MNIPL's Climate Conversations Pilot Campaign
From: Scott Jackson (
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2013 01:18:10 -0800 (PST)
Once more into the breach, dear friends. Below is MN Interfaith Power &
Light's description of its Climate Conversations Pilot Campaign, in which
I'm proposing CCC and FUS participate. Because I didn't begin to attend Be
the Spark until the second session, I missed the Climate Conversations
training at the first session, so if we decide to commit to the pilot
campaign, I'll be attending the introductory training and organizing
meeting at 2104 Stevens Ave. S. on January 27 at 6:30-8:30 pm. I hope to be
there with bells on and a gaggle of friends.

Scott Jackson
sjackzen46 [at]

*Climate Conversations Pilot Campaign*

*Background:*  The latest
from the Yale Project on Climate Change
that while most Americans believe climate change is a real and
daunting problem, only one in three talk about it, even occasionally.
Research also illustrates that while educating people on climate change is
a necessary step
it often does not lead to action.  People are most likely to take action as
a result of communicating with family or friends. This disconnect between
knowledge and action represents a huge opportunity for faith communities to
connect the dots between climate change and the need for moral action.

Conversation campaigns, coupled by the “surround sound” of an effective
communications plan have yielded big political wins in the Freedom to Marry
arena.  In Minnesota,
he 2012 “Vote No” campaign hosted a “One million conversations” campaign
that was structured to link a personal values to a political ask (Voting

*What is this all about:* With the help of researchers such as Anthony
Leiserowitz and Cara Pike
our plan is to pilot a Climate Conversations Campaign that will be modeled
on the structure of the Marriage Conversations structure.  We will train
leaders in faith communities to have thousands of individual and/or group
conversations that will end with an ask*: that they join us in taking
action on climate change*.  In the process we will build a database that
will help us to understand how different kinds of conversations succeed or
fail in different arenas.

Throughout this pilot we will be working with other organizations that are
part of the REAMP network to compare data.  Our hope is to create a
regional *One Million Climate Conversations *campaign that will launch
later in 2014.   In the case of our MN pilot, we may partner with the Clean
Energy and Jobs Campaign <> to identify key
action items that motivated citizens can engage with to take action.  We
will streamline our work to take advantage of targeted communication around
the campaign, and will focus our work (where appropriate) in key districts
targeted by the campaign.   In short we will advance clean energy policy in
Minnesota (including a solar standard, a renewable energy standard, energy
efficiency incentives and localization of energy systems) using
conversations as a tool to build active political support.

In 2014 we will succeed in testing conversations methodology for movement
building in several different communities in Minnesota (rural, youth,
faith, labor, communities of color). Through breaking the silence around
climate change, and helping neutral or passive allies to connect climate
change to issues that are meaningful to them, we build lifelong climate
champions and start to change the policy dialogue in a way that empowers
local people to be part of the solution.

*Four Ingredients of a Conversation Campaign (**From Grassroots

   - *People* – investing in developing volunteers and allies early will
   pay dividends throughout the campaign.
   - *Stories* – sharing deeply personal stories is the ingredient that
   makes the campaign rise.
   - *Measurement* – gathering data and determining ways to measure the
   success of every tactic is vital.
   - *Innovation* – putting longer and more interactive conversations at
   the center of every strategy turns old assumptions on their heads.

 *What Constitutes a Climate Conversation?*

Conversations happen all the time… big ones, small ones.  Some of them are
even about climate change.  The key to this campaign is that we get people
to use a relational approach to conversations, and connect climate change
to something that people are able to articulate that they value.  (An
argument with someone about the existence of climate change and how dumb
they are to put their head in the sand does not count.)

We envision 2 different kinds of conversations:

A)  One-on-one conversations that follow the Marriage Conversations formula:

   - *Introduction:* Why are you inviting this conversation?  What is your
   - *Pivotal Question:*  This can be anything that helps people connect
   climate change to what they deeply value.  What do they dream about that is
   threatened by climate change?  You might ask: "*When you think of the
   future, what do you most value that you want to make sure the next
   generation is able to enjoy?"*  Or maybe this is too awkward.  Perhaps
   ask about something you already enjoy together (a community, a place...)
   Do what works for you to help your conversation go to a deep relational
   - *Connection:*  This is the time to make the connection between what
   people value and climate change.  "*What I have learned about climate
   change is that …* " And now you fill in the blanks. Just make sure that
   this is not a time to dump a bunch of facts and figure in their laps.  We
   are trying to avoid a "debate" about whether climate change exists.
   - *Ask*:  "*Since we are both concerned, will you join me in taking
   action on climate change*?"  We are not prescribing the action (as they
   did with the “vote no” ask). At this point you will collect their name and
   ask them to take action with you and the community.

B) Group discussions that are facilitated to go deeper into values and
connecting the dots.  (For example, you host a video showing, and have a
guided discussion afterwards in which people are invited to share how they
feel, make the connection, and commit to take action.)

*How will this MNIPL pilot run?*

Volunteer leaders from 10+ congregations will commit to join our campaign,
with the goal of training people in their own congregation/community to
conduct 100 conversations between November 1, 2013 and April 22, 2014.
Overall we hope to record 1000 conversations.  We will track these via a
brief computer form and through check-ins with trainers.  Together we hope
to learn what worked and what didn’t and
piece together the building blocks of what could be a wildly successful
large-scale campaign in faith organizations.
  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.