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Gigatonne challenge - Complexity University

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How can we reduce global emissions by one billion tonnes a year?
Our goal is to demonstrate in practice how to reduce global
emissions by one gigatonne of CO2e per year while engaging
and benefiting those most affected by climate change.
As a strategic response to the climate crisis, we are less
focused on individual behaviour change and more on
collective action. We see the real innovation as being
the team.
We are building a global network of teams achieving real
GHG reductions at-pace & at-scale. Teams are creating
meaningful work for people who are most vulnerable to
the effects of the climate crisis.

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Gigatonne challenge - Complexity University

  1. 1. The Gigatonne Strategy is a joint-venture between Social Laboratories Ltd. a Limited Company based in the UK (reg 09298370); Shikstantar, which is registered as a 80G tax-exempt non-profit trust in India; and the Swaraj Foundation which is a 501c3 registered trust in the USA. a practical, hands-on climate education programme THE GIGATONNE CHALLENGE A BOLD, NEW, BOTTOM-UP, AT-SCALE, AT-PACE RESPONSE TO THE GLOBAL CLIMATE CRISIS
  2. 2. The Gigatonne Strategy is a joint-venture between Social Laboratories Ltd. a Limited Company based in the UK (reg 09298370); Shikstantar, which is registered as a 80G tax-exempt non-profit trust in India; and the Swaraj Foundation which is a 501c3 registered trust in the USA. what is the gt challenge? How can we reduce global emissions by one billion tonnes a year? Our goal is to demonstrate in practice how to reduce global emissions by one gigatonne of CO2e per year while engaging and benefiting those most affected by climate change. As a strategic response to the climate crisis, we are less focused on individual behaviour change and more on collective action. We see the real innovation as being the team. We are building a global network of teams achieving real GHG reductions at-pace & at-scale. Teams are creating meaningful work for people who are most vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis. We do not see the climate crisis as simply an abatement challenge. We understand the climate crisis through the paradigm of complexity. We see multiple crises rolled into one, requiring diverse capabilities. Unless these capabilities are rapidly built we are in serious trouble. People working in cohorts are building the muscles to tackle complex challenges. This means they’re undertaking mitigation, adaptation, resilience, equity, poverty and inequality responses, as demanded by their specific contexts and situations. Since launching in October 2020 the Gigatonne Challenge has already completed 3 x two week sprints, with 31 teams starting the challenge, 27 teams completing their sprints, and 12 teams continuing for second and third sprints. During the first three months we achieved these results: 349 people signed up for the challenge from 96 cities in 46 countries, supported by 53 coaches and 14 faculty. 22 prototypes were tested resulting in 23.5 tonnes of CO2e being abated - equating to the amount of CO2e absorbed by 30.7 acres of US forest in one year. A total of 5248 hours of time was invested in the challenge. Teams were invited to design prototypes in one of four areas where direct emissions reductions are possible: Food Waste General Waste Energy Efficiency Transport In general, we found that food waste was an area where direct emissions reductions are easier to abate. We discovered other promising areas, for example, the team in Berlin attempted to tackle emissions reductions resulting from home heating in the winter, finding that it was a promising area for future teams to tackle. In 2021 our goal is for the Gigatonne Challenge to expand and mature, with several hundreds of teams live across the world, employing many thousands of people. ABATEMENT Reducing CO2e emissions TEMPORAL Operating at a pace dictated by the science EQUITY Ensuring those most vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis benefit  It tackles the questions of how to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and pace required and who will deliver such reductions equitably. We see the challenge of reducing global emissions as having three distinct targets - Abatement, Temporal and Equity. Rapidly Building Climate Capacity In tackling these three targets our ultimate goal is building capability to tackle the climate crisis on the ground. The Gigatonne Challenge is underpinned by Complexity University’s “Core Complexity Curriculum.” This curriculum is the product of 20 years of practical experience tackling complex challenges around the world. the first three months
  3. 3. The Gigatonne Strategy is a joint-venture between Social Laboratories Ltd. a Limited Company based in the UK (reg 09298370); Shikstantar, which is registered as a 80G tax-exempt non-profit trust in India; and the Swaraj Foundation which is a 501c3 registered trust in the USA. results to date - october, november and december Vizag 11.3 10 per month continuing Bangalore 2.66 7 continuing Nashik 2.16 0.7 per month continuing Canada 1.85 1.125 per week continuing Vadodara 1.60 0.5 per week continuing Canary Islands 1.13 3.35 per month continuing Jaipur 0.68 0.85 per week continuing Berlin 0.60 0 stopped Sydney 0.50 0 continuing Kolkata 0.35 0.10 per week continuing Dubai 0.17 0 spin off Teresina 0.17 0 continuing Europe Multi-city 0.15 1 continuing Pacific Multi-city 0.13 0 stopping India Multi-city 0.09 0 stopped Cohort actual c02e abatement (TONNES) projected c02e abatement (TONNES) STATUS Bristol 0 9 continuing Amman 0 0.5 continuing São Paulo 0 0 stopped Paris 0 0 pivoting Karachi 0 0 pivoting Johannesburg 0 0 pivoting London 0 0 stopped Mexico City 0 0 stopped NYC 0 0 stopped Los Angeles 0 0 stopped Kigali 0 0 stopped Cape Town 0 0 pivoting Delhi 0 0 stopped Montreal 0 0 pivoting Sofia 0 0 stopped Cohort actual c02e abatement (TONNES) projected c02e abatement (TONNES) STATUS
