Fostering Our Earth: Exploring Systems, Culture, and Change

A brief-ish introduction to Fostering Our Earth 🌍🪴💭

Welcome to Fostering Our Earth, a space for untangling the complex systems that make up our world and defining a collaborative culture with each other and the world around us

With eight billion people sharing the same world and facing a common climate crisis, the time for action is now. Climate change is immediately upon us, and we are called to make drastic changes to our lives. Tackling this crisis is not simply a matter of developing technological solutions and hoping we get there, but also demanding systemic change in every aspect of our lives. From the individual level to communities, organizations, and governmental levels. We know exactly how to reduce emissions, but our complex political systems make it really difficult. We can make a difference by holding our politicians and decision-makers to a higher standard. No longer is it enough that we vote for the candidate who has a climate plan or even just believes in climate science, but we need candidates who see the bigger picture and aren’t afraid to take the steps we need to achieve the most ambitious goals. We need to move from a place of ignorance and tokenism to a place of genuine citizen participation — a form of collaborative governance. For this to work, we need to be actively engaged with the world around us. Understandably, we all have so much going on in our everyday lives, but as the saying goes, “the days move slowly, but the years fly fast.” Day to day and year to year, climate change impacts our transboundary world as we know it. To succeed, we need to continually mobilize in a broader circle — from the individual and community circles out to the state, national, and global circles. John Doerr calls for us to have speed and scale, but more intrinsically, we need cooperation and coordination.

At Fostering Our Earth, we believe that education and exposure to the technical workings of the world around us can inspire more conversations and action on climate change. We aim to push for higher standards of change and create a sustainable future for all – this is our theory of change.

At Fostering Our Earth, our name reflects our commitment to creating a more sustainable world. We believe that by nurturing and supporting each other and caring for the earth that provides for us, we can create a healthier and more resilient future for all.

We are stewards of the earth and must make it livable for future generations. Herein lies the very definition of sustainability — meeting our needs today without compromising future generations’ ability to make their own decisions. As future ancestors, we are responsible for building a better world for future generations, both socially and environmentally, just as the Earth has provided us with the resources and conditions necessary for life for countless generations. Today, we stand on the precipice of making better decisions – taking steps to reduce our environmental impact and inducing a cultural shift towards one where care about each other and the world around us.

In practice, Fostering Our Earth asks what a sustainable future looks like and what do we need to get there. We will break down the infrastructure and culture shifts we need and roles we can all play regardless of our chosen profession or age. As a thought experiment, let’s imagine our world as a system of systems; infrastructure systems, food systems, political systems, social systems, criminal justice systems, and so on, each interconnected and interdependent. These complex systems interact with each other, and we need to be able to unpack the relationship between them. Next, let’s explore the often unrecognized idea that making more sustainable choices is healthier for us immediately and in the long term. For example, building a less car-dependent neighborhood or city reduces greenhouse gas emissions; it makes the air cleaner, increases safety (driving is the number one killer of young people), and promotes more physical activity for those able. Ultimately, this means building in higher density, reducing parking requirements, minimizing urban sprawl, and promoting the development of bike lanes and transit. Taking our exploration one step further, we see that cycling infrastructure, like other amenities (like grocery stores with fresh produce or well-kept parks), is often lacking in low-income or minority neighborhoods. Through our exploration, we will engage in conversations that will equip us to see the world around us through equity, justice, and climate-vulnerable lenses and enable us to act and advocate for practices that address those issues.

Through monthly newsletters, accompanying videos, and in-depth interviews with people doing the work, we aim to explore and inspire action by unpacking these systems on our way to building a more sustainable and equitable future.

If you’re on board or even the slightest bit curious about how we can build a better tomorrow by fostering our earth today, I hope you subscribe for the journey!

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