Recap of DoTS #5: Drawdown is Possible and Absolutely Doable

Oct 11, 2019

Over 500 people from 60 countries signed up to join DoTS session #5 on Thursday 10 October, titled "Drawdown - How to Reverse Global Warming".

On October 10th, Otto Scharmer and team were joined by Chad Frischmann, VP and Research Director at Project Drawdown, for the fifth episode of the Dialogues on Transformation of Society and Self. Project Drawdown is a global research organization that identifies, reviews, and analyzes the most viable solutions to climate change, and shares these findings with the world.

The wordcloud below visualizes the 60 countries from which attendees joined the session.

Countries from which participants joined DoTS #5
Countries from which attendees joined DoTS #5

Touchable Solutions

After Otto introduced him, Chad started off by defining "drawdown" as:

"that point in time when atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases begins to decline on a year-to-year basis. It's that point when we take out more greenhouse gases than we put into earth's atmosphere."

However, he emphasized that:

"beyond that technical definition, drawdown is really a new way of thinking about and acting on global warming... It's the only way we know how to reverse global warming."

Chad shared that he himself started out thinking that drawdown was impossible. Now, however, he realizes that we have so many brilliant solutions, it is mainly a matter of putting them into action. Instead of focusing on the problem, which is what commonly happens in public discourse, he advocates for highlighting the solutions and getting on with them. Referring to "touchable solutions", he presented the Top 20 climate solutions as a tapestry of possibilities.


Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge - Project Drawdown's Top 20 Climate Solutions


Beyond a Focus on Energy

Otto commented that he was struck by farm and food seeming to play an important role in Chad's Top 20 overview, while public discourse is usually quite heavily focused on renewable energy. Chad agreed and observed that food often feels more personal to people, with conversations tending to result in blaming and shaming. Therefore, he pointed to the importance of shifting the narrative to focus on the positive things we can all contibute to the system.

Chad also named two specific actions that would help us move towards drawdown:

  1. Building a knowledge system that connects humanity in a way that is useful and meaningful; 
  2. Creating marketing campaigns for the most effective solutions available in the world.


Image Resonance Practice

After the initial dialogue, Kelvy Bird briefly shared some reflections on the image she had been scribing during the session so far. Otto then moved everyone into a new practice for our DoTS series, called Image Resonance. He asked attendees to move through three phases of the practice, namely:

  1. Contemplate Kelvy's image in silence, letting it sink in;
  2. From this contemplation, unmute and share one sentence starting with "I see...", "I sense..." or "I feel..."; 
  3. Engage in a moment of stillness, connecting to everything seen and heard, and allow images and feelings to pop up.
Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge - Kelvy Bird's scribing image for DoTS #5


Right after this practice, everyone was moved into breakout rooms to discuss in groups of 3-4 people:

  1. Check-in: name and location
  2. What resonated most for you from the image and the dialogue?
  3. Why does it matter to you, and how does it relate to your own experience and sense of agency?


Breakout Harvest & Closing

After the breakout dialogues, there was a plenary harvest of reflections and final questions for Chad. The overwhelming sense was that of possibility, optimism, and the need for the various different points of action to happen simultaneously.

Chad announced that the Drawdown Project is in the process of building a free and open-source knowledge system for useful and meaningful engagement, and for everyone to be able to co-create and contribute towards global drawdown.

Watch the edited video recording of the session below:


Next DoTS Episode with Melanie Goodchild on 28 October

Episode 6 of the Dialogues on the Transformation of Society of Self will take place on Monday 28 October 2019 with guest speaker Melanie Goodchild, Senior Indigenous Research Fellow and Associate at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Keep an eye on the DoTS program page for registration to be announced, and sign up for our Newsletter to receive the announcement directly in your inbox.