Founded in 2003, the Post Carbon Institute (PCI) is one of the few organizations in the US focused on the existential challenges associated with the polycrisis, which they refer to as the “Great Unraveling.” Its’ mission is to play a leadership role in charting a path to a more resilient future by equipping individuals and communities with the resources they need to respond effectively to the interrelated economic, social, and ecological crises that comprise the global polycrisis. They do this through research they commission, the papers they publish, the podcasts and videos produced and effective use of social media to promote them. PCI has impressive reach amongst the groups that have attempted to increase salience around the polycrisis. Their two existing podcasts have been downloaded or viewed more than 400,000 times. In addition, it has a sizable online audience (1.5M+ unique visitors/year; ~100,000 social media followers) as well as 35,000 person mailing list.
ORA Action Research Grant Project
Via its website, www.resilience.org, PCI has published hundreds of articles and essays on the polycrisis. The overwhelming majority of them are from, by their own account, the perspective of the educated middle, and upper-middle class, of the United States. While PCI’s global network does include critical thought partners in the Global South, their presence on PCI’s media platforms is comparatively scant. It is with this imbalance in mind that PCI proposes to embark on a targeted research program to elevate these missing voices.
PCI believes that by documenting the perspectives of individuals in the Global South and Indigenous communities will provide a richer, more diverse understanding of the historical roots and future trajectory of the “unraveling.” And, in doing so, it can broaden the orientation of their audience to one that is more systemic and gets to the kinds of fundamental shifts required. This includes a much deeper recognition of our co-dependence across class and borders. In the process, it hopes to create greater global solidarity that leads to actions that are more consistent with what is required, including actions that would directly and indirectly benefit those in Global South and Indigenous communities.
Tapping their global network, PCI proposes to engage a diverse group of individuals from Global South and Indigenous communities to better understand how the Great Unraveling is being experienced and understood in other parts of the world. Award-winning journalist and writer Dahr Jamail, who just edited an anthology of essays from Indigenous leaders of Turtle Island called We Are In the Middle of Forever, will lead the project. He has deep expertise as a journalist, writer, and editor, is well steeped in the polycrisis, and has direct experience interviewing Indigenous leaders. Insights gleaned from these interviews will be shared on PCI’s various web and social media platforms. They also will publish a summary that captures key themes and takeaways from the interviews.