Transform4C is an expert agency in sustainable development, transition tasks, circular economy and climate goals. The Sustainable Development Goals are their guiding compass. They believe that government, education and business play a major role in achieving those climate goals and building a climate-proof future. They advise and guide projects by widely sharing the lessons of pioneers and putting participants in action mode during an experience and afterwards through online dialogue.
Charlotte Extercatte, innovator and founder of Transform4C: “Achieving climate goals concerns us all. We shouldn’t just deliberate; we should above all look at what actions we can take. We aim to help accelerate those transformation tasks as a partner in the global platform of climate professionals ‘100 Months to Change’ (100MTC) which was launched in September 2021. Our goal is to inspire and empower 1 million professionals in their climate work to achieve the 2030 climate goals. This is going tremendously fast with major organizations committing and embracing our approach. These are the big employers of the Netherlands, who can make a difference.”
Experiences as an incentive
To this end, they devised experiences that are held in-company with open registration. The combination of the film screening of Beyond Zero during a 100MTC Experience and the concrete tools from the pioneers’ approach gives partners a feeling of ‘it can be done’. They experience an inspirational and motivational boost to accelerate in climate work.
Charlotte: “During premiere, we had around 700 people watching the film Beyond Zero. From CEOs and scientists to programme managers and students. We gave them a moment to organize their thoughts after seeing this film. We asked them the question: what concrete action can you think of that you can start today? By doing this, you can already generate 30% more action from participants, simply because you focus on what they plan to do. Asking questions stimulates curiosity.
Important role for climate dialogue
After such an event, people want a follow-up. The online dialogue plays an important role in this. A few days after the screening of the film, the participants were given a moment of reflection in a 2nd round of the dialogue. We confronted them and tempted them with the answers of others, to further stimulate their minds and make them think again. This works tremendously well! Ideas from others prompt you to revise your own thoughts, giving a much broader, richer experience. We call this dialogue a call-to-action tool. We want to draw attention again to that one good idea they named, and others also favour, or to encourage a decisive decision. Showing leadership in this area again leads to operational actions. We want to turn awareness into concrete actions. Climate work needs to be on the agenda all the time, so that every employee within the organization starts looking at how they can contribute to a climate-proof future.
We find that people are curious about what other people think. That is the first step of change! They also want to know relevant issues among the other larger organizations in the room. When using the dialogue, you get all kinds of ideas from the participants. Innovative ideas from the minority of participants in the first round also have a good chance of receiving the highest rating by the other participants in the second round. We desperately need this collective intelligence and learning from both ideas from the minority as well as the majority to get things going. When considered across multiple organizations, it yields special insights: who is more ambitious and why? What are the stakes, what are the actions of one organization and the other?
Before we send out the dialogue, we underline its importance to our client and the participants. We focus on what effect they want to achieve and, above all, how. The standard questions in our dialogue are: What is going well? What do you think could be done more? What concrete action will you take? How do you rate this on a scale of 1-10 and what affects you most? By the way, we came up with these questions in consultation with CircleLytics. We harness people’s brainpower best with open-ended questions.
From the dialogue, a top five priorities for our management team emerged – these are the ‘Climate Accelerators’. That top 5 is based on the most valued ideas and priorities within the participant group. We also give that feedback on the top 5 back to the participants. This close out is important. This is how they reflect on each other’s ideas and the data-driven results; it helps them stay in action mode.
With this programme, we challenge on the frontend while putting climate work structurally on the agenda on the backend.
With in-company programmes, we realize awareness across the entire organization. This means that different departments look differently at climate goals and the actions required to achieve them, and other departments learn from this, react to it, etc. It is important to first understand how everyone looks at the same priorities and which processes need to be adapted to implement those actions. So make sure you seek support and don’t just run after an individual idea without substantiation. Sometimes departments are diametrically opposed on an action because of different interests. Then it is important to see how they can still come to concrete action together, and how they can understand, strengthen and learn from each other’s actions and ambitions. Keep moving forward together!
Learning from each other
I used to work with dialogues on paper, which is time-consuming and labour-intensive. I also brought small groups of people together physically or sent survey questions for research. Now I can say that the impact is less in that case, because you only collect the answers. It is precisely that second round in the climate dialogue that is so interesting and determines what’s important and what’s not. It also gives participants insight into what others are answering, so they learn a lot from each other. Everyone becomes smarter, more aware and motivated! That only increases the impact.”
Pioneers in the Netherlands
We’ve now had 8500+ participants in our programme. Partners and experts who have committed to the 100 MTC include Deloitte, Ernst & Young, ABN AMRO, KLM, Regio Foodvalley, Renewi, Skyteam, Museon Omniversum, PME Pensioenfonds, SWP, Savills, Boot, hieroo., Mourik, AmCham EU, Impact City. With 30+ partners worldwide, they have started preparations to deploy the dialogue internationally as well.
Charlotte: “We want to connect the forerunners, as this brings a positive acceleration in the transformation process. In doing so, we increase our impact thanks to strong partners, such as Nyenrode Business University, MVO Netherlands, RVO Duurzaam Door, PhiAccelerator and SmartWorkPlace. We also collaborate with 10 Places to be.
We share results from dialogues and our partners as much as possible, because that is how we learn to transform together. Change is not something you do alone. Turn on everyone’s (open) minds and make sure you engage in dialogue, stay in dialogue and keep making progress together.”