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Gavin Riddell.JPGIf you haven’t heard yet, this weekend is Earth Hour and over 2,800 cities and towns across 80 countries have committed to switching off their lights at 8.30pm on Saturday 28 March.
If you have heard, you’ll know that Earth Hour is a WWF initiative about sending a global message to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009. This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol.
You may have also heard that Atlassian and the Atlassian Foundation are supporting this initiative. Gavin Riddell who is the Director of Operations for the Earth Hour Global team talked to us about how they are using Confluence to co-ordinate Earth Hour’s efforts worldwide. Gavin is responsible for the development of Earth Hour’s business and operational strategy and the delivery of Earth Hour framework tools to over 80 countries. He is also responsible for the country on-boarding process and planning and wiki management.

Tell me a bit about your team:

The Earth Hour Global team are a group of 14 persons that co-ordinate individual in-country teams located across the globe who are executing Earth Hour. Our team provides all the framework planning tools, templates, coaching and support to individual countries coordinating Earth Hour. In 2009 over 82 countries will take part in Earth Hour.
The team is split into Brand & Marketing, Operations, Public Relations and Online functions. The team is supported by Leo Burnett’s Advertising Agency and the WWF network. The team is also supported by secondees and volunteers.
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Who uses the Earth Hour wiki?

As the key internal communications tool for the Earth Hour campaign Confluence is used by all official Earth Hour teams globally. We manage over 500 Confluence users. Whilst Earth Hour is a WWF led initiative we have welcomed any organisation to take up promoting the campaign and therefore whilst the majority of Confluence users are typically WWF employees but we also engage with other NGO’s, governments, and groups of passionate individuals who take up the challenge to make Earth Hour happen in their country.
For example, in The Maldives Earth Hour is being driven by The Maldives Scout Association with the support of national government. In Taiwan Earth Hour has been coordinated by a group of young working professionals who are passionate about the issue of climate change.

How has the wiki changed the way you work and the way you collaborate within your team?

  • Increased connectivity, knowledge share, and as a useful recording and reporting tool.
  • Centralised FAQs section allowing interactive forum and ideas sharing.
  • Confluence allows a more personal means of communicating to a large geographic and culturally diverse network of teams and organisations.

We have been able to showcase individual countries wins with the campaign through the News feature.

What was the adoption within the Earth Hour team like?

The adoption of Confluence has been challenging and we have had to experiment with a variety of adoption tools to drive people to using Confluence. Many of the in-country teams have run Earth Hour on a shoe-string budget. Often one or two people are organising the campaign for an entire country and therefore under huge time constraints.
We solved this problem by making the site more user friendly and our information requests more streamlined and focused. We also began communicating the value that using Confluence would give to users rather than our need as a reporting tool.

Will others in the organisation use the wiki in the future?

Yes, as the campaign moves forward into the next phase, which is the drive to the Copenhagen Climate Conference 2009. During the next phase we intend to redesign our wiki and continue to engage with our teams worldwide via Confluence. We have over 50 WWF National Offices involved so the software is definitely being showcased to the network via the campaign.

What has the feedback internally been from your staff and senior management in regards to Confluence?

Our team have indicated that using Confluence has been a positive experience. In particular, the ease to upload data, set up instances (country pages) and personalising information for countries.
Thankfully we have also had a very good Atlassian team looking after us.
Remember to show your support for Earth Hour by switching off your lights this Saturday night at 8.30pm!

Related Reading:

Earth Hour website with all the lastest news on Earth Hour
Andrew Lui’s blog about putting his fabulous tech writing skills to good use and helping out with Earth Hour’s wiki
Check out our press release including a quick video about Atlassian and Earth Hour
Atlassian Community Licenses Request – our software is free for use by official not for profit organisations and charities

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