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How we see change happening

We face big and new challenges, with few tried and tested recipes for success out there. For Climate Action Leeds, having a view on how change happens is essential in order to make sure our efforts are as effective as possible. 

 

We have distilled and blended lots of different ideas into THREE aspects that guide the work of Climate Action Leeds and summarise how we see change happening.

 

We call it the 'LAB' approach - Learn, Act, Build. For us, climate action has to work across, and incorporate those three things.

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Learn and unlearn

resilience, consciousness, personal change

 

Firstly, our work is committed to group and personal change. We want to focus on learning new skills and gaining the insights that we need for the challenges we face now and those ahead.

 

We want to learn to change ourselves and also the way we work as a group. This involves, for example, developing new skills and competencies for making decisions, communicating well and changing our understanding of the world around us.

 

It also means unlearning some of the things we have learned up to now, especially in terms of how power works and addressing how certain groups and people become dominant. So, we want to learn and unlearn, and importantly decolonise our actions and ways of thinking.

 

We do all this as we want to work better and be more effective, build personal and group resilience, and strengthen solidarity with others. 

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Act and resist

resist, challenge, structural change

 

Secondly, we are committed to action, not for the sake of it but because action is the lifeblood of our work. It is what gives us energy and purpose to respond to the climate emergency in a socially just way.

 

For us, action comes in many forms, which is important as this allows us to connect with people with a range of experiences and skills. Action can mean changing and challenging dominant institutions - to respond to some of the real damage done to our world by the fossil fuel and extractive industries. Or sometimes we simply need to take a stand against what’s wrong with our world. 

 

But action can also mean legal support, advocacy work, community support, consumer boycotts, lobbying leaders, street demonstrations, media work, listening, or just being there.

 

These are all equally valid and represent the rich and diverse ways that people have always taken action. It's important to stress that while action is direct, it is always non-violent.

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Build and make

rework, alternatives, actions

 

Thirdly, we want to create alternatives. We need positive examples of what change looks like, so that we can show people how life can be better right here and now.

 

There are so many examples of doing things better - like community food growing, local renewable energy, skill sharing workshops, car sharing clubs, community centres, outdoor kids activities, school walking buses, rewilding local greenspaces, tree planting, providing meals for elderly people, developing community housing and starting worker co-operatives.

 

These are not just useful things to do, they are also direct solutions to tackling climate change and reducing air pollution, poverty and isolation locally. This also involves using what we already have - remaking and retrofitting things that exist like old buildings or whole streets.

 

This work also means making a new story of how things can be different in a place, and building a coalition of people that can make the case for it and make it happen.

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Build and make

rework, alternatives, actions

Act and resist

resist, challenge, structural change

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Learn and unlearn

resilience, consciousness, personal change