  4. 4. The Gigatonne Strategy is a joint-venture between Social Laboratories Ltd. a Limited Company based in the UK (reg 09298370); Shikstantar, which is registered as a 80G tax-exempt non-profit trust in India; and the Swaraj Foundation which is a 501c3 registered trust in the USA. wenevergiveup We live in a community surrounded by industry. For generationsourfamilieshavebeenworkingastechnicians, contract labor, daily wagers in the Industries. We pooled in money to level the field of learning (equality) so we can move with a sense of ownership. We do not speak or understand English fluently. So, it’ll be challenging for us. We are aware that we may not complete the task in October. So we would like to try in November as well to practice more. We are sportspeople, and never give up. Welcome to Vizag The port-city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, known as Vizag, is one of India’s industrial and military centres. A young sports team of recent graduates and industrial workers, all unemployed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, joined our first Gigatonne Sprint. Their only request: we’ll do anything, but please don't ask us to sit in a classroom. The team has only one laptop and a few smartphones between them - and little interest in joining the online sessions (which are all in English). Still, they took on the challenge with great enthusiasm and focus. Meeting daily with their coaches for a “stand up” planning meeting (huddle), they moved very quickly into action. Their first goal was abating one tonne of CO2e in just two-weeks. Eliminating Food Waste They chose to tackle food waste - diverting cooked food and raw organic waste from their local vendors from going into landfills. The cooked food went to those in need in their community, the raw organic waste was composted, as well as turned into animal feed. Doing the rounds of their community, picking up food waste from street food stalls, people started mocking them. “Have you become garbage pickers? Is this what your parents want you to be?” The criticisms stung - but true to their word giving up isn’t for them. The Beulah Warriors (named for the school where they all first met) exceeded their initial target of 1 tonne of CO2e abatement in this first sprint. They saved 520kg of food from landfill and abated 1,300 kg of CO2e emissions within two weeks, the first Gigatonne team to beat their target! They beat out far better resourced teams around the world, abating more than any other participating team. The GT Challenge consists of seven levels, with each level being increasingly ambitious. Having successfully completed Level 1, the team chose to attempt Level 2. Their goal was now abating 10 tonnes of CO2e in two-weeks. In practical terms this meant diverting 4 tonnes of food waste from landfill. In discussions with their coaches, they asked for some financing to help cover their labour and transport costs. They arrived at a figure of just under USD$1,000, which was provided to them by Complexity University. They exceeded their goal. They went out every day and collected a massive 4.5 tonnes of food waste. By the end of November they had abated a total of 11.3 tonnes of CO2e. What’s more, they changed hearts and minds in their community. Some people who mocked them in the beginning ended up joining the team - lending a hand and asking how they too could get involved. The Beulah Warriors are now working on a rolling abatement of 10 tonnes of CO2e per month for 6 months. This is Level 3. The community are slowly starting to embrace their efforts, new team members are joining and the work is growing. the beulah warriors from visakhapatnam, andhra pradesh “ case study vizag, india, food waste ”
  5. 5. The Gigatonne Strategy is a joint-venture between Social Laboratories Ltd. a Limited Company based in the UK (reg 09298370); Shikstantar, which is registered as a 80G tax-exempt non-profit trust in India; and the Swaraj Foundation which is a 501c3 registered trust in the USA. thechildren’sstory The Gigatonne Challenge was an amazing shortcut between having an intention and getting concrete results. I have never experienced it that way. The biggest prize was observing that people are actually ready to implement an ecological transition. We just need to start the process. The greatest challenge has been to go from our first prototype to a bigger scale. We have to learn how to grow in a sustainable way. Welcome to the Canaries The Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of North Africa, is already feeling the effects of the climate crisis - with rising concern about water and food security for islanders. Molly, who lives on the island of Gran Canaria with her Canarian husband and two young children, first joined the Gigatonne Challenge as a coach for our Mexico City team. Seeing what was possible and wanting to galvanise her own community to take action, she brought together local friends, activists, and parents to tackle the one tonne challenge. Molly translated a few key documents into Spanish and spread the word among her network of grass-roots climate activists. A small, committed team of 8 women quickly formed and signed up for the November sprint, to be coached by Molly and co-coach Lauren. The team began by getting out into their communities: talking to people, asking questions, and