How to organise and host your own Green Jobs Summit

Our handy guide will help you and your group to organise your own Green Jobs Summit.

02 Dec 2022

Tackling climate change and the loss of nature isn't just essential for the planet, it’s great for the economy too.

Through our climate action campaign, we’ve persuaded councils across the country to declare climate emergencies and develop robust Climate Action Plans.

A radical programme of action is required to deliver these Climate Action Plans, which should include installing energy efficiency measures, commissioning new wind and solar projects, rolling out low-carbon heat systems, planting trees and restoring peatlands.

Thousands of workers with appropriate skills and training are needed to deliver these measures. Councils, businesses, schools and colleges and civic society will need to work together to use their collective power to facilitate training and apprenticeships.

Green Jobs Summits are a great way for Friends of the Earth local action groups to act as catalysts to encourage that collaboration in their communities.

This handy guide will help you and your group to organise your own Green Jobs Summit.

Start organising your own Green Jobs Summit

Latest figures show nearly half a million young people in the UK are unemployed.

Friends of the Earth’s Emergency Plan for Young People, Jobs and Climate highlights the opportunity to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic while also tackling the climate crisis. It calls for funding for green apprenticeships, and identifies the economic impact that long-term unemployment can have on a local area.

The plan would create over a million green jobs for both young people entering employment and for workers in high-carbon industries who need to reskill to secure long-term employment in a low-carbon economy.

It'd create Centres of Excellence to enable the further education sector to provide training facilities for a zero-carbon future.

Your Green Jobs Summit would be the first step in making this a reality for your local area.

How to host your Green Jobs Summit

Step 1: organise

  • Arrange a planning meeting with your group, inviting allies from other networks and groups in your community that you'd want to work with.
  • Focus the meeting on the aims of the summit. What do you want to achieve as an outcome? Who do you want to attract to your audience? Which themes do you want to focus on? What kind of speakers do you want to invite? What do you want to happen after your Green Jobs Summit?
  • Decide on a time window in which you want to run the event. Note: you probably won’t be able to confirm the exact date until you’ve found out your speakers’ availability.
  • Decide whether you want a daytime event (which'll attract more people from the business/education sector) or an evening event (which'll attract more activists). You could decide to go for an early evening event (eg 5pm), which could attract both.
  • Decide how long the event will run for (we’d suggest between 90 minutes and 2 hours). Decide how much time you want to allocate to speakers and how much you want for more interactive discussion such as breakout groups.
  • Shortlist your venues, or you may decide to run it online. Think about your budget for the event. Friends of the Earth local action groups can apply for funding through our local action group and partnership funds.
  • Allocate roles within your group. Who’s inviting which speakers? Who’s booking the venue? Who’s putting the event structure (eg running order) together? Who’s doing what to promote the event?

Step 2: build your event

  • Think creatively about the content for your event. For instance, how can you include young people’s voices or those from marginalised communities? How can you make the event interactive eg through tools like Mentimeter to run polls? Which content and speakers can have the most impact?
  • Build a shortlist of your priority speakers and a longer list of who to approach if your priority speakers are unable to make the event.
  • Decide who'll approach which speaker. Identify who in your group has the stronger relationship with your priority speakers. They might be in a better position to make that approach.
  • Invite your priority speakers as soon as possible. Include a speaker brief with the invite. This brief sets out the aims and audience of the event and what you want that particular speaker to cover. Here's a speaker briefing template that gives you all the information you need to prepare your own guide.
  • If you’ve emailed the invite to your speaker, follow up with a phone call a couple of days later.
  • If you’re running a physical event, find out the availability and costs of your potential venues.
  • Communication is key in this phase. Identify and set up a communication channel that works best for you eg WhatsApp groups.
  • Once you know the availability of your speakers and venue, decide on the date and let your speakers know so they can confirm it in their diaries. The book the venue.

Step 3: promote your Green Jobs Summit

Now you’ve got the date, venue and speakers confirmed, it’s time to engage your audience.

  • Set up an event page so people can register for your Green Jobs Summit. This could be on Eventbrite or Action Network. This should contain dates, times, venue, your speakers and the aim and purpose of the event. If you need guidance on this, we've got 4 top tips on how to make a successful event booking page.
  • Promote the event through social media eg Facebook groups, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • Encourage people in your organising group to promote through their networks. Ask your speakers to share it with their networks too.
  • Directly invite some key organisations in your local area. This could include further education colleges, trades unions, trades councils, employers’ networks (eg Chambers of Commerce), professional institutions and student unions. Ask these organisations to share the event through their networks.
  • Speak to your Regional Campaign Organiser about promoting the event directly to Friends of the Earth’s supporters in your local area.
  • Write a press release and send to your local media. Remember to include regional business media. Here's an example Green Jobs Summit press release that you can adapt for your event.

Tip: many people leave it to the last minute to register for an event. Keep promoting until the day of the event to gain more exposure. 

Step 4: final planning

Your event is organised, bookings are rolling in and excitement is building. Now’s the time to make sure everyone knows what’s going to happen on the day and who’s doing what.

  • Create a final briefing document setting out your running order with timings and key tasks that need doing.
  • Allocate these key tasks to individuals. These tasks will include:
  • For online events, you'll also need one or two people to provide technical support, such as admitting people to the event, monitoring the chat box, pressing record, enabling speakers to share presentations and sorting out breakout rooms.  
  • Send out your final briefing document to everybody involved in the meeting including your speakers. Ideally, this should be about a week before the event so you can resolve any problems or questions.

Step 5: the big day

Hopefully, with all the above planning, your event will go well.

Try and make sure you meet before the event starting to ensure you’ve got everything in order. For online events, encourage technical support, speakers, breakout facilitators and the chair to join the call 15 minutes early to test for and iron out any technical issues. For instance, you may need to change the security settings to allow speakers to share their screens.

Also, it's worth setting up a WhatsApp group or other communications channel for these people beforehand so you can tackle any problems that arise during the event.

Step 6: after the event

Remember in Step 1 when you decided what you wanted to happen after the event? Well, this is the stage where you make that happen.

This could be encouraging participants in the Green Jobs Summit to sign an open letter to a key decision maker asking them to do something, such as establishing a Green Jobs Task Force. Or it could be kickstarting a new campaign promoting action on green jobs in your local area.

It’s important to strike while the iron’s hot. Communicate with your participants in the first couple of days after the event, identifying the actions they can take to achieve your longer term aim.

Useful tools

Near You is a tool provided by Friends of the Earth that collates environmental data localised to specific areas through postcodes. Using Near You will help you access data that'll make your Green Jobs Summit more impactful. It'll help you assess the current situation in your local area and identify the scope of the problem and opportunities that arise.