The Department of Transport (DoT) has responsibility for the National Sustainable Mobility Policy (SMP), which sets out a strategic framework to 2030 for active travel and public transport to support Ireland’s overall requirement to achieve a 51% reduction in carbon emissions by the end of this decade.
The SMP aims to improve the delivery of sustainable mobility by implementing its accompanying action plan. As part of this implementation, the DoT sought a supplier to facilitate several workshops for the National Sustainable Mobility Forum, including delivery of the following:
- Workshop design: To discuss and agree with DoT the key focuses and desired outputs from each workshop and to agree the overall approach and format.
- Workshop facilitation: Including a five-person facilitation team to engage stakeholders in a deliberative process to arrive at concrete actions or recommendations to be factored into the development of sustainable mobility policy. The facilitators are to act as an objective presence (having ‘no agenda’) to create an atmosphere of psychological safety and encourage candid stakeholder input.
- Workshop & Forum Reports: A 2-3-page summary of each workshop’s key actions and recommendations and an overall Forum report to collate additional feedback.
Despite many well-intentioned initiatives to turn the tide towards sustainable mobility, the challenge continues to escalate. The time window within which an effectively implemented response is required is closing. Rapid action is required to achieve the target of a 50% reduction in transport-related carbon emissions by 2030.
From this position of resolve, Antaris Consulting provided a team of experienced systemic facilitators with a breadth of experience working across large-scale and complex systems while facing an imperative for urgent and meaningful change.
The challenge includes enabling front-line actors responsible for implementing sustainable mobility policies to discover the solutions to overcoming implementation obstacles in a dynamic, safe and supportive learning environment. Our approach emphasised inquiry led collaboration over advocacy-led convincing and prioritised learning over providing fast answers.
Working in partnership with the Forum Steering Group, eight fifty-minute workshops were planned, each accommodating 25 30 attendees with diverse knowledge, experience, and opinion.
It was agreed to adopt a challenge-based approach. Each workshop targeted a short set of concrete (and priority) actions to address the crux of a high-stakes and time bound challenge regarding sustainable mobility.
A challenge-based approach focuses on progressing towards the crux of the challenge or the HOW. The crux is found at the intersection of what is significant and addressable in resolving a critical and time-bound challenge.
All workshops were structured in the same manner, independent of the topic covered, as follows:
1. Antaris welcomed the group and explained what was to happen during the workshop.
2. The workshop Lead set the scene, explaining in a brief but comprehensive manner what the topic to be covered was about.
3. The workshop was divided into 3 subgroups for ease of discussion. The questions covered were:
b) Of those challenges, which are constrainable, and which are addressable?
c) What is the most significant addressable challenge?
d) Write one recommendation for action.
4. Each subgroup reported back to the workshop.
5. The workshop was subdivided again to discuss “what is the one thing that we could do within the next 12 months that could be recognised, quantified, and celebrated?”
6. The workshop regrouped to identify priority action/s.
7. The Rapporteur summarised the discussion for workshop attendees.
8. The Facilitator closed the workshop.
9. The Rapporteur fed back the workshop outcomes to the Forum plenary session.
10. A Record Keeper was appointed to each workshop to keep a written summary of the key points of agreement and contention.
Work is underway on many of the proposed actions from the workshops, and each recommendation has been assigned an owner to consider appropriate next steps.
The Department of Transport is committed to delivering a systemic change in how people travel, with the Forum providing vital insight into the alignment between stakeholders’ views about what is needed and what is being done.
The Forum served as an essential accountability mechanism for policy implementation which will be maintained and enhanced during future annual iterations.