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Strategic Dialogue and Engagement for Climate Adaptation

This course will provide you with skills to overcome barriers to action, mobilize knowledge and data effectively, and work across silos in genuine interdisciplinary and collaborative practice.
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  • Level: Introductory
  • Time commitment: 10 hours per week (8 weeks in total) – 80 hours total
  • Learning product:Online course
  • Sector:multi-sector, infrastructure, city planning, engineering
  • Language:English
  • Certificate available: completion certificate; microcredential program in development

Introduction

Professionals working across public, private and community sectors are facing complex questions about how to prepare for and adapt to the unavoidable impacts of a changing climate. In the context of a growing climate emergency, how do we engage internal and external stakeholders, build lasting collaborative partnerships, and embed climate adaptation strategies into organizational priorities, when professional silos, scarce resources and competing demands can pose potent obstacles to the change that is urgently needed?

This course will provide you with skills to overcome barriers to action, mobilize knowledge and data effectively, and work across silos in genuine interdisciplinary and collaborative practice. You’ll learn how to lead or participate in community engagement, without triggering fear and overwhelming others; practice critical self-awareness and self-reflection, and consider equity-based and decolonizing approaches.

This course is designed for professionals looking to advance the intersecting work of climate action and adaptation, including planners, engineers, elected officials and community leaders. You will leave with practical and relevant skills to lead, accelerate and participate in the essential work of climate adaptation in your organization and community.

The learning is supported by readings, videos and live, interactive online sessions. Participants are encouraged to share their own knowledge and expertise in group-based discussion forums.

The Strategic Dialogue and Engagement for Climate Adaptation course material is available using the links below for self-learning but if you wish to attend a facilitated online course find details here.

Institutional background and trainers

Strategic Dialogue and Engagement for Climate Adaptation by Simon Fraser University is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0creative commons iconcreative commons attribution iconcreative commons non-commercial icon except where indicated. For external links to resources, review the rights and permission details.

The author and instructor for this course is Olive Dempsey.

This course is part of the Adaptation Learning Network: Inspiring Climate Action. This course is Creative Commons licensed and the content is free to use with attribution (for external links to resources, please review the rights and permission details).

This course is also offered as a facilitated online course by Simon Fraser University. You can find registration information on the Adaptation Learning Network Portal.

Who would find this useful?

This course is designed for professionals looking to advance the intersecting work of climate action and adaptation, including planners, engineers, elected officials and community leaders. You will leave with practical and relevant skills to lead, accelerate and participate in the essential work of climate adaptation in your organization and community.

Learning Material

Module 1: Strategic Dialogue and Engagement for Climate Adaptation

The learning objectives for this module are to:

  • Recognize the role of strategic dialogue in adaptation planning and engagement processes;
  • Identify personal goals for leadership development and skills building;
  • Build familiarity with core concepts and identify their relevance to course objectives and application in the field; and
  • Build self-reflective capacity around questions of power, privilege and worldview, as they relate to dialogue and engagement.

Module 2: Psychology of Climate Change

This module aims to provide an overview of these psychological impacts, identify the ways they might show up in ourselves and in our work with others, and support you to develop strategies and approaches you can use to work skilfully with these unavoidable and critical aspects of the work.

Module 3: Climate Communications

In this module, we will be exploring not just general strategic communication principles, but factors that are particularly important to consider when communicating about climate risk and adaptation.

Module 4: Dialogue and Learning/Thinking Together

This module, weaves together perspectives and skills that intersect with and support other aspects of the course, including the modules on the psychology of climate change, organizational change, building lasting and collaborative partnerships as well as community engagement.

Module 5: Principles of Organizational Change

This module focuses on questions of how to advance or integrate climate preparedness and adaptation planning in organizations.

Module 6: Principles of Collaboration and Partnership

This module focuses less on theory and more on considerations for the role of strategic engagement and dialogue in the development and functioning of interdisciplinary teams and partnerships.

Module 7: Community Engagement

This module brings together core concepts introduced previously in the course, which have focused on: the psychology of climate communications; strategic communications; dialogue; and interdisciplinary or cross-sectoral collaboration.

Module 8: Putting It All Together

In this final module of the course, our emphasis is on sense-making and harvesting key insights that can support you to implement this work going forward.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the dynamics of collaborative, team-based planning processes
  • Apply key concepts in climate communications and knowledge mobilization
  • Engage in meaningful dialogue with internal and external stakeholders
  • Develop adaptive and responsive strategies for working in complex systems
  • Analyze and overcome internal and external barriers to climate adaptation

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