This content is originally from the Cities Alliance site.

The Cities Alliance has launched an Innovation Call for Proposals to award small grants to advance affordable, accessible and innovative climate adaptation concepts, products and processes at the community level, and foster dialogue and engagement between local communities and local governments.

Climate change is increasingly affecting cities in a variety of ways: among the impacts are an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as heatwaves or heavy rains, causing landslides and flooding. These impacts are a reality acknowledged by major global agreements. Still, a breakthrough in efforts to effectively mitigate the predicted increase in temperature is lacking.

Meanwhile, people in rapidly urbanising countries are beginning to bear the burden of global warming, especially the poorest, who are the least responsible for these effects. This comes in addition to existing social inequalities that are increasing the exposure to and vulnerability of the poorest communities to the effects of climate change, while also being aggravated by them.

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Enhancing Climate Adaptation: The Case for the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) and the Bay of Bengal (BoB)

The Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) and the Bay of Bengal (BoB) are considered two of the world’s most vulnerable regions to these impacts. In the GHA, droughts and torrential rainfall with heavy runoff and flooding have already become more frequent and scientific predictions suggest that the region will be hotter and drier with increased extreme events. Similarly, the littoral countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar will be highly affected by anticipated climate-induced events, such as more frequent and severe tropical storms and cyclones, heavy rains, coastal erosion, and sea-level rise.

Such disruptive events have deep impacts on societies and economies, exacerbating the vulnerability of low-income households and, in particular, of those living in informal settlements and/or working in the informal economy. Being characterized by inadequate housing conditions and access to basic public services, and most often located in hazardous urban environments, informal settlements are highly susceptible to climate change risks. At the same time the informal economy, which plays a substantial role within socio-economic systems by providing employment, goods and services for communities, is most often unable to absorb climate-related shocks.

Facing high levels of socio-economic vulnerability due to fast-growing populations and high levels of informality, both GHA and BoB have limited capacity to prevent or reduce climate change effects. There is an urgent need to respond to these threats by reducing the vulnerability and risk exposure of residents – which makes the case for improved resilience and climate adaptation  at the local level.

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Local Level Adaptive Solutions: A Call for Action

Climate adaptation actions take many forms, such as the creation of climate-resilient livelihoods, climate disaster risk reduction, enhancement of adaptive capacity, and addressing poverty, vulnerability, and their structural causes. For example, the establishment of early warning systems could enhance the adaptive capacity of urban populations, while flood-proofing and protection could save life and property.

Adapting to climate change will require innovation, creativity, experimentation and, above all, partnerships.

Responding to climate change at the local level will require both local authorities and communities to work together. Harnessing knowledge and diversity from within local communities and matching with the legal mandates of local governments enables the creation of interventions more aligned with experienced realities and the identification of new approaches.

The urban poor, being in the frontline of impacts and disproportionally affected by climate change, need to be enabled to implement actions to cope with these impacts, while taking advantage of the benefits and opportunities brought by such interventions. With a focus on communities in informal settlements, this initiative aims to bridge this gap by supporting the urban poor to prepare for climate change impacts, while creating opportunities to improve their living conditions and fully enjoy the right to the city.

 (Climate) adaptation is defined as the “adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities”
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Geographic scope. Projects can take place in any of the following countries: Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Are you a young person who wants to play a leading role in solving the problems of the 21st century?

This summer, The Useful & Kind foundation is hosting a summer school for individuals between the ages of 16-30 in York, UK from 6-10 July to give you the skills you need to lead.

Useful & Kind originates from President Obama’s suggestion that we all be ‘useful and kind’ to one another. It is a basis and value set to stand upon in any kind of position. The Useful & Kind foundation is keen to teach how to be a Useful & Kind leader in order to solve problems in your local community. The goal is to build a large constituency of those wanting to make a better life for us all.

