Hope, an easy way to help, and two ideas to exploređź’ˇ

by | January 8, 2021

Credit: Ray_LAC / flickr

Happy new year!

I hope it’s off to a good start (aside from, you know…that whole attempted coup thing I can’t stop thinking about) and that you’re as grateful as I am about the greater potential for bold climate action that Georgian’s and organizers just unlocked.

A few things today:

  • What gives me the most hope.
  • ​4-question-survey to help make CS better.
  • Thank you & quick fundraising update.
  • Indigenous worldviews to understand & economic ideas to explore.

Let’s start with one of my favorite climate quotes:

“When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on Earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this Earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.” – Paul Hawken

This is pretty much how I feel. The main reason I am hopeful for our future is because people like you are stepping up more and more.

Your courage and actions are giving others strength and helping to build unstoppable momentum.

Small victories around the world are starting to add up, multiply, and turn into bigger ones.

So first off, thank you. Let’s keep moving forward together.

And second…

I want to hear from you!

What climate actions did you take this year? What project, moment, or steps are you most proud of? (whether at home, work, your community, etc.)

Has Crowdsourcing Sustainability helped with your climate actions or influenced you along the way?

Have you found the unique ways for you to best plug-in yet? What are you working on now or plan to work on this year?

And I’m always trying to improve and make this newsletter/Crowdsourcing Sustainability more useful so – how could this be better?

​If you can, please take a couple minutes to answer these 4 questions in our survey here.​

Doing so is incredibly helpful because:

  • It’ll help me make this newsletter and Crowdsourcing Sustainability more useful for you.
  • Your stories of how this newsletter has impacted you or what it has led to in the real world truly help keep me going…I never know the ripple effects of my work unless you share your story with me!
  • Measuring the impact of journalism/cultural work is hard. Sharing how this work has impacted you could help keep the work itself going because people giving out grants love stories and evidence of real-world-impact.
  • I’ll get a better idea of where you are in your climate journey, what you’re working on, and what you need help with. This will help inform strategy going forward to maximize our collective impact.

Fundraising update

A huge thank you again to everyone who has donated to sustain this work and help scale its impact.

In 2020, Crowdsourcing Sustainability raised $11,330. Still a long way to go for financial sustainability, but it’s a good start!


  • Individual Donations: 71 people generously donated a total of $6,205. This includes 28 people who signed up to support CS consistently with the monthly or annual options for ongoing stability. These donations were between $3 and $50 per month, with an average of $13.
  • Grants: The Forest Foundation generously gave us $5,000.
  • One person got their company to donate $125 to the cause as well.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all of your support 🙂

I just finished a draft of the CS budget for 2021. Our goal will likely be in the ballpark of raising $85,000 to cover costs and begin expanding with a new hire by the end of the year (huge shout out to all the amazing volunteers already working for the cause!).

So if you haven’t donated, are comfortably able to, and would feel good about supporting this work, please do so here!

Every little bit helps keep this independent journalism/climate activism going. It also enables me to spend more time on the work itself, rather than needing to allocate more time to grant writing.

Indigenous wisdom & modernizing economics for the 21st century

These are two topics that I have only dipped my toes into so far but intend to spend more time learning about.

There are many reasons for this but, fundamentally, it’s clear that continuing to follow “conventional wisdom” and the status quo is a death sentence for tens of millions of people at the very least. As well as many of the ecosystems and beings we share this world with and rely on.

Society needs a more fair and effective operating system (laws, the economy, the stories we believe, etc.). One that more accurately reflects who we are as a species, what we need, and what we care about. One that accounts for physical realities and limitations such as…the laws of nature. And one that integrates an understanding of our dependence on earth’s ecosystems and being a part of nature.

I believe the Western world has a lot to learn from indigenous people and beliefs to shape a new cultural narrative. And that we are long overdue for an economic theory fit for the 21st century.

GDP, profit, and shareholders are not the priority.

People are. And a thriving life on earth.

I’ll leave you with two things I read recently:

If you have any recommendations along these lines that blew you away, please let me know!

This post originally featured in the Crowdsourcing Sustainability newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter below!

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