The Boston Greenovate Leaders and Ambassadors program trains community members to spur direct climate action within their social networks. The program allows the City to share the work it is undertaking through a grassroots focused strategy, while also empowering and educating residents to take personalized climate action on their own. City staff prepare and periodically update a core presentation and script on the City’s climate and energy programs and the ways that individuals can take action. They also reach out to the community through social media and through community partners to recruit potential leaders and ambassadors. Leaders attend a three-hour workshop to review the core presentation materials and learn how to customize it to reflect their communities’ needs and interests. Supported by stipends, they host their own events and issue their own invitations, and report results to the City. Ambassadors make a longer-term commitment, participating in monthly meetings and learning to conduct the Leaders training on their own. 

What is the project? How does it work

Launched in 2017 as Climate Ready Boston Community Leaders, the program set out to raise awareness of the recent climate preparedness plan and engage more residents, particularly in vulnerable neighborhoods, in climate action. The Leaders and Ambassadors program is innovating in ways to connect climate action and planning to individual and neighborhood engagement. It starts by recognizing the seriousness and the capability of Boston residents to communicate effectively the core information, goals, and resources of climate action in our city. The City then supports that communication with accessible information and presentations specifically designed to be creatively customized, and with staff and financial resources that assist participants in reaching out to their communities in the way that they know is best. Finally, it creates a network of people in the neighborhoods who can share stories with each other and with City staff and leadership that help city government to improve policies, programs, and presentations that produce more effective action.

What are the CO2 reduction goals?

The Leaders and Ambassadors program aims to decrease carbon emissions by helping residents identify and undertake specific climate actions most appropriate for themselves. These actions range from making their own homes more efficient and increasing recycling, to using bicycles rather than cars. This program is evaluated in terms of participation, not quantified carbon reductions, but there are no specific goals.

Nearly 300 people in four cohorts have been or are going through the training and have held events with over 1,500 attendees, so far. The leaders and ambassadors themselves and those attending their events have acquired knowledge of actionable items to help themselves, friends, family, and community reduce GHG emissions.

Because the Leaders and Ambassador program is built upon the idea that residents themselves are the best messenger for information that the city develops, the goal for the program is to expand the networks of people taking climate action within neighborhoods This increases the ability of the community to participate in and even lead climate policy and program development as it pertains to their neighborhood.

Additionally, the trained Leaders and Ambassadors have successfully held events where they have communicated the City’s vulnerability reduction plans to their broader community and to other local residents.

  • Environmental
  • Social
Key Impact
Community-based climate change trainings and workshops are now operational in Boston
June 2018
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