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May 7, 2024

In episode 97 of Mission: Impact, Carol Hamilton, Elizabeth Engel and Shelly Alcorn discuss

  • Why addressing climate change has shifted from a moral imperative to a business imperative for associations and nonprofits

  • How climate change is impacting all sectors and industries now

  • how associations are uniquely positioned to address climate change by leveraging their influence

  • Why shifting away from the single points of failure built into the traditional ways association services have been delivered is important

  • Ways to reduce your organization’s carbon footprint


 Episode highlights:

[00:08:25] Shift from Moral to Business Imperative 

The shift of climate change from a moral to a business imperative, driven by observable impacts like extreme weather events causing significant property and economic losses.


[00:10:15] Association's Role at COP27 

The proactive participation of associations like the American Psychological Association and the American Institute of Architects in COP27, bringing attention to industry-specific impacts of climate change.


[00:13:17] Climate Impact on Association Operations 

The direct impacts of climate change on associations, such as disruptions from extreme weather events and the carbon footprint of large gatherings like annual meetings.


[00:28:23] Strategic Adaptations for Climate Resilience 

The need for associations to develop resilience by adopting proactive strategies like no single point of failure in operations, reflecting a shift towards decentralized and adaptable operational models.


Guest Bios:
Shelly Alcorn

Shelly is a Principal in Michelle Alcorn and Associates and specializes in non-profit trade associations and professional societies. Shelly stands at the intersection of technology, the education-to-employment system, and the association of the future. She conducts strategic, leadership and staff retreats, and speaks on critical issues faced by the association community and society including existential risks such as the rise of artificial intelligence and the coming impacts of climate change.

Elizabeth Weaver Engel

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, M.A., CAE, is Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting. For more than 25 years, Elizabeth has helped associations grow in membership, marketing, communications, public presence, and especially revenue, which is what Spark is all about. She speaks and writes frequently on a variety of topics in association management. When she's not helping associations grow, Elizabeth loves to dance, listen to live music, cook, and garden.

Important Links and Resources:

Download the whitepaper at:


Join the Association Climate Action Coalition community at:

Not too Late: Changing the Climate Story from despair to Possibility, editor - Rebecca Solnit

Crystal City example:


Be in Touch:

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