As I participate in the 2021 NCSE and Project Drawdown Conference, one thing is clear: bottom up, local action is healthy and potentially how the flame will be lit for broader action in states, nations, and international coalitions.

“Living Labs” are projects which are experimental and provide living examples of climate action through innovation and working across disciplines. The Lake Superior Living Labs Network is a prime example. The Solar Commons project is a good example. It combines a nonprofit, a community land trust, an academic partner, and people seeking energy justice. Go here to read the model.

Another critical force in local climate change and sustainability leadership is the Community College. At the conference the discussion is about changing the role of Community Colleges as education about Nature more than Workforce alone, but combining these so that young people can train for and be employed in green jobs. At present, there are still a lack of good paying green jobs, but graduates of CC Sustainability programs are employed over other candidates as most companies must now address sustainability as part of their long term planning and/or disaster mitigation. See video below.