How does a concerned community member effectively lead local climate projects? The Climate Change Leadership Academy (2CLA) encourages helps folks do just that. Co-run by Vital Communities and the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup, 2CLA offers in-person and virtual meetings, guest speakers, group discussion, a project development workbook, and collaborative work time. The group explores climate change science, mitigation, adaptation, and migration – all with an eye towards equity and lived experience. Cohort members also have the change to develop their project design and leadership skills in order to lead successful community action. The current class includes 22 Upper Valley residents ranging in age from early-twenties to mid-seventies. This post reviews Session 2: Climate Mitigation and “Frame Your Project” and “Define and Measure Success” Project Components – see the series here.
2CLA Program Manager Alana Redden writes:
2CLA had our first virtual session on October 11. The topic of the night was climate mitigation and participants watched two pre-recorded Zoom conversations before the meeting. One was between me and Emily Boles, who is an Abenaki forester working with the White River Land Collaborative. She discussed her forestry work, the role of healing our relationships with land and place, and the limits to the idea of “climate mitigation.” That conversation seemed to be very meaningful for people, as many people shared takeaways from the ideas and frameworks that she discussed.
The second conversation was between me and Yolanda Baumgartner, who is the co-chair of Sustainable Hanover. We discussed Ready for 100 (the historic 2017 event in which Hanover residents voted unanimously to commit to the goal of 100% renewable energy) and their work on inclusive community involvement. A few people expressed that they didn’t know Sustainable Hanover (or Sustainable Lebanon and Sustainable Woodstock) existed and seemed excited at the prospect of plugging in with these groups.
After covering the climate-related material, we moved on to discussing their projects. Participants had been asked to complete the first two components of the Project Workbook before the session: Frame Your Project and Define and Measure Success. Since this is the first time the cohorts had done independent work on the workbook, I asked for feedback on how helpful it felt. Some people seemed to get a lot out of it, and some people felt they weren’t ready to answer the questions yet. We then discussed the two components in more detail and people had a chance to workshop their answers/thinking with one another.
The feedback from the session has been positive! Every single person who responded to the follow-up survey said that they loved having so much time to talk in small breakout groups with one another. We’ll make sure to continue to do this throughout the rest of the program. When asked for constructive feedback, some folks said they wouldn’t change anything (always a good feeling as a facilitator to see that!) and some people asked for more unstructured time to brainstorm with one another about their projects. We’ll be building more flexible, collaborative work time into the next session so that participants have an opportunity to connect and brainstorm together.