The following is a brief guide of how to establish a Green-Thinkers in your area:
- Form a team
It is helpful to have a core team of about three people, with whom to discuss book selection, and bounce ideas off. Also if you know your team can definitely attend the meeting before you publish the date, at least three people will attend and you can have a discussion.
- Find a venue
In some towns and cities it is possible to find a cafe or pub who have a room that they will hire our for free it they expect to sell a few drinks. Alternatively room hire may cost about £30-60 in which case you would have to split the charge between attendees. It is preferable to meet in a public place, rather than a house, so that detail of the venue can be published.
- Select a book
I would recommend ‘The God Species’ by Mark Lynas as a first book, there is a lot to discuss, and he is a good writer – see https://green-thinkers.org/past-books/ for at list of books discussed by the group in Newcastle upon Tyne.
- Invite people
Start with your own contacts and those of your team – build an email distribution list. Post on LinkedIn and Twitter, use hashtag #GreenThinkers on twitter and I will retweet you. I will also post details of your meetings on a Region-Specific page of the greenthinkers website: see example: https://green-thinkers.org/meetings/nottingham/
- Plan questions and read book
This is easy, I have question lists for all the books we have read, so if you choose one of these I can send you my list of questions, which you can tailor. Or make up your own questions when reading the book.
- Host Meeting
I was quite nervous on my first GreenThinkers’ bookclub, but it helped that I was already running another bookclub. For me, the best way to start, is to go around the room, asking people for a ‘brief’ summary of what they thought of the book. Then move onto your questions. Normally, with engaged people, the discussion runs itself. However, the role of the host is to ensure that everyone gets a say, and to move the discussion on when it gets stale.
- Write a review
The Newcastle group has done this for most, but not all of our books. It is not essential, but if you do I will post it on the website, and you can send the summary / link to attendees as a reminder of the discussion.
- Finally – pat yourself on the back for promoting informed debate about some of the most important issues affecting life on earth.
By Marek Bidwell