Columbia Climate Imaginations Network (CCIN) is one of Columbia Climate School's twelve Earth Networks - communities supporting interdisciplinary collaboration and promoting fresh approaches to research, education and impact on themes related to climate, sustainability and the future of planet Earth. We're here because
imagining climate changed futures is hard.
It’s hard for the reasons we know: black swan events, our siloed knowledges, immense complexity...
But it’s also hard because
it asks so much of us as people.
When we try to imagine the future, so many of us feel isolation and despair. Climate change is overwhelming. It can leave us feeling helpless and ashamed.
One antidote to these feelings is imagination.
Creativity, catharsis, imaginative prototyping... if we take difficult things and find ways to engage creatively with them, we become able to share and engage our hopes and fears in dialogue and ethical collaboration.
Imagination doesn’t happen in a vacuum. When we’re feeling low, it can be hard to find the energy to make that first connection.
That's where CCIN comes in.
Our goal is to offer moral, financial and logistical support
to people in the Columbia community who want to run events, activities or creative productions on these kinds of themes:
How can we process our feelings about climate change in creative and regenerative ways?
How can we find the courage, when things feel so bad, to imagine a future where things are different – more just, more kind, more ecological?
How can we give ourselves and one another the permission to use our innate creativity - the stuff we had when we were kids - to explore our hopes and fears, look for ways to heal old wounds, find new ways of caring, and imagine different futures?
Our goal is to make space and place on campus for these things: and to help you make spaces and places for it, wherever you sit in our community.
Whether you're an undergrad, a grad student, a staff member, on faculty:
if you've got an idea for an event, an activity or an initiative using imagination and creativity to consider climate futures,
we want to hear from you.
It doesn't matter whether your project is almost completed, or whether it's an idea on the back of an envelope (or a drawer in the back of your mind).
Maybe you’re a climate modeller who wants to meet visual artists and connect with your creative side.
Maybe you’re an engineering undergrad with an idea for a photography exhibition, but you’ve never done one before and you're unsure where to start.
Maybe you’re an early-career faculty member in English and you're keen to run events on creativity and climate futures in your department.
Maybe you’re a philosophy grad student who wishes you had a group of folks to see climate theater with and discuss it afterwards.
Whoever you are: if you feel drawn to creativity, imagination and climate, even if you don’t know how – get in touch. Even if you don’t know what to do yet with your feelings or your energy, or ideas: get in touch. Even if you’re terrified that your spark of an idea won't go anywhere: get in touch.
Let’s have a cup of tea and throw some ideas around, and see what we can dream up together.
If you're keen to know what we've been up to, you can read our year 1 report.