Find some like-minded people and form a group so that your ideas can have a bigger impact. Don’t worry, you are not alone in your desire to take action. Implementing a project together with others sometimes requires patience and strong nerves, but it is also a lot of fun to be active together and to bring about a positive change in your own environment. Everyone can contribute their individual strengths, and you can support and learn from each other. Of course, you can also use the R&S method to implement a project on your own, just as you like it.
form a group
How do I find my group?
Perhaps you already have someone in your circle of friends in mind who would like to take part? If not, no problem at all!
community mapping tool
Community mapping tool
The method that we propose for finding your project is called community mapping.
You make the local conditions graphically visible on a map and thus easily recognize special features but also problems or challenges in your environment. These will help you to quickly identify where and in what form your project would make sense.
It is important that as a group you agree on who your community is as it will be a central part of your project.
Here are a few questions you can discuss together:
- What is a community and what different communities do you know?
- What makes a community? What are their characteristics?
- What different groups make up the community in your city, district or village?
- How are these communities embedded in the environment or the ecosystem? How is the community affected by the environment? And how does the community affect it?
Of course, the community in which you will carry out your project is bounded and does not include all living beings in the world. However, within your boundaries, do not forget about vulnerable or excluded groups of people. They are also part of the community; they have specific needs. Your project can improve their lives too even if they are often neglected and almost invisible to our eyes.
To learn more about your community’s needs, you can choose from a diverse set of methods. Each of them will help you to gain a slightly different set of information, so the best is to combine at least two of them.
- Observation: Walk around your community or sit and watch it around you regularly– this can help you to notice new things and contexts- and take notes
- Interview: you can have a conversation with randomly addressed people you meet while observing, make an appointment with a specific person or even talk to people at local events like festivals. Address also your family members, neighbours and friends. Prepare in advance some questions or a questionnaire that you fill in when you talk to people. Make notes or recordings, and don’t forget to ask if your conversation partner agrees with it
If you are considering an online format, you can also create an online poll
- Draw, print or buy a map of your area.: Since this is all about becoming active right from your doorstep we recommend a map with a 3–8 kilometre radius around your chosen location.
- Mark special features on the map: Mark the locations that are somehow related to climate change in your area as well as other problems and opportunities that you encountered during your data collection
Reflect on your experiences and think about what you can do to make your community more resilient to climate change or to reduce it.
select a project
It is now important to decide which of these you actually want to implement. You can use the consensus method to reach a decision. Consensus is not compromise or unanimity. It aims to bring together the best ideas of all group members and key interests – a process that often leads to surprising and creative solutions that inspire both the individual and the group as a whole.
What speaks for/against an idea?
Important: listen to the comments of each group member.
some (less appropriate) ideas or change them to make them acceptable to the whole group.
- Block a suggestion: I disagree with the basis of the suggestion. We must find a new proposal.
- Distance: I can’t support this proposal because ____ but I don’t want to stop the group, so I bow to the decision of the others.
- Reservations: I have some reservations, but I will accept the proposal.
- Agree: I support the proposal and would like to implement it.
In other words, a situation where nobody is blocking anything and there are only a few people who are distant or have reservations. Everyone can live with the decision and look forward to its implementation.
If there are many different ideas and interests within the group and the consensus method is not successful, you can also choose the voting method.
Here is an example how the voting process can look like:
- Place a list of all project ideas where everyone can see them.
- In the first round of voting, everyone must cast at least one vote and can raise their hand no more than three times.
- One person reads out one idea after the other while another person writes down the number of votes for each idea.
- Repeat the process with the three most popular ideas. This time, however, each person has only one vote. There should be a clear winner after all votes have been cast.