“We see global warming not as an inevitability but as an invitation to build, innovate, and effect change, a pathway that awakens creativity, compassion, and genius. This is not a liberal agenda, nor is it a conservative one. This is the human agenda.”
– Paul Hawken American Environmentalist, Entrepreneur, Author, and Activist
We hear a lot about the bad. Sea levels are rising, coastal cities are flooding, droughts and disease are hurting crop yields, pollinators are dying, the list goes on. These days, it seems like you can’t watch or listen to the news without being reassured that doomsday is right around the corner. Perhaps you have even felt that way as you work through the challenges each day, seeing how they correlate with a social or environmental crisis that requires immediate action. But while it’s true that “the stakes for our planet have never been higher,” as NextGen America Founder Tom Steyer puts it, the bad only covers half the story.
The other half is the good, the innovation, the solutions. And while these stories hardly make it into mainstream media, they are happening everywhere across the globe: from the largest cities to the most rural settings. Extraordinary humans across race, ethnicity, religion, and gender are rising up to meet today’s challenges with incredible passion, dedication, and intellect. The solutions to today’s problems exist, are economically viable and scientifically sound, and provide an opportunity to create a just and livable world.
So, what is Drawdown? In short, it’s “the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.” Compiled by Project Drawdown, a global coalition of climate solution researchers led by acclaimed environmentalist and author Paul Hawken, the New York Times best-selling book Drawdown uses systems thinking and analysis from scientists and policymakers to identify, measure, model, and communicate the 100 most substantive solutions to humanity’s greatest challenge: climate change. The term “Drawdown” refers to the point in time when greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline on a year-to-year basis. Essentially, if we want to ensure a healthy and just planet for future generations, drawdown is what we must achieve. That’s why today, we’ve partnered with Project Drawdown to focus on the good, the hopeful, and to bring the solutions into the limelight.
With each Challenge, whether you know it or not, YOU are changing the world. Simply rethinking your own practices, you’ve helped to influence people around you. It’s been an amazing journey for us too! Today, we want you to feel the sheer satisfaction of knowing that YOU, your voice and your being are powerful. You, along with all the other incredible humans working to create a more environmentally sustainable and socially responsible world, will be the solution.
“Wrong is an addictive, repetitive story; Right is where the movement is” – Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest.
It’s easy to get bogged down with the negative news, but progress comes from hope and a belief in the future. In order to build a more stable and sustainable environment we must do just that – be forward-thinking and hopeful about what impact we can have on what lies ahead.
Let’s ensure that our positivity runs deep and think critically about our media consumption.
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Innovation is everywhere. It can be as simple as making changes to your personal habits or as complex as hyperloops and electric cars. Innovation powers our economies and offers us endless reasons to have hope in a sustainable future. In this challenge, we want you to take some time to explore creative solutions that people have developed to protect the earth. One place for inspiration is Project Drawdown, a compilation of collective wisdom to help reverse global warming.
Inspiration doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You often need to observe how other people are using resources and innovative thinking to solve pressing problems. That’s what makes resources like Project Drawdown so powerful — they offer a glimpse into a world of creative problem solving you may never have stumbled across.
If you want to dive more deeply into Drawdown solutions, check out Northwest Earth Institute’s Drawdown Campus Eco Challenge. Use the sign-up code ‘campus1718’.
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As we reach the end of what we hope has been an extraordinary journey, here is something for you to ponder. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Take a look at this Prince Ea video here and then think about what it is that you want to change, fix, heal, more than anything on earth. And then figure out how to get there. Be bold. Be great. Be brilliant. Because you are.
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