Happy New Year all. As I did last year, I wrote a January 1 piece focused on resolutions. This year, I think there’s only one important resolution: getting involved in politics at all levels.
“Politics” is not just something for debating online — it’s about values and what kind of society we want. And it’s about sustainability. Whatever priorities we sustainability-minded people might have — tackling climate change or inequality, for example — need supportive policies. We need political leaders who promote the common good.
There is no way we can manage something as systematic as climate change without, to be blunt, changing who’s in power in the United States. As I summed up in my year-end review of big sustainable business stories, the attack on our environment from our own EPA is historic. And this administration is fighting all action on the most pressing issue humanity faces, climate change. So we need new leaders at all levels. That requires millions of us to engage — and to engage more from now on, for the rest of our lives.
So, with that in mind, I wrote my own cheat sheet on the major steps for getting more engaged. The full, yet pretty short, piece is on Medium here. Please check it out.
But to give my readers the gist, in short, here’s my list, roughly from least effort to most.
1. Know who your reps are. Google it, seriously.
2. Educate yourself on what they stand for and vote for.
3. Vote. Every time.
4. Connect with your reps. Call them. Follow them online.
5. Join your local Indivisible chapter and join your local Democratic party (let’s not kid ourselves about which party, no matter its flaws, fights for action on climate, environmental protection, inequality, and many more pillars of the sustainability agenda).
6. Donate to campaigns, the party, and organizations that defend our rights (like, e.g., the ACLU).
7. Engage others. Talk to friends and neighbors and get them to vote.
8. Run for office. I’m doing this now at the local level.
I also list in the Medium article some key principles that I believe our leaders need to support to build a thriving world. I suppose it’s a progressive wish list, but seems fundamental to me. It includes building an economy that works for all and defending freedoms that we all deserve. Please take a look.
Let’s make change happen to truly support sustainability in 2018.
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Andrew Winston advises some of the world’s leading companies on how companies can navigate and profit from the world’s biggest environmental and social challenges. He is also a globally recognized speaker and writer on business strategy and mega trends.
Andrew is the author of the bestsellers The Big Pivot, Green to Gold, and Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take (Fall 2021). He has also authored more than 200 articles on strategy for the print and online editions of Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review. Learn more about Andrew.
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