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Being a terrible networker but helping to build a climate network and why we must keep building

Where I started

About 8 years out of a climate change MSc I still couldn't see how I could have any impact but being part of a community I started to see so many opportunities it's sometimes impossible to chose what to do next.

As the Met Office projects that we have a 50% chance of breaching the safe threshold of 1.5 degrees centigrade in the next five years it's worth considering whether there is any more we can do with the resources we have. The answer is, of course, “yes” but the question is also: “how?”.

How do we address future challenges?

The reality is we don't actually know what the “how” is when dealing with the climate and biodiversity crisis, simply because we don't know the challenges it is going to throw at us. Scientists have quite accurately predicted temperature increases but we have failed to predict the likelihood of many climate impacts linked to such temperatures.

The interplay between climate and biodiversity and human society is a myriad of complex systems layered on complex systems. Monitoring all the changes as they happen in all corners of every system, both human and natural, is an astonishingly difficult task. However, the more of us that work together the better our chances of identifying the challenges as they arise but also more opportunities to address them. This is the reason why we created the Cross-Government Climate Hub; it is a tool but it's not a hammer and it's not a spanner, a screwdriver or a drill; it is the tool that holds all the others: the toolbox. It is the community where we can combine our skills, knowledge and networks from our respective organisations to work out the solutions together and share them when they work and also when they fail. Many of us are far more capable, knowledgeable and connected and we think, and if there was ever a time we needed to discover that, this has to be it. We are never going to be given the resource to fully address this issue and avoid the tough times ahead but working together we can certainly make far better use of what we have; we can fail faster, and succeed faster.

Not a natural networker

I am terrible at this, going into rooms full of people that I'll have to talk to fills me with dread but on the Climate Hub, things are different. I can talk a friend to death about anything from climate to computer games, but I am not outgoing to people I don't know and I am not a great organiser (as you can see from my personal toolbox), however, I volunteer with people who are. We all bring different skills and knowledge to create something far greater than the sum of it's parts. Together we have an extended network of thousands of public servants from around the UK from hundreds of public sector organisations and we continue to grow, throwing more knowledge, skills and resources into this growing community toolbox.

Outside the Public Sector? Have a look at our resources, we can all have a much greater impact on climate than we think, from charities to knowing how to maintain your home.

If you are a public servant why not join our community: bring your thoughts and ideas. Just by joining the conversation on the Cross-Government Climate Hub, you are helping to build a connected community of public servants and critical friends around the UK that are all working in some way to build us a better future, and resilience to an uncertain one.

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