How can we create a sustainable future – with a fair go for everyone? A successful transition to sustainability must be inclusive, positive and empowering for the whole community. The whole community needs to share the benefits of the transition to a sustainable future, and no-one is left behind. A transition that aims to do this has been called a ‘just transition’. It aims to address the needs of the whole community including vulnerable community members who (a) might lose jobs in the transition, (b) are already economically and socially marginalised, and (c) are vulnerable if business-as-usual continues. Communities have made a just transition by building from their strengths and assets, and from strengthening connections and relationships within and beyond the community. This presentation will be interactive. Geoff will introduce some key ideas, and then the ask convention participants to reflect on community characteristics – strengths, who is most vulnerable during change, and how we can use of our passion for a better world to make sure everyone is a winner.
Going beyond ‘what’s wrong’: A strengths-based approach to social change. The workshop will introduce strengths-based approaches to community building and social change. Through practical activities we will explore how to identify 6 types of community assets, and how we can use them to create strategies for a sustainable future for our community where no-one is left behind. An outcome of the workshop will be some posters that can be displayed around the Convention hall.
Geoff Evans has many years experience campaigning on links between ecological sustainability, economic prosperity and social wellbeing and equity, particularly in communities affected by mining, energy and climate issues.
Geoff’s approach is grounded in facilitating a deep analysis of the communities’ history and power relationships and its strengths, including natural and people resources and diversity, and capacity to adapt to change. He has worked as an environmental scientist, community development coordinator, adult educator and human rights advocate with local communities, environmental and Aboriginal NGOs and community organisations, in universities and with state and local governments in Australia, the Pacific, India, Indonesia, Philippines, and the Americas and Europe.
Geoff’s research and advocacy, including his PhD research on ‘A Just Transition in a Climate Change Hot-Spot’ looking at the Hunter region’s potential pathway to transition from coal economy to a clean energy economy, is on how to protect the economic and social wellbeing of vulnerable communities, families and workers affected by environmental, social and economic change processes and to ensure that all can benefit and no-one is left behind. His research has been embraced by many communities and environmental organisations, as well as by trade unions and local governments.