We at Climate Emergency Manchester think that the best chance for rapid and fundamental change on climate action is enormous, diverse and ever-growing pressure from ordinary people. The boom-and-bust cycle of much activism, where folks fry themselves (and others) after 12 months, 18 months, or 2 years, has been tried several times over the last 30 years, and … hasn’t worked.
We’ve started building – and using as we build – an “Active Citizenship Toolkit.”
We have come up with an initial long (but of course incomplete) list of skills , knowledge and relationships that we think we need to be able to operate effectively. These range from ‘writing press releases’ through ‘Local authority – understanding and explaining its budget and budget making processes ‘to ‘dealing with despair/staring into the abyss’ . Each of these is called an ‘element’.
For each element we are now adding a short description of what it involves (and why without it we will encounter problems. Then we are imagining what it would be like to have this element only at novice level (needing a lot of help), practitioner level (no help to do a basic/predictable job), expert (no help needed on complex jobs) and ninja (able to do complex jobs in sleep).
And we’ve ALSO come up with a “cut down” list of 52 elements we think all groups need in order to survive (we could be wrong, and individual groups can of course ignore some and add others). We are planning to frame this 52 around “forming, storming, norming and performing” soon.
So far we have put up novice guides about
- understanding council budgets
- practical allyship
- lobbying councillors
- taking feedback
- enabling legitimate peripheral participation
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
and done research and writing for a bunch of others which will appear soon
- Progress till early June ACT progress report for May
- Progress till late June ACT progress report for month of June
- Progress till July 18 report.
- Progress till July 25 report (and 52 elements)
- Progress till August 1st report (and thoughts of the ACT core group folks about progress, threats and opportunities
- Progress till August 9th
- Progress till August 15th
Alongside working to close our absolute gaps, there are three other things we are definitely doing-
- Engaging with specific individuals on what skills and knowledge they have and want, and put them in touch with other people
- Approach various groups to be guinea pigs in whether ACT will work for them to help them identify what skills and knowledge they need, they have, they lack (either as absolute gaps or single points of failure)
- Start working on a stand-alone website (but only to launch when certain criteria are met)
If you want to get involved in making ACT happen, please email email@example.com