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Katerina Gaita

My background is in behavior change – engaging people, motivating them to change, breaking down barriers to change and supporting them to maintain their new behavior. In this capacity, I’ve run a sustainable living business and worked with Environment Victoria on programs engaging marginalized communities. But I’m a problem solver by nature, so I’ve found myself playing a lead role in a number of local community organisations and campaigns, including a couple of successful campaigns to save local historic buildings of significance to the local community from private development. Through these activities, I’ve taught myself many community organising skills. In my deep dark past, I also moonlighted as a Tupperware lady for six months (community organising with plastic).

I am the Director of Climate for Change. A new organisation that seeks to create the social climate in Australia for the radical action we need to stop climate change. We do this by engaging people who are sympathetic to climate change but either not engaged or not active and supporting them to take regular action and to talk to their friends and family about climate change. Our Theory of Change is based on social diffusion theory which describes change as passing from a small group of innovators through a larger minority of early adopters to the early majority (critical mass). This process happens when people have conversations with people they know and trust. Our approach is therefore to encourage and support conversations between early adopters and their friends in the early majority. Our primary model for engagement is the “Tupperware Party model” – no plastic, but small gatherings in peoples’ homes each of which generates at least one more.