|Note: By clicking the icon , readers will arrive at the Master Checklist that corresponds to each point of the timeline.|
Before the Second Planning Meeting
The event chair may task the planning committee with conducting additional research into emerging climate issues within the community. Local newspaper articles, social media postings, blog submissions, local/state climate action plans, as well as recent municipal/state climate legislation can be useful sources of information. With that, encourage committee members to provide suggestions for guest speakers and moderators in connection with these issues as well.
The Second Planning Meeting
Program Development – Outlining the Forum Theme, Focal Areas, and Topics of Discussion
Prior to determining the theme of the forum and topics of interest, we recommend that organizers review previous suggestions and research findings. In the past, forum themes and topics have ranged from focusing on community carbon emissions mitigation strategies to fostering community resilience and cross-sector climate solutions. Included in the Resource Library web page is a list of proposed topics based on past cross-sector climate forums that may be useful in framing the focus of your forum.
Creating Working Groups within the Planning Committee
In order to distribute the load of planning for the forum, the planning committee may decide to create subcommittees or working groups to divide tasks and streamline the planning process. Tasks delegated to working groups may be led by members of the planning committee or other partners. This can ease individual burdens and simplify the management of forum logistics leading up to the event, during the event, and even after the event.
Working groups, or points-of-contact, may be formed to address the following needs:
- Financing: Creating and keeping track of the budget, recruiting sponsors, maintaining invoices, allocating funds to other subcommittees, and applying for grants.
- Marketing and Communications: Creating promotional materials, publishing social media posts, maintaining the forum website, publishing press releases, conducting outreach, and reaching out to potential speakers
- Logistics/Programming: Managing program events, catering, venue booking, and attendee experience and feedback
- Volunteer Coordination: Recruiting volunteers and providing support to guests/participants and speakers
This list of groups and associated tasks provided is not exhaustive, and organizers may consider adding or subtracting tasks relevant to each working group as needed.
Developing a List of Keynote Speakers, Panelists, and Moderators
Once an initial theme and list of topics have been agreed upon, organizers may begin identifying candidates for guest speakers, panelists, and moderators for their cross-sector climate forum. Expect the list to be long at the start, containing subject matter experts, representatives from local organizations, government officials, business leaders and entrepreneurs, as well as other professionals whose knowledge and expertise are relevant to the proposed theme of the cross-sector climate forum. Organizers should then prioritize and vet individuals prior to inviting them to the forum. Special consideration should also be given to the diversity of invitees to ensure the forum is inclusive of a wide range of voices and more marginalized groups. Below, we provide additional criteria organizers may consider when deciding on a speaker line-up:
- The individual’s work and achievements as they relate to the theme and purpose of the cross-sector climate forum
- The individual’s ability to with a diverse audience and inspire participation and action