We look to climate change and all the related threats to human health and the environment, and confront them with these firmly held beliefs:
That the people who dedicate their energy, passion, talents, and skills to creating a better tomorrow are heroes. When the goal is quite literally to save the planet, the effort to achieve that goal can only be called heroic.
That there is room for hope. That we can look to our future and with unclouded vision see both the tremendous challenges we face, and the possibility that we can overcome those challenges.
That we must take action. Faced with the looming specters of climate change and other sustainability challenges, we have only three options:
- We can pretend the problems don’t exist, and thus do nothing.
- We can acknowledge the problems but, perhaps frozen in despair, choose to do nothing.
- We can acknowledge the problems, and determine to take action.
If we are to honor the long history of human achievement, only one of these options is worth considering. Willful ignorance has never before advanced humankind. Nor has fearful inaction in the face of threats. Neither of these options is worthy of the human spirit.
Throughout history’s long arc, the record has proven that the human spirit is at its best, that we can only progress, when we recognize our challenges for what they are and determine to take action. Not because success is guaranteed, or perhaps even likely, but because it is possible. The human spirit, individual and collective, thrives in the pursuit of success, and perhaps no more so than in the times when that success is hardest to achieve.
That when we commit to take action, we will be rewarded with a thrilling period of incredible possibility. All around us the challenges mount, but so too do the opportunities. People across the world are finding their way to action. Governments and entire sectors of industry alike are proclaiming targets for improvement. And creative thinkers — experts from all corners—are drawing up the roadmaps to reach those targets.
Rarely before has there been a time in history when all people can together see where we need to be in 20, 30, 50, or 100 years, and at the same time see the ways to get there. Seizing this historic moment will open for us a path of tremendous economic, social and environmental opportunity.
That many of the ideas we need to realize that opportunity, and to give form to hope, already exist. For more than a quarter century, powerful social, economic, and environmental ideas have been developed, tested, and proven. They include things like impact financing, green chemistry, biomimicry, natural capitalism, and circular economy. Creative people and institutions around the world have put these ideas into action, and can already attest to their benefits. All that’s left in many cases is for the rest of us to take notice and put our collective spiritual, political, and economic will behind these ideas, and thus seed the incredible improvements they can make possible.
All that’s needed are more heroes to take up a vision of hope, seize the opportunity at hand, and put the full force of their creative talents behind this mission.
And we believe, finally, that any one of you can be a hero in this undertaking. No matter your path in life, your current or future career, your personal talents and passions, or your age, you can contribute to this undertaking in powerful and productive ways. If there’s anything these pages show, its that there’s a place in this parade for everyone. That all can make an impact, regardless of station in life.