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.
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:
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 1: Learning and exploring
|February – April 2023||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
|May – July 2023||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
|August – October 2023||
Month 7: Evaluating Impact
Phase 4: Wrapping up and looking ahead
Month 10: Leading with hope and care
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), for more information about this opportunity.
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:
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 French-speaking cohort in 2023 as well. More information on CCT's French Cohort will be shared in November.
We are inviting communities to submit a short application explaining their interest in participating in the 2023 cohort. The application process will be open until December 13, 2022.
Once the applications close, our review process will unfold over several stages, outlined here:
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.
Participants can expect to devote an average of 5-6 hours/month to the program.
This roughly breaks down to:
This is in addition to 6 coaching sessions for your team, spread over the 10-month period.
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.
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.