Scottish Communities Climate Action Network
SCCAN is a volunteer-led network with membership open to any community group across Scotland that is taking action on the climate crisis and to any organisation that is involved with or supports such community-led action.
To support community-led action in Scotland to address the climate and nature emergency and work for a just, thriving and resilient Scotland.
We also encourage individuals to join, whether currently associated with a community group or not.
We do this by…
We think it’s clear that the interconnected crises facing us at this time require transformational change in our economic, political and social systems. And we believe that transformational change happens as networks of relationships form among people who discover they share a common cause and vision of what is possible. The knowledge and experience held by our members is our key resource and we seek to provide a structure that can nurture networks of relationships between our members across Scotland.
Apart from doing our best to enable mutual support and inspiration between our members, we develop and deliver training and other services to meet our members’ needs, work to illuminate and make community-led action more visible and better valued, link with wider partners and other networks and act as a channel to communicate with policymakers.
We try to ‘be the change we want to see’ and are guided by these values:
Respect for resource limits
The urgent need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and make wise use of precious resources is at the forefront of everything we do.
Promotion of inclusivity and social justice
The most disadvantaged and powerless people are likely to be worst affected by climate disruption. We want to ensure that everyone is able to participate fully in our network and activities.
Our intention is to enable self-organisation and decision making at the most appropriate, practical and empowering level.
Attention to individual wellbeing
We try to balance getting stuff done with creating space for reflection, celebration and rest, exploring different ways of working that enable us to develop collaborative and trusting relationships.
Open sharing of learning and responding to feedback
We can create change more quickly and more effectively by drawing on each other’s experiences and insights. We want to acknowledge and learn from failure as well as success – we won’t always get it right first time. We will be open about our processes and will actively seek and respond positively to feedback.
Freely sharing ideas and power
We want to create a sharing culture, including sharing ownership of the process of change. Transformation will look different in different places and we want to encourage and welcome that diversity.
Collaborating and looking for synergies
We want to unleash our collective genius to have a greater impact together than we can as individuals. We will look to build creative and powerful partnerships, develop a collaborative culture, find links between projects, create open decision-making processes and design events and activities that help people make connections.
Being positive and creative
Our primary focus is on developing and promoting positive possibilities. We believe in using creative ways to engage and involve people, encouraging them to imagine the future they want to inhabit. The generation of new stories is central to this visioning work, as is having fun and celebrating success.
Our members’ conference agreed a vision for Scotland back in 2014 which remains as a shared inspiration for the future that we are working towards.
How we work
Early on in the development of SCCAN, we agreed that finding different, more creative ways of working together, which actively encourage diverse perspectives and good deliberation, review, reflection and feedback was a key part of the transformation we are working for.
Several years ago, in line with our values, we started experimenting with sociocracy, as an approach to use for meeting processes and in creating a decentralised structure that could disperse power and give autonomy to those implementing different aspects of our work.
How to do this effectively whilst working within the constraints of our conventional legal structure (as a Community Interest Company) and our own, individual learnt habits and assumptions is still a work in progress.
We are happy to acknowledge that we are still experimenting and making mistakes and part of what we are trying to do is to ensure that there is time for review and reflection and space for honest feedback as we try to find better ways of working.
SCCAN as part of other Networks
SCCAN serves as the Transition Scotland Hub which links us to the global Transition Network and we are also actively engaged with the European Ecolise network, including their Communities For Future programme. As a community based network, we are active members of the Scottish Community Alliance and, through this, have the opportunity to engage with 25 other community networks that embrace several thousand community organisations across Scotland. These links can help to support and inspire and provide further learning and sharing opportunities for our members.
We are embracing ‘sociocracy’ to shape our organisational structure and ways of working together. Our volunteer-led ‘circles’ (working groups) take forward our work plans with support from our small pool of paid workers. To enable us to take an enterprising approach to creating the post-carbon future, we are structured as a ‘community interest company’ (SC495995). Our Articles of Association are here.