Championing our way to sustainability

I wish to share this article by Wayne Roberts on champions, and how the presence of a champion can be key to making effective environmental change. We who did similar work on food or general sustainability at the University of Waterloo know this all too well. A champion when she is effective is one of the keys in making things happen. And there are other elements.
A trip to the Elmira Produce Auction was key to grab that emotional feeling that helped launch the UW Farm Market, similar to Erin Shapero's story of her staff who tried organic milk and mayor who visited an LFP certified farm.
Roberts finds other solutions in the book, Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive And Others Die, including getting the public's attention in unique ways. My own research into institutional change in sustainability also pointed out the usefulness of a high-level champion for a cause in obtaining a desired result (preferably more than one), as well as understanding your barriers well, using strategic language, and searching out new supporters from unexpected areas in the organization.

Perhaps you're in a position to be a champion, or can work to get someone on board. So go forth and make effective change!


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