Carbon Conversations

Carbon Conversations Groups offer a supportive group experience that helps people halve their personal carbon footprint. They deal with the difficulties of change by connecting to values, emotions and identity. The groups are based on a psychological understanding of how people change.

Groups of 6-8 members meet with trained facilitators in homes, community centres, workplaces or other venues. The 6 meetings create a non-judgmental atmosphere where people are encouraged to make serious lifestyle changes.

The Surefoot Effect are the publishers of the Carbon Conversations materials and run the programme where it is used worldwide.

Common Cause

Common Cause is a network of people working to help rebalance cultural values to create a more equitable, sustainable and democratic society.

We cannot build this kind of society through appeals to people’s fear, greed or ego. Such motivations tend to produce shallow, short- lived types of engagement. They are also likely to backfire, actually reinforcing values that undermine social and environmental concern.

Fostering “intrinsic” values—among them self-acceptance, care for others, and concern for the natural world—has real and lasting benefits. By acknowledging the importance of these values, and the “frames” that embody and express them; by examining how our actions help to strengthen or weaken them; and by working together to cultivate them, we can create a more compassionate society, and a better world.

Compassionate Communication

Compassionate Communication is an approach to connecting with others by connecting to our commonly-held values and, with practice, increasingly both hearing and speaking from it.

We all long to be heard and understood. The capacity to draw out and listen empathically to what is longed for rather than what is being thought about opens up the possibility of a different quality of connection – and a different possibility in how we, ourselves, are seen and heard.

We at Surefoot strive to communicate in this way and hope to be able to introduce more people to this effective way of communication through advertising and promoting courses. Much of this work was defined by Marshall Rosenberg who regularly participates in peace negotiations world-wide.

Centre for Compassionate Communication
Centre for Nonviolent Communication

Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation brings low carbon leaders and practitioners from business, finance and the public sector together to turn good ideas into reality. They supported the set up of The Surefoot Effect.

ECCI join up forward thinkers to accelerate & catalyze large-scale low carbon projects. And use their network to help companies drive innovation into their supply chains and create new kinds of low carbon products and services.

They collaborate with government, enterprise and academics to help craft smart climate and energy policy.

And they bring their networks together to create face to face and online learning programmes that build the capacity and skills required to succeed in a low carbon future.

Osbert Lancaster

Osbert Lancaster offers a values-based, systems approach to:

… to help people stimulate and support change, flourishing and resilience – within their organisations and groups, in their communities, among their stakeholders and across wider society.

Osbert and the Surefoot Effect often work together on a variety of projects.

Public Interest Research Centre

The Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC) is an independent charity developing participatory approaches to researching, communicating and connecting around cultural stories for a more democratic, equitable and sustainable society.

PIRC has a 40-year record of catalytic research, championing the public interest and informing public policy, and a more recent history of championing the vital role of cultural stories and movement-building in social change.

The Surefoot Effect contributes to values training and other work led by PIRC.

Sustainable Opportunity Solutions

Sustainable Opportunity Solutions (SOS) is an award-winning organisation, based in Edinburgh, who help businesses to explore the benefits of sustainability.

A dedicated team of business and environmental professionals, SOS provides advice on Carbon Management, Environmental Management, Renewables and Business Travel. They also offer training and facilitation.

They help people to explore the potential of sustainable thinking – and to see how it can benefit their business.

They challenge thinking – and maybe even existing practices, in order to help maximise ROI.

SOS can guide you on your journey, show you how your business can benefit and help you balance competiveness with sustainability.

SOS and The Surefoot Effect collaborate on various environmental projects and are working to bring Carbon Conversations to more corporate organisations.

Transition Network

Transition Network is a charitable organisation whose role is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as they self-organise around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.

Ultimately it’s about creating a healthy human culture, one that meets our needs for community, livelihoods and fun. The Surefoot Effect supports the aims of Transition and provides support for several transition groups through Carbon Conversations and workshops on various topics.


Wholehearted is a Scottish hub of the international Common Cause network. Originally working together under the banner of Common Cause in Scotland, we now operate as Wholehearted to reflect the evolution of our approach. The Surefoot Effect has been a key partner in this work from its inception.

We are part of a growing movement; believing people’s deep-rooted, innate concern for others – so often repressed in our individualistic society – must be at the heart of the profound change that is needed for a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

Wholehearted create fertile spaces where new ways of doing things can be nurtured and blossom. Our award-winning team design and deliver events and programmes that inspire and inform, leaving clients and participants with insights and skills they can put into practice.

Wisdom Tree

Wisdom Tree is a small team of committed professionals, supporting individuals, teams and organisations to learn the skills and behaviours needed to thrive in these challenging times.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back and move forward under pressure: to improve your wellbeing and effectiveness amid too much change, challenge and complexity. Organisations who invest in the wellbeing of their staff report experiencing reduced stress, conflict and absence levels, deeper engagement, higher productivity, improved collaboration, and comfort with ambiguity and change.

The Surefoot Effect collaborate with Wisdom Tree to offer workshops around resilience and well-being.

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