Over the weeklong training, the leaders will work on awareness building, idea creating, research conducting and strengthening debate skills. The aim is to create a better, fairer and more sustainable future, starting with understanding how to be a leader in community.

Duncan Fraser, Director of U&K Unlimited, will lead the summer school. He invites guest speakers, to share their experiences with the group. Additionally, the larger group of 24 individuals is broken into smaller groups who are led by junior mentors, all whom are experienced in the field and with the U&K approach.

This opportunity is a great way to learn how to develop leadership skills of the future. With many problems to solve, we need all the leaders we can get. If you’re interested, sign up using this link:


The biggest story yet to be told – how we transform our economies
  • If advertisers were selling a more sustainable future to the mass public, how might they do it?
  • If film-makers, musicians, poets, and journalists were tasked with making a sustainable and just economy resonate with their audiences, how might they tell that story?
  • How can the vision of a new economy that protects people and restores the planet start to feel real, relevant and desirable to the average citizen?

Social and environmental crises have already started to take hold around the world. Yet there seems to be no public narrative that explains how we can fix our predicament. We lack a story of solutions. Two global networks working on economic transformation – the Green Economy Coalition and the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) – have come together to build that new narrative. We and our partners recognise that before change can happen, we need a convincing and credible story of change.

Our ambition is to tell the story of transition to a better economy, a better environment, and a better future for everyone. We want to convene some of the best communicators out there and inspire them to tell this story: the biggest story yet to be told.

By “communicators”, we mean everyone from the commercial space (marketing, advertising, social media, public relations professionals), to the cultural space (film makers, script-writers, musicians, artists), to the media (journalists, bloggers, writers, photographers), and beyond.

Although both the Green Economy Coalition and WEAll are global in scope, we plan to first pilot an approach in the UK (more on that within the Terms of Reference). Defining key messages and audiences will be a key first step.

We know that our mission is bold and will take time and resources. But existing narratives are failing to inspire sufficient action, and time is short. We have some initial seed funding to kick-start our approach, and we will leverage further contributions from funders and industry as we get underway.

That’s where you come in.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for an exceptional person or organisation, based in the UK, to help us get this mission underway. You will know the media / marketing / comms world intimately, and are happy to draw on those contacts. You are:

  • Well connected in the ad / marketing / cultural space;
  • Skilled in developing compelling briefs that would appeal to comms professionals, businesses and industries;
  • Confident and experienced in convening and leading collaborative working sessions;
  • A bold and imaginative thinker able to take this idea as far as it can go;
  • Experienced in identifying the right audiences and executing delivery of campaigns.

Download the full Terms of Reference here for full details on the proposed project and how to apply.

Wellbeing Economy Alliance (Scotland) – Volunteer recruitment

The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) is a new global collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals working together to change the economic system to create a wellbeing economy; one that delivers human and ecological wellbeing.

Scotland is a key player in the global movement for a wellbeing economy. Across Scotland, the purpose of the economy and the dominant model of growth is being reconsidered, with pioneering projects springing up within different sectors. WEAll (Scotland) will connect these initiatives, amplify narratives and create a safe space for government, businesses and society to question the current economic model and champion bold new policies. See

We are seeking to recruit two new volunteers, to work with our small team and drive forward our work to support positive change.  Volunteers will be passionate about the need for economic system change, and will have a good understanding of the issues facing our economy, society and natural environment. These are exciting opportunities to support the establishment of a newly formed NGO. While this is a voluntary position all reasonable expenses incurred will be reimbursed.

  1. Events coordinator: The Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland is looking for an Events Co-ordinator to support us with the successful delivery of a range of events, from large one day conferences to smaller seminars. Download more information on the role and how to apply here.
  2. Executive assistant : The Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland is looking for an executive assistant to provide a range of administrative support functions for  our small but dedicated team.  Download more information on the role and how to apply here.

The closing date for applying for both roles is 6pm on Sunday 18 August. We anticipate holding interviews in Edinburgh on 28 August and in Glasgow on 29 August.