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Pitch

Make well-being a constant and conscious attention point within all the activism / advocacy towards Climate Justice we -as youth- undertake.


Description

Summary

Supportive actions and focus on the well-being of youth activists and advocates towards Climate Justice. This proposal aims to take care of the people as a person first, so they can better and stronger work towards Climate Justice.  Youth in the Climate Justice movement not only have a crucial role and voice, they face a lot of potential negative effects on their well-being, including the increasingly common dropout or burnout, exactly because they are engaging in this space.

The project will be driven by the steering group (open call), that will act as a collective of individuals, under the guidance of Climate Justice Belgium, that assumes final responsibility for the project.  (Climate Justice Belgium has experience in both big international youth climate justice projects as in well-being trainings.)

The project timeline has all activities taking place within about a year.
* Phase 1 (January 2015) : establish a steering group
* Phase 2 (February - March 2015) : questionnaire
* Phase 3 (April - May 2015) : online library & discussions
* Phase 4 (June - December 2015) : F2F activities / training

The 10,000 USD would in majority go towards : online platform (development + hosting), communication (including logo & printing), volunteer costs and fees, administrative requirements. A good percentage of this sum will be provisioned as seed money / co-funding for the phase 4 F2F activities, though these shall rely also on additional funding to be realised or by attaching the well-being work to existing events.


Category of action

Youth Leadership on Climate Change


What actions do you propose?

This proposal is going for supportive actions and focussing on the well-being of youth taking action or advocating towards Climate Justice. This proposal aims to take care of the people as a person first, so they can take better and stronger care of working towards Climate Justice.

Climate Justice activists and advocates do what they do because they care. Yet the circumstances in which they operate are often complex, sometimes even stressful and difficult. The reality of their work often becomes focussed on short terms goals (mirroring the world) and the work itself (contributing to a better and fairer society) is challenging. Activism and advocacy crucially needs well-being and sustainability, a positive and fostering environment as well to one-another.

Youth in the Climate Justice movement not only have a crucial role and voice, they face a lot of potential negative effects on their well-being, including the more and more common dropout or burnout, exactly because they are engaging in this space.

Many of us are working very hard to contribute towards a just and binding deal in Paris, 2015.  And some of us do that even at the expense of ourselves and our well-being.  That is the space where this project aims to operate and improve things.  This project will work indirectly towards Climate Justice, by making sure that the people involved -as human beings- get the consideration they deserve.
 

This project consists of several phases and aspects.

* Phase 1 (January 2015) : establish a steering group

To make the working as broad and diverse as possible, we want to start the project by launching a call to establish a steering group, so more people can join the existing team.  We’d like to engage people who are regionally spread and who have different skill-sets, to maximise the project’s success.  We’ll organise our way-of-working and make a more concrete task division.

At the same time, this call-out serves as a first communication tool to raise awareness on the project and its aims.  As we get bombarded with information, a good communication plan involves repetition (so we’re starting early) and concrete questions help too (asking to join a steering group).
 

* Phase 2 (February - March 2015) : questionnaire

To gain deeper and more concrete insight into one one hand the landscape of people and organisations involved, on the other hand contributors to reduced well-being or even burnout, we will work with one or more questionnaires.  The outcomes of these questionnaires will shape the practical steps that follow.

At the same time, these questionnaires will server as a communication tool, to raise awareness about the project, but more importantly about the importance of well-being.  This will be done not only by the communication surrounding the questionnaires, but also by the questionnaires themselves, as they have the intent -by their content- to make people reflect on their work as Climate Justice activist / advocate and to which extent that affects their well-being or if they might be on the risk of burnout.

The end of this phase will be the aggregated results and conclusions of the questionnaires.
 

* Phase 3 (April - May 2015) : online library & discussions

To facilitate the work around well-being of youth in the Climate Justice movement, we will launch an online platform.  This platform will be open for (registered) visitors to contribute with resources, blog posts and discussion on well-being as well as how to improve said well-being.  The platform itself will be provided, along with some minimal content, but the rest is up to the users of the platform.

We want this platform to become a library of helpful resources as well as a space where people can share their experience.  When it comes to well-being, the personal experience and sharing those stories is crucial, not only for the person themselves, but also for groups and networks to increase their understanding of issues and impact about well-being.  Also the realisation that more people are in similar situation helps the person not only deal but also team up and work about said issues / impact.

We want this platform to enable discussion on how we can improve the context of activism and advocacy towards Climate Justice.  Be it by individual behaviour and attitudes.  Be it by interpersonal interactions.  Be it by a the way of working in groups or networks.  Concretely we want this a place where practical proposals and ideas can be launched, where others can get involved and help fine-tune.
 

