The 2023 edition of The Good Lobby Climate Incubator came to a close in June, marking the end of a second inspirational programme of activities. After six months of training and collaboration, a new cohort of climate organisations has found its voice.

The Good Lobby Climate Incubator is a unique advocacy training programme, established in 2021. This year, 11 climate-focused organisations from across Europe took part in tailored online workshops that combined methodology and theory with hands-on, interactive exercises and homework. The participants received personalised strategic and communications advice to help them achieve their policy and organisational goals.

“The activities during the Incubator showed me that we can actually change something”

Giulia from Cittadini Sostenibili APS.

Lessons learned

By following The Good Lobby’s 10-step methodology, participants were offered the opportunity to apply the lessons learnt from each module to their own advocacy projects and organisational needs.

Each session focused on a variety of themes: from the EU policy cycle and stakeholder mapping to communication, legal needs, and meeting with policymakers. They addressed multiple avenues and techniques for lobbying and advocacy applicable at the local, national, and EU levels. There was also an important element of organisational capacity-building to help the participating organisations professionalise and grow.

The programme also featured several guest speakers, who shared their unique insights and experiences. This year’s speakers included:

  • Igor Rianchunk, storyteller
  • Lisa Lang, Director Policy & EU Affairs Orchestrator, EIT Climate KIC
  • Kamila Czerwińska, certified trainer, coach, and moderator of system thinking & design thinking
  • Lucia Barcena, Senior Project Coordinator, Transnational Institute
  • Anna Duron, Lawyer, Ashurst Brussels

Pro Bono Europe provided mentors for each grassroots organisation, connecting them with an expert to best meet their specific needs.

“The Pro Bono help is phenomenal and has lifted so much weight off my shoulders”

Laura from Climate Action Community.

Fight against the system

The final session this year started with a training session by grant officers at the European Climate Foundation (ECF), Tilda Källqvist, and Paula Pérez Briones. They spoke about trends in climate funding, shared insights from a donor’s perspective, and gave tips on how to frame the climate issue. In the second part of the session, participants shared the main lessons they had learned from the programme and their key takeaways. Many had gained the confidence to approach decision-makers about policy matters, while others had a better understanding of funding opportunities.

The relaxed and fun tone of the discussion, like all of the sessions before it, brought a lot of laughter but also stories about the struggles that climate activists face. “I felt like we could never catch up,” said one participant, before giving others the chance to relate and talk about their own frustrations.

“We are fighting against a system that is only running and running and running,” said another participant.

The final session ended with happy tears and words of thanks to the mentors and other participants. Many of the participants were grateful to see that they are not alone in their fight against climate change. It has been heartwarming to see that the Climate Incubator has helped this community of young climate activists grow and forge through these new friendships.

This 11 organisations that took part this year were: