Welcome to Week 3 of Element 4’s Agents of Change programme. Following the activities in Week 2, we hope you’ve started identifying and reaching out to like-minded people and communities to support you on your sustainability journey.
This week we want to think about exactly what you’re going to do to effect change. Many options exist of varying difficulty and it’s important to narrow these down to avoid spreading yourself too thinly, losing momentum or focus. Whether the change you want to make is large or small, at home or at work, we have provided lots of inspiration in this week’s recommendations and tools.
Start by taking a look at the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, are designed to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that everyone enjoys sustainable peace and prosperity. Have a think about which of these SDGs apply to your organisation. Which ones are you already acing? Which do you find inspiring? Do any present an opportunity for positive change? Following the link below to the UN SDG website allows you to explore the topics in more detail.
Founded in 2014, Project Drawdown is a nonprofit organisation that seeks to help the world reach “Drawdown”— a future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere start to steadily decline. The ‘Solution Table’ from DrawDown.org provides specific practical solutions, organised by industrial sector and their impact on tackling climate change.
If you still feel a little overwhelmed and unsure where to start, we suggest you download this week’s worksheet. We have put together a matrix for you to evaluate what you are doing or what you would like to do, addressing any challenges you may encounter along the way. It is time well spent to think about exactly how you can invest your precious time and effort in activities with the greatest positive impact.
If you are unsure about approaching senior management with your ideas, consider starting with small steps that can be easily implemented and demonstrate an appetite for change. A great example is encouraging colleagues to use tools like Ecosia, the free search engine that uses all profits to plants trees – they provide you a ticker to show how many trees your searches have planted. Who could fail to love that?! How about reading the Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World by the United Nations? Packed full of ideas ideas to help you to make positive changes right now, it could spark conversations with your tribe to focus your activities.
We’d love to hear your ideas and would be delighted to offer you some inspiration if you feel stuck. Join our Agents of Change LinkedIn group to start the conversation – go on, you can ask us anything! And don’t forget to register for our free Sustainability Kick-Start online workshop on 2nd July to learn more about the basics of sustainability and discuss your journey with fellow Agents of Change.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”Jane Goodall
Try to answer the following questions or download the self-reflection worksheet:
- Thinking about your answers from Week 1, which of the UN SDGs are most relevant? Narrow it down to 1 or 2.
- What individuals or organisations have inspired you with their positive action?
- What was the problem they sought to address and what exactly did they do to implement change?
- What is your final goal? How will you know when you’ve succeeded?
- Broken down into stages, what specific activities will get you to your final goal?
- What resources are available? What do you lack and how can you either obtain them or work-around?
Please also download the Impact VS Difficulty matrix as a tool to help you evaluate the many options available.
Action ideas: You really want to make a change to the environment, but you have no idea what you can do. Referring to the Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations to base your idea generation from is a great starting point.
Choosing your first action: There are too many things you could do and you may not know what is the best action to tackle first.
Impact of your action: You are unsure what action will have the most positive influence on those around you or on the environment and how easy or difficult it will be to achieve it. Please refer to both this week’s self-reflection exercise and the difficulty/impact graph to see what actions you can implement.