Trying a new thing — Clean Coffee

In climateAction.tech, we already run a free regular mentoring programme, where we take a cohort of interested volunteers, and based on the sustainability goals they have, and find people from existing tech companies who have been able to bring about some positive change internally.

Our goal is to help the group talk about their experiences in a safe environment, and learn from each other so they can adopt tactics and strategies that work in their own organisation.

This runs from Jan to April, and understandably, not everyone wants to commit to a programme bi-weekly calls from now, until Earth day.

But as Katherine Hayhoe says though, one of the most important things you can when it comes to climate change is talk about it:

So, we’re trying something out.

An experiment — Clean Coffee

First of all, we should be really clear — this is unashamedly borrowing the format of Agile in the Ether, by Emily Webber at Tacit London.

It’s a regular, remote meetup covering all things agile and team formation, designed to be accessible to people who can’t make it to meetups after work all the time.

In this case, we’re focussing more on getting to a greener, more environmentally responsible tech industry, instead of being all agile, as while as an industry we’re getting better at talking about psychological safety, continuous delivery and so on, but we’re not all that good at talking about how what we can do about climate change in the tech industry.

So, we’re experimenting with what we’re calling Clean Coffee (Climate Lean coffee, geddit?), to make it easier to talk about it.

Hmm. I’m not sure about the name, but go on…

Every month, we’ll run an open remote meetup, for people from anywhere in the world to discuss the challenges they have, or the questions they have, about working in tech and climate change.

We’ll follow the Lean Coffee format.

Lean Coffee? Jeez, you ridiculous tech hipster types. What does this even mean?

Lean Coffee is a structured, but agendaless format for a meeting.

It’s good for quickly putting together a set of topics everyone has an interest in discussing, and it’s worth reading how it works in more detail on the Lean coffee website, but the general idea is:

  • we join the remote call
  • we suggest a topic each
  • we vote individually on the topics that interest us the most
  • we spend a fixed amount of time discussing the topics with the most votes
  • when the time is up, depending on how the group is feeling we keep discussing, or move to the next most popular one
  • repeat the previous step until the hour is up
  • After the call, share the links and the notes here

The format is designed to be accessible, and easy to replicate, so if there isn’t one happening in your timezone, you don’t need that much to organise one yourself.

The calls won’t be recorded and uploaded, but as mentioned above we’ll share helpful links and notes from the call.

Okay, I’m up for giving it a go

Great! This is just an experiment, so we’re trying it on February 15th, 13:00 CET to begin with.

This means if you’re in Australia, you can just about make it, same for East Coast America, but it’ll suit people in Europe, or most of Asia, best.

You can sign up here, for the first one on Eventbrite. We have space for 15 people to begin with, and there’ll be a waitlist in case people need to drop out, and space becomes free.

Doing this again in future

If it works, we’ll try to two more — one in March and one in April, then we’ll review how it went.

We’re totally up for trying this in more timezones, and letting everyone who would be on the dark side of Earth when we try out also to enjoy the fun in

If you’re interested in helping run one of these, or just like the idea jump in our slack channel and say hello, or get in touch on twitter — DMs are open.