Learn More about the Cohort

Read on to see some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Climate Transitions Cohort offered by the Community Climate Transitions team at the Tamarack Institute.


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Deadline: December 15, 2023

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Learning More about the Cohort

1. What is the goal of the cohort and what do you hope to achieve over the 10-month process?

Our goal is work with select communities across Canada to accelerate their local response to the climate crisis by helping them design and/or refine a shared vision and common agenda for equitable climate transitions.

To this end, the Climate Transitions Cohort is a 10-month learning journey that supports changemakers inside and outside of local governments who are ready to develop or deepen a local plan for climate action enhanced by the ‘multisolving’, Collective Impact and equity-based approaches introduced in our curriculum.

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2. As a participant, why should I join this Cohort?

Membership to the Cohort grants access to a program unique in its scope and reach in Canada. Our curriculum is thoughtfully built to guide you through diverse and dynamic blend of learning, training and networking opportunities:

  • Monthly live sessions with established guest speakers who share direct expertise in each month’s module and its key themes
  • Exclusive access to Tamarack webinars and events (online and in-person), plus access to additional learning opportunities from our partners
  • Six coaching sessions per community with professional coaches from the Tamarack Learning Centre
  • One-on-one support from the Community Climate Transitions team for the duration of the program
  • An overview of cutting-edge tools, evidence-based solutions, governance models and other educational resources to deepen your understanding of the climate crisis and its implications for municipalities
  • Access to innovative resources on how to develop local transition plans through collective impact and community engagement methodologies
  • Updates on the latest news, events and publications on community climate transition from within Canada and around the world
  • Access to Tamarack's Vibrant Communities publications, research and guides for cities and local leaders
  • Networking with key experts and institutions working on local climate transitions in Canada – from peer learning opportunities with other Tamarack member communities to engagement with thought leaders from relevant sectors
  • An opportunity for peer feedback on the work you’ll be brainstorming and developing during the course of the 10-month learning journey

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3. What does the content of the Cohort look like?

Tamarack's Climate Transitions Cohort is premised on a deceptively simple question: How can we support local efforts to develop bold and equitable climate transition plans through a whole-community approach and learn from one another in the process?

We have structured our curriculum to be accessible, incremental, and highly customizable to your local context. Our content is also tailored to establishing and/or enhancing multi-stakeholder collaboration, agenda-setting, and rapid prototyping of local solutions.

Here is an overview of the 10 learning modules that make up the core of our Cohort’s learning and training journey:

Community Climate Transitions Cohort Overview

Phase Months Learning Modules

Phase 1: Learning and exploring

Mindset: Inspiration



February – April 2024 Month 1: The role of communities in climate action & climate justice

This module focuses on understanding the key role that communities play in planning for climate action and advancing equitable climate justice outcomes. We explore the process of setting a common agenda in collaboration with diverse stakeholders, introduce the Collective Impact approach, and more.

Month 2: A multisolving approach to centering equity and justice in climate transitions

We discuss the value of embracing a 'multisolving' approach to planning for climate transitions; unpack why integrating the SDGs into your local work can generate powerful co-benefits; and explore real-world examples of climate plans that centre equity.

Month 3: Fundamentals of collective impact and collaborative leadership

An introduction to the Collective Impact model. You'll learn about hands-on tools to conduct a self-assessment of your local ecosystem and needs; how to develop a shared agenda for collective action; how to build a supporting backbone infrastructure; and strategies for continuously evaluating your progress.

Phase 2: Generating possibilities

Mindset: Ideation



May – July 2024 Month 4: Fundamentals of Community Engagement

Here, we explore a variety of tools, resources, and articles to help clarify roles and relationships between stakeholders, understand who to engage and when, how to overcome common engagement challenges, and more.

Month 5: Collective baseline data and target setting

With plans for a leadership table and an engagement strategy underway, it is now time to think about how to collect baseline data and how to set ambitious but achievable targets for your climate action plan. We'll explore leading case studies and tools to help you get started on this important process.

Month 6: Brainstorming actions and solutions

Every successful climate action plan needs to be able to address challenges and visions that are unique to the local context. In this module, we unpack proven solutions and emerging leadership models to help inspire you as you think through the particular challenges and opportunities present in your community.

Phase 3: Developing

Mindset: Engagement



August – October 2024

Month 7: Evaluating Impact

In this module, we explore the key components of a successful evaluation strategy, introduce tools and resources for participatory monitoring and evaluation, and help you refine indicators, data targets, and impact sharing strategies to take your planning to the next level.

