What a whirlwind! This opportunity, this event, this life. These days I’m focused almost entirely on the Earth, climate change mitigation, and social impact at scale. This journey has been building over time, but in the last several years, it has certainly accelerated. For as much as I have learned and the wisdom of others I have been honored to reconvey, I try to stay centered in the gratitude that I will forever be a student of the Earth’s regenerative processes. Maybe it is because I like puzzles; the nuanced interconnectedness of all things; how microbes can roll up into social impact, and further still into global financial markets; how one cannot be considered without the other. That is what is coming into focus for me and, thankfully, for so many others. Quite frankly, the manner in which we collectively continue to exist on this planet depends upon it.
The abstraction of decarbonization and global temperature targets may be good for the alignment of humanity. Still, in some ways, it distracts us from the day-to-day actionable items we need to get there. They perhaps unintentionally keep people sitting on the Climate sidelines when all we really need is as many engaged people as possible. Sometimes it’s as simple as realizing the value of soil versus dirt.
Boston is arguably one of the most impactful of all the TEDx chapters. So, when I received an invitation to speak at MIT, it took a while for that to sink in. Am I an impostor, or is the lesson that we all can get our hands a little dirty and work towards change? TEDxBoston was pivoting towards solutions for the Earth and launching its inaugural Planetary Stewardship series, with roughly 60 speakers on four noteworthy stages over two days. They included astronauts, a senator, leading physicists on climate change, and the list goes on. The opportunity to bring awareness to our non-profit and the global impact of our mission was, to say the least, an amazing honor.
I was invited to speak about how regenerative soil practices are a bright spot for climate change, food security, health, community building, and everything in between. With biomimicry as a backdrop to support nature’s technology, healthy soil practices repair broken water cycles, enhance nutrition sometimes 90 to 1, and at scale can pull as much carbon out of the air annually as we currently emit globally. Yet it is accessible and supports community building and equity unlike any other single global solution.
This message and the opportunities that it holds have been growing our list of partners and engaged communities. This TED Talk is just another indicator that we are on the right path. I’m grateful to have been invited to such a prestigious global stage to share this work. And I am excited to share it with you.
In other news, the REAP Climate Center just celebrated our two-year nonprofit anniversary, and our half-mile-long campus is coming together nicely. I’m incredibly proud of our team and many volunteers. In addition to the 1,200+ kids we have hosted thus far, we have also had 1,800+ adults. The visitors range from corporate experiences from the likes of Google to community members and at-risk populations seeking engagement and workforce development in a climate context.
Next month we’re honored to host all 85 people from San Francisco’s Department of The Environment and are connecting them with their Alameda municipal counterparts. Last week we hosted folks from the Alameda County Resource Conservation District.
Additional partner organizations also are moving on to the REAP Campus in the next couple of months. Next up: The Wild Oyster Project. Hopefully, twenty organizations will be onboarding over the next year. All these third-party groups have complementary regenerative climate missions and will help with onsite training and experiences for field trips, our community, and corporate partners.
Jonathan DeLong is the founder and executive director of the REAP Climate Center, located at 2133 Tynan Ave., off Mariner Square Drive, near the entrance to the Posey Tube. REAP’s half-mile-long campus and expansive climate mission foster regenerative processes and biodiversity through biomimicry and ecosystem support.
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