On the eve of the Global Climate Action Summit week, a group of 11 high school students and 12 sustainability experts gathered at Global Footprint Network’s headquarters in Oakland, California to create the Bay Area’s first Intergenerational One Planet Charter. The charter applied the ten principles of Bioregional’s One Planet Living framework to create a clear route map for sustainable development in the Bay Area.
“One Planet Living is our vision of a world in which people enjoy happy, healthy lives within the natural limits of the planet, wherever they live in the world, leaving space for wildlife and wilderness,” states Bioregional, a UK-based NGO which aims to invent and deliver practical solutions for sustainability through collaborative projects with partners around the world.
Bioregional co-founder, Pooran Desai, was on deck to share his vision and provide inspiration for one planet communities. Experts, who represented each of the ten One Planet Living principles, included members from the San Francisco Zen Center, Conservation Biology Institute, the State of California, Sustainable North Bay, and Global Footprint Network, among other organizations. The intergenerational aspect of the charter was key to creating an inclusive and diverse decision-making forum.
“It felt so good to be able to make a difference and to meet people of all ages who had the same values as me, but could help me see issues from a different perspective,” said Shayla Rose Brown, a high school junior.
The charter was created using Design Thinking, an iterative cognitive process that oscillates between understanding the problem and focusing on solutions. The process follows five steps—empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. Together, students and experts worked through the Design Thinking process until they had a prototype in hand at the end of the day.
“The combination involving the Design Thinking Process and the 10 One Planet Living Principles was efficient and yielded a powerful result. The resonance between the two agendas ensured a humanitarian and environmentally focused outcome,” said Nolan Crichton, a senior at Credo High School.
To complete the Design Thinking process, the charter was tested in San Francisco the following Tuesday at the Coal + Ice event Spotlight on Climate Solutions, attended by Al Gore. Students handed out the charter to politicians, business leaders and other participants at the event to receive feedback and inspire engagement.
“I would like to improve the charter as it progresses through the testing stage of the Design Thinking Process,” said Nolan. “I hope that it is shared widely among the community and is eventually passed onto multiple stakeholders in the realm of politics and environmental action. Through the actions of myself and those involved in the creation of the Charter, I believe it has the potential to have a widespread influence on the community.”
So please, share the Intergenerational Charter for a One Planet Bay Area widely!