The IPCC has 2.5 billion data points behind the last assessment – the fifth assessment. It is the most astounding problem statement that humanity has ever created…Extraordinary!
But you don’t solve a problem by repeating the problem over and over again to each other. You solve a problem by looking at the possibilities that are inherent in that problem.Paul Hawken, Project Drawdown - University of Queensland, 2018
A whole lot of people in the world KNOW that climate change is an issue - so KNOWING THE PROBLEM is probably NOT the real problem.
For someone to take action on change, they need to:
- Want to change.
- Know how to change.
- Have an environment that enables them to change.
Anyone working in public health knows that you've GOT to do more than fear messaging - they know (as Martin Seligman wrote in LEARNED HELPLESSNESS 30 years ago) that you've got to connect people with immediate action they can take today.
That's why today's anti-smoking ads always finish with a QUIT line number - because when you WANT to change you need to know HOW to change and WHERE change is already happening.
Belief is not enough
How many of the smokers who stand in groups outside cancer hospitals are there because they don't believe that "smoking causes lung cancer"?
The human mind does not run on logic any more than a horse runs on petrol.Rory Sutherland, Alchemy
So it doesn't matter how many "threatening futures" you talk about - if you don't tell people what THEY can do that will make THEIR world better today, you're not going to get a lot of action. (That's particularly true when we've been told for decades that "the people have to tell the government to take action".)
What ARE the solutions we can action today?
Back in 2014, sustainability entrepreneur Paul Hawken decided to find out for himself. After years of asking, no one had been able to tell him what the commercial climate solutions actually were. So he started Project Drawdown on a shoestring, and recruited 70+ volunteer researchers from 22 countries. They catalogued the top commercial solutions, selecting only those that had independent, peer-reviewed data that could be modelled at a global level.
Their initial findings - 80 commercial solutions - were published in 2017 in DRAWDOWN: THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE PLAN EVER PROPOSED TO REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING. They've updated their list and their modelling regularly, and in 2022 they were up to 93 commercial solutions that offer savings of $80-$140 trillion as a ROI on their investment.
Hawken moved on from Project Drawdown to explore the solutions that individuals, communities, regions and SMEs were creating, and in 2021 he published REGENERATION: ENDING THE CLIMATE CRISIS IN ONE GENERATION. So far, the experts of Project Regeneration's Action Nexus have compiled nearly 100 action lists for individuals, communities, SMEs, regions and industries.
And in parallel, the world's innovators and entrepreneurs have ALSO been developing design solutions. So anyone in business can get involved in solutions from Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation to Doughnut Economics.
Do you have a context to support your change efforts?
There are a whole range of contexts supporting Regenerative Business innovation, so go exploring for the one that works for you. If you're industry, it might be a Circular Economy hub. If you're community oriented, it might be the Doughnut Economics Action Lab.
I offer 1-on-1 Regenerative Thinking in Action coaching/mentoring programs - check out Think Act Regenerate for details.