On October 24th, 2009, people in 181 countries came together at over 5200 events to celebrate the International Day of Climate Action and call for the strongest possible action on the climate crisis. In response to 350.org’s brilliant and provocative campaign, Solutions will be launching a special edition for publication next summer dedicated to this singular global challenge. As we detail below, we're asking for your help as we design and begin to assemble this special edition on 'Getting to 350.'
First, let us introduce the journal. Solutions is a new publication that aims to showcase bold and innovative ideas for solving the world's environmental, social, and political problems. Founded by leading ecologists Robert Costanza, Paul Hawken, David Orr, and John Todd, the journal brings cutting edge ideas from academics and professionals in the field to an audience of policy makers, business leaders, and engaged members of the public. Launching in January 2010 as a bimonthly, the Journal itself is a glossy, coffee table publication created by the award-winning designer Terry Irwin. Our website, featuring our exclusive archive of peer-reviewed articles and online community of fellow problem solvers can be found at: http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com.
Our 'Getting to 350' special edition will be guest edited by Jon Isham (http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/user/63), building on the recent ‘Getting to 350’ workshop held at Middlebury College (http://blogs.middlebury.edu/350workshop/about/). Our goal is to help focus the world's growing commitment to 350 ppm beyond Copenhagen to the crucial issues we must tackle in the next decade. Our premise is that “Getting to 350” must entail redefining our economic, political, and social systems to improve well-being for the world’s poorest and assure the most basic freedoms for all. This daunting challenge will require unprecedented technological innovation, visionary development policies, and a global commitment to abandoning old consumerism ideologies for a more sustainable and desirable future. As the tens-of-thousands of people who assembled on October 24th understand, this is the call of our age.
As the world answers this call, there is good news. In the private, public, and civil-society sectors, decentralized, “open-source” approaches are changing the very nature of problem solving and innovation. Indeed, we may well be at the dawn of the “open-source century,” in which information technology, networking, public-private partnerships, and transparent feedback loops enable new frameworks for solution building. These open-source approaches reject hierarchical, linear thinking, and closed, expert-based problem-solving; they embrace networks, systems-thinking, and open, group-based solutions. The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an excellent example of this approach (http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/). The climate movement—the global groundswell that flowered on the International Day of Climate Action—has also embraced open-source approaches. The power and challenges of open-source approaches will be a major theme of this special edition.
As we now see it, the special edition will comprise five peer-reviewed articles along with supporting material—including editorial boxes and short focused articles—provided from regular and new contributors. The first piece will introduce the challenges we face and the parameters for building solutions for getting to 350. Subsequent pieces will examine the economics of getting to 350; the acceleration of open-source, innovative institutions capable of meeting the challenges of climate change; investment and institutional strategies for different forms of energy; and the particular nature of building solutions in China and the other major growing countries in the developing world.
This is where you come in. We'd like to get your input.
- First, what do you think are the major solutions that we should be exploring in this edition? We are looking here for the challenging institutional, economic, and technological knots that need to be untied in order to get to 350.
- Second, who do you see as the leading spokespeople for exploring such solutions; whom would you like to see featured in this special edition? (And feel free to propose yourself!)
- Finally, if you'd like to be part of conversations about getting to 350 with the Solutions online community, please sign up for this 'Getting to 350' group.
We look forward to your input via email, our online community or through our new facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Solutions-Journal/141002349354) and twitter (http://twitter.com/Solutionary) accounts. We certainly hope you will join us as we do our part to help the world reach 350.
The Solutions Team