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Plan for 2012-13 activities

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Overview#

This page describes the three streams of activity envisioned for 2012 and into 2013 and also briefly outlines potential future activities:

  • Taxonomy and selection of topics for 2012-13 activities
  • Contests and/or brainstorms on selected topic
  • Development of integrated proposals
  • Future activities

Taxonomy and selection of topics #

Taxonomy#

A key principle behind the the 2012 activities is that the Climate CoLab community can make more progress if the large, complex problem of climate change is broken out into smaller, more manageable sub-problems.

The starting point is the taxonomy: the development of a structured framework for breaking out the overall problem into sub-problems.

In the first step of the process, the Climate CoLab team consulted studies prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate changed experts. Based on this literature, the team sketched out a basic taxonomy framework using 3 dimensions:

  • What The action being taken to address climate change. The What dimension distinguishes between two key kinds of actions.
    • Interventions in the physical systems which directly produce emissions
    • Interventions in the economic/political/social realm which influence those physical systems.
  • Where The geographic scope of action to address climate change.
  • Who The social groups or individuals taking action to address climate change.

To view this preliminary taxonomy, see What, Where, Who taxonomy--Quick view.

After developing this initial draft, the team has scheduled interviews with climate scientists and experts on climate policy, including several members of the Climate CoLab's Expert Council. The initial taxonomy will be revised based on input from these experts.

Identification of key topics#

Once the taxonomy is finalized, the Climate CoLab team will work with the Expert Council and other experts to select a number high leverage topics as areas where activity will be focused for 2012.

Each area will be defined by three key elements:

  • What the action will be
  • Where the action will be taken
  • Who will taking the action

The actual number of topics that will be selected is still to be determined.

For some topics, Climate CoLab Advisors will help to frame the key questions provide ongoing feedback to the community, and help to channel the best proposals to key stakholders. Graduate students or young professionals may also serve as Climate CoLab Fellows and assume responsibility for organizing activity occurring under particular topics.

If a CoLab member is interested in undertaking activity on a topic that has not been selected, they can ask for a new topic to be opened up.

Contests and brainstorms on key topics#

Under each of the selected topics, CoLab community members will be invited to submit proposals for what actions they believe should be taken.

Activity in some areas will be organized as in prior year's contests.

But based on community feedback from 2011, the CoLab also hopes to pilot in 2012 some activities structured in more collaborative ways. These will probably be called brainstorms. The Climate CoLab team may even undertake controlled experiments testing whether these collaborative methods generate more or better ideas.

The community will be invited to submit proposals in response to a specifically framed questions.

We hope to include interim reviews of ongoing work by experts to encourage early submissions.

As before, members will be able to support proposals developed by other members.

We anticipate that material generated in contests and brainstorms may be a resource that can be of value over multiple cycles of Climate CoLab activities, and new tools may be developed to enable re-use of this content by the community during subsequent rounds.

Appropriate venues will have to be found to present results of activity on each topic. In some case, a presentation to policy makers may be the right venue, as in 2010 and 2011. In others, a presentation at a leading conference or to a group of business executives or investors may be the appropriate venue. A default option is that the best work on each topic will be featured in an open Climate CoLab Webcast.

Development of integrated proposals#

Members will be invited to develop comprehensive, integrated proposals by combining any number of mutually compatible sub-proposals. In the course of developing integrated proposals, members may also add new sub-proposals or modify existing ones.

The integrated proposals will clearly indicate which sub-proposals they incorporate, and users will be able to follow links from the integrated proposal to the sub-proposals. Similarly, sub-proposals will also have links showing the integrated proposals of which they are part.

Creators of integrated proposal will be asked to identify dependencies between actions they have chosen pertaining to different topics. Developers of integrated proposals will also be prompted to think hard about potential unintended consequences.

Identification of dependencies may be done informally, using text in the proposal or they may be highlighted in a more structured way, using visual representations and tools to elicit dependencies more explicitly and to make them more visible.

Future activities#

At the end of this three-part cycle, the taxonomy can be revisited and new topic areas can be selected for subsequent rounds.

Future rounds could include areas of focus from prior rounds or not, depending on whether they remain high leverage topics. One could surmise that as the world's priorities shift over time or as solutions are developed and implemented, some areas may no longer be relevant and so may no longer warrant inclusion.