What is the secret ingredient behind some of the most innovative and promising approaches to climate change, approaches that protect the climate for the long term while increasing health, well-being and equity today?
We think it’s a particular type of leader – one who is able to implement solutions that solve multiple problems for the same investment of time and money, and I am off to Paris and COP-21 to test and refine our thinking.
COP-21 provides a focusing point for tens of thousands of change agents from around the world. Within the official venue – as well as at hundreds of events outside of it – these thinkers and doers are gathering to share their work with one another. Among these thousands of people, we know that there are very many multisolvers:
- Public health experts promoting climate-protecting policies that also improve health.
- Indigenous leaders who are showing how the management of their forests keeps cultures alive, provides sustainable livelihoods and sequesters carbon.
- City leaders creating low carbon cities and saving money at the same time.
- And more!
We love tracking and sharing these examples, and expect to bring many more back from Paris.
I am also trying to learn more about multisolvers, to test and improve our emerging thinking about the characteristics of multisolvers, which is shown in the figure to the left.
As I arrange to sit down and talk with multisolvers in Paris, I have a long list of questions to explore:
- Why do they gravitate towards solutions at the intersections of many issues?
- What do they love about what they do, and where do they become frustrated?
- What allows them to pull people together across departments, jurisdictions or geographies?
- How do they navigate the uncertainty inherent in taking on novel approaches?
- What kinds of help do they need?
We are planning to send dispatches from Paris on some of the highlights of what I learn, so stay tuned via Twitter and Facebook. And, if you know anyone heading to Paris whose work includes building solutions to climate change that address other issues at the same time, please consider making an introduction to me – esawin(at)climateinteractive.org; I’d love to speak with them and learn about their work and their story!
For the Climate Interactive Multisolving team,