As the finale to a week of extraordinary climate action events, Drawdown Toronto hosted a “Solutions Summit” on Saturday September 28 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm in the OCAD University auditorium.
The context and invitation:
The message is clear, young people everywhere are calling their elders out: “Your house is on fire! What are you doing about it?” “Global warming is real, it is human caused and immediate action is required to avert climate disaster.”
And for the week of September 20th - 28th they instigated what proved to be the largest ever global uprising of voices in marches, teach-ins, strikes and protests. A coalition of local climate action organizations put together a calendar of events in the GTA for that week.
Drawdown Toronto members participated actively in all these actions, designed to catalyze action by governments, institutions, companies and individuals.
Our message was also clear: It is NOT too late. Global warming CAN be reversed. And everyone needs to know it. The day was intended as an inspiring day of hope and resilience.
“Project Drawdown” is the most comprehensive answer to the question, “What should we do?” In fact, the 100 solutions investigated by a coalition of researchers are sufficient to ensure that humanity turns back from the brink of disaster, and begins lowering the concentration of greenhouse gases by 2050 (that’s the “drawdown point.”)
The Program: (click on "video" to view the video for that program segment)
- 10:00 Open with an acknowledgement of the indigenous keepers of this land, and an opening of a sacred space for our conversations of the day.
Opening community singing of "Oh River" by Mamuse, led by Monica Henriques
- 10:30 Introduction to Project Drawdown (video)
- 11:00 Climate Action Organizers Panel. speaking on behalf of their organizations about the specific solutions they are advocating and how their actions result in reversing global warming. Speakers included:
- David Suzuki Foundation - Malkeet Sandhu (video)
- Fridays for Futures - Allie Rougeot (video)
- Canadian Climate Challenge - Andre Forsythe (video)
- Extinction Rebellion - Leslie Solomonian (video)
- 12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Break (video)
Monica Henriques leads song: "Sing for the Climate," adapted from "Bella Ciao" (traditional) by Nic Balthazar and Stef Kamil Carlens (https://paulettemeier.bandcamp.com/tr...).
Lunchtime music organized by The Evolutionary Music Co-op: included Rene Eryn (windhorse-music.com) and Nadia High (Nadiahigh.com), with Najla and Thorne (her children) and Osman: world beats DJ and Drum master.
- 1:00 Solutions Panel
- Owen Goltz of Riverdale Farm and Forest, organic “second-career” farmer, arborist, permaculturist, educator, and farmers’ market vendor from Inglewood, Caledon. (video)
- Tomislav Svoboda, active transport advocate. Dynamic and engaging speaker with a broad knowledge of greenhouse gas emissions per transportation solutions. (video)
- Jessica Ferne, Director of Global Health Impact, Canadian Partnership for Women and Children's Health (CanWaCH) addressed Canadian family planning-related initiatives around the world. (video)
- Lloyd Alter, writer and design editor of TreeHugger.com and Adjunct Professor teaching sustainable design at Ryerson University School of Interior Design addressed solutions in the Buildings and Cities Sector.
- Heather Rigby, Officer at Large and Resident Artist on the executive of Land Over Landings, a grass-roots, non-profit organization whose mission is to convince the Government of Canada to cancel the Pickering airport plan.
- Josephine Grey, eco-human rights organizer, co-founder of Low Income Families Together (LIFT), co-founder of Foodshare Toronto and a founder/director of the St. James Town Community Co-operative and the OASIS Food hub pilot project, and Roxy Cohen, OASIS Food hub, Conscious Minds Camp (video)
- 2:30 Open Space: a totally interactive and participatory session to allow participants to connect with people who are creating and enacting innovative solutions and even join together in collaborative action for the future.
- 5:00 Singing, Storytelling, cheers, laughter.
- 5:30 Ceremonial closing
Records of the Summit:
View the consolidated slideshow here.
And finally, check out the event write-up by one of the Summit panellists:
Solutions summit: How do decarbonize now, by Lloyd Alter
Thanks to the many--presenters, panellists, organizers, hosts, musicians, artists and participants--who made the event an inspiration and success!