About the Project

When we think of climate, the stories we tell about the future are bad: megastorms, crop failures, and heat waves loom over us, sending a signal that the problem is so vast, so complex, that it’s out of our control. That narrative is compelling for some, but leaves others feeling hopeless, helpless, and disillusioned. Even the most ardent champions of decarbonization sometimes focus more on sounding the alarm than on imagining and mapping out what success might look like. Without positive climate futures, visions of climate adaptation and resilience that we can work toward, it’s much harder to motivate broad-based efforts for change in the present.

The Climate Imagination Fellowship seeks to inspire a wave of narratives about what positive climate futures might look like for communities around the world. Our goal is to curate and share amazing new stories about what success might look like, and to invite people to imagine their own climate futures—to feel both agency and responsibility for defining a future that spurs us to take action today.

We need hopeful stories about how collective action, aided by scientific insights, culturally responsive technologies, and revolutions in governance and labor, can help us make progress toward inclusive, sustainable futures. These visions should center on how we can create a vibrant, thriving, interconnected global society that celebrates local variations and solutions while achieving the international coordination and shared values we need to meet the challenges of climate chaos.

The Climate Imagination Fellowship is an effort to model how we might generate the kinds of stories we need, drawing on the talents of top science fiction authors from different parts of the world, as well as a network of experts on climate science, governance, ecology, and other essential fields.

Writing and Storytelling

Our four Climate Imagination Fellows will create original novelettes that narrate inspiring futures for climate action, adaptation, and resilience, set in communities grappling with the effects of the climate crisis in very different geographical, political, and cultural contexts.

In addition to these novelettes, each fellow will craft a handful of flash-fiction stories, capturing and communicating a range of possible futures shaped by the climate crisis and our collective responses to it.

The fellows will also work with our project team to run climate imagination workshops in conjunction with the UN COP26 conference and at TED Countdown, and participate in a range of events to share positive climate futures with a wide range of audiences.

We will collect the fiction our fellows create, along with essays, interviews, art, and interactive activities, in a Climate Action Almanac, to be published in 2022.