Shifting Normal - designing projects to tackle climate change: summary guide

This summary guide is designed to help community groups tackling climate change maximise their success by taking account of how change happens.

The Four Zones that influence our decisions: I, We, They & It

As we ask ourselves these four questions we are influenced by a wide range of different factors; some are personal to each of us, others are to do with the people around us. We are also influenced by what’s happening in wider society and by physical equipment and infrastructure. To help make sense of all these factors this framework groups them into four zones: I, We, They and It.

All four zones influence whether something feels right, makes sense, is possible to do and fits into our day. Successful projects make sure something in each of the zones is helping – or at least not hindering – people make greener, healthier choices.

The ‘I’ Zone

Factors that are personal and internal to each individual.

These include an individual’s values, attitudes and skills, and their assessment of the costs and benefits of any decision.

The ‘We’ Zone

Factors related to the social groups that we are part of, such as our family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.

These include the different roles we have in particular circumstances, what’s considered normal in our group, and who we know and trust.

The ‘They’ Zone

Factors related to wider society, beyond our immediate social group.

You might think “they should change the law about...”.

These include rules, regulations, policies and procedures; and the economy.

The ‘It’ Zone

Physical factors that we use directly or are part of the world around us.

These include tools, equipment, technology and infrastucture.


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