Climate Change: A Shared Mission around Solving the Urgent Climate Crisis
In the panoply of emotions after November 9th, 2016, many of us questioned what was to be done next. One very present need was to redouble efforts around the climate. So in partnership with Michael Smith and Ponvalley, enso quickly organized a summit in Santa Barbara for leaders from across culture to get together and discuss what a shared mission (or shared missions) could be to change our trajectory on the climate.
What we first imagined might be 20–30 people quickly became 160 diverse minds gathering over two days at the end of November. Opened by Al Gore and General Wesley Clark, the gathering featured leaders from science, religion, military, business, finance, hunting, advocacy and civic action.
This was part inspiration and education from some unusual voices, and part small groups working together towards ‘more shots on net’, rather than ‘running the old tired plays’ (*the words of Julio Friedmann, ‘energy guru’, on the opening night). There’s real power in diverse viewpoints looking at the same challenge. We heard from Rev. Mitch Hescox, a pro-life evangelical leader, on how his tribe could be brought into the environmental movement if framed the right way. We heard from republican-leaning business leaders, scientists from Harvard, Columbia and UCSB; Matt Rogers, founder of Nest; leaders of major family offices and leading environmental nonprofits.
Our aspiration was to form new alliances, open up new ways of looking at things, and maybe connect people around a few big new solutions. From the small working groups, more than one hundred big ideas were shared; eleven were prioritized and shared back to the rest of the network. At the end of the summit, and in the days and weeks afterwards, we have worked to connect these leaders and their organizations to the ideas that inspire them most. Two of the ideas are of particular interest to us at enso, and we are helping move them forward.
This event felt special. In the aftermath of a period of intense division, it felt cathartic to work together on solutions — something we’ve witness many times through the design sprints and Shared Table series we host frequently. There’s real power in bringing groups together, and we’re continually improving how to facilitate progress during, and after, each convening.