To the Next Ten Years of Solutions!


Elizabeth Caniglia

It is an amazing honor for me to join The Solutions Journal family as the new Editor-in-Chief! I am so grateful to Bob Costanza, Ida Kubiszewski, our fabulous Editorial Board and staff for their confidence and collaboration as we move into our second decade as the leading journalistic voice in sustainability innovation worldwide.

The introduction by Bob and Ida lays out some of the exciting changes we are undertaking to increase our impact. We’re thrilled to be going back to print, starting with the January 2019 issue. We’re updating our website to include advertising to support our work and to diversify our content offerings in ways that reflect our expanding audience. We will soon become the host of The Regenerative Development Blog, a project of Natural Capitalism Solutions, The Alliance Center (located in Denver, Colorado), and the SEED Institute in the Anderson College of Business at Regis University. We are adding a policy paper tab, where we will publish local, national, and global policy position papers of relevance to our readers. We are integrating additional media to the on-line version of our magazine to enhance the reader experience through photography, videos, and supporting documentation. We will also shortly launch a monthly newsletter designed to keep you updated between issues. You said you wanted more, and we will deliver!

Many have asked for an editorial vision they can use to guide their submissions to the magazine. Our first ten years and thousands of articles have reflected a deep and widely shared desire to step out of a world mired in negativity, mistrust, and disappointment and join the collaborative movement underway to build shared prosperity on a healthy planet. We have contributed to this movement by bringing together academic rigor and practitioner insights, by championing the voices of innovators, risk-takers, and dreamers. Our work is built upon the absolute certainty that our community can change the trajectory of our planet to benefit all living creatures. We call this solutions journalism, and this manifests in our requirement that wholly 70% of each article focuses on how to solve socio-environmental problems and move the needle toward a more sustainable and desirable future. This foundational commitment to solutions journalism remains integral to The Solutions Journal brand.

That said, Solutions is an amazing global platform, literally read in every country of the world, and we should always be inspired to do more. Particularly in the areas of equity, inclusion, self-determination, and shared governance, we need to identify and amplify the guiding voices of our era – voices from Indigenous Peoples, communities of color, single mothers, farmers, those who are uneducated, outcast, and the working class.

A solution to one challenge can produce new problems and unanticipated consequences. So, in keeping with our long-held commitment to taking a systems approach in The Solutions Journal, we are introducing a new form of contribution called a “Community Symposium.” This contribution will require at least two perspectives on the selected solution: one from a community organization and one from either the education, government, or business sectors. We expect critical, yet collaborative dialogue to be the cornerstone of these symposia – a means of transcending gridlock and developing shared vision. We also invite our contributors to include video interviews with community members who might not feel comfortable with the formality of journalistic writing. And we strongly encourage our contributors to involve community members in the production of their pieces as co-authors.

I am personally enthralled by the exciting revolutions that are taking place in cities around the world. In the industrialized world, over 80% of people reside in and immediately around cities; and in the very near future the same will be said for all occupants of our planet. Cities already consume 70% of our energy; and cities are the most unequal places on Earth. If we can get cities right, we can alleviate incredible suffering and ameliorate a considerable portion of the unequal impacts of climate change. Technological, socio-cultural, governance, and business innovations in energy, transportation, buildings, urban water management, heat island effect, urban agriculture and forestry, city planning, eco-districts, and more hold abundant promise – particularly given the spread of the regenerative development paradigm. I am passionate about solving the challenges that emerge at the intersections of rapid urbanization, climate change, and inequality, such as gentrification, transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and the intersectional vulnerabilities that characterize our urban landscapes. You can count on me to seek out stories in these subject areas.

Finally, it is exciting to know that around 60% of our on-line readers are youth and Millennials – folks 18-35 years of age. To reflect this, we will be amplifying the voices of this generation in our articles, on our editorial board, and in our brand. We honestly don’t know where their leadership will take us, but we know it will be in the direction of their optimism, creativity, and their commitment to an equitable, prosperous, and ecologically abundant future.

So, happy Ten Year Anniversary, Solutions! Please join us as we embark on the next.