Green Ideas

Incentivizing Innovation: Sustainable Solutions

Wildfires. Blistering temperatures. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Melting Ice Caps. The natural disasters that will be exacerbated by climate change are numerous. The statistics coming out of every report about what has been dubbed the anthropogenic era describe a very dark future—one that might cause feelings of hopelessness and desperation. But harnessing emotion into action is a key component of transforming what seems to be an impossible situation into an opportunity to build a world that will thrive far beyond our own lifetime.

From June to October 2021, the Bertelsmann Foundation brought together a group of transatlantic thinkers composed of policymakers and private sector innovators to discuss topics related to sustainable innovation. In weekly seminars, they discussed topics ranging from climate communication to the future of food with expert speakers. This publication reflects the fellowship itself, inspiring discussion and debate, and demanding change for the future of sustainable living.

Released to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), this publication aligns itself with the aspirations set out by international organizations and its member nations. COP26 provides opportunities for international actors to come together and commit to climate action. This publication seeks to add to the ongoing conversation with tangible, actionable recommendations for various sectors affected by climate change.

Incentivizing Innovation: Sustainable Solutions is a compilation of eight short policy briefs that provide a way forward and can help transform conversation into action.

The diversity of the policy briefs presented here reflect the varied backgrounds of the fellows, whose expertise ranges from the future of plastics to preserving biodiversity in the fight against climate change.

This transatlantic dialogue shows what the future of combating climate change needs to look like. It begins at the local and national levels, but to effect change it must also include effective international cooperation. This issue transcends borders, requiring a global fight—one in which a new age of global thinkers will have to emerge in order to address the issues that threaten the world in which we live.

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