Your browser is no longer supported. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Climate Engagement Lab – open call for innovation partnerships

A geothermally-powered plant for the cultivation of carbon-sequestering micro-algae. Hellisheidi, Iceland

This application process closed on 14 February at 9am GMT. We may still be able to accept last-minute applications – if you’re interested, contact us

Are you part of a UK campaigning, advocacy or community focused organisation which would benefit from free consultancy and support to better engage the public on climate change? Climate Outreach can help. 

    • Free support to UK civil society groups to better engage the public on climate change. 
    • Apply to be part of the Climate Engagement Lab as an innovation partner – with specific focuses on visuals and digital communications 
    • Deadline for applications, 9am 14 February 2022
    • Partnerships to run for two months in Spring 2022

Our Climate Engagement Lab is looking for its next two innovation partners – one with an interest in effectively using visual media and photography, and another in  using digital and social media –  to reach and motivate specific audiences. Climate Outreach and our Climate Visuals project will provide free support – for example new research, staff training and workshops, or strategic and practical advice.

Sound interesting? Read on. If you’d like to apply, please fill out the short application form below by 9am on Monday 14 February 2022. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by 18 February 2022

What are innovation partnerships? 

The Climate Engagement Lab provides free, time-limited support (usually for two months) to UK-based civil society organisations. We want to support groups that are trying to do something new or innovative for the sector as a whole, showing how to meaningfully engage new sections of the UK public on climate change.  

Past partners have included: 

    • Parents for Future and Mothers Rise Up – understanding how to inspire parents to mobilise for climate action. Case study to be published soon. 
    • The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change – conducting new research on how UK paramedics see their relationship to climate. We blogged about this pilot partnership.  
    • The Climate Coalition – providing research and advice on how to develop the name and framing of Great Big Green Week to engage people who might not usually take part in such events.

Climate Outreach’s support is tailored to each individual partnership – have a look at the menu of support we offer as part of this project. 


What we’re looking for

We’ll shortlist two innovation partner projects based on their broad match against the following: 

    • UK-based, civil society or community led, climate-focused projects 
    • Trying to positively engage ‘new and diverse voices’ – people, communities or audiences who aren’t prioritised by civil society climate campaigns 
    • Projects already designed or underway, with funding secured for the partner’s activity – that is, Climate Outreach would help you with work you are already doing. 
    • A defined engagement challenge or opportunity that Climate Outreach can help with 
    • Groups ready to try something new and learn from it 
    • Groups that will embrace our guiding principles of diversity and movement generosity.

We particularly encourage applications from smaller organisations, but the innovations partnerships are open to all. 

There are two partnership opportunities: 

1) Visual media and photography innovation (partnership to run March – April 2022)

We would like this partnership to explore how to use visual media and photography to better engage current audiences, as well as expand into new and diverse audiences. 

We would welcome applications from groups who are interested in building a strong visual presence through traditional or social media channels. 

That might mean building a stronger visual identity online or in print, thinking about how best to inspire new or existing audiences through photography, or telling a visual story to bolster a specific programme or campaign. 

Please note that ideally you will have the practical or financial means to edit, commission or license imagery either directly or through collaboration and partnership. 

For inspiration, see our recent Nature Visuals report into how to better represent diversity in the UK’s green and natural spaces. You may wish to build on or use this research and guidance – although that’s just one suggestion.  

We want to hear your ideas and projects! 

2) Digital engagement innovation (April – May 2022)

We would like this partnership to explore ways of using social media or other digital channels to broaden and deepen public engagement with climate change and bring in new voices.

That might mean testing how different narratives perform in a digital space, or finding ways to reach a particular audience online, or trialing different types of supporter-journey. 

We welcome applications from groups without advanced digital capabilities – although some budget would be helpful if you would like to make use of online adverts. A few examples of projects we can imagine doing include: 

    • Testing which messages are most effective in motivating a specific group of people to take an online action.
    • Trialing which messages/visuals work best for communicating with people regarding a specific topic
    • Examining what messaging works best for getting individuals who are already engaged to do more – starting to climb a ‘ladder of engagement’. 
    • Exploring how to use digital tools to get people to start climate conversations in their daily lives, either in-person or online.

…However, these are just suggestions to get you thinking. This process is all about testing new and innovative ideas, so don’t hold back. 


What we ask in return

We run innovation partnerships so that we can apply our research in practice within exciting, practical and game-changing projects in a mutual exchange of knowledge and experience.  

All we ask in return is: 

    • Enough time available in your team to work quite intensively with us for over the agreed two months of our partnership – March-April 2022 – [visuals]; April-May 2022 – [digital].  The exact scope of this will be agreed, but this is likely to include:
        • Regular email communication with a key contact to coordinate and schedule activities
        • Several calls / workshops delivered by Climate Outreach with your team
        • Contribution to research / implementation of advice
        • Willingness to conduct monitoring and evaluation with your audience to assess impact of the project; and participate in evaluation by the Lab 
    • A culture of frequent, open, honest communication and feedback 
    • Climate Outreach working with you to measure the effectiveness and impact of work done under the partnership
    • Contribution and attribution to a public case study based on our work together. 


We are grateful to the Samworth Foundation for their support for the Climate Engagement Lab, including its innovation partnerships. 

Sign up to our newsletter