If we want to limit the most devastating effects of climate change, then the world must come together to change key human behaviors at scale.
While new and improved frameworks for international policy and economic decision-making are vitally important, these high-level changes will not necessarily create a flourishing future on their own. We need to match these systemic changes (being led by international and national governments and NGOs) with tangible, scalable changes in how people live their daily lives. Real action is needed at both the treetops and the grassroots levels.
Living the Change launched the Climate-Friendly Lifestyles Training Program in 2018 to help foster a global movement around these personal and community-level changes in how people of faith can practice their values as good stewards of the Earth. As with our other focus areas, the Training Program is grounded in research that shows conclusively how three areas of behavior - transportation, diet, and home energy use - are responsible for the vast majority of our personal carbon emissions.
Last year, 80 religious and spiritual leaders from around the world participated in this new Training Program, and became part of our growing, multi-faith community for climate-friendly lifestyles. Participants learned from leading experts, as well as from one another, about what motivates and challenges behavior change. Over the course of five interactive online sessions, participants also shared how faith and spirituality can support sustainable choices, including heartfelt stories about their own personal commitments.
Now, Living the Change is revamping the Climate-Friendly Lifestyles Training Program to be even bigger and better in 2019! Please join our mailing list and check back here soon for more information about this year's program details and how you can apply.
In 2018, our inaugural class of 80 program participants had the opportunity to:
be inspired by the importance of this initiative and motivated to engage their communities
be equipped with knowledge, skills and resources to foster sustainable living
gain confidence to organize an inspiring local event on sustainable living during the “Week of Living the Change”
enjoy a multi-faith network of support with other local faith leaders from diverse contexts.
We welcome any member of a spiritual or religious community who wants to act as a multiplier/leader for climate-friendly lifestyles. Participants have included local imams, priests, rabbis, ministers, religious educators, members of diverse faith communities, lay leaders, youth leaders, outreach leaders, and many more.
Our training is practice-oriented with a focus on experiential learning. Previous methods have included:
Online sessions: These meetings provide a platform for learning, sharing, and discussion. Short inputs by climate-friendly living experts and representatives of different religious and spiritual communities served as the foundation for more interactive discussions.
Experiential learning: In between the online sessions, there are a variety of practical assignments supported by regular communication within the group.
Small teams: In 2018, each participant was teamed up with 3 others (usually from different religious backgrounds and/or geographic regions) for break-out groups during the online sessions, exercises, and mutual support. This type of cross-cultural exchange is a central component of the program experience.
Local engagement: Participants have also developed their own strategies to promote sustainable living in their local areas, developing a creative solution and activity that they can implement in the real world. This experience included, but was not limited to, organizing a local event during the annual Time for Living the Change.
The 2018 curriculum included a series of web-based discussions, curated by experienced facilitators and involving renowned international sustainable living experts. These discussions addressed key facets of an effective engagement on climate-friendly living.
“Why it matters: The impacts of sustainable lifestyle changes”
“We can do this together: Engaging my community”
“Narratives of transformation: Communicating sustainable living”
“Joyful changes: The psychology of changing individual behaviors”
Organizing your local community event
Evaluation and Certificate Ceremony