About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

What's in your climate crisis survival toolkit?

It's hard not to be pessimistic about the climate crisis and the future of our environment. With daily pictures of bushfires, floods and warnings about potential suffering in our future lives due to climate change on our TVs, radios and newspapers it can feel overwhelming.

At Nesta, we have predicted the rise of ecoanxiety for 2020, which a third of British people say they currently feel, a sense of dread and anxiety about the climate crisis. Psychologists are seeing an increase in the number of people reporting feelings of helplessness regarding the climate crisis.

With this in mind when putting together your climate crisis survival kit for the future, it would be very easy to think of what you might need to survive in a post apocalyptic wasteland, especially when viewing some of the recent pictures of the Australian bush fires. What would be in that kit? Some water, a pocket knife, dehydrated food packs and then get ready to hunker down and survive. Sounds pretty bleak and certainly only one way to respond to a predicted future.

A third of British people say they currently feel, a sense of dread and anxiety about the climate crisis.

But Nesta want to offer you an alternative survival kit, one that's more about thriving than surviving - but you are going to need to be an active part.

With a global challenge like global heating, we won't make any progress with just big political goals and targets. We also need technological and people-based solutions. We need individual and collective efforts and, vitally, we need the systems, processes, financing and governance to stitch it all together and make it happen.

The Nesta climate crisis survival kit includes the following:

Individual change - certainly some individual change is needed and there are plenty of people who will tell you what you need to do. Individual action is an important part of the survival kit and the climate charity Possible have some incredibly easy ways to get involved.

New technologies - There have been a proliferation of new technologies which make being climate friendly easier including electric vehicles, new recycling methods and renewable energy generation. Nesta has been working to support new technologies and new solutions including running challenge prizes on plastic reduction across europe and we've recently launched a sustainable fashion challenge. At FutureFest, we will be welcoming Professor Joanna Haigh known for her work on solar variability and climate modelling and Professor Jack Stigloe who researches emerging technologies at UCL to share their views on what new tech is needed for a sustainable future. New technologies and new ways of doing things are a vital addition to our survival kit.

As well as big goals and targets, we also need local solutions and community action in our survival kit. The legend that is Journalist and Campaigner George Monbiot will speak at FutureFest about rewilding, soil regeneration and lab grown food to inspire us about what's possible. At Nesta we have been supporting local organisations like The Restart Project who are helping us repair rather than replace, and Community Energy Scotland who are developing a new digital aggregator to bring community energy provision together to help consumers. We know that indigenous communities have the knowledge to help tackle climate change and are a vital part of our survival kit.

We also love social movements like Buen Vivir which is a community centred approach to sustainability and how artists and musicians are joining in to help us tackle climate dread and the crisis are doing. They are also in our survival kit.

Of course systems change requires new processes,new financing, new governance and new ways of doing things. At Nesta we have been developing new methods to support organisations to innovate and to create new forms of governance and knowledge exchange for the future world which we have been applying to issues like the future of work and the Sustainable Development Goals. This type of thinking and doing is very important for our survival kit.

Finally we've popped political change in our climate crisis survival kit. With a new generation of activists Greta Thunberg who are challenging the elite to do more with great effect the future is looking bright. Organisations like Extinction Rebellion are mainstreaming civil disobedience and mass mobilization to change political will and we have Gail Bradbrook - Extinction Rebellion co-founder who will share with us at FutureFest.

For the full FutureFest line up and to buy tickets check out the FutureFest website.

What else do you think we need in our survival kit? Comment below or tweet us @nesta_uk

For more information about Nestas work on climate and the environment take a look at our web page here or email [email protected]


Kate Sutton

Kate Sutton

Kate Sutton

Head of Corporate Social Innovation

Kate was responsible for managing Nesta's Corporate Social Innovation and Inclusive Growth work

View profile