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See that link up there? Click it and have a gander at the Implications Wheel that pops up. This blog post will make more sense once you do that.

So, then … My coworker and I are pilots in a project for the Center for the Future of Museums, a project to develop a digital badging curriculum for museum people to learn how to forecast change. As pilots, we are testing out the curriculum as we go through each assignment to earn our badges.

One of the assignments was to build an Implications Wheel based on an article we found online. The article I chose was a blog post by Bob Collins of the MPR NewsCut blog. Bob asked a really good question that had the futurist in me thinking hard about the implications … which is what an Implications Wheel is all about. You take a trend and try to forecast what might happen should that trend continue on its obvious trajectory.

Bob’s question: What if it’s too late to reverse climate change?

What’s magnificent about this question is the way it re-frames the debate about climate change and makes us squarely face the facts. Climate change is happening. What are we going to do about it?

So, I built my Implications Wheel around that very question. It was a mind-bending exercise in trying to look at both big picture and small picture kinds of things.

I handed in my assignment and that was that. Until Hubby and I decided to attend a Citizens League event earlier this month at the Varsity Theater called “Policy and a Pint.” (Have you been to the Varsity Theater? The bathroom is AMAZING!) This event features a discussion with a round table of people in the know and the audience gets to participate by asking questions

The topic of discussion for the one we attended was internet trolls and the disintegration of public discourse online. It was an interesting discussion, and one of the participants on the round table was Bob Collins. During the event, he mentioned that he hopes that people will comment on his blog and that what he writes about will give rise to good conversations. He really wants people to talk about things without being scared off by trolls.

As a writer, I hope with all my heart that people will be affected by what I write, mostly in a positive way or in a way that makes them think. As a blogger, the comments section is one place I look for that feedback.

Well, I didn’t comment on Bob’s post about climate change (shame on me!) but having used it as inspiration for my Implications Wheel, it obviously made me think. So, after the round table discussion, Hubby and I went up to Bob and introduced ourselves and I told him directly how I had used his blog post. And then we all got into a great discussion with another couple about online conversations that we probably could have continued for several hours, but the Varsity Theater folks were trying to clean up and we had to leave.

Since reading Bob’s post and building my Implications Wheel, I’ve noticed a definite shift in the public discourse about climate change. There’s been less arguing about what’s causing the change and more discussion about what we’re going to do about it. In the spirit of the Citizens League event,  I figured I’d throw my Implications Wheel out there and add it to the public discourse.

What climate-related changes have you seen in your area? How are you having to adapt?