If you follow news about our climate or nature, our outlook can seem pretty grim.
But PAJE believes in the power of strong foundations for change, and that’s what we’ve been working towards, especially in collaboration with leaders and organizations. We are heartened that from local governments and organizations to grassroots movements, a smart ground up response to our environmental and social crises is growing.
In 2021, PAJE Founder Rosalind Helfand engaged with the following projects and organizations that are building the right foundations for the kind of deep set, long term, meaningful change we need for the health of our planet and the health and equity of people:
- Global Green Recovery Collaborative: A collaboration building approach — at the local, national, and global levels — to addressing our climate and biodiversity crises. With grant funding received in December 2021, we plant to launch an online platform that will connect people working towards a green and equitable recovery from Covid-19 and beyond in early 2022!
- California & the UN Convention on Biological Diversity Campaign: In 2020, California became an official biodiversity treaty “observer.” Throughout 2021, we continued to engage dozens of environmental organizations and leaders in envisioning how to make the most of California’s new global biodiversity leadership role. We’re excited to grow our efforts and take action as the Convention’s 15th Conference of Parties comes up this spring 2022.
- Omega Sci-Fi Awards Environmental Sci-Fi Writing Program: In fall 2021, we increased outreach throughout Los Angeles County for The Green Feather Award, a special prize designed to encourage high school students to envision a future where humanity overcomes today’s environmental challenges. For the first time, more than half of our student submissions were for this special prize category. Our program host nonprofit, Light Bringer Project, received major funding from The Roddenberry Foundation to continue the great work of the Omega Sci-Fi Awards. With this support and teachers across Los Angeles inspired, and with the continuing partnership of the Nature Nexus Institute, we are thrilled to level up our environmental sci-fi program in 2022.
- Plastic Waste in Africa: African nations are threatened by an influx in plastic waste generated both internally and externally. This influx is made worse due to pressures from both fossil fuel and chemicals companies — many of which are based in the United States. Following a position paper we published on this issue in fall 2020, Rosalind and the project leader, Stephen Awoyemi, worked on methods to expand research into actionable policy solutions in 2021, and we are propelling this project forward in 2022.
- Pardee RAND Tech + Narrative Lab: In spring and summer 2021, Rosalind Helfand joined Pardee RAND PhD students to facilitate their exploration of environmental equity issues and how consideration of these issues can be applied at the intersection of policy and technology development. Rosalind will continue to integrate environment and equity considerations into her 2022 projects.