Why these contests?
Breaking climate change up into sub-problems
The Climate CoLab breaks down the large, complex problem of climate change into a series of more manageable sub-problems.
These sub problems can be defined by a combination of What-Where-Who-How:
- What action is being taken to address climate change
- Where the actions are focused
- Who is taking the action (what organizations and/or individuals)
- How the action will be taken
The Climate CoLab's What-Where-Who-How taxonomy lays out all of the possible elements along each of these four dimensions.
Here are some examples of sub-problems, each defined by a combination of What-Where-Who-How:
Deciding which sub-problems
In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Climate CoLab contests addressed a group of key sub-problems, which have been chosen for several reasons.
One goal was to achieve comprehensive coverage along the What dimension, so that any possible action have a contest to call home. The key types of actions are:
- reducing emissions (mitigation),
- figuring out how to live with climate change (adaptation)
- intentionally modifying the climate at scale (geoengineering)
Some contests were chosen to address interesting or important aspects of the climate change problem; an example is the contest on changing cultural attitudes toward climate change.
Finally, some contest are based on collaboration between the Climate CoLab and an outside organization; examples include
- sustainable cement (with Carbon War Room),
- urban adaptation (with ICLEI, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives)
- hydraulic fracturing (with the Center for Science and Democracy of Union of Concerned Scientists)
- local solutions (with Transition US)
Putting it all together
Once proposals have been developed to tackle sub-problems, the community will be invited to assemble combinations of these point solutions into broad, integrated proposals.