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Tips for Hosting a Climate Risks Workshop

  • Begin with a small set of well-defined assets.
    There is greater chance for participants to learn when they can focus on a single location and a small set of assets.
  • Develop a detailed scenario.
    Climate projections identify ranges of possible changes, but it can be difficult for participants new to the topic to get their minds around what risks these ranges pose to their assets.
    Try developing a detailed scenario that participants can focus on during the sessions so they can fully grasp the topic and process.
    Explain that the presented detailed scenario is only one of many potential possible scenarios for the future.
    For subsequent sessions, increase the ranges of climate projections considered as participants become more comfortable with the topic and process.
  • Define the desired outcomes of the session.
    It is important to identify what you expect participants to address during and after the sessions.
    For example, GSA asked participants of its sessions:
    • Given the projected climate impacts, will the site function to support the mission?
    • What contract modifications or offerings are needed to support the mission effectively?
    In addition, participants produced a list of the top three actions they could take immediately after the threshing session, by the end of FY2013, and by the end of FY2030.
  • Work with your neighbors.
    Co-located organizations should work together for maximum effectiveness. The climate impacts will be the same to you and your neighbor, so work together to address risks you will both face.
  • Make friends with trailblazers.
    Identify climate adaptation leaders in your sector or region. Find out how they are addressing climate risks and what best practices they can share.
  • Be flexible.
    Each group of participants will move at their own pace and may run into different road blocks as they walk through the process. Keep an open mind and be prepared to readjust the schedule if one step takes longer than expected.
  • Stay focused.
    Important questions and issues will come up that are outside the scope of the session. Have a place, like a dry erase board, to document and “park” those questions, issues, and ideas that come up so you can address and consider them at another time.
  • Use reputable information sources.
    Federal agencies such as USGCRP, NOAA, and NASA are leading sources of climate change information. Using assessments and projections from sources like these will help to ensure that you are utilizing reputable climate data for your sessions.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat.
    Don’t lose momentum as your stakeholders build their capacity, capability, and confidence to consider and address climate risks. Stay in-touch with the participants and repeat and expand upon the seven-step process with them to ensure identifying and addressing climate risks become a part of everyday business at your organization.
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