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  • Writer's pictureSteve Hamm

Managing a Local Climate Pivot

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

For decades, humanity’s responses to the risks associated with climate change have been focused on scientific studies and on global-scale pledges by governments to meet climate and net-zero carbon goals. While necessary, those responses have not succeeded in putting humanity firmly on a more sustainable path. Pivot Projects participants believe that another front must be opened in the war on global warming: local actions that taken together will move the needle on the global response to climate change. Pivot Projects people call this “one thousand points of light.”

The Pivot Projects Business & Industry workstream developed an approach to helping communities organize to get on a more sustainable path. If you want to engage with us to explore how your community can do this, fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Introducing the Virtual Charrette

The word charrette is French for “cart.” Its use in the fields of design and planning emerged in the 19th century when art students in Paris would gather materials for their projects in carts and wheel them around for discussion and review. Over time, the term was adopted by architects, developers, and city planners to describe a process of gathering people together in a place for a concentrated session of discussion, goal setting, design, and planning. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was impractical to run traditional charrettes, but, through the magic of technology, the idea of the virtual charrette was born. While virtual charrettes lack the intimacy of in-person meetings, they have multiple advantages, including the ability to include experts and stakeholders for whom an in-person gathering is impractical and the ability to set up virtual breakout sessions for small-group discussions. Post-COVID, virtual charrettes will be a useful tool for group visioning and planning.

The Pivot Projects Business & Industries workgroup sees charrettes, and, in particular, virtual charrettes, as key elements of the planning process. Here’s our one-page guide

on managing a local climate pivot:

How Communities Can Organize for Sustainability
Download PDF • 41KB

Fayetteville Forward 2

Judi Neal, a leadership author and coach, joined Pivot Projects and was inspired to revive Fayetteville Forward, a community sustainability and resilience program that has been launched in her hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA, a decade ago. Here’s her story of how she and some colleagues set out to relaunch the program.

Engage with Us

Here’s our framework for engaging with communities:

Managing a Local Pivot Framework
Download PDF • 37KB

If you would like our advice and involvement in your own local climate pivot, please fill out the form below (or contact Jim Cortada at or Gerry Mooney at and we will be in touch.

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