Small group sessions hosted by Iron & Earth intend to amplify the voices of working people whose livelihoods are most impacted from the transitioning climate and energy sector.
August 8, 2023. (Edmonton, Alberta): A new report released from Iron & Earth highlights findings from an event in O-day’min, Edmonton this winter, including that people in the region are more keen to discuss climate change and energy transitions than one might think. A waitlisted follow up event hosted on July 29th affirms these findings—even in the midst of summer, people were keen to attend.
“What we’re seeing is that when provided with a space to share their insights and experiences about how people will be impacted by these changing forces, they’re quite forthright and productive,” said Ana Guerra Marin, Communities Director & Just Transition Lead for Iron & Earth.
Cutting through the noise and getting to the practical needs that communities have to mitigate these challenges is crucial, says Guerra Marin.
“What we’re doing with our Community Conversations series is creating a container for productive conversations and for real people to be heard without risk of politicizing the conversation. When we do that, despite the topics being heated in the media, they’re surprisingly productive, nuanced, and collaborative.”
At the Edmonton session the key themes included affordability, accessibility, and social support to manage the impacts of the changing economy and energy sector on their local community.
94% of participants from the session said they would attend another one, echoing similar findings from the same program in Hinton, Edmonton. To date, each community has hosted two in a series of three total sessions, and the program has plans to expand to communities in British Columbia and Newfoundland as well.
According to Iron & Earth, the key is in the program design: the groups are small (maximum 40 participants) and hosted by local facilitators who know the regions well. Small breakout discussions ensure a chance for everyone to be heard, and while there is a rough agenda, participants guide where the discussion goes. Another differentiating factor? Participants can be compensated for attendance, up to $100, plus compensated for transportation and childcare costs.
More info: www.CommunityTalksEdmonton.com
Mike Spear, Director of External Relations
E: [email protected]