The Story of MI & Enviromentum
Part 1 - The priming of MI (Motivational Interviewing)
Seven years ago, on a random carpooling day, a man named Vince asked his boyfriend Jeff who was studying to get his PhD in Clinical Psychology a critical question. He asked "How do you help people change, like when they are on drugs and stuff". Jeff responded, well I used "Motivational Interviewing". Little else was said, but, my brain established that "Motivational Interviewing" is a thing - and its specifically not the same thing as motivational speaking.
Part 2 - Desperation and a library search
Two men, Peter, and Vince spend months looking for what's missing in the environmental movement. They search to no avail for a meaningful approach that is significantly different, with a view that what environmentalists have been doing has been highly ineffective. Closing in on giving up Peter says to Vince "Lets just go to Toronto Public Library and check out the books. Both men check out many, and one that Vince checks out is "The Transition Handbook". Having seen it referenced months before by a group called Transition Toronto.
Part 3 - The primed MI is triggered
Vince reads the Transition Handbook and gets to chapter 6 "Understanding the Psychology of Change". A 2-page "case submission" is included in the chapter. It looks like one of those excerpts written, not by the author but by a field expert. This expert is a Psychologist and mentions the words "Motivational Interviewing". In retrospect it looks like neither men realized the incredible importance of what they had done by putting these things together. Vince, reading this, remembers MI from the conversation with Jeff in Part 1.
Part 4 - Realizing the search for a solution yielded something amazing
Vince finds himself saying "what is that Motivational Interviewing thing?" He asks his now husband Jeff "What is that Motivational Interviewing thing". Jeff responds by sharing THIS VIDEO, and THIS BOOK. Vince and Peter both realize the importance of what was found and sign up for a distance learning MI class from HETI Maine. It was clear that MI was a key approach that environmentalists sorely needed. From this point on, Enviromentum would be committed to the advancement of Motivational Interviewing as a Climate Change Solution.
Part 5 - The Solutions
Climate Conversations: Enviromentum engaged on delivering "Climate Conversations",
an MI-informed workshop. We invite you to read the evaluation report. This work was
delivered in collaboration with Toronto District School Board (TDSB)
Community Hubs: We led a feasibility study on the role of Community Hubs as the
centres for local climate action. We invite you to read the accompanying report here.
SELECT: Enviromentum co-delivered multiple cohorts of the SELECT program with our partner School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario (SSE Ontario). This program empowers diverse community leaders with powerful skills and tools, building their capacity to grow their local change leadership.
TERRA, the Mobile App: Enviromentum collaborates with Ryerson University, applying behaviour change science principles in the development of mobile interventions for active transportation.
MI Training: Enviromentum trains environmental leaders including TDSB teachers, constituent lobbyists in Citizen's Climate Lobby (CCL US & CCL Canada), Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA), M=multiple Drawdown groups, Friday's for Future climate strike organizers, Extinction Rebellion members, Region of Peel, and more.