Sunday, August 10, 2014

Addressing Climate Change through Community Engagement and Behavior Change

David Gershon of the Empowerment Institute
webinar, slides and recording at

70% of atmospheric carbon comes from cities
Second order social change:  empower transform innovate collaborate disseminate
Gershon founded Ecoteam - “unsurpassed in changing behavior” which sustained over time
Everett Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation:  early adopters 15% (tipping point) early majority 35% late majority 35% laggards 15%
15% population makes the tipping point
Laggards never participate and no use trying to engage them [the climate change movement, seemingly, has concentrated on the laggards for the last 20 years]
Neighborhood is the scalable diffusion platform, usually with 25% participation
Adjacent possibilities:  becoming a driver for a green economy, generating social capital, building “high performance” teams, promoting social innovation and collaboration, creating socially engaged citizenry
Philadelphia wanted to use the EcoTeam model to address other social change issues, Livable Neighborhood campaign, 101 block-based teams formed
NYC for disaster resilience after 9/11:  Ready New York’s All Together Now, 153 buildings or blocks, 5,000 participants, 68% recruitment level
Low Carbon Diet Program:  Portland OR, 41% block participation, 25% CO2 reduction, Davis CA first US city to develop carbon neutral plan by 2050
Global warming cafe to get large numbers of people to participate and form smaller teams
[Robin] Dunbar strategy:  150 people at Dunbar limit is a cool block, 1,500 cool neighborhood, 15,000 cool ecodistrict, to cool city - now working in Northern CA on Cool City Challenge
Better lifestyles are infectious
12 hour webinar series 10/9 - 12/18, 2014 at

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