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Engaging and Empowering citizens

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A route to social change for sustainable development.

Delivered by Global Action Plan International at the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns –
TRANSFORMATIVE ACTION: THE POTENTIAL FOR EUROPE, 27-29 April 2016, Basque Country, Bilbao.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Engaging and Empowering citizens

  1. 1. Engaging and empowering citizens A route to social change for sustainable development Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com
  2. 2. Global Action Plan Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com We design and deliver effective programs • Empowering individuals • Engaging citizens and employees • Bringing about long-term, sustainable change
  3. 3. WHAT, HOW, WHY Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com What? Social change leading to resource savings and social cohesion How? Scientific, evidence-based design Empowerment of people and groups Why? SDGs, Paris Climate Agreement, more…
  4. 4. WHAT Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Resource savings Typical measured long-term reductions in use of • Electricity 10 % • Mobility (fuel) 20 % • Water 19 % • Solid waste disposal 50 % …and next, Food
  5. 5. WHAT Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Resource savings …and next, Food Action, coming in 2017
  6. 6. Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Social cohesion Community development built on proven principles for stakeholder-driven processes. Examples: • Ballymun, Ireland • Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine • Hanoi, Vietnam WHAT
  7. 7. WHAT: City example 1 Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Ballymun, Ireland Possibly this century’s largest slum regeneration project in Europe with a low-income, low- education, high drop-out profile. GAP has supplied methods, materials and staff to engage citizens over more than a decade. => Result: a vibrant community with the original residents still there, and thriving
  8. 8. WHAT: City example 2 Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine A national school program engaging more than 100,000 pupils and their families in GAP- designed Lessons for Sustainable Development => has led to a ’sustainable’ household and neighbourhood program in cooperation with the social services, city hall, utilities, and local NGOs
  9. 9. WHAT: City example 3 Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Hanoi, Vietnam A household ’Green Living’ program => led to ’Green Teams’ in specific neighbourhoods, each with self-defined projects, such as reclaiming a huge river-bank area from crime and pollution for social and urban-agricultural activities
  10. 10. HOW Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Scientific and evidence-based program design focusing on individual and group empowerment yields long-term results and a high RoI Examples: • Health care employees, UK • Activate, Basque Country, Spain
  11. 11. Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com An action research program starting with a European meeting in 1996 * funded by the Swedish EPA * of researchers & practitioners in EMPOWERMENT Current state embodied in the book ESD Dialogues, Mehlmann & Pometun, 2013 HOW: The science 1
  12. 12. HOW: The science 1 Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com The action research has resulted in guidelines embodied in educational programs • Empowering writing: online course • Design of effective social change programs: training program, including data collection • Empowering coaching: training program • On-the-job learning from experience: training and facilitation
  13. 13. Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Design of effective social change programs builds on an ‘empowerment spiral’ + social diffusion: invite to experiment, engage early adopters, start from participants’ own concerns… and collect data through ‘before&after’ monitoring systems. HOW: The science 1
  14. 14. HOW: The science 1 Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com On-the-job learning from experience Beyond SWOT analysis, Learning for Change creates a space to build on strengths: “What are you most proud of?”, and accelerate learning. Taught in more than 40 countries.
  15. 15. HOW: The science 2 Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Academic research including • Longitudinal study of household behaviour change, Leiden, Netherlands • Research published by other universities i.a. in London (UK), Hanoi (Vietnam), Gävle (Sweden)
  16. 16. HOW: The science 2 Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Longitudinal study , Netherlands The Leiden studies of the EcoTeam program, over a period of years, show that • Participating households make many changes to save resources • The changes are not only sustained but amplified over time
  17. 17. HOW: The evidence 1 Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Health care employees, UK A partnership between GAP UK, Barts Health NHS Trust and two businesses to engage employees nation-wide in innovation for more sustainable health care: environmental, social and economic Savings to date: £9.2M and 48,511 tonnes of CO2
  18. 18. HOW: The evidence 2 Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Activate, Basque Country, Spain 73 municipalities, 42 schools engaged, 1,408 households registered. Focus on electricity, with monitored savings High local media impact, important contribution to Local Agenda 21 3-year budget: only € 189,000
  19. 19. WHY Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Social sustainability goes mainstream – for instance: • ‘Agenda 21’ becomes Agenda 2030: SDGs adopted September 2015 • Paris Climate Agreement signed 22 April 2016 • New national, regional and interregional goals concerning social, environmental and economic development
  20. 20. WHY work with us? Global Action Plan International 2015 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com Based on • 26 years of experience in 25 countries • two decades of action research • research from numerous universities: GAP has methods and tools to meet the new urban challenges 
  21. 21. Global Action Plan International 2014 | globalactionplan.com | secretariat@globalactionplan.com A global leader in sustainable behaviour change

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