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Carbon Conversations Training

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

A group of eight people from East Linton and Dunbar took part in Carbon Conversation Facilitator Training via Zoom over 4 Saturdays in August. Besides working on our facilitation skills we also engaged in some of the activities we will be delivering to local community groups.

One of the activities asked us to draw either our hopes or fears for the future regarding climate change and then to describe our art work to the rest of the group.

Here are a couple of the results plus some very positive feedback from participants involved in the training:

- Jo McNamara

"My vision is a world where we feel much more love - love for humanity and love and respect for our world and nature and working together more. A place where we grow more food locally and together and kids grow up knowing how to grow and value food; where we get around using more sustainable means of transport, working/co working more locally, and living lifestyles which are more in tune with what the world can support i.e. smaller more efficient houses..."

- Jo Gibb

Feedback from Participants on the Facilitator Training Course:

"This was an incredibly powerful experience in terms of bringing those of us who were in the conversations together and feeling connected in how we feel with the climate crisis, an opportunity to really express, share and support each other in how we feel; but also some brilliant exercises and resources to challenge our thoughts around climate change and provide really practical suggestions for how we can make small and large changes to reduce our carbon footprint. I also loved how it explored how we can best discuss the elephant in the room - climate change - in conversations with others who may feel less receptive, and the psychology of how and why people respond differently to it. 

All in all this was a brilliant opportunity to connect with others, express feelings and learn about some really practical actions that can be taken. I’ve come away feeling much more connected with others and far less alone in the enormity of climate change."

- Jo Gibb

"It was a privilege to have the chance to take part in the training programme for facilitating Carbon (and other) Conversations. It was great to have the opportunity to start to get to know the other participants and for us to be able to openly share some of our own hopes and fears for the future in the safe space that the facilitators of this programme created.

I now feel much more confident to facilitate small group discussions and have a better understanding of the role of the facilitator. 

Some of the key learning points for me were around: 

  • How good facilitation may look effortless but is actually very challenging and requires lots of preparation, practice and honest reflection. 

  • Recognising the clear difference between training and facilitation. 

  • Needing to let go of wanting to change others -the role of the facilitator is about creating the safe, accepting space in which people can come to their own decisions about the change that is needed in the world and that they want to make in their own lives.

  • Awareness of the strong emotions that honest discussion about the climate emergency and transformational change can generate.

  • Being happy with ‘tolerating the silence’ - allowing plenty of time for quiet reflection whilst participants process their thoughts and emotions.  

I look forward to putting this experience into practice and to supporting a range of local groups to have open and honest conversations about the future they want to bring into being."

- Philip Revell

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