Stefan Flothmann, Global Director of Mindworks — the cognitive science lab of Greenpeace



Stefan Flothmann, Global Director of Mindworks



Stefan Flothmann, Global Director of Mindworks — the cognitive science lab of Greenpeace — joins Alberto Lidji to discuss the use of neuroscience and behavioural science to make campaigns more effective.


Learn what one of the world’s great campaigning organisations is doing to engage with its audiences more effectively, in a manner that is inclusive and empowering.


Stefan has been with Greenpeace since 1993 and has been driving Mindworks over the past few years. He describes Mindworks as a bit of a garage project within Greenpeace, with freedom to innovate and create new ways of working.


At Mindworks, they dig into the latest cognitive science and social psychology to develop new ways and tools to engage people, to do audience research and to shift mindsets that, in turn, help to transform systems.


Their latest project is called ‘The Disrupted Mind’, which they started in response to COVID-19 and it aims to find out what opportunities can arise from a crisis; looking at how to change mindsets and explore how a given crisis can be used to drive positive change.


Insight coming out of this research shows that crises are actually a good time to change mindsets. In normal life, most people have quite a fixed world view; people don’t like surprises and don’t much like to go outside old habits.


When a crisis hits, however, most people are thrown into a state of disorientation and their world view can crumble. It is at this point where one can intervene and say to those who have been impacted: What about changing this or doing that? There is an opportunity to leverage crisis moments for the better.


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About Stefan Flothmann


Stefan Flothmann is the Director of Mindworks, the cognitive science lab of Greenpeace. Mindworks supports Greenpeace in its mission to change mindsets and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Mindworks supports operations in over 40 countries across the world with an emphasis on the Global South, not only for Greenpeace offices but also for other changemakers. The lab is based and funded by Greenpeace East Asia.


Stefan has worked for Greenpeace since 1993 in multiple functions and countries, including as program director for Greenpeace India and Greenpeace East Asia as well as Global Campaign Lead for Climate in Greenpeace International. During his work he created multiple garage projects to evolve the strategic direction of the organization including a consumer network in Greenpeace Germany, a crisis response lab in Greenpeace international and Mindwork in Greenpeace East Asia.


From 2008 to 2010 he has worked for the Pew Charitable Trust as International Director of Ocean Governance. He is a Marine Biologist by training but changed his area of interest from natural to social science as it proved more relevant to solving the environmental challenges of the 21st Century.