Outreach/10 Percent Challenge/Challenge Cafes

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We plan to hold a series of "Challenge Cafes" at the Needham Public Library to build participation in the Challenge, especially focused on people who have not been reached (or are not easily reached) through community organizations and groups.

The Cafes will be held in the Community Room. We will set up displays, and volunteers will bring laptops to walk people through the Challenge on the spot.

Energy Cafe - November 22, 2009

The first Energy Cafe was held on November 22 at the Needham Public Library's Community Room. We had:

  • Several laptops, with Green Needham facilitators available to walk people through taking the Green Needham 10% Challenge on the spot

& Display showing Needham's agricultural past and meals from past, present and future

  • Display showing a vision of a Sustainable residential back yard
  • It's Your Planet Challenge Quiz Game and Sustainability Conversations
  • Home Energy Reduction information, Q&A from Next Step Living
  • Coffee, tea, cider, whole food snacks and recipes
  • Room set up with small tables (as well as larger presentation tables) to create a friendly "cafe" atmosphere
  • Publicity
  • Flyer
  • Notice and flyer sent to media outlets, Green Needham members (Constant Contact), other groups/organizations, posted in several locations around town

Results and follow-up:

  • Well-received by those attending
  • Small but steady stream of people attended
  • Around 6(?) people took the Challenge
  • Having done the initial preparation, we can run this again fairly easily
  • Need to plan for some costs (refreshments, publicity, room rental)
  • Offer this to Houses of Worship for a post-services coffee hour? Local companies (like PTC) in the cafeteria?
  • Build capacity - want new volunteers to coordinate and staff future cafes
  • Additional activities/participants?


  • Susan McGarvey
  • John Bergdoll
  • Michael Greis

Susan, John - please add other information, feedback for future planning

Possible Dates

From Susan McGarvey:

I went to the library this morning to investigate possible dates. Here they are:

  • Saturday 9/26 afternoon
  • Sunday 10/25 afternoon
  • Saturday 10/31 Halloween afternoon
  • Sunday 11/8 afternoon
  • Saturday 11/21 afternoon
  • Sunday 11/22 afternoon

Gaye said that there is wireless in the Community Room but the strength of the signal can depend on how many people are using computers upstairs. She also said that they are getting some kind of upgrade but she didn’t say when.

Let me know what you think about these dates.