-related policies? 

NeuroClima, a project led by the Department of Design at Politecnico di Milano, aims to promote and support the EU Adaptation Strategy by raising citizen’s awareness about climate resilience strategies and building a “nervous system” that connects policymakers, public institutions, and citizens through innovative tools that combine artificial intelligence and human capabilities. The initiative is a three-year Research and Innovation Initiative funded by the European Union under the Horizon Europe program (HORIZON-CL5-2023-D1-01-09), which started on January 1, 2024, and will run until December 31, 2026. It will provide best practices and ensure sustainable use of climate change adaptation and resilience solutions. By collaborating with other EU-funded initiatives, NeuroClima will develop frameworks, toolkits, and solutions to address climate change challenges.

The consortium also integrates  Centro de Apoio Tecnológico Agro Alimentar, the engineering company Epsilon, the University of Oulu, the software agency ITML, INFINITIVITY DESIGN LABS, the consultancy company specialised in sustainable development Truenique, the research and educational organization STANDO LTD, the SME specializing in AI-Based solutions Novelcore, the non-profit organisation working on promoting mental health and well-being IASIS, Future In Perspective Limited (FIPL), specialised in the development of innovative educational materials; PredictBy, a research and consulting firm focused on social, behavioural and data science;  the leading European think-tanks CEPS  and Re-Imagine Europa, both with strong in house research capabilities; and the organization Inspiring Futures, which works on digital governance, technology diplomacy, and democratic innovation.  

Re-Imagine Europa is responsible for developing and applying the communication and dissemination plan and strategy. Building on the experience and expertise acquired in multiple in-house and EU-funded projects, RIE will build solid communication across multiple mediums and social media channels aiming for an impact that may span well over 2030. In addition, building on the work developed under the NODES project, Re-Imagine Europa will provide insights and research that will increase the understanding of narratives around climate change.


Reliable data and emotions

Considering that climate change has a significant impact on citizen’s personal and professional lives, the use of reliable data is crucial for the explanation and adoption of new policies. In addition, arguing that citizens not only make decisions based on logic but also on emotions, policymakers should also consider citizens’ concerns, habits, mental models and predisposition for the creation as well as the communication of these measures. Analysing and understanding the narratives around climate change that dominate the public sphere is crucial to being able to design and successfully implement policies to foster climate adaptation and resilience.

One of the key goals of the project is to conduct in-depth research to identify citizens’ needs, challenges, and expectations, thus fostering a continuous dialogue among stakeholders to develop concrete proposals to facilitate the green transition while enhancing trust in institutions.

The initiative will connect policymakers, public institutions and citizens through an innovative decision-support system that combines artificial intelligence and human capabilities. The technical solutions provided will allow the establishment of a bidirectional monitoring and understanding of both citizens’ needs and the reasons why certain policies are launched, thus fostering the co-creation of activities and a mutual understanding between citizens and policymaking institutions.

Besides two pilots to assess the impact and applicability of proposed innovations, NeuroClima will deliver three toolkits for stakeholders and citizens on participatory design, creative writing, cinematography, animation and performing arts. These toolkits foster inclusive and widespread participation, educate citizens of all ages, and facilitate participatory workshops regarding the adoption, implementation, and dissemination of EU climate initiatives.

You can find more about NeuroClima in the website or follow the project’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo).