RADICAL
COLLABORATION
TO ACCELERATE CLIMATE ACTION

Working Together with Speed, Scale, and Justice

WE’RE FACING AN UNPRECEDENTED GLOBAL CHALLENGE

Everywhere people are stepping forward to take climate action, including as part of many thousands of different types of collaborations — coalitions, campaigns, partnerships, platforms, and alliances.

THE TIME FOR EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION IS NOW.

Some collaborations are producing extraordinary results, but in aggregate they are not yet big or fast enough to achieve the economic and societal transformations necessary for a safe and just future.

People have different ideas about what actions are required and which pathways to take. Some are aligned, some contradictory, and some opposed.

The resulting conflict is impeding the advance of the climate movement with the requisite speed, scale, and justice.

“We need everyone because everything is impacted. And that’s why we have to bring people into the movement and connect them and work together.”

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How can we address this challenge?

RADICAL CLIMATE COLLABORATION

Many more diverse people and organizations need to collaborate. And many more will be willing to, if they believe their efforts and the results they are producing, are fair — that justice is not being sacrificed for speed and scale.

Radical collaboration is a pragmatic and proven approach to working together across differences to move forward with speed, scale, and justice.

It is radical in the sense that it is unusual and gets to the root of the challenge of collaborating. It can be used to address many complex challenges and must be used to address the climate crisis.

Radical collaboration is not new but many more people must learn to use it, quickly. We do not have time for incremental change, to keep getting stuck, or to re-invent the approach.

“If you want to go fast, go alone,” the saying goes, “but if you want to go far, go together.” The climate crisis demands that we go faster and further, and more fairly, together.

So how can we collaborate to produce climate action with the requisite speed, scale and justice?

The ‘how’ really matters: better processes produce better results.

“We need to balance the very real urgency and time pressure that we face from a scientific perspective with the recognition of how fast change can be made.”

THE SEVEN PRACTICES FOR RADICAL COLLABORATION

We’ve defined ‘how’ to implement radical collaboration in seven inter-connected do’s and don’ts that are intended to produce movement and learning, and therefore the potential for fast, big, and fair results.

Take a look at these high-level points to see how you can intentionally engage in radical collaboration.

1

PLAY YOUR ROLE

You can’t and don’t need to do everything. Look at what others are doing to see the most useful role your collaboration can play as part of or in connection with existing efforts. Being clear about your role will help your collaboration and the larger climate movement advance with greater speed, scale, and justice.

2

FIND NECESSARY ALLIES

Choose the allies you need to be able to play your role. To be able to overcome the inevitable obstacles you’ll face along the way, you’ll need to collaborate with people who share the same goal, who have diverse and complementary capacities and who have the will, energy, and capacity to deliver solutions.

3

BUILD COLLECTIVE POWER

Your collaboration needs collective power to play its role in effecting systemic transformation with speed, scale, and justice. This requires bringing together the different types of assets that each role player can contribute – authority, money, technologies, ideas, followers – to grow your individual and collective capacities.

4

WORK YOUR DIFFERENCES

Your collaborators face different realities, opportunities, and constraints, and so have different positions, perspectives, and powers. This diversity can help you see more clearly and navigate better through complex and confusing terrain with speed, scale, and justice.

5

DISCOVER WAYS FORWARD

The climate crisis creates pressure for decisive and definitive action, but advances will not always be linear or predictable. The only way to advance with speed, scale, and justice is through rapid, disciplined, iterative experimentation.

6

SHARE HOPEFUL STORIES

People usually don’t like being told what they must do, so share stories that your allies understand and want to be part of. They need narratives and maps about where they are, where they are trying to get to, and why it is important that they move.

7

CARE FOR YOURSELVES

A healthy movement towards a healthy future requires healthy people. You won’t be able to move with speed, scale, and justice if you don’t take care of yourself and your companions. We all need support. This seventh practice enables all of the other six.

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WANT TO KNOW MORE?

This guidebook on radical climate collaboration is for everyone who is engaged in climate collaborations, from all backgrounds, in all sectors, at all scales.

It will help you build effective alliances with diverse groups to produce better results.

The book itself is the result of an international collaboration among thirty-six experienced practitioners, sixty-five reviewers, and a partnership of Reos Partners, the Climate Champions Team, TED Countdown, and Leaders’ Quest.

Be part of the Radical Climate Collaboration initiative

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDEBOOK

Join our network of climate collaboration practitioners and learn how to collaborate with greater speed, scale, and justice.