Feature  | 

Drawdown Stories: 2023 year in review

by Drawdown Stories

Press Contacts

If you are a journalist and would like to republish Project Drawdown content, please contact press@drawdown.org.

After launching in 2022, Drawdown Stories worked this year to more deeply deliver on its core purpose: to “pass the mic” to the climate heroes who often go unheard and, in doing so, invite people everywhere to tap into their unique superpowers to help the world stop climate change. In 2023, we connected with communities worldwide, from the more than two dozen climate heroes featured in this year’s Drawdown’s Neighborhood series to the thousands reached through virtual and in-person engagements to the countless others exposed to our work through partners like The Weather Channel.

At Climate Week NYC, in front of an audience of nearly 400 people, Project Drawdown director of storytelling and engagement Matt Scott spoke about why Drawdown Stories does the work that it does:

“The center of the work that [we] do is passing the mic to those that often go unheard and centering underrepresented communities and voices. For a long time, I did not connect with the culture of the environmental space. I didn't connect with the stories that were being told. And when you can't connect, when you don't see yourself represented, you don't enter those spaces… More of us need to see ourselves represented in this space… When I think about the culture I want to shape, I want it to be one where people's stories aren't overlooked. Where they're heard, where they're represented, and where people feel like regardless of where they come from, regardless of what they're wearing or how they show up, that they belong.”

Within Project Drawdown, the Drawdown Stories program uses storytelling to promote new narratives and new voices. We do this to shift the conversation about climate change from “doom and gloom” to “possibility and opportunity,” and to elevate underrepresented climate heroes who have been traditionally excluded from the climate space.

We're excited to share some of the ways we made progress this year.

We explored drawdown-aligned careers with nearly 30 underrepresented climate heroes nationwide.

The climate solutions short documentary series Drawdown’s Neighborhood continued to build the diverse tapestry of stories celebrated by Project Drawdown. The new stories weaved into the fold center myriad perspectives, including those of Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, as well as those from various religions, backgrounds, and traditions. The 28 climate heroes included:

We connected with thousands of people from around the world through in-person and virtual engagements.

This year, we shared our message far and wide, including with FEMA’s Resilient Nations Partnership Network, the Great Northern Festival, the Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey, the National Environmental Justice Conference, the Philadelphia School District, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, the Climate Museum, the Planet Forward Summit, the Society of Environmental Journalists Conference, Pinterest’s Creator Inclusion Fund, and Ecochallenge.org – through the annual Drawdown Ecochallenge – as well as through a range of events with K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. At Climate Week NYC alone, Drawdown Stories hosted several events in collaboration with the Ingka Group’s Action Speaks Summit, the Nest Climate Campus, and the Marketplace of the Future.

We also hosted three Drawdown’s Neighborhood preview screening celebrations in locations where the series was filmed, including in the Twin Cities, New Orleans, and New York City. Through these events, we reached around 500 community members including public and private sector leaders, climate professionals, environmental justice advocates, educators, faith-based organizers, and everyday climate heroes from a wide range of locally and nationally recognized institutions.  

In addition, through the Drawdown’s Neighborhood series, we connected viewers with learning and action resources from ChangeX, Climate Generation, Ecochallenge.org, Solutions Journalism Network, and SubjectToClimate, as well as Project Drawdown resources like the Drawdown Labs Job Function Action Guides, Climate Solutions 101 video series, and the Drawdown Solutions Library.

We collaborated with major media platforms to “pass the mic” like never before.

The Weather Channel’s Pattrn streaming TV channel is on a mission to explore, inform, engage, and revel in the patterns of our amazing planet. In 2023, Pattrn added Drawdown’s Neighborhood, a climate solutions short documentary series presented by Project Drawdown centering underrepresented climate heroes, to its regular lineup.

Matt Scott, who created and hosts Drawdown’s Neighborhood, appeared on The Weather Channel to speak with The Pattrn Show’s Stephanie Abrams and Jordan Steele about the significance of the series and the stories it shares.

In addition to our collaboration with The Weather Channel, we worked with Newsweek to publish profiles of some of the interviewees featured in Drawdown’s Neighborhood in the outlet’s Planet Heroes series.

Now, we are prepared to welcome new stories in 2024.

While Drawdown Stories’ storytelling work to date has focused on passing the mic to voices that often go unheard through Drawdown’s Neighborhood, we plan to take things a big step further next year.

In 2024, the Global Solutions Diary will serve as a community-generated library of climate solutions stories, inviting everyday people from around the world to join the conversation by submitting a short video showcasing how they are taking action and making a difference. The Global Solutions Diary will include a virtual interactive map featuring many of the submissions and inviting communities to engage in a conversation that has often only highlighted traditional leaders.

We encourage anyone interested in staying up-to-date on this exciting new endeavor to subscribe to the Project Drawdown newsletter where you will be among the first to have the opportunity to share your drawdown-aligned story and join us as we pass the mic.

Through storytelling, we can build power, shape culture, and change behavior. To do so as widely and equitably as possible, we must diversify the stories we tell, and not only amplify the stories of others but share our own to get our friends, families, and communities on board. In 2024, we look forward to you becoming an even greater part of the stories we tell as we work collectively to stop climate change. 

To support this important work elevating the climate solutions stories that too often go unheard, please consider donating to our end-of-year campaign at drawdown.org/donate

Press Contacts

If you are a journalist and would like to republish Project Drawdown content, please contact press@drawdown.org.