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Staying activated and hopeful when the world is on fire

September 8, 2023
Anna Adlard
Anna Adlard

I’ve been reflecting  on my intentions. How will I show up in this moment, in this time, to be an activating agent for climate action? 

This movement needs all kinds. We need the activists. We need the agitators. We need the pragmatists. 

When the recent news hit my feed that we’ve already transgressed seven planetary boundaries, I watched as all sorts of responses play out on my feed. 

Some validated. 

Some indignant. 

Some activated. 

Some despairing. 

And some…weary and tired. (That’s alright too. You’re allowed to be tired. You’re allowed to take breaks. We have to resource ourselves to stay resourced for this work.)

I’ve had real clarity in this last year on the work I want to do. 

I’m going all in on climate action, and I’m taking Workshop with me (and anyone else who wants to join me). 

It’s made me think a lot about my intentions, and how I want to show up, and what I’m committed to. What does it mean for me to be all in? What will I contribute? 

And here’s where I’m landing. I’m committed to: 


I recently started an honest and hopeful book called Not Too Late. It’s a collection of essays intended to inspire us to keep going on climate action, to stay open to possibility and practice hope. The basic premise of the book is that hope is a discipline. It’s not optimism and naïveté.  It’s practice. It’s hard work. It takes work. 

“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something is worth doing no matter how it turns out.”  — Václav Havel

So, I’m setting an intention to persevere at hope, to stay in a practice of possibility, and also to be a voice of hope. Even when it’s stark, I’ll dig deep and find the possibility for myself, for you, for us. 


For now, I’m choosing to change the system from inside the system. I’m making this choice with clear eyes, and even still, I’m  plenty tired of incrementalism and slow change and all the reasons not to do something.  I see many people in corporate climate action feeling stuck right now. It’s a terrible tension tension to feel so urgent and also so stuck at the same time. But, I remain committed to activate. I will do everything I can to find a way through, to get us unstuck, to keep us energized . I’m committed to anyone who works with me or alongside me: we will activate together. 


I’m feeling more honest than ever.  I’m getting more honest with myself, with my team and with our clients. I can’t sugarcoat it. We don’t have time for that. I need to tell you what I really think. And I’ll also be really honest about what I’ve learned, what’s not working, what I tried and failed. Because we need the honesty to say what we don’t know, that we don’t have all the answers. And then we need to bravery to still try, even when it’s not clear. 


I tell my children this often:

Bravery is a choice. It’s the choice to do something, even when we’re scared. 

This feels like such a moment of fear and risk and hunkering down. But I flat-out refuse to give in to that instinct. I will put myself out there, even when I’m unsure, even when I don’t have good and clear answers. I will model what it means to make moves when you don’t know if it’s going to work. I will take steps into uncharted territory, and I will take you with me if you make the choice to be brave too. 

What are your commitments? 
What are your intentions? 
We need you here, too. 

Workshop is building a community of climate activators. Join us.


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