Blog for Impact Hub: The Power of Collective Visioning.

Eight months ago members of Boulder’s climate community came together at the Boulder International Film Festival Global Town Hall event, eager to move from inspiration to action. Collaboration! They cried, we need collaboration!

And it was true—with over 100 environmentally oriented organizations, and more than 3,000 climate scientists, Boulder tops the charts on eco activity. Where else could one attend five different summits/conferences/talks/workshops about transitioning to renewable energy in a single month?


The hitch is, that abundance can become redundant. We often find ourselves recreating the wheel, spending precious resources, frequently with little long-term forward momentum to show for it.

The Global Town Hall attendees, representing different cross-sections of the community, agreed to continue talks of collaborative dreams at the Impact Hub—a perfect location for ideas to flow and grow.

Thoughts bubbled during the first few meetings: Imagine if we could create a shared calendar where all of these different groups could connect and share ideas, resources and strategies? Even job opportunities? Our collective impact would be tremendous!

The Climate Culture Collaborative (C3 Boulder) was born. We are a community effort dedicated to fostering connectivity and nourishing innovation around climate change.

We meet at the Impact Hub, grateful for the meshing of minds that it allows—because, really, at the end of the day the need for collaboration isn’t limited to our climate community.

From campus life at CU, Naropa and Watson University, to the flourishing downtown tech and business sectors…we are all seeking ways to connect in new and meaningful ways to create a bright and beautiful future.

What’s more, these answers can’t just come from one section of our society. In order for them to really work we need co-ownership from all corners.

To address this notion, we launched an MIT Climate CoLab global contest in partnership with Resilient Boulder, MIT and the City of Boulder seeking proposals that addressed the question, “How can we build community engagement and connectivity around climate change?”

New creative innovations are waiting to emerge, whether it be a mobile application, a web portal or a new format for bringing problem solvers together.

When we effectively come together as a community, with an open agenda and a willingness to collaborate, one plus one can actually equal greater than two. And when our window of opportunity for meaningful impact is narrow—it’s imperative that our whole equal greater than the sum of our parts.

An example of how this concept works in action is C3 Boulder’s 4-part COP21 event series.

The first two of these events are taking place at the Bohemian Biergarten, bringing people away from their delineated sectors and creating an open (and fun!) forum for networking and brainstorming to take place.

Rather than being talked at by presenters, the majority of the event is spent in breakout sessions where people can combine ideas and agendas, creating inclusive solutions.

The third and fourth (and arguably most important) of these events will be held at the Impact Hub—another location that allows for interaction between business, academia, technology and climate. We are convening a community of thinkers, creators and doers, and we can combine our efforts and our minds, to create a gameplan for lasting impact.

These events are the beginning of bringing the community together to create a common dialogue around what the future of collaboration in Boulder will look like (a beautiful U.Lab approach). We’re building towards a comprehensive Earth Week (April 18-22) where we’ll be calling on community conveners to co-author a week long celebration of the climate action in Boulder, and where we will launch our collaborative tool.

We’re ready to work hand-in-hand with our neighbors to create these solutions and to serve as a model for communities around the world! Want to join the conversation? Here are two ways to get involved:

  1. Hylo: our online collaborative platform where we can connect ideas and share events

  2. MIT Climate CoLab: a global contest being hosted by C3 Boulder: Climate Culture Collaborative, Resilient Boulder and the City in partnership with MIT seeking to answer the question, “how can we build community engagement and connectivity around climate change?” Submit your best idea!


Author: Emma Ruffin |