The Climate Reality Project Leadership Program

Gregg Walker's picture

Hello colleagues,

A few years ago I signed on to the Climate Reality Project (CRP), an initiative that former Vice President Al Gore founded in 2006.  The featured program of the CRP is the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, an effort to train people to be climate change/crisis communicators and educators.  Since 2006, the Climate Reality Leadership Corps program has conducted 41 training workshops involving 19,000 people.  The first training took place on Gore's Tennessee farm with about 40 participants.  I just participated in the 41st training in Brisbane, Australia - one of 800 participants.

For colleagues who consider themselves climate change/crisis communicators, educators, advocates, and/or activists, I recommend examining the Climate Reality Project and consider becoming a Climate Reality Leader.  Trainings occur periodically throughout the year, with upcoming trainings scheduled for Minnesota, USA 02-04 August and Tokyo, Japan some time in October.

Participation in a Climate Reality Leadership training requires an application.  The deadline for the Minneapolis training is 19 June.  Applications are reviewed promptly and acceptance notices are sent in time to arrange travel.  There is no registration cost for the training, but the participants are responsible for their own travel expenses.

The training is three days.  The Brisbane training was well-organized, informative, inspirational, and motivating.  The training consisted of a mix of presentations, breakout sessions, and table discussions.  The first day featured voices from Australian and South Pacific indigenous communities and a lengthy presentation from Mr. Gore. Mr. Gore also moderating a panel discussion of the climate crisis, which included IECA member and the Climate Reality Project Indonesia coordinator, Dr. Amanda Katili (one of the keynote speakers at COCE 2017).

While most of the Brisbane participants were from Australia, 36 countries were represented.  I was part of a 10-person table group which included a graphic designer from Mexico, a former mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, a doctoral student from Brisbane, a climate energy researcher from Geneva, Switzerland, an attorney from Hawaii, a clean energy entrepreneur from Hong Kong, and an arts administrator from Brooklyn, NY.  I learned a lot from my table mates, from the general sessions, and from the breakout groups, including one that was devoted to the education sector (I got involved in a university group).

I am confident that the future trainings (including the Minnesota event) will be as productive and inspirational as my Brisbane experience.  Information about the Climate Reality Project and the Leadership training is available at https://www.climaterealityproject.org/.  You can also contact me (gwalker@oregonstate.edu or commwalk@gmail.com) for more information.

There are a lot of excellent organizations and initiatives devoted to communication, education, and action about the climate crisis.  I include the Climate Reality Project in this group.  Through this organization and others, I plan to increase my communication and education efforts - and to do so beyond the university.  I hope that my fellow IECA members will consider doing so as well.

 

About the Author: 

Gregg Walker is a professor of communication at Oregon State University, USA.