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KOSU to lead community conversations about zero carbon futures

KOSU is partnering with Cortico and Deloitte to host listening sessions to better understand the life experiences of those in communities most reliant on fossil fuel jobs.

Participants will be partnered with local community members to have recorded small group discussions to discuss fears and hopes for the future — as well as opportunities and barriers to the shift towards zero carbon futures.

There are 1.7 million people in the United States who work in the energy industry.

With the local economy shifts to focus on renewable energy, significant numbers of existing jobs will be threatened or radically transformed during the transition. How do we make this workforce transition work for all?

Your input, experiences and stories will provide insights and recommend solutions that might improve the future of our local economies and will be shared on a searchable, interactive website where you’ll be able to hear from voices across the country.

As a thank you for sharing your story and your voice, all participants who register for and attend the conversations will receive a $40 gift card. (Note: In order to receive your gift card, you must fill out a participant consent form and attend the conversation.)

Register in the fields below or click the link here.

Participant Information

What is the goal of our conversations through this initiative?

We want to learn and hear about the fears, hopes, opportunities, and barriers facing you and the people in your communities amid current and potential fossil fuel workforce shifts.

We have two main learning objectives for these conversations:

  • To understand your community’s relationship with fossil fuels today.
  • To understand where your community sees itself going, it’s hopes and fears for the future, and barriers to change.

Our philosophy around conversations 

Our small group conversations emphasize sharing from real life experiences. Given that each conversation will range from 4-6 participants, this also provides a setting where every participant's voice is heard and given the opportunity to share powerful stories. Conversations have community facilitators who lightly guide the conversations with open-ended prompts.

Examples of questions you can expect:

Questions in this process are designed to spark conversation, not elicit opinion. Some examples may include: How are you feeling about the potential of a shift away from fossil fuels? How will this/has this transition affect(ed) you and your family? What’s your best and worst case vision for where your community will be five years from now?

How long will these conversations be?

Conversations are around 90-minutes in length. While some conversations (depending on the number of participants) can be shorter, we ask that you block off and plan for a 90-minute time frame.

What will you receive for your participation?

As a thank you for sharing your experiences and stories around the fossil fuel workforce shift, you will receive a $40 gift card incentive within a week of your participation in a conversation. We use a site called Ethnio to disperse payments and you can choose to receive your stipend via E-gift card, or bank deposit.


Can I join more than one conversation?

Each community member will only be able to join one conversation. We want to make sure that we are able to collect a representative scope of experiences and perspectives from your community.

What personal information will be displayed on this interactive site?

The partner who invited you to this conversation may choose to host an in person conversation or a virtual conversation. These conversations will be recorded but will only capture the audio. Any video that may be captured during virtual conversations such as those through Zoom, will always be immediately discarded and we will only use the audio.

You can choose to use your real name during the recorded small group conversations or you also have the option to choose an alias or pseudonym. If for some reason you mention your real name within conversations, we can always go back and redact your name from the audio.

The only demographics that will be displayed on our portal (interactive site) will be geographic location, age, and employment status/occupation. These demographics will be used to help you and other community members filter through conversations and see what people from different regions are sharing about their experiences around this workforce shift.

What will you do with all of the conversations you collect?

Your input, experiences and stories will inform insights and recommend solutions that might improve the future of our local economies and will be amplified and shared on a searchable, interactive site where you’ll be able to hear from voices across the country! You can see an example of an interactive site that Cortico introduced with another partner here, for reference.

More information about Deloitte:

The funder of this project, Deloitte Corporation, provides services globally to CEOs and Boards of Directors of many of the world’s largest companies. Deloitte is studying how to best advise those running companies large and small about how to navigate the climate crisis.

They're clear that the transition to renewable sources of energy will happen at the community level and they understand that the only way to learn about how that is happening is to hear from those at the local level most directly affected by the change.

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