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Footprint to Wings “Pixar Pitch”

The story of the Race to Zero Carbon in six parts.

chat Posted Feb 13, 2017 by Rezwan | Category : About Us Narrative
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What is a Pixar Pitch?

A “Pixar pitch” is a short summary of your mission using the narrative structure of a Pixar film. It uses the following template:

Once upon a time ____________. Every day ___________. One Day, ______________. Because of that ___________. Because of that ___________. Until finally _________.

Here we go!

Once Upon a Time…

…there was a marvelous planet, teeming with life and possibility, floating in the emptiness of space. Among the myriad myriads of creatures on this planet were human beings. Seven billion of them, going on ten.

Despite the intrinsic and self-replenishing richness around them, these beings were struggling with an economic system that made it appear that they had to exploit themselves and devalue each other and pillage the planet. This system ran on super nifty fossil goo — the accumulated remains of living things from millions of years ago. The goo had fantastic properties. It could be used to create an infinite number of products. Indeed, it was in almost every product people used. It even helped feed people when used as fertilizer.

Despite this profound value, the people looked at this material as “fuel” and proceeded to burn through it as quickly as possible, their “noses to the grindstone” in this “dog eat dog world” they had made for themselves.

Every day…

Some people worked hard to find and burn every last drop of the fossil goo, to secure pipelines with force, to destabilize foreign regimes for greater control of the goo. “Leave no drop behind!” they cried, as they systematically discharged an organic battery that had taken hundreds of millions of years to charge.

Other people wrung their hands about the situation, pointed fingers, and hoped for miracles, even though they kept burning fossil fuels themselves. By and large, everyone continued to aspire to greater levels of consumption, practice unsustainable habits, and discount the future.

One day…

Some scientists pointed out that — in addition to running out of the nifty goo that people of the future might appreciate, in addition to the “curse of black gold” that was destabilizing countries and poisoning geopolitical relations, in addition to millions of premature deaths each year from air pollution — on top of all those things, the by-product of burning the fossils as fuel was emissions of Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases. And this gas was accumulating in the atmosphere, where it was heating up the planet and would trigger catastrophic global warming.

The only way to stop this would be to stop emitting greenhouse gases. Plus, we would even have to go beyond that and remove some of the gases we had emitted in the past. In short, we had to “de-carbonize” our economy, or else.

Because of that…

Some people immediately went into denial about the possibility of global warming and doubled down on their entitlement to burn the miraculous, ancient fossil goo. Some sank into depression or apathy thinking nothing could be done. Some urged action, but the proposed solutions were vague or unpalatable. Incremental solutions were offered. Token action taken. None of it added up.

So many Earthlings were playing counterproductive games. The politicians were playing “Stay In Office/Promise and Defer”, going so far as to gather in Paris to pledge action, but negotiating to leave the heavy lifting and specifics for future discussions. (Because promises are easy to make, but delivering on them can alienate constituents and special interests). Corporations were playing the “Short Term Shareholder Value” game, at the expense of the long term sustainable business. Citizens (not realizing there are some really nifty alternatives) were stuck playing the “Survive in This Economy” game. And given that everyone’s job depended on people consuming whatever you were making/selling, everyone felt the need to produce and consume ever more stuff with built in obsolescence, in direct conflict with “reduce, reuse and repair.”

Organizations that formed to address climate change would focus on a specific area, without a clear idea of how it fit in with other initiatives, or how it would add up. Silos of thought and action formed. Lacking a clear, complete picture of how to effectively get the world to zero, activists found themselves squandering most of their energy in arguments with deniers and each other. People became ideological and argumentative.

Team doom was dancing in civilization’s end zone, and we were all stalling and playing out the clock.

Because of that…

Some people got together and decided to cut through the noise and begin with the endgame in mind. They formed “Footprint to Wings Inc”, a 501c3, and set about to answer the question, “How can Earth’s cantankerous population pull together to actually decarbonize the economy quickly?”

The Footprint to Wings crew realized Earthlings had conflicts of interest, teamwork challenges, and a fundamental lack of clarity about solutions and metrics. So they put all the decarbonization options on the table and took a long hard look at them from every angle, how they added up or didn’t, where the conflicts were, where the opportunities for teamwork were, how they compared. They developed an inclusive, gameful model to help cut through the noise, work through the conflicts, clarify the options and guide everyone through the endgame. They gave talks, wrote a Zero Carbon Playbook, coached Zero Carbon Coaches and developed a killer scoring system. They made it their mission to turn the Race to Zero Carbon into a national pastime and systematically coach each state to win.

Yes, each state.

They realized data made it easy to organize at the state level; that different states had different advantages, challenges and also characters. Different solution sets would emerge. Red state, blue state, wild card solution sets.

At first people thought this was just another well-intentioned climate group with a narrow focus. But then the work of the Footprint to Wings crew began to sink in. People began to see the whole game, the endgame, the beauty of the game, how winnable it was, and how it would actually improve the quality of everyone’s life and bring about an upgrade to an awesome, abundant, sustainable economy. And once you see it, you can’t unsee it. You want to leap to action. And so they did! A national pastime was born and a critical mass of people were engaged in racing to zero carbon.

Until Finally…

People, organizations and states that had once been dragging their feet now faced the situation with clear plans, energized and empowered. With the help of the clear, user friendly model and scoreboard developed by Footprint to Wings, they rose to the task, pulling out all the stops on their creativity and capability. In a series of breathtaking moves, states raced to implement solutions ahead of each other. Much sooner than expected, one of the states hit the zero carbon mark and there was a stunned moment of silence. The diamond-studded (sequestered) Carbon Cup was awarded to the winning state in an awesome ceremony. And then the other states redoubled their efforts to win the cup back in subsequent years, by getting to zero and beyond, or by showing a better quality of life at zero. And so the Race to Zero Carbon continued until the whole planet had achieved a positive carbon balance and sustainable economy. Things worked out so well that we wondered why we had waited so long to start the race. 

What do you think?

Will our heroes step up in time to make this story true? Are you one of the heroes? Comment below! And please share, tweet, like. Thanks!

And if you haven’t, get started on winning the race today! Take the Players Pledge.

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