Webinars as Conversation Starters

Building a Climate of Hope Webinars as Conversation Starters

My initial reaction, when I first read about the RDC’s Building a Climate of Hope webinar series in Movement Online, was Wow those would make great conversation starters  – If we can use them to kick-start even one new community activity that would be fantastic – I wonder whether we can arrange to view the webinars as a parish? Over the next couple of weeks that idea snow-balled to a series of public meetings we called Palmy Climate Conversation Starters hosted by Palmerston North Interfaith Group and All Saints’ Green Task Force in PNCC’s Library. We had media coverage in Stuff, events on Facebook, and pushed emails out to all the local email lists we could find, and Mary Eastham asked Cr Brent Barret one of our local Green PNCC councillors to facilitate the after webinar conversation at the opening event, which he did superbly.

The enthusiasm from the 60-70 people in the room was super encouraging, and the ideas flowed. Our simple format was to start with a quick welcome, watch the webinar, have a quick refreshment break, and then bring everyone back sitting round tables in groups of half a dozen and then ask everyone to consider three simple open questions, which always finished with ‘What would you personally like to do in Palmerston North to address what you have heard about in tonight’s webinar? Each table had coloured pens and big sheets of paper, and everyone was encouraged to record their thoughts big and small, as well as sharing their main ideas with everyone. Afterwards we collated all the thoughts into a single document and consolidated the topics into eight big ideas or themes, which we shared with everybody at the end of the fourth event.

Now our challenge is to use the ideas to build momentum for local actions, and one key idea will play a crucial role in achieving that aim – an annual Palmy Climate Action Festival to celebrate the successes of the previous year and commit to targets in the coming year. So watch this space as we tackle climate action and Build a Climate of Hope round Palmy and the Manawatu.

Robert Gibb
Green Task Force
All Saints, Palmerston North