Here’s a simple how-to on creating your own climate projects at home to address climate-related issues in your community. Written by Elise Pullar, SOI’s very own Alumni Program Coordinator, who has been working with youth on their own projects for the last year.
Our communities are ridden with issues to be solved or as we like to see it, opportunities for change! And you have amazing skills, passions and ideas that the world needs to experience. Launching a project could turn your potential into purpose! But starting a project from scratch can be intimidating, so we’ve broken it down into bite-sized pieces.
Here are 5 steps you can take to turn your wonderful ideas into projects IRL:
Observe your community and collect ideas
Okay, grab a piece of paper or a friend to chat with and reflect on these questions…
- What are the main issues or needs to be addressed in my community?
- What can I and/or my community do to address these issues?
- Which community members should I bring into the conversation?
- Why is this response unique?
Then think about personal motivators:
- Why do I want to take a leadership role on this initiative?
- What positive social and environmental impact do I want to have?
- What personal goals or outcomes do I hope to achieve?
- How does this project feed my passions?
Dig into the design
Now, you’ll want to identify what products, services, events, activities, and other deliverables your initiative will produce.
It’s also time to figure out who your target audience is (what demographic do you want to engage?)
Then, choose where you want the project to take place. What city? Location? Indoors, outdoors or virtual? Venues book up in advance and event permits take longer than expected, so get on this right away.
And when will your project launch? Make a timeline for your project. List the important dates and milestones in the order they’ll need to happen. This will help you track your progress, stay accountable, and remind you to celebrate those milestones!
It’s time to reach out to the people required to bring this project to life. Who do you need to engage for a successful initiative? This could include yourself, partners, volunteers, staff, and mentors. Decide on how you can engage others working on this issue. Think about what role you will play and how you will delegate tasks to share the workload.
Beyond human resources, start identifying what funding, tools, material, equipment, physical space etc. you’ll need for the project’s success. Then reflect on where you can source these from and how you can acquire funding (grants, donations, partnerships). For instance, SOI has microgrants for alumni community projects that you could apply for! Not alumni? Taking It Global also has Community Service Grants!
Identify gaps and challenges
There will be gaps between what you currently have and what you need. There will also be challenges to overcome in order to make your initiative a success. Try to identify these gaps and challenges, before they emerge. Then, brainstorm what you and your team can do to bridge these gaps and overcome these hurdles.
Take action and share your initiative with the world!
You’ve done all the idea-generating, reflecting, designing and planning. Now it’s time to let the world know! You could plan the best project, but if you don’t spread the word about it, engagement will be low.
Communications can look like anything from posts on social media to group emails to interviews on your local news. Promote to your target audience regularly in the build-up to the project launch. If you are an alumnus, SOI would love to help promote your initiatives as well, so let us know what projects you come up with!
There you have it – in 5 steps, you can turn a dream of a project into reality. BUT the most important step is to simply take action! You’ll never be 100% ready, so just get started today.
Hey SOI Alumni, if you’ve read this far, you should also apply for the 2021 Climate Action Cohort! Applications have launched. Through this SOI program, you’ll join a group of young leaders in community project design and implementation, climate policy lessons and mentorship opportunities! If interested, please fill out the application HERE.