Taking Action: You. Now.

Happy New Year! Yeah, I know it is the eve of March. I’ve lost two months, and I’m figuring a lot of readers out there are much the same. January and February can be very demanding months in New Zealand. It can take a while to get settled into the new year. Are we settled in yet?
So, a question. How many readers of this blog decided that in 2007 they would do something about the state of the world? Something environmental or community-based or political? Just – something?
And… how many of you have actually done something so far?
This is not to nag. I haven’t either, yet. But the problem is bigger than a busy summertime. Our collective failure to get things in motion is one of the problems of modern life, where we have awareness and we have intent and yet we still can’t quite translate that into action.
Last year I posted about Small Group Actions. The idea, in short, is to make it easier to get something worthwhile underway by doing it in a small short-term group (rather than alone, or as part of a big organization). Starting a Small Group Action is easy:

  • choose an issue you want to do something about.
  • email some friends and say ‘lets meet to do something’
  • turn up to the meeting with the SGAguide

The first step is easy – get together with your friends – and after you’ve done that you have some momentum, and also group dynamics to keep things ticking over. No-one has to make a scary long-term commitment – at the end of the action, the group dissolves. Short and sweet.
The full SGA idea is still in development, but the principles are robust. The posts on SGA last year generated much more feedback than anything else I’ve ever posted online. A lot of people were keen to give it a go.
It’s the new year. If you’re sick of just being a wallflower and want to get up and dance – get into it. You already care about something. Just email some friends about meeting up. It will take twenty seconds. Do it now. Begin.

As before, I welcome emails or comments from anyone who gets something underway or wants to talk about something in the SGA material. I’ll try my best to make sense of things!

Wondering where to start? Well, if you care at all about environmental stuff, particularly climate change and peak oil, why not kick off with the Draft NZ Energy Strategy? A group of three or four people can share out the reading and put together a submission in only a couple of meetings, easily in time for the deadline in a month. You don’t have to go to Parliament like i did, either – just send in a letter. And these submissions really can have an impact on what happens – far more than you might expect.

Small Group Action Guide: SGAs and lots of action ideas, all in 3 pages. PDF, 92K.
SGA 1: Sekret Project Revealed
SGA 2: The Power Of Groups
SGA 3: Action Of Commitment
SGA 4: Concrete and Consensual
SGA 5: To Do What, Exactly?
SGA 6: Give It A Try

5 thoughts on “Taking Action: You. Now.”

  1. I was planning to do something on the Energy Strategy, and specifically on the “transitional measures” paper which accompanied it. Another good target would be “sustainable land management and climate change” and its accompanying discussion document on dforestation permit trading. This one will be dominated by rural voices representing the 10% of New Zelanders responsible for 50% of NZ’s emissions (they’re called “farmers”); it would be useful to have more submissions from the cities to counterbalance them.

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