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.

Putting the Four Questions and the Four Zones together

Whether you are planning a major project, or a one-off event or activity, the framework helps ensure important issues aren’t overlooked and that everything you are doing is moving in the same direction.

At its simplest, the framework can be used as a mental checklist: just running through the four questions might identify that something important has been overlooked. Likewise, asking yourself if all the zones have been covered can be useful.

For a more structured and powerful approach, the detailed questions opposite may stimulate new ideas and insights to help you identify what helps and hinders people in all four zones.

The Four Zones

Use these detailed questions to understand how the Four Questions and the Four Zones relate to your project.





Does it feel right?


How pleasant or unpleasant
will this be?

How does this help or support people and places that are important to me?

What are my feelings about
this activity?

Might this seem strange to colleagues, friends, neighbours and others in my social groups? How comfortable might I feel doing this?

Is this more or less relevant to me in my different roles, eg mother, manager, sports player?

What do people I admire in society say and do about this?

What festivals, celebrations or events may influence whether
I do this?

What traditional, cultural or religious norms, expectations or rules help or hinder me to do this?

How do the equipment, infrastructure and technologies around me influence how I feel doing this?

How might using the tools and technologies I would need to do
this make me feel?

Does it make


How do the benefits compare with the effort, costs & time involved?

How does this fit with how I think the world works (or should work)?

How much are others in my social group doing this? Does it make sense for me to do it too?

What do people I respect in my social group say and do about this?

What laws and regulations are relevant to my decision about this?

What is happening in the economy that might be relevant to my decision?

What future changes in policies and regulations might make it sensible to do this now or later?

How does the equipment I’ve already got, and spent money on, influence what makes sense to me?

Is it do-able?


What knowledge and practical skills are needed to do this? Do I have these?

Even if I have the knowledge and skills, do I have the confidence to do this?

Who do I know and trust who
could help me do this?

What local groups and organisations that I trust could
help me do this?

What national/regional organisations that I trust could
help me do this?

What government, local authority and other schemes and initiatives could help me do this?

How accessible are tools, equipment or resources
needed to do this?

How easily available or usable are the services, infrastructure and technologies needed to
do this?

Does it fit into my day?

Time & schedules

How might my existing habits make doing this difficult or easy?

How might this fit in with my routines with family, friends and colleagues?

How might the timetables for work,
school, shopping, travel etc, help or
hinder me doing this?

How might tools, equipment and technologies related to this influence my routines and how I spend my time?


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