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What is the StartNOW Challenge?
StartNOW is a structured 4-week challenge, starting on June 5,2023, that empowers you to take meaningful action towards a sustainable future by providing tools, resources, and hands-on facilitation that deepen your understanding of how you can address climate change.
Why should I join StartNOW?
StartNOW is designed for individuals who want to take action on climate change but need guidance on how to start. Joining StartNOW means being part of a community of like-minded individuals who are on the same journey as you. The program offers a structured approach to learning about climate change and how to reduce your carbon footprint over a 4-week period, taking into account your specific situation. You will be encouraged to take action in your company or community and connect with other participants. By participating in StartNOW, you will gain knowledge and tools to live more sustainably and have the opportunity to remain connected with the StartNOW community after the program ends.
How does StartNOW work?
Once you sign up, you become a member of the StartNOW community where you can learn, act, and connect with other climate impactivists across multiple threads. You will be guided by a StartNOW Facilitator through a weekly Act that will empower you to reduce your carbon footprint and take meaningful action in your company towards a sustainable future. 
How do I sign up for StartNOW?
You can sign up for StartNOW by visiting and registering for the 4-week challenge.
Is there a cost to join StartNOW?
No, there is no cost to join StartNOW.

Will I receive a certificate of participation after completing StartNOW?
Yes, you will receive a certificate of participation after completing the 4-week challenge and taking the final quiz to check your knowledge. A certificate suitable for LinkedIn will be available upon request.
I’m unavailable for some of the time during the 4-week period. What should I do?
Please discuss this with your Team Facilitator. You may need to participate in the next StartNOW program.
Is StartNOW in person or virtual?
All aspects of the program are virtual.
What makes the StartNOW Challenge different from other initiatives?
StartNOW stands out because it is a free, global initiative aimed at professionals, supported by the international business school INSEAD, its alumni, and friends. Unlike other initiatives, StartNOW focuses on in-company action, filling a gap in the market for a short, professional program. Moreover, it is of short duration, lasting only 4 weeks, and you can join the StartNOW forum and remain connected with like-minded individuals after the challenge ends.
What is an impactivist?
An impactivist is a portmanteau that describes someone who takes significant action to make a positive impact. The action can be in their home, community, or workplace. Anyone can be an impactivist and make a difference.
Can I really make a difference for the climate?
Yes, you can make a difference. Collective action is the key to driving progress and societal change. By adapting your own lifestyle and leading by example, you can influence others and make a positive impact. In addition, you can influence your company or community to take tangible steps towards sustainability. By joining StartNOW, you will become part of a community of individuals driving change.
Why does StartNOW focus on my personal carbon footprint first before that of my company?
StartNOW focuses on personal carbon footprint first because it is important to understand yourself before attempting to change others. By measuring and understanding your own carbon footprint, you can set goals and make changes in your own life. Gaining such insight and knowledge at the personal level helps you influence change when you turn your focus to your company's sustainability initiatives.
Do you expect me to make changes in my company in 4 weeks?
We understand that making changes in a company can take time. However, within the 4-week challenge, we expect you to gain a better understanding of sustainability within your company, identify key decision-makers, and start asking questions about possible change. If possible, we encourage you to create an action plan for change. For example, you may decide on a plan to address senior leaders directly, or to start by building up a group of like-minded colleagues who will drive change together. 
What if I don't work for a company?
If you don't work for a company, you can still participate in StartNOW. We encourage you to think about a group where you would like to take action, such as a community group or social group.
How many hours per week will I need to spend on StartNOW?
We anticipate that participants will spend 2 to 5 hours per week on StartNOW activities for 4 weeks. This includes reading and participating in the discussion groups, connecting within your company, participating in the WhatsApp group for your Team, and attending a 30-minute weekly Team meeting via Zoom.
How will the Teams work?
Participants will be assigned to a subgroup of participants, known as a "Team". Teams will connect via a WhatsApp group, and the Team Facilitator will regularly post in the group to explain the StartNOW activities, answer questions, encourage team interaction, and provide guidance. Participants will be invited to a 30-minute weekly Team meeting via Zoom, which will include educational materials, a chance to ask questions, and share experiences. These meetings will be recorded (if participants agree), so you can watch a replay if you miss a meeting. Participants can also choose to work together on the StartNOW activities with another team member.
How will I be allocated to a Team?
We aim to allocate participants to a Team with other participants from a similar company, sector, and/or country if possible, depending on the number of participants. We strongly encourage you to join a team to get the maximum benefits from the program, such as meeting like-minded people, sharing ideas and experiences. However, if you prefer not to join a team, that’s okay. We encourage you to give your team a try, but if you want to change, please contact your Team Facilitator.
What happens at the end of the 4 weeks?
At the end of the challenge, you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire and receive a certificate. If relevant, we will offer you support to get your company to join the UN’s Race to Zero.  We will also communicate a date on which we will follow up with you to learn about your progress in taking climate action in your company. Finally, we will invite you to join the StartNOW Forum, a larger group that runs continuously and allows for ongoing connection and exchange with like-minded individuals.
How is this different from StartNOW which I heard about earlier from CIC?
The previous StartNOW was an open-ended challenge. This latest one has been shortened to 4 weeks in response to participant feedback. However, both challenges continue to serve the same mission of mobilising towards a more sustainable future.


The CIC StartNOW community on Guild

Why do I need to use Guild to join the StartNOW Challenge?

We have chosen Guild - the professional community platform to host our challenge so that we can have discussions in a private group.

Through Guild you will also see other Sustainability related communities that you may choose to join.

Download the Guild app on your mobile phone for free to have easy daily access to the StartNOW community.

How do I join the CIC StartNOW group on Guild?

After you sign up for the StartNOW challenge on our website, you will be directed to join our group on Guild. If this doesn’t happen automatically, please kindly email and we will send you the invitation link.


What is Guild?

Guild is a platform purpose-built for professional groups, networks and communities to connect, communicate and collaborate.

Learn more at

How to sign up for Guild?

After you sign up for the StartNOW Challenge, you will be sent directly to join our group on Guild where you can sign up.

On Guild we recommend that you use the same email that you used to sign up for the challenge.


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