|MNIPL's Climate Conversations Pilot Campaign||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Scott Jackson (sjackzen46gmail.com)|
|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] gmail.com *Climate Conversations Pilot Campaign* *Background:* The latest pol<http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/article/how-americans-communicate-about-global-warming-april-2013/>l from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication<http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/>shows 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, t he 2012 “Vote No” campaign hosted a “One million conversations” campaign that was structured to link a personal values to a political ask (Voting “No”). *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 <http://www.cleanenergyjobs.mn/> 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 Solutions*<http://www.grassrootssolutions.com/focus/freedom-to-marry> *)* - *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 story? - *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 place. - *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 to piece together the building blocks of what could be a wildly successful large-scale campaign in faith organizations.
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