Make a Ch@nge!

Posted On: 07/15/16

By: Ilka Kuhagen   

This research project was triggered by the 2015 One Young World Summit and supports a project on climate change, identifying individual effects, what is happening in different parts of the world, and what if anything can be done to make a change.

Every year IKM gets involved in a volunteer project with self-funded research to test promising new tools and provide insights to not-for-profit organizations.


There are new platforms and new ways of doing digital qualitative research: What difference do they make when analyzing social media and listening to opinion leaders and key users? How can we get thoughtful answers from global thought leaders in five different continents, within a few days? And how can image projectives be used in an online survey to add to deeper understandings? Can we make a change?


We brought together a multicultural group of young professionals from around the globe who are highly engaged, very smart, and who had ideas they wanted people to hear.

An online survey with images as projective technique conveyed quickly all the emotions and fears about climate change in the different parts of the world.

An online community allowed for a deeper discussion of the activities and solutions on an individual level.

Analyzing the background noise in social media with qualitative tools showed that while climate change is a hot topic, there is huge fear and extreme opinions are voiced.


Transformation in qualitative research is happening right now. New media and communication channels, as well as Big Data, present challenges but also offer new tools and methods.

As qualitative researchers we need to leverage these tools. Using the communication channels Gen Y is using, deep understanding for multinational and multicultural topics can be gathered without any travelling.

Qualitative and quantitative research are coming together. Using images in an online survey, qualitative listening to social media and diving deep with an online community provide many useful ideas to build on.

Yes we can! In the world of qualitative research and in the world that faces climate change.

This case study was presented at the Worldwide Conference for Qualitative Research in Vienna in April, 2016.