From 2013 to 2015, we conducted a six-month strategic gap analysis, followed by over twelve months of stakeholder consultations. We spoke with over one hundred leaders, including military/national security leaders, corporate executives, religious leaders from multiple traditions, conservative thought leaders, public health professionals, communications experts, clean tech entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, environmental nonprofit leaders, and philanthropic leaders.
The consultations validated key hypotheses and revealed new opportunities:
- National climate and energy policy is not only essential; it is more within reach than many people realize. Political winds are shifting in both visible and under-the-radar ways, opening up new opportunities to build broad-based support for policy change.
- The climate activism that has propelled this issue to international attention cannot get us over the finish line. Key constituencies, especially political conservatives, must be engaged in putting forward policy solutions that can compete in the marketplace of ideas and make possible bipartisan problem solving.
- Important voices are emerging who are uniquely positioned to speak credibly about climate risks and solutions to political conservatives. They include military/national security leaders, business leaders, conservative faith leaders, public health professionals, and conservative influencers, all of who are concerned about climate risks.
- While important work has been done within key sectors to communicate about climate risks and solutions, key voices have not yet gained sufficient traction with voters or policy makers.
- Strategic coordination is necessary to amplify these voices and accelerate their impact with key constituencies.
Based on the results of that analysis, we have been working closely with leaders and organizations in multiple sectors and across the political spectrum to identify, resource, and implement strategic communications strategies to build broad-based political support for action. Our focus is on connecting and amplifying influential voices with key constituencies, including both voters and policy makers.
While the November 2016 election results dramatically changed the political landscape, and while much remains unclear, many of the less visible opportunities we identified remain in place, and our focus on engaging new constituencies and building strategic, cross-sector networks has never been more relevant.