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Drawdown Learn: Teaching a Solutions-Based Approach to Climate Change


  • Omega Institute 150 Lake Drive Rhinebeck, NY, 12572 United States (map)

Project Drawdown is perhaps the most unexpected and hopeful development in the critical effort to reverse global warming.

With a modest budget and little fanfare, a group of 200 scientists and researchers mapped and modeled the 100 most effective ways to draw down greenhouse gas emissions. The Drawdown team did the math to calculate what humanity can achieve with tools already in use around the globe.

Since the findings were published in April 2017, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming has become aNew York Times best seller, prompting hundreds of media reports, events, and new editions worldwide.

Now, there is a need for a collaborative effort to develop tools, training, and curriculum integration to unpack the rich learning opportunities of Drawdown and its data.

In 2018, along with our partners at the PNW BOCES Center for Environmental Education, SCI21, and the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education, the Omega Center for Sustainable Living is inviting educators, curriculum developers, parents, students, librarians, community groups, researchers, local officials, and other interested parties to learn together and chart a path forward.

Time will be provided for breakout groups to discuss key linkages to the new science standards (K-12) and explore how Drawdown can be more fully integrated into K-16 education, youth leadership, community-based projects, and municipal and civic engagement. There will also be opportunities for cross pollination between the groups.

This 3-day collaborative event begins Friday evening with an in-depth overview of Project Drawdown by executive director Paul Hawken and his team, and continues with interactive sessions throughout the weekend.

Intended outcomes for this October 2018 Drawdown Learn event in Rhinebeck, NY:

  1. Create a shared understanding of what Project Drawdown is—the math, science, and models used—and the movement that has emerged around it, so that a solutions-based approach to climate change becomes part of mainstream discourse and education.
  1. Demonstrate that the solutions for reversing global warming are clear and tangible, and that they can be worked on in our communities, homes, and schools.  This event will include resources, ideas, and options for practical next steps that can be taken directly after the gathering.
  1. Explore avenues to get Drawdown information into the hands and minds of young people so they can both participate in and lead necessary action and innovation.
  1. Provide opportunity and resources for schools and communities to begin or deepen relationships, collaboration, and mutual support toward learning and implementing Drawdown solutions.