Blog post

Finding Common Cause in Australia

“I am already amazed at how I now hear people differently and think about what they say and how I contribute in regard to ideas. It’s been a very fundamental shift for me.”

Common Cause Workshop participant after reflecting on the session

Last month we held a full day Common Cause workshop with 40 people in Melbourne. This gathering brought together a network of people interested in applying the Common Cause approach in Australia. Hosted by Climate Reality Australia, participants included people from a diverse range of disciplines – including environment, development, psychology, marketing, fundraising, government, research, travel – working on environmental and development issues.

We saw it as imperative to ensure the workshop was conducted in the spirit of the environmental values at the core of our work. It was therefore decided that to save on costs – both financial and environmental – that our 2 presenters running the workshop from the UK would join us by video conference.

For Tom Crompton and Rich Hawkins this meant a 1am kick-off time, with the event concluding as the sun rose on their day. Participants were deeply appreciative of Tom and Rich’s commitment, and that the Common Cause workshop modelled the very values weare seeking to engage.

A number of learnings strongly resonated in the group:

  • Values most commonly reinforced in public discussion by politicians and the media are located in the power, achievement and security groups of the circumplex
  • Framing of the public discussion for environmental policy is suppressing values to address environmental issues.
  • To think carefully about the values we are drawing on as the short-term campaign gains can have long term consequences
  • That values are universal, across issues, across cultures and can be the commondenominator that help us work together

From the workshop people made a range of commitments, including identifying case studies, applying the workshop learning directly to their workplace, and applying a values based approach to letters to the media and MPs.

With 100% of participants saying they would recommend the workshop to others, we will schedule another this year. We will also be having informal gatherings to start the dialogue around applying the Common Cause approach.

This post is from Angela Rutter, who has been bringing together Common Cause conversations in Australia. If you are interested in applying Common Cause in Australia and would like to be involved please contact her at: [email protected]

Things we values in life:

Values we think should be prioritised / deprioritised in a society that’s solving the problems we’re concerned about:

  • Jenny Riley

    Looking forward to the Sydney meeting!

  • Mikey

    Beautiful! Is this the DEEWR room where this event was held? Looks awfully familiar.

    This blog post was fantastic eager to see a similar discussion held in Sydney.