[This article was published in French, translated in English by EPALE France].
A look back at the history of the Climate Collage; a fun, collaborative and creative workshop raising awareness about climate change. An increasing number of people in the public, private and professional spheres are using this tool to address the environmental challenges they face. But what makes it so successful?
1. What is the Climate Collage and why implement it?
The Climate Collage is an association created in 2018 by Cédric Ringenbach, an engineer, lecturer and consultant in energy transition. It is a fun, collaborative and creative workshop to raise awareness about climate change, by mobilising collective intelligence. Since its creation, the association has broken records for growth, with 130,000 people reached, 6,000 facilitators, 86 international coordinators and translation into 25 languages. So why has the Collage become so popular?
Through a simple card game, it highlights cause and effect relationships in a visual and attractive way. It is certainly entertaining, but also scientifically rigorous. Indeed, it is based on the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
The objective: to be able to understand the change, but above all, to trigger action on the part of the people who participate in the workshop. However, the link between awareness and action is neither simple nor obvious. The association has therefore developed a methodology to achieve this goal.
2. The methodology and pedagogy of the collage
A workshop consists of 4 steps:
- Reasoning: about 40 cards are placed on paper and participants have to find links between the different causes and effects of climate change. This step is facilitated by the association's certified facilitators, who encourage collective intelligence. "Everyone reasons together until the group takes charge and the facilitator gradually steps aside," says Amandine Lafont, founder of Savoirs Précieux and a certified trainer, facilitator and MOOC project manager at the Climate Collage.
- Creativity: here, the participants find the links, illustrate the collage, give it a title and decorate it. It is a powerful means of expression.
- Feedback: this is a time of sharing and presentation of the collage created, consolidating and anchoring the learners' new knowledge.
- Discussion: the last step consists of sharing emotions and feelings and debating on courses of action and collective solutions to be implemented.
The methodology of the collage aims to help the participants to understand that this is a systematic problem and that in order to face it, we must act at all levels: individually, collectively as a citizen but also as an employee within a company.
Moreover, this form of pedagogy based on collective intelligence has won over many players in the private, public and education sectors.
3. Companies that have found the approach attractive
A number of companies have used the climate collage to reduce their carbon footprint and transform their environmental practices. SUEZ is one of them. As Morgane Vidal, Learning & Diversity Director, explains, "At SUEZ, we have a strong environmental ambition and our value of “Passion for the Environment” is part of the Group's identity. We collaborated with the Climate Collage to develop a workshop format specific to SUEZ. We created the Environment Collage, to explain climate and environmental issues, share SUEZ's actions in this area, and encourage individual and collective commitment.” After launching it among the 250 group managers in February 2020, SUEZ translated the collage into 6 languages to deploy it internationally. The group also transferred the workshop to a digital format. It has deployed it in China to over 600 participants and launched it in Australia in early 2021.
EDF aims to raise awareness among its 165,000 employees by 2022 and intends to achieve this by deploying the Climate Collage workshops. Its objective: carbon neutrality by 2050. For Carine de Boissezon, Chief Sustainability Officer, “this massive increase in the practice of the collage will enable us to prove ourselves to our clients, schools, regions and all our stakeholders”.
In the private sector, “the idea is to be able to deploy the collage on a very large scale, throughout the company. It will become part of their CSR policy, so that everyone can grasp it and understand that they have a role to play,” says Amandine. Companies also train their own facilitators to run these workshops, for a more agile and rapid deployment.
In the education sector, Grandes Écoles such as HEC, Sciences Po and Ecole Polytechnique have also implemented the climate collage. Moreover, the 2020 Climate Education Kick-off aimed to raise awareness of climate issues among 100,000 young people in more than 40 higher education institutions: Polytechnique, Centrale, EDHEC, ESSEC, and more. The workshops organised as part of the Climate Education Kick-off are based on the Collage educational tool. More than 1800 students participated between September and October 2020.
As for the public sector, the Paris City Hall, among others, organises workshops open to all, to learn about the Collage, but also to become an facilitator.
4. The keys to success
According to Amandine, an important factor in the success of the collage is the pedagogy on which it is based. “It is based on active pedagogy. Participants handle cards, discuss with each other, decorate their collage together. In short, they learn by doing and the facilitator gradually takes a back seat.”
In addition, the fun aspect is important. “Making a collage is fun”, Amandine reminds us. In the end, it is a card game, which is very simple to deploy and does not require significant resources.
Finally, a real learning community has developed around this tool. Today, we have 6,000 volunteer facilitators and over 100,000 people who have been reached. The goal is to reach one million. The facilitators communicate via tools such as Telegram and the engagement rate of this community is very high. “The subject of environmental protection is very absorbing. Once we fall into it, all our actions and our lives are affected. It's a very engaging cause,” says Amandine.
To keep this community running and to raise awareness, many workshops have been held online since March 2020, using collaborative visualisation tools such as Mural. Amandine adds: “We are in the process of creating a MOOC to train people in facilitating the collage.
Antoine Amiel, founder of Learn Assembly and EPALE thematic coordinator for ecological and digital transitions.