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Act Climatewisely! by CitizenScienceLab

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Transforming GHG challenges into opportunities. Learning how you artfully achieve positive impact within the current setting we are in.



The intention of the proposal is to provide a hands-on, learning environment, based on a digital learning environment (MOOC) that enables and teaches individuals as well as business leaders, and policy makers on how specific actions (and non-actions) impact their own CO2 output and resources use.

The course shall enable especially the broader public to more deeply understand the interconnections between action and reaction around climate related issues.

An example would be the impact by a new housing complex on the microclimate and CO2 level. Not just by the buildings and infrastructure itself but also by the needed production & supply chain going along with it. Externalities are most often not priced in and therefore "hidden" and not available to guide directions. Additionally, compensating actions such as "green façades", roof gardens or photovoltaic energy production at the premises can be taken into account. Making their costs as well as their future benefits visible and a crucial part of the project can lead to further insight for the participants and their constituencies. 


Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

  1. Take part in the upcoming MOOC "u.lab - Leading From the  Emerging Future" (starting officially September 14th, 2017, open already for enrollment) - CAUTION: a pre-course MOOC has to be taken first (time needed ca. 90 min)

    >> "u.lab: Leading Change in Times of Disruption" (picture by Kelvy Bird)
  2. Conceptualize the idea further (action research) helping people to become aware of how they perceive the dynamics of systems
  3. Take part of the MOOC "Learning Experience Design Course" by Novoed
  4. Create an online-based course (MOOC) on e.g. edX, Novoed, OnCampus
  5. embed (1.-4.) the learning in an existing organization that is aiming to become an ExO (Exponential Organization) and a management team that has the courage to question some/most of the present procedures (in terms of climate impact)

  6. OR
  7. go ahead as part of a governmental/scientific action research approach (e.g. u.lab Scotland)
  8. actively participate in the next run of the MOOC "Foundations of Learning Experience Design" from mid-September on attracting others to join
  9. actively participate (actually for the 4th time) in the MOOC "u.lab - Leading From the Emerging Future" (here a short video with translated transcription into German, Spanish & Portuguese - thanks to helpful supporters from the MOOC itself) 
  10. Setting out further "beacons of interest" through sharing #ulab (globally) and #ulabsaxony (locally) activities that focus on dialogic community building 

Who will take these actions?

  • local individuals who are passionate to impact their local community for good
  • members of institutions of education, kindergartens, schools, and universities embedding the MOOC into the educational curriculum and ECTS credit point system (adequately adjusted to the various audiences) leaders of organizations who would learn and share about how they can actively impact their customers and the world at large 
  • managers and employees of local companies that are eager to lower their "CO2 footprint" as part of their future business strategy
  • institutions that play a significant role in the climate change related activities

Where will these actions be taken?

Action can be taken at any suitable meeting place or opportunity where citizens, communal officials, and other local stakeholders can come together in person.

Workshops/meetings shall be held at locations that are freely accessible to the public (e.g. libraries, museums, town halls) and with a rich narrative/legacy. 

The events shall be held at various locations across the city (besides the mentioned MOOC module that will be provided online) to enable a wide variety of participants with diverse perspectives to attend.

In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.


Country 2


Country 3


Country 4

No country selected

Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

This proposal is focused on enabling citizens and constituencies to see the mid- to the long-term impact of their daily individual/collective actions. Understanding the surrounding dynamic complexity will enable positive climate change impact locally.

Even though tangible results of actions may be very tiny at the beginning of this process, once people and organizations (e.g. real estate developers, banks, economic development agencies, factories) will realize that acting differently will not just happen more quickly but also with positive effects on the business side -which may seem unintuitive at the first moment. 

What are other key benefits?

  • enabling citizens to effectively participate in public conversations around climate change/ CO2 footprint issues (that may be not so obvious at first sight; i.e. new housing project, manual work vs. digitally supported work, commuting to work)
  • enabling cross-cultural dialogue
  • establishing knowledge exchange across constituencies
  • establishing new forms of city planning and citizen engagement
  • providing opportunities to connect outside the "local bubble"
  • making learning across disciplines stick and hands-on


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

For this early stage prototype, no (financially relevant) costs are necessary. The further progress of the proposal will be part of the upcoming MOOC "u.lab - Leading From the Emerging Future" (starting September 14, 2017) run by the Presencing Institute and edX.

The "cost" is the opportunity cost participants of the event (as part of the MOOC) in terms of their spare time they have to share showing up at the events and workshops.


  1. 1-15 year horizon
    • 1 year horizon
      • becomes part of the #ZukunftDD (formerly #DDzu2030 and #DD2030) initiative (a government-funded initiative Wettbewerb Zukunftsstadt "Future City Dresden") as part of the track "Bildung & Campus & Bürgerwissen" ("Education & Campus & Citizen Science")
      • refining the prototype (especially intention, goals & path)
      • creating a local as well as a global network of collaborators (individuals)
      • intensify action learning research through practical prototypes (within a variety of MOOCs, prize competitions, etc.)
    • 1-5 year horizon
      • The MOOC "Act Climatewisely!" will be used as part of citizen engagement processes around urban planning, climate change mitigation, and adaptation programs
      • System dynamics will become part of the general school/university curriculum in Saxony as envisioned in 2016 (link to tweet below)

      • "ActClimatewisely!" will be showcased and used during IPCC, COP and other intergovernmental  meetings and conferences connected with climate change topics
    • 5-15 year horizon
      • system dynamics education will be established in K-12 education (including "Act Climatewisely!")
      • system dynamics will be included in planning decisions as part of the climate, environmental and social impact and implementable alternatives that produce higher value for society and environment, as well as higher sustainable profits
      • tax reforms with effective incentives to internalize externalities (e.g. climate change, GHG impact) will be embedded by the German government 
      • other Climate Impact Simulators CIS (similar to the existing Management Flight Simulators) will be in general use in public, government and organizations 
    • 15-50 year horizon 
      • COP21 goals will be achieved as the general understanding of individual action at a collective scale over time will be not only understood but also taken as the basis for future impacting decisions, policies and individual activities

About the author(s)

Ralf Lippold, a social systems process designer on the edges between current processes and emerging exponential technologies, with an education background in economics, innovation, and strategy.

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