Climate Futures Forums: A Model for Engaging Communities in Building Climate Resilience and Reducing Emissions

A new handbook from The Resource Innovation Group guides practitioners through the process of building social resilience and enabling communities to prepare for and withstand climate impacts.


Evaluations from Climate Futures Forums (CFFs) in four different regions in the Pacific Northwest indicate that they generated deep understanding of the causes and likely impacts of climate disruption among participants. The handbook offers “how-to” advice for anyone interested in organizing CFFs in their area to build resilience and reduce emissions.


Respondents that participated in the Climate Futures Forums reported higher concern for local climate impacts than non-participants, demonstrated a greater sense of urgency, were more active in educating the public about climate issues, and were more likely to allocate staff time to climate preparedness.

CFFs seek to create the social resilience that is necessary for communities to successfully respond to climate impacts, to help participants think systemically, and to motivate people to shift their beliefs and behaviors. The CFF process leads participants to form new perceptions about climate preparedness and increases motivation to reduce emissions.

The CFF process has shown that it is important to provide localized impact projections to personalize the risks of climate disruption. Participants are better able to analyze likely impacts if they have an understanding of their local area’s ecological and socio-economic-political history and characteristics.

It is also critical to involve local expertise from a range of sectors and constituencies. CFF workshops provide a unique opportunity to build partnerships that can work together over the long run to advance climate preparedness, resilience, and emission reductions. CFFs should result in recommendations for building resilience and reducing emissions, and a diverse group of credible community leaders.

Download the report for detailed guidance on how to administer the CFF process, including preliminary preparations, step-by-step checklists for operating the workshops, tips for developing and disseminating reports, as well as suggested tools and resources.


Photo via (cc) Flickr user e pants

Date: 2013
Authors: Bob Doppelt
Strategic Approach: Evaluation, Other
Author: Bob Doppelt
Strategic Approach: Evaluation, Other

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