Pilot Project on Climate Change/Energy Independence

Living Room Conversations Pilot Project on

Climate Change/Energy Independence


For our Pilot Project, we started with Climate Change/Energy as the stated topic but changed the focus as we learned that energy should lead. In fact, one of the things we learned from these conversations is that a first conversation should probably just be about energy because the climate issue is so tainted by partisan positioning.

The Living Room Conversation is designed to flow through 6 rounds of questions. Each round will be 20 to 30 minutes long. Each round has multiple questions. During some rounds each question will be addressed. In other rounds the multiple questions are intended as Conversation Starters and you need only respond to the one or two that matter the most to you. In the event the conversation wanders off track we will refer to this Conversation Guide to get it back on track.

Round One: Getting started / Why are we here? (20 minutes)
● Why are we here? Let’s get clear about that by taking turns reading out loud the Purpose, Intended Outcomes and Conversation Guidelines.
● Why are you here? Why did you accept the invitation to participate in this conversation? What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round Two: Let’s Get Personal (20 Minutes)
● Answer one or more of the following:
● Who are you?
● What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your personal and/or professional life?
● What would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you “tick”?
● What three words would a family member use to describe the “essence” of you?

Round Three: Hopes and Concerns for the Future (20 minutes)
● Answer both of the following.
1. What are your hopes and or concerns for the longer term future?
2. What most concerns you about your community and/or the country right now?

Round Four: Where do we stand on Energy / Climate Change? (30 minutes)
● Here we turn to “A No Regrets Future”. This information piece covers three things; first, it points to an energy future that nearly all Americans want; second, it sites areas of confusion, uncertainty and differences of opinion about climate change; and third, it points out where, why, and how we might  move forward together for a better energy future regardless of any differences on climate change. This is not intended to be comprehensive, it provides an overview to help get the conversation started.
● The goal for this conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals.
● Questions: When it comes to Energy or Climate Change, what are you most concerned about right now? Where is it on your top 10 list? Why?
● Closing Questions about the information piece: Did you find the material helpful? Was there any part you found not helpful?

Round Five: What are we Learning Here? (30 Minutes)
● Answer each of the following questions:
1. What learning, new understanding or appreciation do you have about an issue of concern?
2. Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
3. Is there any next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Round Six: Closing: Accomplishment, Appreciation, Acknowledgement. (20 minutes)
● Answer one or more of the following questions:
● What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
● What did you appreciate the most about what happened here?
● Who would you especially like to acknowledge?
● In one sentence, share what was most meaningful/valuable to you in the experience of this conversation.