* Phase 4 (June - December 2015) : F2F activities / training

To enable learning and change, we plan to have one or more Face-2-Face activities / trainings.  The exact shape and form as well as content will follow from the previous steps, which is why this phase is not as detailed in terms of timing and description.

Workshop style events is one possible option we have in mind.  For this we’d organise short events, where the sole purpose is the workshop content and learning.

Residential trainings, e.g. a (long) weekend is second option we have in mind.  For this we’d organise a several day event, where an important purpose is the training and learning.  (Possibly added by some topic or strategy discussions.)

A third option we have in mind is working along existing events, most notably are UNFCCC intersessionals and COP, but also other opportunities that will come along.  In this case we will attach well-being work to other work, or as we also like to see it : mainstreaming well-being.

Possible topics for any of these approaches are : ways-of-working, group dynamics, communication, inner resilience, validation and much more.  Again, concrete topics will be formed from the previous stages.
 

* General notes

Where the project itself has a timing, including an end, the outcomes are intended to be lasting.

A key aim of the project is to alter behavior and attitudes of individual people that take part, as well as to alter the ways of working within the youth Climate Justice movement, to be aware on the people and their well-being, of ourselves and our colleagues.  The goal is to make well-being a constant and conscious attention point within all the activism / advocacy towards Climate Justice we -as youth- undertake, including our own contribution and common unhealthy habits.

A key outcome of the project is the online web platform, especially with the resources library and conclusions of the questionnaires.  Provided we can obtain the necessary resources -both equipment and people wise- this will remain available, as an archive or a service.


Who will take these actions?

The central hub for this project will be Climate Justice Belgium, with experience in both big international youth climate justice projects as in well-being projects and trainings.  (In fact, these are our two main branches of work.)

The project will be a collaborative project and we’ll create a steering group -open to everyone- to drive this project (as explained above under phase 1).  The people who will finally join, will vastly determine this project scope and scale, as a main principle is to work bottom-up, rather than impose.  For the well-being aspect, we already have relevant contacts in Europe and Latin America.

The project involves people and organisation that will take on the various roles; including : well-being, communication, project management, web development, people management, etc.  Where the well-being is the core piece of the project, the other skills and expertise are equally important for the success of the project.

The project will be driven by the steering group, that will act as a collective of individuals, under the guidance of Climate Justice Belgium, that assumes final responsibility for the project.


What are other key benefits?

The main outcome is contributing towards a just and binding climate deal in 2015, by supporting youth and their well-being who work on this; as well-being is crucial for anyone to sustainably keep working towards their goals, including activism and advocacy for Climate Justice.

1. Self-reflection by people and groups on their behaviours and attitudes, respectively ways of working, with possible impact to well-being.  Overview of self-assessed main contributors to reduced well-being.

2. Library with resources and ideas on well-being of oneself and / or the groups these people are active in.  Personal stories of people facing reduced well-being or even burnout, as an inspiration and joint strength to improve the context of activism and advocacy towards Climate Justice.

3. Awareness on the importance of well-being in our work, to the point it becomes a common practise to have constant and conscious attention towards working on and realising well-being.


What are the proposal’s costs?

The 10,000 USD would in majority go towards :
* online platform (development + hosting)
* communication (including logo & printing)
* volunteer's costs and fees
* administrative requirements

A good percentage of this sum will be provisioned as seed money / co-funding for the phase 4 F2F activities, though these shall rely also on additional funding to be realised or by attaching the well-being work to existing events.

Only phase 4 will include travel, where possible sustainably.  The project will try to keep this to a minimum, by either organising local activities or by attaching the work to existing events (which makes it a travel / CO2-emission that would already be made).


Time line

The project timeline is short term, all activities will take place within about a year.
* Phase 1 (January 2015) : establish a steering group
* Phase 2 (February - March 2015) : questionnaire
* Phase 3 (April - May 2015) : online library & discussions
* Phase 4 (June - December 2015) : F2F activities / training

Reasonably we see lasting impact of the project over the following years : by avoiding reduced well-being / burnout; by the change people / groups made, by the still available resources, by new projects that take inspiration from our work, etc.

Ideally this project will have contributed to actually achieving a just and binding climate deal in 2015, then this project will bring several impacts on the short and medium term, most notably : youth voice being heard and hope in the Climate Justice movement.

Another impact of the project is medium term, but more difficult to measure : with constant and conscious awareness, youth can keep up for the long term with activism and advocacy.


Related proposals


References

Sustainable Resistance :
http://www.ecodharma.com/self-society-a-radical-response/self-society-a-radical-response---an-overview
http://www.ecodharma.com/self-society-a-radical-response/effective-sustainable-activism

Volunteering Together (TC1) :
http://volunteer-net.eu/pdf/VT-IWFAR-ParticipantApplicationInfo-V1-KV4.pdf