Meetup Materials

Just signed up to organize an action for Moving Planet on 24 September? The following guide and resources are designed to help you run a succesful and fun first meeting with your organizing team to set you on the path to a huge and exciting event.

For some exciting examples of meetups happening around the world, check out this blog post.

Here's some materials to help you plan and run your local meetup.

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Moving Planet Meetups Guide

Background

Moving Planet on 24 September will be a day to put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking, skating—calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels. To really make an impact on this day, we know we need to demonstrate how big our people-powered movement really is around the world -- and that we are working towards clear goals to move our communities, states, and countries towards a fossil fuel-free future.  

To make this vision a reality, we must develop clear goals and strategies for our local events and have a solid action plan. It helps to get together with your people who can help plan the event and start brainstorming. Below is a brief guide to having a fun and effective Moving Planet meetup -- we can’t wait to hear how it goes!  

Pre-meeting checklist

1. Set a date, time and place.  Check in with those likely to be your most committed team members - make sure that they can make the date you choose.

2. Spread the word!  Get the word out to community organizations, potential volunteers, friends and neighbors. Make sure to invite leaders of local environmental groups or community organizations.

Start a Facebook event and register your Meetup at www.moving-planet.org/meetup so that other 350 members in your area can find your meeting.

3. Set an agenda.  Discuss with your teammates how you want to run the meeting so that everyone can participate and feel a part of the action planning!  You may want to remember a few materials to help facilitate - pieces of paper for brainstorming, pens, and nametags can be helpful.  See below for a suggested meeting plan - but feel free to make your own!

Meeting Plan

1. Get moving and get to know everyone.

It’s important to know who’s in the room and break the ice a little bit. Before you get started, make sure to pass around a sign up sheet to get everyone's name and contact information. Also make sure to designate a note-taker so that everyone present and everyone who might have missed the meeting is on the same page! If possible, appoint a moderator who can keep your team on track with timing and make sure everyone is heard.

Now that you have the basics covered, the most important part of your first meeting is getting to know your team. This is an opportunity for the group to get an idea of everyone's motivations, interests, and goals. It's also a great opportunity to make sure everyone in the group has a chance to speak, and to make sure you are maximizing your skills as you start planning! Get in a big circle, and take turns answering the following questions in 1-2min (keep it short!):

Tip! Keep it personal, keep it short, and take notes so you remember who has experience and skills in different areas!

1. Why are you here: What motivated you to care about climate change and come to this event?

2. What are you most excited to contribute to this organizing effort? (your skills, experience, creativity, energy, e.g.)

3. What would you like to see come out of your local Moving Planet event? (e.g., A team that can keep working in the community? Action from your mayor on bike lanes?)

Moderators: make sure to keep everyone to the 1-2 min time limit, and thank everyone for their contribution! Keep your introductions in mind as you approach the rest of your planning so that you can maximize the skills of everyone involved.

2. Set the context.

Now it’s time to get everyone on the same page about what Moving Planet is - the details, the ideas and strategy behind it, and the types of events you might think about doing for the big day.  Feel free to explain the day however you’d like to--the intro to this section is a good start, or think about reading or distributing Bill McKibben’s invitation letter: http://www.moving-planet.org/invitation 

3. Brainstorm.

Now’s the time to start getting ideas out on the table.  Below are a few questions to get discussion started about the shape of your event - to help organize the conversation, a few options are to a) have one discussion moving from question to question if you have a small group, b) break into small groups of 3-5 people to discuss each question or c) put up big pieces of paper with each question and have people circulate and write in answers.

a. What kind of event/ activity? (A bike rally? Kayak trip? A bike trip from one side of town to the state capitol?

b. Where should our event be? What should the route be?

c. What kind of partners do we want involved? Which groups in particular?

d. How many people should we aim to mobilize for our event?

3a. Strategize (optional).

We’re encouraging people to get started thinking about the goals and strategy for their event - how you can make the most impact locally with your Moving Planet event.  We’ve prepared some fun supporting materials and activities for you to guide you through this part if you’d like to use them: a presentation, a strategy map, and a fill-in-the-blanks worksheet. 

You can find them all at www.moving-planet.org/meetup/materials

  1. If you have a computer or a projector, you can start by walking people through a presentation that breaks down the essential elements to a successful strategy: goals, targets, tactics and strategy.

  2. Next ask people to break into small groups, or all together, work to fill in the “strategy map”.  Feel free to brainstorm a number of different possible scenarios.  Make sure you share and discuss all the different ideas with the group.

  3. Fill in the Blanks! In this activity, one person in the group should prompt others to fill in the blanks in the story (it’s OK if some things change or you don’t have answers for all of it yet), then read the whole story of what your event will be like when you’re finished!

*The supporting materials for this section are designed to support those of you who are looking to work towards political change at any level, though we recognize that many of you will be working more exclusively towards awareness-raising and movement building goals -- and those are extremely important as well!

4. Make sure everyone has a job.  This part is key -- if everyone leaves with a responsibility, they will feel more committed to taking action with the group in the future. Possible jobs include reaching out to specific partners or types of groups, researching the feasibility of different event ideas you came up with, managing communications to friends and neighbors and the press, and researching logistics needs like permits and schedules. 

5. Close the meeting.  Decide before you leave where and when you’ll hold your next meeting – set a regular time and place if you can! And make sure to follow up by email after the meeting. Now it’s time to get moving! 

Try ending with a song, dance, or something fun – here’s a fun example from some students in  Hyderabad, India: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ewf47FkNeM

*And don’t forget to take a fun photo at the end!  You can send it in to photos@350.org to share your meetup with the whole 350 network.

Have fun with this new group of organizing friends – plus, it’ll make you all more excited for the next meeting.