Using Carbon Conversations

Running A Group

Good facilitation is at the heart of Carbon Conversations. The groups deal with people’s distress about climate change and with both their creativity and their resistances about making carbon reductions. This means that the groups are best facilitated by people with therapeutic group experience and/or professional training in group facilitation. Groups can be facilitated by people without this experience but these facilitators will need good support and mentoring in order to do this successfully. There is no officially recognised training for Carbon Conversations although some people who previously worked with the project may offer this. The most important factor in running a Carbon Conversations group is that you have the therapeutic/facilitator experience that will enable you to do so successfully.

Groups usually meet for between 6 and 12 times, exploring the four key aspects of a personal carbon footprint – home energy, travel, food and other consumption – and discussing their feelings about climate change, carbon reduction and the impact on relationships with family, friends and colleagues of taking climate change seriously. We advise that the group should consist of 6-8 people who are able to commit to attending all the meetings and that it should be co-facilitated. The need for a good mix of facilitation and technical expertise makes co-facilitation particularly important. This is all described in detail in the downloadable Facilitator’s Guide.

While the small-group method can be easily adapted to other countries, the materials were designed for use in the UK and their technical content is all UK specific. To make life easier for people overseas who wish to use Carbon Conversations we have produced an international version of In Time for Tomorrow? in which all the UK-specific content has been removed. This can be translated if necessary and used alongside technical information for your location or you can create your own country-specific edition of In Time for Tomorrow? incorporating your own technical material, alongside personal testimonies for your country.

Other uses of the materials

The materials can be of course be used in other ways as well. You may want to apply some of the methods described in the Facilitator’s Guide in other situations or you may want to select some of the activities to use in other contexts. Please feel free to do so but please acknowledge that these are Carbon Conversations materials. 

Using the Carbon Conversations name

Carbon Conversations remains a registered trademark. We are happy for people running Carbon Conversations groups as described in the Facilitator’s Guide to call these groups ‘Carbon Conversations.’ For other uses of the materials please just acknowledge their source. And if in doubt – please contact us with your questions!