Climate Impacts: Communication, Facilitation, and Stakeholder Capacity Building
November 6th, 2022
Join Antioch University New England’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience for a series of online courses focused on the fundamentals of climate change resilience. For more information, including course descriptions, dates, and schedule of courses visit our page on the Antioch University New England website You can also apply for the 9-credit Climate Resilience Certificate for Professionals.
Each course is designed to stand alone, and you may take courses in any order. Each course is held for a period of four weeks and may be completed online from your location in approximately 8 hours per week. Enroll for either graduate credit (1 credit per course) or audit and receive continuing education.
Climate Impacts: Communication, Facilitation, and Stakeholder Capacity Building (ES 5830, section A)
Dates: November 6 – December 10, 2021, 4 weekly asynchronous online lessons (Thanksgiving week off)
Online Attendance: No set times are required for online attendance. Students may complete the assignments at their own pace and schedule within each week. Students will have the opportunity to interface with experts in the field of climate change when they present as guest speakers. However, students may watch video recordings of the guests if they can not attend the live online presentations.
Course Summary: There is broad scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and is caused by human actions. However, there is limited implementation of climate adaptation to help create resilient local communities. Local and regional governments have access to a wide range of resources that can help them become more resilient to climate impacts. Even with this information, communities still face significant barriers bridging the gap from planning to action. In fact, the US Third National Climate Assessment lists implementation as the number one significant gap in the success of adaptation.
In order to overcome many of these barriers at the local level, civic engagement is needed to support municipal implementation of climate mitigation and adaptation actions. Engagement is a broad term that is often a precursor toward a specific action or behavior. In order to sufficiently engage the public on climate change, it is important to understand how people relate to this issue. In particular, what prompts individuals to take action or become involved in an issue. If we are looking for community members to collaboratively solve complex issues to achieve climate resilience, then we need to have a thorough understanding why people engage in an issue or specific behaviors.
Collective actions at the societal level (civic or political action behaviors) include involvement and support of policies, plans, and funding for implementation of municipal projects that could increase local climate resilience. Community engagement with the issue of climate change typically is lacking at the local level. How individuals feel about climate change, how much they know about the issue, and how they act are all types of engagement that are needed for societal change.
Research indicates a range of predictors that affect engagement, including emotions, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, identities, knowledge, worldviews and values, personal efficacy, response efficacy, mental models, meaningfulness, habits, routines, and social and cultural context. This module will provide guidance on how to effectively engage the general pubic in order to build the political will and public support needed for implementation. Learn how to identify and implement an effective communication and engagement strategy through evidence-based tactics, including a stakeholder process that can be used to develop place based responses. The course will also touch on the inequity of impact to populations due to climate change and build understanding of the social justice ramifications associated with climate change vulnerabilities.
Learning Outcomes The expected learning outcomes include:
- Be able to identify communication and engagement best practices
- Learn various evidence-based engagement tactics to create and facilitate a communications strategy for engagement (e.g., use of polling, surveying, microtargeting)
- Learn basic principles for crafting an effective engagement strategy and common barriers
- Become familiar with the role of using imagery, visualization, and meaningful dialogue to increase urgency and motivation to engage in a public planning process
- Learn how to successfully engage vulnerable populations (e.g., income, race, ethnicity, age)