Month 8: Climate communications and storytelling

A successful climate action plan is a story worth telling! In this module, we discuss the importance of crafting a compelling communications strategy to raise awareness, increase community buy-in, and galvanize local engagement. We'll review reports, training resources, and other exciting material to help you get started sharing your climate story.

Month 9: Financing your work

Another important component of successful climate action planning is funding your work. In this module, we review some of the latest, most promising financial mechanisms and opportunities to support your local efforts and sustain them over time.


Phase 4: Wrapping up and looking ahead

Mindset: Celebration



November 2024

Month 10: Leading with hope and care

Learning how to make sustainability work sustainable for those leading it is crucial to any meaningful climate initiative.

Our last module offers an overview of ways to keep hope alive, and keep you and your community healthy, while facing the urgency of the climate crisis in all of its complexity.

  • Membership beyond the cohort
  • Next steps for the cohort and your climate plan
  • How to stay engaged with the Tamarack community and the Canadian climate transition movement

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4. Is the Cohort more focused on mitigation or adaptation work?

We know that a successful climate transition will require a diverse strategy that can address and respond to challenges related to mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and justice alike.

At the same time, we recognize that each community has needs and realities that are unique to the local context and, for this reason, we have designed this program to allow participants to select the area(s) of priority that make the most sense for their needs at this time.

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5. How is this different from other programs that are helping communities develop climate plans? (e.g., the Partners for Climate Protection program offered by FCM and ICLEI)

The Climate Transitions Cohort is an exciting opportunity for communities across Canada to learn from some of the most promising emerging solutions and collaborative governance innovations to build and/or advance a climate action plan that is unique to their local needs.

Our mission is to ensure that local climate transition efforts in cities, towns, regions, provinces, and territories are successful. Rather than provide technical expertise on specific components of a climate plan such as energy transmission or emissions reduction, our work is focused on an often overlooked and misunderstood component of successful climate planning: evidence-based processes and tools that support collaborative, resident-led and cross-sectoral approaches to inclusive and equitable transitions. In support of this goal, Cohort members receive one-on-one access to a Manager of Cities, Tamarack Expert Coaches, and to an incredible network of change leaders, practitioners, and a community of peers both within Canada and beyond to learn more about the how of successful local climate action.

This means that the cohort is more than a capacity-building and networking opportunity – it doubles as a community of practice for the real-time brainstorming and prototyping of solutions aimed at advancing the development (and implementation) of a successful climate transition plan. This means that, together, we will develop – on action plans, and that you will benefit from peer feedback, expert guidance and have access to a dynamic suite of innovative tools and methodologies to draw from to develop the plan that best serves your local needs.

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6. Why is Tamarack engaging in the climate space?

As a systemic issue, the climate crisis is exacerbated by challenges such as growing inequality, accelerating environmental degradation, and the rise of global risk events such as the Covid-19 pandemic – all of which disproportionately affect communities already made vulnerable by rising inequality and extractive economic systems.

Cities and communities are on the frontline of these massive challenges and, for this reason, local actors have a crucial role to play when it comes to addressing the climate crisis. At the same time, we know that they often lack access to proven methodologies and the support they need in order to implement their vision effectively.

The Climate Transitions Cohort is our response to the urgent need for bold and collective climate action. We want communities to be recognized as the integral drivers of change and critical in building strong and inclusive societies. Our belief is that when we are effective in strengthening our collective capacity to engage citizens and lead collaboratively, our work contributes to the building of peace and to a more equitable society.

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Applying to Join the Cohort

7. Who is this opportunity designed for?

The cohort is open to communities across Canada (municipal governments, multistakeholder coalitions, citizen-led groups, nonprofits, and others) that are interested in developing a transition plan or updating an existing one.

Community changemakers from inside and outside of local governments are invited to come together, learn how to develop a common vision for local climate action and set a common agenda with local stakeholders through a process called Collective Impact: an innovative, whole-community approach that prioritizes multi-sectoral leadership and deep civic engagement in complex decision-making processes such as equitable climate transitions.

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8. Is there a cost to participate?

In order to join the cohort, participants must be Tamarack members.

Membership comes with a range of exciting rewards designed to enhance the reach and impact of our members’ work, and we are pleased to offer several membership options to keep participation accessible to communities:

Membership fees for 2024:
  • Cities/regions with a population of >100,000 can expect to pay $1,500 for annual membership
  • Cities/regions with a population of <100,000 can expect to pay $1,000 for annual membership
  • If you are already a member of another of Tamarack’s networks (Communities Ending Poverty, Deepening Community, Communities Building Youth Futures), you are eligible for a reduced rate for joint membership. Our team can provide further details.

