How to Solve More Problems Than Climate and Include More People Than Environmentalists

Core solutions figure

The core drivers of climate change cause other problems too. The good news is, for every problem there’s a group of people who would benefit from solving it. From the first exploratory survey for fossil fuels until the end of the century when today’s greenhouse gas emissions will still be influencing our planet, the fossil-fuel […]

Building on the People’s Climate March – Four Suggestions From Systems Thinking

CI team at the peoples climate march

Systems thinking points to ways to build on the momentum created by last Sunday’s People’s Climate March. For the global climate movement as a whole and certainly for the five Climate Interactive team members who were able to march in New York City on Sunday, the People’s Climate March was an exhilarating moment. We saw […]

What is an Elephant? 5 Ways Systems Thinking Helps Action on Climate

Cross-posted from Climate Access. Where do you spend your time working on climate change amid the many stakeholders, complex biogeochemical processes, and thousands of laws, rules, and incentives? With limited resources, it can be challenging to know where to focus your efforts. Techniques and approaches for understanding and addressing the complex challenges we come up […]

John Sterman and the Dalai Lama: Investigating Growth with a Piece of Paper

Here’s a fun game you can play to get acquainted with systems thinking: Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half. Now fold it in half again. Keep going until you’ve folded it six times. At this point, you’ve already managed one more fold than the Dalai Lama when Climate Interactive team member […]

Rewards and Lessons From A Day of Systems Thinking with the Dalai Lama Fellows


“That’s another way we can ensure that traditional skills are passed on!”  “If we modify the program we can include that whole group of kids we were forgetting!”  “Should I invite the funders to come to the village from the start? Even if it’s not perfect they could see where they could help.” Exclamations like […]

Innovate Podcast Features Climate Interactive, Impact of Systems Thinking

“Not only are problems interconnected, but often solutions are interconnected as well.” -Beth Sawin In the latest edition of the bi-monthly Innovate Podcast, which features interviews with influential social entrepreneurs and transformative thinkers, host David Castro sat down with Climate Interactive co-director Beth Sawin to talk climate change and sustainability. Tackling climate change can be intimidating. […]

Adapting to Climate Change While Reducing Emissions: Seven Stories of Synergy

With creativity and determination, communities can act and invest in ways that help adapt to  climate change  while also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise cause future climate change. I wrote about this possibility in a previous post, and since then people have been sending me examples of inspiring projects where adaptation reduces […]

Senators Connect the Dots on Climate

Calls from US political leaders to address the root causes of climate change are rare enough to be worth noting and celebrating when they happen, so I was pleased to read about a letter to President Obama from five US senators from states most impacted by Hurricane Sandy. They wrote: “Superstorm Sandy, and the possibility of even […]

We Should Connect Adaptation and Mitigation in New York City and Around the World

When addressing climate change, we should look for every opportunity to implement solutions that help communities adapt to unavoidable climate change while simultaneously building their capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, all too often, adaptation and mitigation of climate change are viewed as competing or even mutually exclusive priorities. Reactions to New York Mayor […]