What is a Zonta Says NOW Think Tank?
A Zonta Says NOW Think Tank is a group of Zontians from different clubs who meet online to share ideas about gender-equal climate action, learn from each other, be inspired, and have fun!
Zonta Says NOW Think Tanks generally have a small team of Zontians who work behind the scenes to set up and publicize online meetings, manage the agenda, arrange speakers, and host online events.
Districts and areas in Zonta International can include part of a country, a whole country, or many countries. By adopting a Think Tank approach, Zontians from different clubs, areas and districts in the same country can work together to find ways to improve national and state/provincial laws that impact women and girls.
Intercontinental Think Tank
The Intercontinental Think Tank started in 2022 to facilitate communication between Zontians in different countries. Members learn from a range of speakers how, globally, behaviour in one part of the world has a negative impact on other parts of the world and discuss issues in break-out rooms.
The Intercontinental Think Tank works closely with the United Nations Committee and the United Nations Environment Program.
The Intercontinental Think Tank is developing a growing list of fact sheets, leaflets and Action Guides to support Zonta clubs to take gender-equal climate action.
The Think Tank is also exploring a range of activities and events to show how to strengthen the role of women in the formation of disaster preparedness and response plans.
The Zonta Says NOW Intercontinental Think Tank meets on the third Sunday of each month and members may register via the Events page. Recordings of Intercontinental Think Tank meetings and meeting papers may be found here.
Other Think Tanks
District 23 in Australia set up the first Zonta Says NOW Think Tank that meets every two months. This district is active in four states of Australia. The online meetings are held at weekends as they cross three time zones. Meetings aim to increase awareness and be engaging, fun, and thought-provoking. They use colourful PowerPoint agendas, feature guest speakers, and provide a forum to share and discuss international, district, and club news.
The Think Tank developed the original five-step Framework for Action (now adopted internationally) and has designed a range of leaflets describing actions for individuals and clubs to create a gender-equal sustainable world. The Think Tank stores recordings, leaflets, and notes of meetings on the District 23 Zonta Says NOW Think Tank webpage.
The Zonta USA Caucus, founded in 2018, represents 7,000 Zontians in the USA – and has established the first national Zonta Says NOW Think Tank.
The Caucus facilitates advocacy action at the national and state levels. It has successfully raised awareness and advocated for ending child marriage and violence against women in the USA. Alerts are sent out to members as part of its Fast Action Fridays initiative. These allow Zontians from all over the USA to instantly send letters to their legislators urging support for new bills related to women’s empowerment.
The Caucus has six subcommittees - including one for Climate Change that coordinates the USA Think Tank. The USA Think Tank is a forum to increase awareness, understanding, engagement, and interchange among members and experts – and to take action. The Think Tank focuses on such topics as water, energy, air pollution and disaster preparedness, in line with key climate issues identified by the US Women’s Caucus at the UN.
The Think Tank uses a mature Inform, Connect and Advocate model to understand how climate affects communities and women, share information, perspectives and lessons learned, and, most importantly, implement a call-to-action system for individuals to contact their decision makers easily.