Effective Climate Action Project (ECAP)

Using data visualizations and climate simulations to advocate for systemic solutions to climate change.

Photo of Luna Abadia
2 10

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Please confirm you meet the following criteria

  • We have submitted the supplemental form linked in the description above
  • We are aged between 14 - 20 as of February 11, 2021
  • We live in the United States or its territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa)
  • We are not employed by, or directly related (parents or siblings) to a current General Motors (GM) or Ashoka employee
  • We have been working on this project for at least three months
  • We consent to Ashoka and/or GM featuring our work on their website, social media, and in other materials regarding this Challenge using the information in our application
  • We confirm we have the rights to use and share any content uploaded on this entry form

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

https://www.effectiveclimateaction.org/ https://www.instagram.com/effective.climate.action/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/effective-climate-action-project/

Date You Started Your Project

7/ 1 / 2020

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Our organization is helping to combat the lack of public focus on systemic solutions to climate change. For so long, the focus has been on the climate problem, not on climate solutions. By equipping others with the tools to understand these systemic solutions, grounded in science, technology and policy, we can empower others to advocate for the changes our world needs.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our approach harnesses three core initiatives: facilitating interactive climate simulations, engaging others with online advocacy, and championing our youth voices to advocate for local environmental policy. 1. We run three different workshops: the “World Climate Simulation Game,” the “EN-ROADS Climate Workshop,” and the “Climate Action Simulation Game,” through which we bridge complex scientific data sets and public understanding to encourage others to take systemic action. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we run the workshops online, but plan to do them in person when possible. By facilitating these workshops as youth, we hope to demonstrate that our voices deserve to be heard in the climate conversation. 2. To shift public focus to systemic solutions, we research and share weekly action items for our organization members as part of our “Take Action Tuesday'' campaign, and elevate climate related opportunities, organizations, and information across our social platforms. 3. For the 2021 legislative session, we are supporting 3 local environmental policies by presenting testimonies and running webinars encouraging youth to write letters to elected officials.

3. Please tell us how you are using science, technology, engineering or math to address your environmental challenge.

Our climate simulation workshops are centered around the utilization of two computer models called EN-ROADS and C-ROADS, designed by MIT Sloan School of Management and Climate Interactive. These models harness global data sets and the latest climate science to analyze how different climate solutions and policy measures such as renewable energy, afforestation, industry electrification, a carbon price and more, impact our current trajectory of global warming. As facilitators, we employ these models to visually and intuitively show workshop participants how their own ideas about how to solve climate change would affect aspects of Earth’s climate system. For example, we explore temperature increase by the year 2100, greenhouse gas emissions, energy cost and demand, and sea level rise. Through this, we teach the importance of ambitious, immediate, global, and systemic action on climate change.

4. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

I've been concerned about climate change since I was little, but my motivation to take action began when I studied abroad in Japan as a Rotary Youth Exchange Ambassador. I noticed differences in the way people approached environmental issues, and this opened my eyes to the fact that the issues and impacts of climate change are global- and our solutions need to be so as well. While in Japan, I entered a Japanese speech contest and spoke about the importance of taking action on climate change, winning both the regional and prefectural levels, and becoming a national finalist. Through this experience, I realized that anyone can make a difference with their words and passion. Coming home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I found myself wishing that humans would gain a new awareness of our global interconnectedness and enact effective solutions to climate change. This inspired me to create ECAP.

5. Video (Keep it simple, your phone on selfie-mode is great): Please upload a 1-minute video to YouTube that answers the following “I am stepping up to be a Changemaker because...”

6. Please highlight the key activities you have carried out to bring your project to life.

I began by meeting with Climate Interactive to see how I could implement their tools into my vision. I set up a leadership team, and we developed our branding and social platforms, as well as a website and blog. Next we trained to be able to facilitate climate simulations, and identified local environmental policies to advocate for through our workshops. We began running climate simulation events with students, teachers, and adults, and researching weekly action items to share with our members.

7. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Our project is unique because we merge science and tech with education and public advocacy. Many youth-run environmental projects focus on small-scale, local, individual actions. While these are helpful, a gap that needs to be filled is youth-led advocacy for systemic climate solutions. Our impact may be harder to measure than a tree-planting project, but we influence change by increasing public awareness and sparking leadership development. Our policy work is currently local, but our advocacy and workshops reach more broadly, giving our project the potential to scale to higher levels.

8. Impact: In the last three months, please detail the impact your project has made.

In the past three months, we have organized and run 5 climate simulation workshops online for different groups, engaging adults as well as over 30 youth. On our social media platforms, we've engaged hundreds of members with informational posts on a variety of environmental topics, such as presidential climate plans, ways to effectively talk about climate change, global environmental youth movements, and more. We partnered with organizations including Renew Oregon, Plan USA, and Portland Youth Climate Council. In order to learn more about how we can effectively advocate for systemic change, we interviewed other changemakers including Oregon Senator Hayward and Representative Dexter, and climate activists from Nepal and the Netherlands.

9. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

This year we are planning to work with Portland Public Schools Sustainability Board to implement climate simulations into the new Climate Justice Curriculum. We are currently planning multiple events to introduce teachers in Oregon to the climate simulation workshop and computer model so that they can use it in their own classrooms. We are planning to expand our impact by hosting webinars teaching youth how to become facilitators themselves. We will bring our work to an international summit with 10 female climate activists from 10 different countries. We are also planning a campaign focused on sparking youth interest in international climate agreements, leading up to COP 26.

10. Please share how you have influenced other young people to get involved in your project and/or care about environmental sustainability.

One of our project's members began uncomfortable with public speaking and nervous about leading climate simulations. She had no previous knowledge of climate science or computer simulators. Through ECAP, she was able to practice leading workshops and learn about climate science in a collaborative environment. Now she is a fluent facilitator, and has run 3 climate simulation events online. Her passion for environmental sustainability has greatly increased. Stories like these are what motivate us.

11. How would you partner with other changemakers to make a difference?

We would partner with other changemakers to offer our workshops to a greater diversity of groups, and connect with other school districts to implement climate simulations in their classrooms. Furthermore, at the end of each of our workshops, we implement a call to action; this allows us to amplify the work of other changemakers and encourage participants to get involved. Our upcoming campaign on COP 26 and youth involvement has potential for changemaker collaboration as well.

12. How would you engage others who have never heard about your project to get their buy-in?

We hope to engage others with our free, youth-led workshops, which provide individuals and organizations with valuable knowledge of the importance of ambitious and multifaceted action plans to tackle climate change. We also teach key dynamics and equity considerations of the climate system, and provide people with the experience of advocating for policies to solve a global issue. Beyond this, we feel that we have an engaging mission that people will feel motivated to support.

13. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations between $100-$1k

14. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you? You’ll be able to select only one option.

  • Project Plan & Strategy

Are you employed, or directly related (grand-parents, parents, sibling) to a GM or Ashoka employee?

  • No

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Search engine
  • Recommended by others

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or General Motors, who was it?

Mary Catherine

Evaluation results

5 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

Yes, absolutely! - 80%

Probably - 20%

Maybe - 0%

Probably not - 0%

No - 0%

2. CONNECTION to Environmental Sustainability

5 - Absolutely! It is totally clear that the solution is contributing directly to environmental sustainability and/or addressing climate change - 60%

4 — Yes, it establishes a connection to environment/ climate change but could be stronger - 40%

3 — Somewhat, the entry speaks to this environmental sustainability, but the direct impact is not well established - 0%

2 — Not really, the connection to environment/ climate is very weak - 0%

1 — No. The entry does not have a reference the solution’s impact on environment and/or climate change - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

3. Is this entry CREATIVE?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 60%

4 - Yes, I think so - 20%

3 - Maybe - 20%

2 - Probably not. - 0%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Does this entry demonstrate a COMMITMENT to changemaking?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 100%

4 - Yes, I think so - 25%

3 - Maybe - 0%

2 - Probably not - 0%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Does this entry value CHANGEMAKING through collaboration with other stakeholders in its approach?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 80%

4 - Yes, I think so - 20%

3 - Maybe - 0%

2 - Probably not - 0%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

6. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 60%

4- Yes, I think so - 40%

3- Maybe - 0%

2- Probably not - 0%

1- No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: What are the strengths of this project?

CONNECTION: You have a great understanding and personal connection to the problem - 75%

CREATIVITY: You have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions to aid environmental sustainability/combat climate change - 100%

COMMITMENT: You have a thoughtful plan for growing your business, and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 100%

CHANGEMAKER QUALITY: You value thinking around how to activate other changemakers and empower them to care about your cause. You also have a clearly defined plan on how to collaborate across multiple stakeholders - 100%

IMPACT MEASUREMENT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 50%

VIABLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 75%

Other option - 0%

8. FEEDBACK: What are some areas for improvement for this project?

CONNECTION: Why you care about the environment/ climate was unclear – It would be great to elaborate on what this solution means to you, personally and how it affects you and/or your community. - 50%

CREATIVITY: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 50%

COMMITMENT: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 0%

CHANGEMAKER QUALITY: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming. How will they care about environment/climate if they currently do not? Think about how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 0%

IMPACT MEASUREMENT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 100%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 100%

Other option - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Breitner Marczewski

I love the idea of connecting data and your hands-on approach with workshops. Kudos to the team!

Photo of Luna Abadia

Thank you!