CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Today, the Climate CoLab, a project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI), released 34 proposals that outline effective actions to combat climate change.
“What makes these proposals unusual is that they weren’t hashed out in oak paneled conference rooms at elite international meetings,” says MIT Professor Thomas Malone, Director of CCI and Principal Investigator for the Climate CoLab. “These proposals were conceived and developed by people from many different backgrounds from all over the world and then selected as sound ideas by respected science and policy experts.”
The Climate CoLab, an online platform designed to allow anyone in the world to submit plans for how to respond to climate change, now has more than 32,000 members from over 120 countries. In addition to contributing ideas, community members can also comment on, support and join teams working on proposals to help develop them further. A group of seventy-five experts on climate science and policy evaluated this year’s entries, gave feedback, and after two rounds of judging, selected the ideas they found most promising. The community also nominated their top choices in online voting that ended yesterday.
These winners were named as the culmination of 18 Climate CoLab contests completed this year, several run in collaboration with organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the World Green Building Council.
One of the contests focused on how to implement a national carbon price in the United States. Advisors for this contest included George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State; Bob Inglis, former U.S. Representative (R-SC) and current Director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative; and Phil Sharp, former U.S. Representative (D-IN) and current President of Resources for the Future. The Judges selected two winners, a pro-growth, cross-partisan carbon tax; and a non-political cap-and-trade system that relies on reputation mechanisms, of the kind now used by sites like eBay, Uber and AirBNB.
Third Way, a Washington, DC-based think tank, ran a contest on what new actions U.S. government agencies can take to mitigate climate change. Their Judges selected a proposal called Democratic Finance, which outlines how the unused rooftop space of U.S. federal government buildings could hold citizen-funded solar photovoltaic systems, potentially reducing 9 million tons of carbon dioxide. Third Way will be working with the author to develop the proposal into a policy brief.
Another contest focused on how to accelerate youth leadership on climate change, for which Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and current UN Climate Envoy, served as Advisors. They selected, Climate Change is Elementary, a scalable model for youth to run large-scale renewable energy fundraisers in their schools.
“Our hope lies with the youth around the globe who are embracing the challenges of climate change and finding solutions,” said Dr. Harlem Brundtland and Mrs. Robinson in a written message for all contest authors. “We salute you and encourage you, as the crisis is real and it is urgent that we act.”
All the winners will be invited to the Climate CoLab’s 2014 conference, Crowds & Climate: From Ideas to Action, taking place at the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA, on November 6-7. At the conference, the winners will engage with experts and attendees to explore how their ideas can effectively move forward in the world. The winner of the $10,000 Grand Prize will also be announced.
To learn more about the Climate CoLab, visit: http://climatecolab.org
For a list of all 2014 winners, visit: http://climatecolab.org/community/-/blogs/winners-announced-2014
To learn more about and register for the Crowds & Climate Conference, on Nov. 6-7, visit: http://climatecolab.org/conference2014