One of the major challenges in addressing SDG13 is that climate change is a vast, global issue -- can individuals make a difference? In this activity we’ll explore if, and how, we can work on climate change.


A sense of “agency” -- knowing you can make a difference -- is an essential part of addressing any challenge, and it’s key to managing climate anxiety. In this activity, participants identify what increases and decreases their sense of agency.


  • For doing in-person
    • a string with labels on each end:  POWERFUL and POWERLESS; add an example
      Example:  < — Powerless ———————————————- Powerful —>                        “I can’t do anything”
    • copies of the Powerlines thoughts, feelings, and actions cards
  • For virtual / online, a digital whiteboard or other place to type answers (eg a Google Jamboard), and a digital copy of the Powerlines thoughts, feelings, and actions cards
  • Activity Instruction Sheet (optional) click to download


  1. Consider: What was one of the first times you started thinking about climate change?

How much power did you feel then? 

How powerful do you feel now about changing climate change?

2.Pick one of the words / phrases from the Powerlines Thoughts, Feelings & Actions list and consider: 

How much power do you feel in relation to this?

3.Place your word/phrase on the continuum from POWERLESS to POWERFUL and think about why you put it in that location.


4.Notice what other people have put on the continuum — to what degree do you agree with others’ perspectives on what thoughts, feelings, and actions are powerful or powerless?


  • For you, what was the purpose of this activity?
  • How did you feel seeing where other people put some of the words? Was there any you would have put in a very different location? Why might that be?
  • What is a feeling, thought, or action on the powerline that could help you? What could you do with that idea?
  • What could we add to this list that feels empowering?


When doing virtually/online with a group: 

The first step of the instructions is effective as breakout group discussion. 

Pre-set an online whiteboard or doc (where participants can type) with the continuum from Powerless to Powerful

If participants can’t type, ask for some examples and you, as facilitator, put them on the continuum.

The final discussion question “What could we add to this list that feels empowering?” is effective as a breakout discussion.

Activity Source

Joshua Freedman, Tess Renirie, and Clover Hogan

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About this activity…






10 minutes