While nothing can replace the special magic of gathering together in a friend’s home and sharing a conversation over a meal, the online format of our Climate Conversations has proven to be the next best thing.
When physical distancing was introduced in March, the Climate Conversations team rapidly responded to adapt our Conversations to an online format. We developed a suite of resources to support our team of volunteer facilitators, and they have jumped in enthusiastically, harnessing the features of Zoom to ensure that the conversations are full of social connection, dialogue and interaction.
While nothing can replace the special magic of gathering together in a friend’s home and sharing a conversation over a meal, the online format has proven to be the next best thing.
Indeed, during a time of such uncertainty, the opportunity to come together virtually for a focussed conversation with friends and family has been welcomed by participants. For many, it is a relief to talk about something equally important and ensure that the global challenge of climate change is not eclipsed by the global pandemic.
The forum to discuss climate change and what we can do at this time to take effective action has been embraced, with many attendees signing up to join MP Engagement Groups, host their own Climate Conversations and train to become facilitators.
There have been some exciting benefits to moving the program online too. Until now, the Climate Conversations Program has found that guests tend to live within a few kilometres of the Conversation host and facilitator. But hosting online means that Conversations need not be limited by geography and many hosts have taken advantage of the opportunity to invite friends and family from interstate and overseas. This has opened up an opportunity to expand the Climate Conversations program to new regions even beyond the period of Covid-19.
Because facilitator training is also conducted online and our mentor program can also occur over the phone or video chat, this strange time has spurred us to open our sights to expanding the Climate Conversations Program in new places.
While many are referring to the measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus as ‘social distancing’, we prefer to use the term ‘physical distancing’. Social connections and the social change that comes about through conversation are not bound by our ability to meet face-to-face.
We’re discovering that our mission to create the social climate for effective action on climate change is as achievable now as it ever was, and our volunteers are keen to ensure that the Australian community emerges from the age of Covid-19 advocating strongly for climate action.
If you would like to engage your family and friends on the role climate action can play in our future, sign up to host a Conversation and we’ll be in touch soon! You can express interest in hosting an online Climate Conversation via this link.
Even though we have to physically distance from each other, that doesn’t mean discussion about and action on climate change has to stop. In fact, we can’t afford it to.