finding out where they might make an impact. One team member proposed doing something around food waste with their local school. This looked like a clear, practical way forward for the team. Food Waste in Schools They moved quickly to action, creating prototype composting systems from plastic bottles for the children to take home. A whole class of kids collected their food waste from home each day, and brought it to the school for composting. By the end of the two week sprint they had gathered 44.4kg of food waste in 5 days, saving 111kg of CO2e. An infectious sense of momentum soon built up. Their strong sense of community, and commitment spurred the team on for a second sprint in December. They called a meeting to get the word out wider. The island’s head of waste management showed up, along with staff from other schools on the island, and a local children’s author. By the end, they had gathered three new team members and strong support. Testing Multiple Ideas The original team members kept working to get the island’s schools composting, while the newcomers looked around at what else could be done. They tested several new prototypes: connecting restaurants with farms, initiating composting in homes and community gardens, and directing food waste from members of a farmer-consumer cooperative back to the farms for their use. The team at the cooperative are full of energy to take this further, and so another prototype is up and running. They have already achieved 500kg of CO2e abatement within the two week sprint from this prototype alone. Looking ahead to 2021, the team are progressing towards L3 of the GT Challenge a rolling target of 10 tonnes CO2e abatement per month. With 3 initial prototypes and 2 new prototypes starting in January, they are already projecting a rolling monthly abatement of 3.35 tonnes of CO2e. They will support the island government to roll out a composting scheme across 150+ schools, while expanding their own prototype to other classrooms and schools in the region. the canary islands cohort case study canary islands, food waste ” “
  6. 6. The Gigatonne Strategy is a joint-venture between Social Laboratories Ltd. a Limited Company based in the UK (reg 09298370); Shikstantar, which is registered as a 80G tax-exempt non-profit trust in India; and the Swaraj Foundation which is a 501c3 registered trust in the USA. Our goal is to create a “league” for Gigatonne teams, inspired by sports leagues such as IPL[1] in India or the Premier League in the UK. Teams listed on the league will undertake a series of sprints where they attempt to meet performance targets based on abatement, temporal and equity goals. Individuals will support teams just as they would their favourite sports teams. We anticipate thousands of teams eventually listed on GTL. We envision that major capital flows, ranging from the corporate sector, philanthropic and the public sector will flow into GTL supporting teams taking part. Compared to traditional funding mechanisms GTL will have far lower overheads, as well as simultaneously building grassroots climate capacity. Our vision in 24 months is thousands of teams on the ground, each meeting performance targets heading towards gigatonne scale climate impact. We are inviting partners to start sponsoring some of our initial teams as we launch GTL in 2021. [1] One of the most popular sports leagues in the world is the Indian Premier League. The Indian Premier League is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in India usually contested between March and May of every year by eight teams representing eight different cities or states in India. “ The Gigatonne Challenge gives me the same tickle as the internet did when we launched our online-based software back in the day before there was "cloud", the same tickle as when a friend said "hey check out this thing called Facebook" That same tickle that goes 'this is the world changing in front of me - this is going to be huge...' Erica, Cape Town At a time when it’s hard to be hopeful, GT gives me some sort of hope. A hope that, as individuals, we can practically engage with the climate emergency at the scale and pace necessary, within a structure that can hold that scale and pace. Molly, Gran Canaria I don't have faith that our existing institutions can be responsive and agile enough to create the urgent change we need. There is little to no evidence that they can be. A massive global mobilisation of innovative and determined citizens working together to generate solutions tailored to their local context is the most hopeful and practical proposition I know of. That's Gigatonne. Chloe, Montreal My experience of the Gigatonne Challenge is what tangible hope looks like in the face of a mounting and devastating situation – the climate crisis. Radically shifted social, environmental and economic dimensions of this crisis, where governments on their own have not been ambitious enough, needs a ground-surging people- to-people response that creates real collective purpose, direction and the required galloping momentum…and that is just what the Gigatonne Challenge is. Tara, India For many of us the challenge of climate change and its consequences are so great that we don’t know where or how to start – we are paralysed and so, seemingly, are the decision makers on whom we depend. Gigatonne teaches the skills we need to work effectively and together on the massive global problem of climate change – it gives us a starting point and then helps us to build those skills and provides a global platform, so that increasingly we can work together to tackle the problem at the scale it needs. Neil, UK “ “ ” ” ” “ ” “ ” the future

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