The Convening Process
While it is essential that the federal government continue to research and assess understanding of climate change, there is an urgent need to establish and maintain a civil-society-based organization to foster evaluation and analysis of knowledge for applications. For now, we are calling this structure a “climate assessment consortium,” but because this concept is likely to evolve significantly in the coming months and years, a different name may eventually be more appropriate.
The specific objectives include
Connect people and institutions who are involved in producing and using global change science (e.g., researchers, professional organizations, intermediaries, and practitioners), including by fostering sustained partnerships such as communities of practice (CoPs) and other mechanisms
Use sustained partnerships to evaluate the rigor and utility of tools, products, and activities that are intended to inform practitioners, and
Develop and disseminate synthesis products such as good practices, technical guidelines, application templates, indicators, case studies, and other tools
Promote access to climate-relevant science and tools
Conduct priority activities and products for collective efforts
The good news is that there are many organizations interested in and starting to work in ways that are consistent with these goals. Their activities and networks provide a starting point and foundation of knowledge on which to build this collective action. It is for this reason that a consortium approach was chosen.
We are committed to engaging representatives of relevant groups that bring essential knowledge and perspectives to this work. To establish the consortium, a small interim staff is managing an organizing process that engages prospective consortium partners to establish a set of guiding principles, develop a business plan including funding and staffing, evaluate organizational alternatives, and if necessary, incorporate a new entity. To keep this initial process from becoming unwieldy and indecisive, an informal group of “conveners” is meeting to set the stage for more widespread engagement. The process includes periodic webinars and other opportunities for obtaining input and advice, as well as an opportunity to submit comments.