Let’s clean up the climate, 1 gigaton at a time!


In the first episode, you saw how we attempted to create relationships between carbon removal methods and various stakeholders: https://medium.com/digitalsocietyschool/dear-climate-were-ready-for-you-9347d51b5cff

To refresh your memory:

As soon as Sprint 1 got over, the team was on a high. We wanted to raise the standards for next sprint and so began the ideation session. An exciting thing took place, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report released. This report is monumental in the sense that it underlines the fact that human activity is “likely” to push the average global surface temperature above 1.5C between the years 2030 and 2052. It highlights the urgency of the situation and has contributors from 40 countries around the world, 91 authors and about 6000 scientific references. It describes how emissions of carbon need to be reduced to zero by 2050 in order to avoid global disaster.

We saw an opportunity to add this angle to Climate Cleanup’s narrative. We have the urgency, we have the mission statement, it was time to start acting on it. A call to action was required.

The Drawdown Book: One of the most critically acclaimed, bestseller book on climate change solutions. A book that maps, measures, models, and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. For each solution, the history is described, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works. The goal of the research that informs Drawdown is to determine if we can reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon within thirty years. All solutions modelled are already in place, well understood, analysed based on peer-reviewed science, and are expanding around the world.

Climate Cleanup had been working on the Dutch translation of the Drawdown book, set to be released on the 8th of November at the National Sustainability Congress.

Translated version of the Drawdown book

It got more exciting. They invited our team to be a part of this launch. WOW. This was a huge opportunity for us to channelise our creativity and produce something that could blow their minds. The plan was to develop a communication platform for Climate Cleanup that compels viewers to participate and join their network. Thus…


Prototype design

‘The Decarbonator’ is a live stakeholder map that holds 1500 black cards. Each card represents 1 gigaton of carbon. The stakeholder map is divided into 7 segments, and the segment with which one identifies, the idea is to pick a card or ‘remove 1 gigaton of carbon’ from the atmosphere and replace it with your business card. Each black card includes a call to action and a point of contact to reach out to Climate Cleanup directly with your idea or contribution. This way you become a part of Climate Cleanup’s network.

In order to make this idea a reality, we had the Sprint 2 review session where the idea was proposed, and much to our delight, they loved it! An exercise to play around with the relevant stakeholders and appropriate action verbs was carried out to further strengthen the potential and value of our prototype.

Maybe not everyone was impressed :/


The 1500 cards that we required were sent for printing. One day before we set off for the Congress, we received a call saying the printing machine broke. How were we supposed to make 1500 cards in one day!? Well, we had no choice. We got it cheaply done at the office printer the next morning before setting off to Hertogenbosch to set-up our installation at National Sustainability Congress. Andy stayed up the whole night cutting the cards and sticking them right before the event.

Andy the butcher
Men at work while I laze around

And Voila!!!

We managed to capture the interest of about 200 stakeholders and the next day Climate Cleanup’s inbox was filling up with messages from various participants! We met some professors, students, policy makers, entrepreneurs, researchers, businessmen etc. Unfortunately we didn’t gather as many business cards from investors as we’d hoped. But the ‘decarbonator’ proved to be a viable prototype to make connections and communicate a purpose. It was interesting to see how various individuals or institutions are doing their part in their own unique way towards solving climate change.

Shoutout to Climate Cleanup for involving us in their journey as much as possible. The launch of the Drawdown Book (Dutch translation) is an event they have been working towards for months and they very graciously allowed us to be a part of it by inviting us on stage as well as felicitating us. It felt surreal being acknowledged for our passion in such an awe-inspiring way.

We had a long and combined sprint 2 & 3, but we gained a very valuable lesson. When you set your mind towards something, there’s nothing stopping you from achieving it. We are all in the same battle against global warming and we share the same goal. The increase in awareness is slow, but steady and we have a solution (or 100) for this issue. The more that come together the greater the impact.

If you wish to be part of this movement, or learn more about the issue head to https://climatecleanup.org/ and ACT NOW!

See you next sprint!

The Digital Society School is a growing community of learners, creators and designers who create meaningful impact on society and its global digital transformation. Check us out at digitalsocietyschool.org.