by Matteo Nicolosi, Re-Imagine Europa & Narratives Observatory combatting Disinformation in Europe Systemically (NODES).
“Immigrants steal our jobs”; “Companies and rich people don’t pay taxes”; “Climate change is an invention of the elites”. Narratives are all around and the main vehicle for citizens to understand the world and share ideas and beliefs. They are the main structures that our mind uses to understand and organise reality, and they can influence public opinion, policy decisions, and societal attitudes.
Narratives are key to bringing people from different backgrounds together by enabling shared values to emerge and bridging the gap between diverse perspectives and needs. At the same time, they are also an effective tool to polarise discussions on controversial topics and manipulate the public debate.
Understanding how narratives are created, spread and impact society is therefore crucial for society, and this is the main objective of the Narratives Observatory combatting Disinformation in Europe Systemically (NODES), a research project co-funded by the European Commission and led by the European think tank Re-Imagine Europa that brings together the knowledge and expertise of leading institutions such as Agence France-Presse (AFP), the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), PlusValue, Sotrender, Science Feedback, and Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia.
The NODES project leverages this power to study and deconstruct divisive narratives, analysing the underlying values to shape novel narratives that can help bridge the gap between diverse perspectives and needs. By applying the innovative Narratives Methodology developed by Re-Imagine Europa, the project aims to promote empathy between stakeholders with different agendas and perspectives, thus fostering the creation of positive narratives and constructive dialogue.
NODES builds on the assumption that informed decision-making is the cornerstone of a resilient society by unravelling the complexities underlying the topics of climate change, migration, and COVID-19, which have been selected as the starting point of the pilot project. The project aims to empower individuals, policymakers, and communities to make evidence-based choices that shape a more equitable and sustainable future.
A Special Expert Roundtable on Climate Change Narratives
On October 9th, 2023, NODES will convene a special expert roundtable, co-hosted and introduced by EPP’s MEP Nils Torvalds, to bring together leading thinkers, practitioners, policymakers and experts from institutions, CSOs and NGOs working in the fields of climate change, disinformation and polarisation, to provide an analytical overview of the evolution in climate change narratives, examining their implications and trajectory.
Professor Andrzej Nowak, Chief Narrative Scientist of Re-Imagine Europa and head of the project’s research, and Professor David Chavalarias, Research Director at CNRS and Director of the Complex Systems Institute of Paris IdF, will present and provide some insights on the preliminary results of the NODES research on Climate Change, the first of three topics (together with Covid-19 and Migrations) on which NODES has committed to research in four different languages (English, French, Spanish and Polish). The workshop will be held in a hybrid setup, allowing people who can’t be present in person to listen to the project’s presentation.
Explore the NODES.EU website, and join our community!
NODES is designed to support policymakers, researchers, journalists, and civic society organisations dealing with disinformation and harmful narratives, but also to those citizens interested in finding shared solutions for the issues that are the subject of the project’s study.
If you’re passionate about countering divisive narratives, combatting disinformation, and fostering evidence-informed public debate on critical global issues, you can explore the project’s insights, engage with NODES’ research, and become a part of a community working to build a better-informed, less polarised world. Join the transformative effort to unleash the power of narratives for a better tomorrow!
Matteo Nicolosi, Digital Communications and Policy Officer, Re-Imagine Europa & Narratives Observatory combatting Disinformation in Europe Systemically (NODES).