Putting strategy into practice: ECA Mass builds a structure for program development and innovation

Following three months of structured strategic conversations, ECA Mass is poised to put important strategic insights into practice. We are focused on three different approaches at this time – structured experiments in program design, development of an effective communications strategy, and developing competency in understanding and activating our personal and organizational networks. Over the coming months, we will use these approaches to strengthen our outreach, advocacy and education efforts on behalf of meaningful climate action.

An important purpose of our strategic conversation is to relate the chapter’s strategies and activities to its mission and long-term vision. What are the necessary preconditions for change, and how do we get there?  “ECA Mass Mission and Strategy 2018” briefly expresses these strategic elements as a touchstone for moving forward with our new approaches:

ECA Mass Mission and Strategy 2018

Mission: Elders Climate Action Massachusetts mobilizes elders to address climate change while there is still time to protect the well-being of our grandchildren and future generations.

5 Year Vision:

The Elders Climate Action Massachusetts Chapter has pursued our mission by expanding networks of connection, exerting pressure to change policy, and conveying information and narratives. We are recognized as leaders within the climate movement with vibrant nodes in many Massachusetts communities and close intergenerational and other partnerships. We are able to mobilize elders on occasions of political importance to influence legislators and other policy makers, telling powerful personal stories informed by the wisdom of our experience. We are trusted as a knowledge resource on the reality of climate change and ways to combat it.

Core strategy:

Organizing elders to exert pressure on lawmakers and government agencies to develop policies that respond forcefully to climate change, while promoting climate-friendly societal behaviors among individuals, communities, businesses, and educational institutions.

Supporting Strategies:

  • We encourage elders to take responsibility for climate action
  • We cultivate a strong network of connections with allied organizations and the lifelong networks of our elder climate activists
  • We reach out to elders to foster clusters of elder activism
  • We develop relationships with key legislators
  • We cultivate expertise on the reality of climate change and ways of slowing the impact
  • We communicate about the reality and impact of climate change, telling stories that draw on our unique wisdom, to influence other elders, other citizens, and decision-makers
  • We facilitate elder engagement by alerting elders to personal and local actions they can take
  • We actively develop our leadership capacity as individuals and as an organization.

Moving ahead

Over the next several months, the chapter will implement and test several new program ideas, provide member training on harnessing the power of our personal networks, hold a workshop on communications strategy, and continue to build out our strategic model to set a clear direction for the chapter and maximize our impact on the movement.  Interesting program experiments are already underway – organizing cities and towns to expand tree planting, learning how to engage others in climate action through the telling of our personal stories, and working with other climate action organizations to improve content for newsletters, fact sheets, blogs and other communications channels. The June newsletter will feature the progress of these new initiatives and how they are moving the organization toward its strategic vision.