Our mission is to inspire you to transform environmental challenges into social action
for a just and livable world.
We envision a world in which communities—from one to one million—
are active agents of social and environmental change. Here's our story.
We believe our environment is not separate from our society,
and that healthy communities, stable economies, and social equity cannot exist without environmental well-being.
We go beyond doling out information in hope that people will change.
Instead, we inspire people to transform their behavior by making issues personal to their lives.
Our target audience is you.
Whether you’re a seasoned environmentalist, a newcomer to the movement, senior citizen, politician, corporate executive, community organizer, student, or none of these things, you have a stake in the health and functioning of our environment, and you play an important role in your community. Anyone can make a positive human impact, and everyone benefits from collective action.
Our job is to help you take part in your own personal way.
We know there’s a gap between knowing, understanding, and taking action. Our solution to closing this gap is simple:
We help people of diverse ages and backgrounds personally connect to the most pressing environmental issues of our times, and give them the tools needed to take positive, long-term actions.
INSPIRE new audiences to engage in social and environmental solutions through our Creative Communication programs
ACT and help you take action, while broadening your knowledge through our Learning-by-Doing programs
SHARE innovative ways to stay involved and build a community of change-makers through our Curated Actions programs
We are social entrepreneurs who create and share innovative approaches to tackling social and environmental issues.
Our programs pair artists and scientists to engage new audiences in climate change solutions,
bring youth to the boardroom, and get policy makers’ hands dirty as they care for local street trees.
We are action-oriented, and our passion is to help people make a difference, in their own unique way.
WE DO IT
WE DO IT
To me, one of the biggest mistakes we’ve made in the environmental movement has been to talk about “saving our planet” as opposed to “living healthy, happy lives”. Most of us would put having healthy, happy loved ones as #1 on our priority lists. However, we’ve created an unnatural divide between nature and humans, environment and society. In order to really think about the “state of the environment”, the first step is to look at the “state of our environment”—from the trash on the street corner to the rates of asthma in our kids and the amount of cancer in our communities.
What type of world do you want? Personally, I want my apple to be affordable and free of hazardous toxins; I want access to clean drinking water and I want communities in Brazil to have it too; I want city kids to know that ketchup is made from tomatoes that grow in dirt and country kids to know that good public transportation can mean an incredible amount of freedom. I would love every American, and every global citizen, to ask two questions: Are you proud of your human impacts? And, whether you are or not, what actions will you take to support strong communities and a healthy environment?
In 2010, I realized I was growing as an educator, artist, and environmentalist, but that I could have only so much of an impact as one individual. I started to think of how I could connect these components of my life to create a community dedicated to education, creativity, direct action, big policy, and the environment. I concluded that by building an organization, I could foster exactly this “big picture” approach. In 2011, the Human Impacts Institute was born. Since then, our amazing Crew has grown with experts in transforming ideas into action, while inspiring countless communities to take part—from city kids connecting with life in their waterways to diplomats exploring creative ways to communicate climate change.
When you feel connected to something—whether it’s a global issue like climate change or a local one like caring for your neighborhood park—taking action to improve or protect it becomes fulfilling and meaningful. Oftentimes, it is the arts that give us a way to express ourselves or show a personal connection to tough topics. The Human Impacts Institute is a place to help you do just that. My goal was, and still is, to make the environment something personal and close to you, instead of “outside” or “over there”. I’m amazed and humbled by how far we’ve come and thank you for joining us on this amazing ride.
We look forward to working with you as agents of positive change in our communities.
Founder and Executive Director
A Message from our Founder
"Not only is it so exciting to be putting all that waste to some semi-good use (at least by recycling it) but it is really something that the whole school: students, teachers, and parents can get involved with. You were full of amazing ideas and your presence at our first meeting totally got the ball rolling in the direction of something attainable instead of something simply overwhelming. Thank you."
—Catherine B., Parent and Teacher, On working with HII Crew
"It was a great experience. I really valued my time spent working on curriculum for Hii and writing grant proposals. The leaders were very well prepared. All the other interns were inspirational and friendly.
[The Human Impacts Institute Internship Program] has made me more comfortable teaching environmental education classes. I will continue to teach environmental education ,especially street tree stewardship. I will also continue to use my grant writing skills."
—Melissa M., Undergraduate Student, HII Environmental Education Intern
“The Human Impacts Institute is a supportive, friendly, and creative group. [The internship] was an eye opening experience. I got a better idea of how I want to use my skills, experience and future graduate degree to support marine habitats.
My experience with the Hii program illuminated my strengths and weaknesses in terms of writing, understanding policy and understanding the way a non-profit operates. I am looking for a role for myself in the environmental field and the Hii program was a great introduction.”
—Jennifer K., Mid-career Professional, HII Climate and Coalition Building Intern
"[The workshop was] fun and well organized. I liked working with the students, too. They [Human Impacts Institute staff] were prepared. I thought there illustrations were good too. They had the right tools for us to work with as well."
—Lauren Z., Corporate Volunteer, HII Education Participant
"Since the inception of our partnership, we have come to know the Human Impacts Institute as an important growing force in the field of environmental leadership development. Through your programming our students have learned about environmental advocacy and tree stewardship. Through your work in our community internationally crucial issues are being addressed in educational settings. Our partnership has truly improved our learning environment and is an enrichment to students and staff."
—Karali P., Principal, The Green School, NYC
"As opposed to the other work experiences I have had, Hii was especially significant. I feel like I got real-world, hands-on experience. I also feel like my small efforts will go a long way. We were able to teach people, while being taught at the same time, which is awesome. I also learned many things from my manager, Tara, that will stay with me for my social and professional life.
I feel like I am more aware of sustainable practices as well as the things I can do to help implement them in the world. Not only that, I feel a greater passion for what was being taught more than ever before."
—Ron C., Undergraduate Student, HII Sustainable Business Intern
"Getting the chance to spend a day at the United Nations was an experience I will never forget ! To my knowledge, not many people get the chance to sit in on an actual UN conference. It was kind of surreal that history could happening in this very building and I was there to witness it ! The Human Impacts Institute and and UN CSD -Youth Caucus were awesome!
I really feel like I learned a lot about team work on that day. I will bring all those skills I have learned back to my LIFTT [Leadership Institute for Today and Tomorrow] group and hopefully in everything else I do in life!"
—Allison O., High School Student, HII Education Participant