Climate Change Problem-Solution Respondents

Project start and end dates:
November 2019 to July 2020

Goals & Objectives
Extreme weather events are a growing concern around the world. Environment & Climate Change Canada says Canada is warming at 2x the world average. Climate change issue affects current as well as future generations and are necessary now. We set out to investigate if there is a need for a solution that gives citizens personalized help preparing for and recovering from climate change impacts and lets trusted authorities assist them and track the results.

We investigated by conducting primary and secondary research. The study used a mixed-methods design to integrate quantitative and qualitative data.

We randomly surveyed Canadian citizens on SurveyMonkey to better understand the level of awareness of climate change action and the readiness to act by use of climate change action platform.

The survey consisted of multiple-choice questions with predefined answers providing respondents with the options to choose and rank them on a ‘Strongly Disagree’ to ‘Strongly Agree’ and ‘Definitely would not’ to ‘Definitely would’ scale.

This was followed problem-solution interviews with 110 Canadians across all provinces and territories.

The initial problem-solution concept we identified was the result of a great deal of market and technical research taking place over the course of a year (some of those projects are listed on this website). To date, over one hundred Canadian, American, and Australian students from over twenty courses have been involved, using the Riipen platform (Riipen is an experiential learning projects platform that links students and employers. The students gain hands-on experience, demonstrate employable skills and network with employers).

The people we interviewed consisted of officials from the three level of government, faith-based organizations, business, ordinary citizens and members of NGOs.

We performed video interviews with them using Zoom, during which we asked them to validate and rank a set of problem statements and then provide further detail on the reason for their chosen priorities.

Project Outcome

Our greatest finding was the willingness of citizens to take some level of personal  responsibility and use climate change impact platform to help themselves, their neighbors and community plan for, mitigate and recover from climate change disasters.

We also discovered that although some citizens (often in rural areas) were significantly less likely to believe climate change was anthropogenic, but they believed strongly in the importance of environmental conservation and more empowered to take action to preserve it. In contrast, an overwhelming majority of Canadians (especially in urban areas) did believe climate change existed and was caused by humans, but a significant amount felt despair and although they were willing to act, most did not know how they could take meaningful personal action to avoid, mitigate, or recover from climate change disasters.

Communication and trust were key issues that kept arising. Unsurprisingly, the definition of “trusted authority” was contentious to some respondents. It is clear that trusted authorities can become less trusted over time, and that fake news is a problem. We are planning a future project which will focus on this issue in greater detail.

We have published our initial high level results in a PDF file, which can be shared and reused for non-commercial purposes, on our website. We plan to publish more information including our prototype concepts later this year.



We would like to thank Canadian citizens, NGOs, academics and scientists, businesses, faith-based leaders, and officials at all levels of government, for taking the time to interview with us and respond to our survey questions.

Related Project

Climate Change Impact Planner
When it comes to climate change adaptation and mitigation, we believe there is a critical communication gap between government officials, scientists, and experts (“trusted authorities”), and ordinary citizens. As citizens, we do not know what specific actions we can take to avoid, mitigate, adapt to, or recover from the effects of climate change in our personal situation (such as in our home and neighborhood). Even if we do act, trusted authorities do not know if we are following their guidance and cannot study the effectiveness of our actions. The anticipated product will use satellite Earth Observations, big data, and machine learning to identify past climate change impacts and predict future impacts. It will focus on end users and stakeholders (such as municipal governments or insurance companies) who need to understand and plan around climate change impacts without requiring them to know the underlying science or technology.