Working together is planet’s best hope

We often feel that individual action on issues such as climate change is a pointless exercise but Professor Niki Harre has written two books that show no cause is hopeless if we work together.

Professor Niki Harre

Professor Harre gives her inaugural lecture at the Science Centre to discuss how we can create a shared vision for Aotearoa New Zealand that inspires people in living well together.

In her books, ‘Pscyhology for a Better World’ and ‘The Infinite Game’, published in 2018, she outlined her vision to inspire people to break out of the never-ending competition for material wealth, status and fame and instead focus on the common good.

“It is our deepest values that make us a human family, that connect us and provide reassurance and hope,” she says. “The question that drives my work, is how to engage people in creating a more sustainable and equitable society by working together and it’s something I believe we can do.

“A large body of research in psychology shows that most people's first move in collective settings is to co-operate but when we are constantly told that humans are naturally selfish and competitive, then it’s easy to forget the very human desire to help others.”

Professor Harre is a teacher and researcher in community psychology and the psychology of sustainability at the University. Her most recent research addresses issues of sustainability, citizenship, values and political activism.

This free lecture is open to the public and will be held on Wednesday October 30 at 6pm in the Large Chemistry Lecture Theatre, ground floor, Building 302, 23 Symonds St.

You can register for this event at

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