The Change Makers Workshop is for managers and professionals who care about the climate and nature crises, and want to create change for sustainability through their work and careers.
In this 1-day intensive training you will:
- Discover how and why change for sustainability happens in organisations and society through shifting relationships, culture and structures.
- Identify how and where to use your expertise and position to advance change for sustainability via your circles of influence.
- Map the next steps in your personal plan to catalyse and support change for sustainability in your career, organisation and sector.
Apply what you learn in contexts including:
- Internal: Engage and influence colleagues to change behaviours and get sustainability higher on the strategic and operational agendas.
- External: Engage and influence clients, suppliers, professional bodies and other stakeholders to take action for sustainability.
- Career shift: Develop your career to apply your skills and experience to support purpose-led organisations succeed in their missions.
How much more impact would you have if you could just ‘switch on‘ your colleagues, clients or other stakeholders to sustainability?
I’ve been working in sustainability for over twenty years. I used to believe that if only more people understood the damage we were doing to the living world, and our future, that they would change their ways. I soon discovered that information alone rarely changes minds or leads to action.
Osbert Lancaster, co-founder of Realise Earth
This set me on a journey to try to better understand how change does happen.
I wove this inquiry into my sustainability consultancy helping organisations from universities to community groups create and implement sustainability strategies, writing Scottish Government guidance for climate action groups and teaching post-grad students on sustainability programmes.
Through reading academic papers and books and taking part in seminars and workshops I explored the research and practice around what social scientists call “pro-social” and “pro-environmental” behaviours, the role of personal values, and the “theories of change” that try to explain the connections between these individual actions and global sustainability: socio-economic systems and ecological systems.
My colleagues have taken their own journeys to reach similar conclusions to me. The most important is that the process of change making for sustainability must reflect our vision of sustainability:
Who we are…
Applying this lesson has allowed each of us to be much more effective in catalysing and supporting change for sustainability – in contexts as varied as big corporates, industry associations, NGOs, universities and community climate action groups.
The approach to change making for sustainability that we have evolved is rooted in three realities:
- People can work together to create a better world, even though our individualistic culture tells us sustainability is a matter of green consumption and personal action.
- People are naturally kind and caring, even though our consumerist culture assumes people are motivated by selfish concerns
- Humans are part of nature, even though our anthropocentric culture would have us believe we are separate from and in control of, the rest of the living world.
Based on our experiences we’ve drawn together and adapted the best resources we’ve found to create a powerful framework that you can use to plan and deliver change for sustainability in your work and your professional life.
Read more about the framework in our blog post: The craft of change making – a sane response to eco-anxiety.
The framework isn’t “the answer”, and it’s just one way of looking at this issues, but we, and the people we work with, have found it both insightful and practical. It will help you:
- Build on your existing expertise and influence, without having to become an expert in sustainability or social change.
- Avoid being overwhelmed by complex, and sometimes apparently contradictory, theories and models.
- Be confident that your work or project is designed and delivered in ways that help create the wider social transformation that’s needed.
Discover the framework and get practical help applying it to your specific challenge right away at the next Change Makers Workshop – coming soon…
Senior Associate Architect
Strategic Service Manager
Subject Lead – Arts
University of Plymouth
The Village Hub
The Change Makers Workshop
The Change Makers Workshop is a one day intensive online training. If you are an experienced manager or professional, and you want to create change for sustainability in your work and through your professional life, this is for you.
In the workshop you will develop insights and discover approaches that will help you to:
Create change among your colleagues and stakeholders
Creating change starts with understanding what motivates individual people and groups take action and adopt more sustainable behaviours (or not).
You’ll learn about the importance of relationships, cultures and structures in organisations and groups, and how to use these insights to create change for sustainability among your colleagues, clients, suppliers, professional bodies, communities, etc.
Ensure your change making makes a real difference
Given the scale of the environmental and social problems facing the world, it’s sometimes easy to despair that anything you do can really make a difference.
The IPCC and other international bodies say our societies and our economies need radical, transformative change to tackle the climate and nature crises. We’ll explore how systems change, and how change makers like you, across the world, in businesses, governments, NGOs, academia and civil society are collectively working towards this transformation.
Using these insights into systems change, you will learn how to choose, design and carry out your change making activities in ways that help create a more sustainable world.
Build on your existing skills, experience and position to have greatest impact
With so much change needed in our organisations, communities and across wider society, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to focus your attention and your energy for greatest impact.
Here’s how you will develop a plan tailored to your goals and specific circumstances:
- Find your focus: Based on your position, influence, knowledge and interests, we will guide you through a process to work out where can have greatest impact.
- Options for action: Once you’ve found your focus, we will help you explore what the potential interventions you could make.
- Next steps: However far you’ve got with your plan, we will support you to identify the next steps you need to move forward with confidence.
We make the complex simple, accessible and practical
Human behaviour, society, culture and economics are complex. So are the physical and biological mechanisms that human life is disrupting, causing the climate and nature crises. Once you start studying this, it’s easy to be confused by the scientific jargon and the multitude of models, and to be overwhelmed by the scale of the task.
We’ve drawn on the work of scientists, campaigners and communicators, and on our own extensive experience, to create a clear framework that includes the critical issues, uses plain English, and that you can use immediately to plan effective action.
Intensive online training that’s personal, social and a breath of fresh air
We cover a lot of material between 10am and 4pm BST in the Change Makers Workshop. But you won’t spend all day stuck in front of a screen watching videos and doing quizzes. Inevitably we will be using Zoom a lot of the time, but with a difference. Rich and I, co-founders of Realise Earth, will be running and presenting the entire workshop, with:
- Live presentations to introduce key concepts
- Plenary, group and paired discussions to deepen understanding
- Individual activities to develop your plan
- Regular scheduled breaks with enough time to get outside over lunch
Turning your plan into action
You will leave the workshop with new knowledge and insight, and over the day you’ll have created your own action plan, tailored to your particular circumstances and interests. We’ll also give you copies of all the course materials to keep, so that you can continue to develop and apply your plan.
This may be all you need to put your change making insights into practice. But we know from our own experience of attending and running training events, very often the knowledge and insights are just the start. Even with the best plan, ongoing support to put it into practice can be invaluable as you learn from your experience, as situations change and as you evolve and adapt your focus and you plans.
If this sounds like something you’d find helpful, join the Sustainability Leadership Network where we’re running a follow-on programme of short, weekly sessions. Structured around a series of challenges, on alternate weeks you will receive additional guidance, with live Q&A, from me and my colleagues, and feedback and support from your peers via facilitated action learning sessions.
Register your interest
We are planning to run the workshop again soon.
Register your interest and we’ll let you know once the date and details are confirmed. We may also send you a few useful resources about change making for sustainability while you are waiting.