Our Bridging the Divide series of Human Impact Stories gives you a sneak peek into the lives and work of amazing individuals who are world's apart on the map, but are neighbors in action on how they take on climate change. From social justice advocates in Houston, Texas, to government officials in Berlin, Germany, these people are addressing the root causes of climate change and inspiring others to take a stand along the way.
Click below to learn more about their work.
Director of Research, National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Sabine works a lot with collaborative troops, made up from people from all disciplines, and explains why the collective approach is the best one.
"If people learn that we can go from entitlement to empowerment, we can actually empower ourselves to lead to change"
Dr. Bullard talks about redefining environmentalism, the importance of knowing when you have won, the instruments necessary to address environmental justice, how his career began as a young environmental sociologist in Houston
“When we converge as a collective and there are central goals and themes that we want to achieve, and we commit ourselves to do it, that is when we've been unstoppable.”
Matt is providing information that people would not have otherwise, translating information from scientists to communities.
“We're all in a line together, and we are united, and we need to make it work. That's why I do it.”
Executive Director, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL)
Alexis talks about the work of St. Albans Church in Monroe Georgia and their partnership with Monroe County Jail as well as the breathtaking work of other congregational faith-based organization and how they have helped battle climate change.
“If it comes in a non-threatening package, people will understand climate change. Faith will push us farther than we've ever gone before.”
Founder and Principal, Latent Design
Katherine brings innovative design to those in resource and budget limited environments through a holistic, creative approach to design driven by community needs that leverage other partners and assets to address project challenges.
"We don't necessarily need to be enlightened individuals, we just need more honesty and more ability to face those really hard and critical facts."
Managing Director, OpenIDEO
Zakiya and Jason discuss the role that technology can play in making a change.
"We see so much innovation coming from the ground up: the designers, entrepreneurs, technologists, people that are passionate and interested... - they need to be involved."
Malte addresses that through joint effort amongst nations and diverse segments, development can emerge and not just bring singular arrangements.
“Cross-fertilization is what's needed to do the innovation that addresses climate change, because it is a systemic problem”
David informs us that there are micro and macro actions that can be done to affect climate change, from not wasting water and electricity to building a factory to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, a whole gradient of solutions.
“If I'm going to eductate people about climate change, the major thing that I want them to understand is that they can play an important role"
Executive Director, Ecological Institute Berlin
Camilla has acted extensively on legal and institutional issues in the context of international climate protection and for many years, she was part of the German Delegation to the UN climate negotiations.
“Even if there are obstacles on a political level, we can help shape the economy by the choices we make.”
Associate Professor, Howard University School of Law
Patrice underscores his perspective on the lack of diversity by testifying we are not gaining the sort of ground that we should make regarding the function in our democracy in order to accomplish the task with grappling with climate change directly.
“One of the things that keeps us going is this realization that it all really matters.”
Head of the Strategic Aspects of Climate Policy, Climate Plan at the Federal Ministry for the Environment
Ursula speaks on policy and science coming together.
“People can demand action from their political leaders but also can think about what they can do personally and what their local community really can do.”
1st Secretary for Energy and Climate, German Embassy in Washington D.C.
Georg tells us about Germany’s environmental movement and their relationship with other nations.
“Business is very important, particularly in acceptance in the U.S. - acceptance is much higher when business is involved."
This program is possible with the support of The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety; StoryCorps; Winter's Past (Isaac Kestenbaum and Josie Holtzman), Andrew Shea; and all of the women and men who shared their stories and inspired us to follow their footsteps.