Choose Your Track: Advocacy or Innovation

The Greenlight Award inspires and empowers students to come up with big green ideas to solve the climate crisis. Solutions come in many forms, employing student strengths, skills, talents and interests. Projects are on one of two tracks: Advocacy or Innovation. Prizes are awarded in each track.

 

Advocacy

Advocacy teams set goals to achieve behavior change by convincing or causing their target audience to do something differently.

Who

Advocates are leaders, activists, and communicators.

What

Advocacy teams may aim to:

  • change a policy, rule or process
  • establish a new system
  • provide incentives
  • require commitments
  • otherwise inspire people or institutions to change behavior

How

Advocacy projects usually involve strategies to change the behavior of their target audience through social incentives, emotional appeals, or choice architecture. Some teams may:

  • launch a marketing and outreach campaign
  • give well-researched presentations to decision-makers
  • establish a new tradition or event
  • build a coalition and hold a rally/collect petition signatures
  • use existing campaign materials (not seen by this audience before)

Final Product

Advocacy teams exhibit their tactics at the Finals with photos of their efforts and examples of physical materials produced (for example, graphics designed, a petition signed, a video made, art displayed, a presentation shown, or other items created for the effort).

Evaluation

For the Finals, advocacy projects track, report, and evaluate the impact of their efforts on:

  • Actual behavior change
  • Potential behavior change or influence on policy, processes or systems
  • Impact of tactics employed (how many people signed, saw, attended, etc.)
  • Make a case for the future potential to cause behavior change based on what occurred or could persist, continue or repeat.

Experts

Bedford 2020 will enlist area activists, marketing executives, and nonprofit leaders to evaluate, advise and give feedback on advocacy projects.

Examples  

  • Marketing and awareness campaign with incentives to get students to eat plant-based lunches.  Tracked participation with “veggie slips” and gave prizes for greatest participation.
  • Used persuasion and fundraising to get school to purchase refillable water bottle stations. Promoted reusable water bottle use with outreach and awareness tactics.
  • Well-researched report presented to administration about how much money school can save by installing LEDs, turning off lights at night, and by using light sensors to turn off lights when not needed in classrooms.

Return to the toolkit

Innovation

Innovation teams set goals to achieve behavior change by designing or inventing something to help people do something differently.

Who

Innovators are leaders, creators, designers, and entrepreneurs.

What

Innovation teams may aim to:

  • Invent a new product or improve on an existing product
  • Design an app or website
  • Create an art project, film or blog
  • Conduct research or do an assessment
  • Establish a service

How 

Innovation project usually involve science, technology, engineering, art or math (STEAM) to create something that helps change the behavior of a target audience.

Some teams may:

  • Fully design and develop a project and put it to the test in the community
  • Design their project and make a prototype that they can test in the community
  • Design their project and make a model. Test the concept in the community.

Final Product

Innovation teams exhibit their project at the Finals with photos of their efforts and examples of physical materials produced (for example, actual product, prototype, model). They also make a marketing flyer to promote their product.

Evaluation

For the Finals, innovation projects research, track, evaluate, and make the case for the impact of their project on:

  • Actual behavior change
  • Potential behavior change
  • Projected success of the idea based on market testing
  • Make a case for the future potential of this project (if fully developed) to cause behavior change.

Experts

Bedford 2020 will enlist area engineers, designers, service providers, and tech innovators to evaluate, advise and give feedback on innovation projects.

Examples

  • Solar paneled shelter installed at school bus area to provide shade and renewable energy charging to student cell phones.
  • Design and set up of School Supplies Bank where students bring gently used school supplies for other students to take as needed
  • Design and model made of device to measure household water use connected to app to inform people of their water usage rates and offer ideas for how to conserve water.
  • Installation and design of rain barrel system in elementary school garden combined with education to teach students and teachers to water garden with rain barrel water.