Building sustainable foundations to support the climate movement

We sat down with Adam Corner from Climate Barometer to talk about their work, their dreams for the future and their experience of fiscal hosting.

Tell us about Climate Barometer’s mission?

 

Climate Barometer supports the climate movement with an up-to-date understanding of what people think about climate change. We aim to provide the ‘signal in the noise’ by curating opinion insights and tracking changes in narratives, getting the right information in front of people at the right time. 

Climate Barometer started when we were approached by a funder who was interested in a new resource that would provide more clarity and guidance for the climate movement. There’s a large amount of insight data out there which is scattered and fragmented, and this can be very confusing. People don’t have the time to go sifting through masses of information, or don’t necessarily know which of the multiple polls to trust or take seriously. Our focus is on curating and making sense of public and political opinion data, providing clarity and an accessible reference to support all the incredible climate work going on. 

It really feels like there is a gap and a need for Climate Barometer as part of the communications infrastructure that supports the climate movement. We can’t wait to get going but it’s a new concept, not something we’ve seen operating anywhere else or in other fields. We’re trying to really tune it to what the sector needs and listen to feedback, building it as collaboratively as possible so it’s built to last!

 

What holds you back from achieving your mission?

 

I think for unincorporated groups there’s potentially a real struggle to be able to do ‘everything’ needed to operate as a team immediately. It’s impossible to manage everything and also focus on delivering your mission, especially when some areas aren’t your strengths.

Most people who are starting up new initiatives spend most of their time on the ideas and the content but don’t have the bandwidth to get the operational foundations right! To move forward sustainably, we were glad of the help The Social Change Nest could provide.

 

How has fiscal hosting helped you overcome your challenges?

 

I knew about The Social Change Nest because I’d worked with them when I was Director at the Local Storytelling Exchange. So having The Social Change Nest as our fiscal host was a natural proposal for our funder; it’s not obvious to me what the alternative would have been, as currently the Climate Barometer team are all working as individuals/freelancing. 

We have really appreciated being able to talk to the team and have them on hand as a sounding board. Having this support has been so helpful when you don’t have the infrastructure of an organisation around you. For us, creating a financial/administrative layer between the funder and the team, and having that expert support on hand, has been essential. 

I’m a big fan of getting support on things that aren’t my core focus from people better qualified to do so. It’s stressful trying to manage everything within a small team and the likelihood is you won’t catch absolutely everything – there will always be a skills gap.   

 

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

 

People pay a lot of attention to whether you have big visionary ideas or strategies for expansion and growth, and obviously there needs to be a strong vision and mission at the heart of any new initiative to get it off the ground. But to make good on that rhetoric you have to lay strong foundations or later on the right values and systems aren’t in place, and things start to fray. 

I really buy into The Social Change Nest spirit of ‘it’s ok to try’; to go through a trial phase, to learn together and grow at a speed that is sustainable and build something that lasts. That’s what The Social Change Nest helps with, which I believe is good for charity and good for philanthropy.

November 21, 2023

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