SECA held an online Knowledge Sharing event on 9 February focused on how the OnePlanet technology platform is helping organisations join the dots for a sustainable future. This blog by Pauline Cory highlights some of the ideas raised by the session.
Some 50 people logged on to an online Knowledge Sharing event on 9 February to hear about how green groups and councils are using OnePlanet technology to map out different stakeholders, understand how sustainability objectives overlap and reinforce each other, and track progress.
The event showcased three different case studies:
- How Transition Town Worthing (TTW) is using the OnePlanet system to connect people to organisations via a Resource Map and Ecosystem Plan
- How Compost Club has built on the TTW Resource Map to create a visual map of its partners and organisational goals
- How Enfield Borough Council is using the platform to map out and track its sustainability initiatives
These are three very different maps that aim to promote integrated, joined-up thinking and demonstrate how communities, groups, businesses and organisations can come together to create action plans in order to mitigate climate change and ecosystem collapse.
One of the things that TTW has always been good at is networking — connecting people, groups and organisations, and enabling them to be more sustainable and resilient, which in turn supports the environment and our whole community. Our Eco Open Houses events have always brought together many strands and elements of what’s going on locally. When Covid forced us online, that led to the creation of a new website and finding online ways of sharing what we do. I’d long had the idea of creating a map of the beneficial web of connections in our town, and I had all the threads in my head.
Making it work
TTW admin assistant Sarah Slight and I started work in early 2022 with seven themes that had evolved out of our Eco Open Houses events. We made a start on trying to capture this mountain of information but we didn’t have the means to share it online until SECA organised a Knowledge Sharing event in June with OnePlanet founder Pooran Desai talking about OnePlanet’s ten principles and their amazing mindmap, which was exactly what I had in my head. This was closely followed by a big community event at Coast Café designed to capture and share information. Then the National Lottery Community Fund provided the financial means to create an online map to help connect the dots and inspire people to take action.
I’ve lost count of the hours it took, but we created a spreadsheet from all the information we were given, and OnePlanet did the rest. You can design your map within the resources available and you can add or amend information as and when you need to, so it doesn’t all have to be done at once.
One lesson learned would be to create a template for whoever wanted to be included, then all you need to do is copy and paste the information provided into a spreadsheet that OnePlanet can then use to form the plan, so you could do it much more efficiently than we did.
You can see how TTW’s map works here — scroll down to see links and an explanation of the easiest way to find your way around. You might like to explore some of the other maps by going to https://oneplanet.com/published, where you will find a lot of plans from the UK and abroad, including councils, schools, community groups and environmental organisations. Do have a look at them to get some idea of the variety and scope that this technology covers.
‘Just give it a go!’
The presentations attracted a wide variety of questions and comments from the audience. The following quotes give a flavour of what came up:
Tony Whitbread & Viviane Doussy: “The free plan is good fun just to get started and get a feel for things!”
We completely agree, it’s good to play with this technology and see what you can come up with. If you’d like to create your own plan, you can do so for free (just go to: https://oneplanet.com/product/technology – and scroll down to “Your free trial awaits you here”). If you’d like to take it further, you can upgrade to whatever level you wish, or you can just stick with the free map.
Michael Kennard – Compost Club: “We are all co-creators of the future in the present. If we see our connections and set objectives, then we can create an amazing future which is exponentially sustainable and even regenerative.”
Les Gunbie: “Climate Emergency UK will launch their analysis of council’s climate action plan implementation later this year. Can you piggyback on that to gain traction with more councils in terms of how they are more systematically monitoring their progress?”
Chris Hyde: “This looks like it would support the necessary change of culture where local authorities, businesses and all other organisations work together with local community groups to deliver climate and other environmental goals”. (That is certainly one of the aims of the TTW map)
Thomas Martin-Wells: “Could mind mapping like this be used in tandem with physical mapping for biodiversity & ecosystem services measurements/metrics?”
Peter Anderson: “One other benefit not mentioned is that I understand it can support the development of action plans from a library of common components and best practices.”
You can watch the event recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXxEnJn2AL0. Huge thanks to SECA for hosting the event, Geoff Barnard for being “Zoom master”, Nicola Peel for chairing, OnePlanet’s Pooran Desai and Niamh James for explaining the techy stuff, how this system came about and how it’s changing the way people think, and to Michael Kennard of Compost Club for being a living example of that.
Pauline Cory is Director of Transition Town Worthing and co-creator of the Sustainable Worthing Mind Map. She can be contacted at email@example.com.