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Guide to Hosting

This page provides a general guide for hosts/teachers (anyone who has previously completed an EcoActUs Workshop) who are planning to present an EcoActUs Sustainability Leadership Training Workshop. The guide is divided into Planning & Preparation, Kick Off Meeting, Breakout Session Planning, and Follow-up.

Workshop Planning

  • Setting up the Workshop for a group session​

    • ​​email the request to info@EcoActUs.org. Please include your name, when you took the Workshop, the name, city and state of your group and how many people you are inviting. Identify a start date for the Workshop.

    • You will receive an invitation email you can forward to invitees. Invitees can begin the course (eWorkbook) immediately. But to gain full benefit it is valuable for the Host to organize one or more Networking sessions.

    • A Host needs to be selected to manage the Workshop process (and this person may also facilitate the small group discussions) -- this can by you, or someone from the organization

    • Networking Zoom meetings need to be scheduled and set up -- as many as you desire, on the schedule the group desires

    • Remind participants to view the Help video(s)

    • The participants should self-pace through the material

    • You or the instructor/host may want to schedule a closing meeting, but it is not necessary.  In any case invite participants to view the Closing Video on-line.

    • Repeat -- invite others!

  • Planning & Preparation

    • Determine who will lead the event

      • Host or Facilitator is the person(s) selected to manage the process, including the Networking Session(s)​.

      • Facilitator, if needed, is a person helping during the Networking Session(s)

      • For questions, email info@EcoActUs.org

    • Identify break out facilitators (the Host may act as the Facilitator)

    • Create a schedule. Creating a start date may help some better organize. Going through the eWorkbook as a group is sometimes helpful. However, individuals will likely proceed at their own pace.

    • For an organization or team using the Workbook to complete their plan, you may want to finalize and announce an evaluation date (approximately 3 months after the end of the Workshop).

    • Ask participants to review the "Participant's Guide". They should download the Pre-Work Exercises and watch the orientation videos in advance of the Workshop start date.

  • Local Marketing/Recruitment​

    • Send informational email to potential attendees

    • The instructor should email occasionally to remind potential attendees​ about any potential start date and date/times for Networking Discussions. Of course, Hosts may also organize organization-specific meetings (Zoom or otherwise) to discuss the Action Plan.

Workshop Kickoff

  1. Host may have a Zoom session (or in-person if organized that way) OR ask participants to view the Instructional material and videos on the "Participant's Guide".

  2. Workshop program information & introduction

    1. Review the Pre-Work & Full Exercises (Powerpoint)

    2. Review the orientation videos

    3. Questions?

  3. Schedule Networking Sessions

    1. Date(s) & review with attendees

  4. Completion requirements

    1. Quizzes

    2. Certificate​

Host's Introduction Slide Show Sample (keynote)
(click icon to left to download)

Host's Introduction Slide Show Sample (Keynote)
(click icon to left to download)

Host's Introduction Slide Show Sample (PowerPoint)
(click icon to left to download)

Workshop Small Group or Breakout Sessions

  1. Facilitator(s) will host the Networking Session(s)

  2. Networking Session(s)

    1. Cover the material you want to discuss (e.g., eWorkbook Sessions 1 & 2)

    2. Provide “prompt” questions for discussion (a few sample
      questions are provided below)

    3. You may want to give students a template for SWOT analysis
      to fill in during the Session (see link to right)

Student SWOT guide
(click icon to left to download)

Recommended Breakout Session Guide

Most Workshops will have one or more networking sessions,​ spaced about a week apart, helping participants share their progress and get advice from other participants. The Facilitator should setup a Zoom meeting (or other suitable site) and start the meeting. Depending on the number of attendees, breakout rooms may be utilized.

Here is an agenda recommendation (download more detailed guide below) for the Facilitator of a Breakout Session...

  • Intro by Facilitator (3-5 min)

  • Introductory Remarks

  • Group Agreements

  • If more than about 8 participants, utilize Breakout Room(s) to create manageable group sizes

  • Review Breakout Room strategy (about 45 minutes with about 5-7 people per room)

  • Participant introductions (1 min each) [in breakout rooms if using]

  • Room participants to discuss questions divided into two parts (THE WHY and THE WHAT)

  • Return to the Main Group, ask if anyone wants to share their discussion (5 minutes max)

  • ​Facilitator closing remarks

Example Questions for Breakout Groups​


Our intention is for this smaller group discussion is to let people share in their progress and ask questions about that progress, or lack thereof.

THE WHY (Networking session 1)

  • Personal introductions

  • Organizations/individual actions you have influence over

  • Why do you want your organization to be more sustainable?

  • What is your vision for your organization being a more sustainable organization (how will it look in 3-5 years)?

THE WHAT (Networking session 2)

  • SWOT analysis

    • Identify 1-3 Strengths: sustainable actions that your organization is already taking

    • Identify 1-3 Weaknesses: material impact : resource consumption, main sources of pollution (including CO2) caused by your organization

    • Identify 1-3 Opportunities raised by the transition of the problem for your organization​

    • Identify 1-3 Threats: risks caused by the transition to sustainability

  • Who is or could be a supporter of sustainability in your organization? Consider roles & performance goals, as well as informal influencers (from eWorkbook Session 3)

  • Who is or might be resistant to sustainability in your organization? Why? (from eWorkbook Session 3)

  • Given your organization's stage of maturity, stakeholders and other characteristics, what is the best way to frame this issue to motivate action and overcome resistance?

    • How can you align with/connect with supporters?​

    • Who might influence the opponents to either change their view or stay out of the fight?

  • Outline one sustainability SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound) for your organization. How does your SMART goal relate to your organization's motivations/goals?​

Detailed Facilitator Guide (click icon to left to download)

GROUP AGREEMENTS

 

1.     MAKE SPACE, TAKE SPACE

Those who speak often should make space for other voices, while those who are more reserved should participate tothe fullest of their ability.

 

2.      SPEAK FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE INSTEAD OF GENERALIZING

Share from your own experiences and don’t speak for others by using statements with “I” instead of “they,” “we,” and “you.”

 

3.      SEEK TO UNDERSTAND BY PRACTICING ACTIVE LISTENING

Ask for clarity before challenging others’ positions. The goal of the conversation is to gain a deeper understanding of each other.

 

4.      EMBRACE PRODUCTIVE DISCOMFORT

These conversations require participants to lean into discomfort rather than attempting to avoid it.

 

5.      ASSUME GOOD INTENTIONS

Attempt to assume the best when listening to others’ perspectives, rather than assuming the worst. Begin theseconversations on a positive note to create an open environment for discovery.

 

6.       INTENT DOES NOT NEGATE IMPACT

A statement can be offensive to others even if that was not the speaker’s intent. Acknowledge when your behaviorhas been offensive to a participant by listening to their response and accepting responsibility.

 

7.      DISAGREE WITHOUT DISCORD

Disagreement is expected, so approach unexpected ideas with curiosity, not argument. If you disagree, respectfully debate and challenge ideas rather than attack the person.

 

8.       ACCEPT THAT THERE IS NO QUICK FIX

We can't expect to fully resolve such complex issues within a short meeting. Gaining deeper understandingthrough these discussions represents progress.

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