Crowdsourcing a new e-publication on climate and health

Monday 03 September 2012

CAHA's suggestion for a publication focused on the ˜health implications of climate change' was chosen from a pool of ideas for a workshop at the Melbourne Writers Festical last month. The idea was conceived by Melissa Sweet from the health blog Croakey who invited readers to submit ideas for new, health related online publications so that one could be selected for development at the New News Conference as part of the Melbourne Writers' Festival. Around thirty eager participants showed up for a high speed product development workshop dubbed "crowdsourcing a new publication". Workshop participants were asked to come up with strategies for community building, editorial, digital news and business development as well as next steps. After just one hour, we had a core idea: a publication/website that would to showcase the benefits of healthy sustainable societies through user generated content which was underpinned by scientific research and literature. A key message was that it should be about 'showing' not 'telling', and the content 'brains trust' advocated the creation of an appealing visual narrative - to help show what low carbon living IS, feels like, looks like, and in doing so, illustrate what the benefits are “ creating a pull rather than push factor. Read about some of the ideas generated and observer's thoughts on this fast moving workshop on Croakey and in a Melbourne Press Club report. CAHA's take on the outcome appears below in a brief overview of what a proposal for publication might look like: ****** Purpose/Aim of the publication To communicate climate change and global environmental issues in a public health frame that leads to changes in policy/influences policy Strategy To aggregate and connect community efforts to respond to climate change in a visible way through social media and digital platforms using stories, pictures, personal narratives and profiles Audience Various groups “ community, policymakers, media Groups with various levels of engagement with the issue “ the unsure, the confused, the early adopters Partners/Collaborators Others who are driving changes in community whether it is local initiatives such as a suburban food forest or transformation change through to national initiatives such as thought leadership and research on low carbon pathways Methods of Engagement Launch through social media and social networks Link to environmental and health groups Use various mediums to connect with various groups ie include blogs, research papers Need to approach from the point of view of "showing" not "telling" Opportunities and challenges The Big One: Capturing, modelling and communicating what healthy sustainable societies look like, feel like, are like! While there may be a range of different audiences requiring different strategies of engagement and messages/stories it may be possible to influence other groups ( ie policymakers through demonstration of community engagement) Building a community of interest around a personal connection to environmental change using a public health frame Provides an ability to interweave the evidence with community experience Using data journalism to demonstrate the cumulative impacts of individual action and sectoral change ie demonstrate the real life implications of policy ie Bill's compost achieves the following results for him, but what the implications of rolling out his approach to every household? Ie what are the economics involved in scaling up? What might the savings be - in emissions, and in financial terms? Challenges - How to connect with different audiences eg experts, policymakers, community, media? ********* Do you think you'd like to see this idea developed further? If you would like to be involved in taking this project forward, contact [email protected]