Community Energy Conversations creates an engaging and worthwhile activity for any community organization or set of interested individuals to bring community members together and encourage action for positive change. The Conversations model has already been used successfully in higher education and local community settings.
How can the Community Energy Conversations activity benefit you and your community? It will:
1. Enable better communication and civil discourse skills;
2. Help community members to get to know each other;
3. Help community members explore how energy issues affect them;
4. Assist community members with different backgrounds and viewpoints in dialoging respectfully and finding common ground on how to address these issues;
5. Facilitate taking action together to promote positive changes in the community.
Community Energy Conversations provides a vehicle for people in a community to positively dialogue and take actions to build a healthier region.
The following Community Conversations handouts can be used as tools to facilitate civic engagement and constructive dialogue between members in a given community or across multiple organizations, even if the members have polarized viewpoints. They can then be used to jumpstart community action related to energy issues that affect the community. The community conversations model can be used in a variety of community settings, from places of worship and community centers to neighborhood schools and other gathering places, and can be used by a variety of community groups. They can also be held in someone’s living room. These conversations can be used as is, or they can also be adapted to the needs of the group that is utilizing them.
Sometimes these conversations can help create systemic change. For example, three people that explored issues related to clean technologies and independent energy each used the information they learned to call and ask a Senator to change his vote on a solar bill. On the third call the senator got on the phone and said: “Thank you for calling. I’m going to look into this.” Within two weeks he had changed his vote.
Review the following handouts and then enjoy using them to create an, effective, engaging community-building activity.
➢ Handout 1: Overview and Checklist for the host
➢ Handout 2: Conversation Guidelines, Structure and Outlines with Directions
➢ Handout 3: Draft Letter and Instruction for Facilitators
➢ Handout 4: Feedback Form
➢ Handout 5: Energy Information to Inform Discussion
Please give us feedback on your use of this activity. You can send your feedback to CampusEnergyConversations@gmail.com.