Program to Mitigate Climate Change Impact


The goal of this program is to create broad, strong shared understanding of
1. the complex systems of environmental events involved in climate change, and
2. organizational activities that impact climate change, both positively and negatively.

The shared understanding includes both:

– the events within the systems and activities and
– people’s interests, concerns, ideas (referred to as “evaluations”) and plans with respect to those systems and activities.

This strong shared understanding can then serve as a critical resource for supporting, developing, enhancing and implementing action plans to effect change in these systems and activities.

Initial emphasis will be placed on enhancing the effectiveness of and supporting collaboration among environmental organizations, which is seen as the best leverage point for positive impact.


The approach to achieving this goal is to establish a mechanism for broadly distributing tools and skills for conducting online and in-person workshops using a particular methodology (described below).

The purpose of the workshops is to create both:
1) strong shared understanding among the workshop participants and
2) high quality work products that can be used to:
a) extend the understanding to other people outside the workshops
b) support action planning and implementation, for purposes ranging from fundraising to community carbon-reduction to voter mobilization.

The work products include graphic models of the systems and activities along with goals, issues, ideas and plans that people have with respect to these systems and activities.


Tool and Method

The primary tool for this approach is a software application from ActionMap Inc, called the ActionMap® Toolkit™ (or “ActionMap”, or “the Toolkit). The author, Jim Johnson, founder and CEO of ActionMap Inc. has developed and proven this software in extensive use.

The software is based on a flip chart/whiteboard-based method that is still effective without= the software.  Compared to the manual versions, the software is faster and less work to “operate”, and easier to use in virtual meetings.

Descriptions of the software and work products can be found at and

Free training in the manual method is provided at 

Tool and Method Distribution

 ActionMap currently has the capacity to provide a significant number (dozens? scores?) of free subscriptions and trainings for the software, in order to get the Program started.


High level phases of the Program

1. Proof of concept 
     a. Workshops conducted pro bono by Jim Johnson, principal consultant and founder, ActionMap Inc.
     b. With a core group of people committed to seeing if the Program can be made to work
     c.  On both environmental systems and climate change organizations

First Step: Identify and conduct one such workshop.

2. Initial trainings
    a. Training an additional group of other software users, to conduct further workshops, by Jim Johnson
    b. Co-facilitation with Jim Johnson
    c. Use of an online community provided by ActionMap Inc. to support learning and knowledge sharing

3. Tracking impact

4. Fund raising for:
    a.  Training trainers Providing subscriptions more broadly


Key Feature of this Approach

There a several key features to this approach, including:

Scope of application:
  – Natural environmental systems, from Gaia down to the level of biochemistry
  – The =organizations=, initiatives and movements that are focused on climate change
  – The =human psychology= (drives, beliefs, values and behaviors) associated with climate change.

As described above, better shared understanding of processes within and among the organizations will the primary initial focus of the Program.

 Scale: the scale of impact in terms of numbers of people acquiring the understanding 
  – As broadly as possible within the criteria of quality

Quality: the quality of the shared understanding among the parties involved.
  – Sufficiently detailed and integrated to motivate people to take action.



Q: Does this program have a commercial motive?

A: Yes. I (Jim Johnson), through ActionMap Inc. have spent a considerable amount of money in developing the software. It is hoped that this Program will accelerate adoption of the software, leading to a large and growing commercial use base.

However, my primary purpose for developing the software in the first place has been to help people deal with large scale, complex problems such as climate change, by giving them better collaborative problem solving tools.  I consider that to be my mission in life.

Commercial use is a vital activity in fulfilling that purpose, because:
– it will sustain the low-cost (or free) distribution of the software and training to non-commercial goals.
– commercial use will in turn promote the use of the software back for non-profit use.


Q: Is the ActionMap Toolkit a systems thinking tool? 

A: ActionMap is based on a combination of elements from structured analysis (data flow diagrams), Jungian/MBTI personality theory (the “evaluations”), project management (improvement cycle, basic action planning), and conventional online forum techniques. 

The ActionMap method has no further formal relationship or derivation to or from any other methodology, except coincidentally.

The diagram format is not as comprehensive as more “formal” systems models with explicit feedback loops.  However, the diagrams are faster and more “procedural” to create.  Also, in my view, there is a self-limiting quality to systems models, so that as they become more complex they are both a) more difficult to distribute, and b) effectively less understandable by most people.


Call to Action

 If you are interesting in exploring the development of this Program among climate change communities of interest, please email me or direct message or connect with me on LinkedIn to arrange a conversation.


Jim Johnson
environment @
ActionMap Inc.


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