If your group/coalition/organization lacks the resources to pay membership fees and/or is led by equity-deserving populations, you can apply to join at a reduced rate or at no cost through our Community Fund.

2024 membership rewards include the following:

  • Participation in communities of practice, including those for members only (e.g., the Climate Transitions Cohort calls for new members and an ongoing Community of Practice for members who have gone through the Cohort program)
  • Invitation to a complimentary workshop (on a first come, first served basis) on how to host effective meetings to accelerate your community impact


  • Three complimentary seats to Community Climate Transitions’ annual national summits (these may be larger public events or members-only gatherings)
  • Exclusive access to Tamarack webinars and events (online and in-person), plus access to additional learning opportunities from our partners
  • Updates on the latest news, events and publications on community climate transition from within Canada and around the world
  • Access to Tamarack's Vibrant Communities publications, research and guides for cities and local leaders


Tailored Support

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9. Do participants get funding through participation or support to find funding?

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Community Fund, which allows prospective groups/coalitions/organizations who may be lacking the resources to pay membership fees and/or who are led by equity-deserving populations to apply to join at a reduced rate or at no cost.

Please email our Director, Laura Schnurr (, for more information about this opportunity.

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10. Who is eligible to participate in this Cohort?

The cohort is open to communities across Canada (municipal governments, multistakeholder coalitions, citizen-led groups, nonprofits, and others) that are interested in developing a transition plan or updating an existing one, and that meet the following criteria:

  • Are registered Tamarack members
  • A stated commitment to centering justice and equity in a community’s climate response
  • A stated commitment to engage in the Collective Impact and community engagement processes that define our 10-month program
  • Having a cross-sector team of participants from the same location will be considered an asset (e.g., someone from local government and someone from the community co-leading this work)

At this time, given the cultural focus of our curriculum, as well as the time zone characterizing our live events, we encourage applications from Canadian members. Recognizing that climate change is a transnational issue, and that collaboration is vital, participation from coalitions of cross-border applicants from neighbouring regions are also welcome to apply.

If you are a francophone community in Canada, we are launching a second French-speaking cohort in 2024 as well. 

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11. What is the selection process?

We are inviting communities to submit a short application explaining their interest in participating in the 2024 cohort. The application process will be open until December 15, 2023.

Once the applications close, our review process will unfold over several stages, outlined here:

- Launch a call for applicants (Nov 2023)

- Deadline to apply (Dec 15, 2023)

- Evaluate proposals & communicate with applicants (Dec - Jan 2024)

- Cohort launch (Feb 2024)

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12. What would an ideal team look like? Is there a maximum team size?

Local teams can take different forms. For example, they could be a cross-section of several departments within a municipal government, a network of residents, members of a single organization (e.g., a local nonprofit) or institutional department, and more. At the same time, given the co-benefits of embracing a collaborative and multi-stakeholder approach to climate planning, having a cross-sector team of participants from the same location will be considered an asset (e.g., someone from local government and someone from the community co-leading this work).

We suggest a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 6 participants for the core team (i.e., those members who will be directly participating in our Cohort program). At the same time, keep in mind that your local team may be bigger, particularly if you plan to report to your colleagues in same or related teams, engage with groups of residents and volunteers, and if you plan to establish a multi-stakeholder leadership table to support your process. If you believe your core team should include more than 6 people, feel free to reach out to us to discuss possible ad-hoc accommodations.

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Participating in the Cohort

13. What is the time commitment involved?

Participants can expect to devote an average of 5-6 hours/month to the program.

This roughly breaks down to:

  • 1 x 90-minute monthly call;
  • 1 hour for studying module materials; 
  • 1-2 hours for core team to meet; and
  • 1 hour for group activities.

This is in addition to 6 coaching sessions for your team, spread over the 10-month period.

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14. In addition to the workshops and access to coaching, what else will be asked of participants?

In completing each module, your team may be asked to submit short writing assignments or other homework activities. However, the program is designed to be flexible and suited to your needs, so there is also an opportunity to self-pace based on your other commitments or local processes and priorities.

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15. What happens after the 10 months?

Members who graduate from the Cohort are invited to stay involved as Tamarack members, continuing to enjoy a broad range of benefits and opportunities designed specifically for members in mind.

Membership also grants access to a growing, dynamic network of changemakers from across Canada sharing their knowledge, success stories, and resources with the Community Climate Transitions program. If you’d like to learn more, read our Membership Package, linked below.

Download the Membership Package

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French-language Accessibility

16. Is the Cohort available to French-language participants?

Yes! We are happy to share the launch of a French-speaking cohort in 2023 as well. More information on CCT's French Cohort is available on our dedicated page.

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Testimonials - 2022 Cohort