Climate Change Leadership – MOOC

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

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Photo of a snowy collection of pine trees i the Botanical Garden Uppsala

Uppsala Botanical Garden, December 15, 2022, photo by Daniel Mossberg.

Strategies for change: where your work begins

Welcome to the final week of the course. Congratulations on reaching this far, and good luck with your leadership in practice!


Strategies for change

In this week, we’ll look at examples of different methods of change which could inspire you in your leadership plan. Which type of actor you choose to be will depend on your context, but remember to facilitate a variety of approaches to give your plan a greater chance of success.


Roles in social activism

The strategies for change we’ll discuss this week fall under different categories of action, all of which may be necessary for structural change. The activist Rob Moyer wrote that:

Activists need to become aware of the roles they and their organizations are playing in the larger social movement. There are four different roles activists and social movements need to play in order to successfully create social change: the citizen, rebel, change agent, and reformer. Each role has different purposes, styles, skills, and needs and can be played effectively or ineffectively.

Social movement activists need first to be seen by the public as responsible citizens. They must win the respect and, ultimately, the acceptance of the majority of ordinary citizens in order for their movements to succeed. Consequently, effective citizen activists need to say “Yes!” to those fundamental principles, values, and symbols of a good society that are also accepted by the general public. At the same time, activists must be rebels who say a loud “No!” and protest social conditions and institutional policies and practices that violate core societal values and principles.

Activists need to be change agents who work to educate, organize, and involve the general public to actively oppose present policies and seek positive, constructive solutions. Finally, activists must also be reformers who work with the official political and judicial structures to incorporate solutions into new laws and the policies and practices of society’s public and private institutions. Then they must work to get them accepted as the conventional wisdom of mainstream society.

As you complete this week’s steps, consider which roles the people in the examples are acting as, and what approaches they might be missing out on.


Course conclusion

Building on your work from last week, you will write and submit your climate change leadership plan. You will then review another learner’s plan and learn from their work while someone reviews yours. You will have a chance to reflect on the comments you receive before concluding the course with a take home message for your fellow learners.


© CEMUS and Uppsala University