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Launching Seattle’s Innovation Engine for Carbon Neutral

Tom and I have written extensively about the benefits of developing advocacy campaigns around core identities and social values.  It is with great pleasure that I can announce the launch of my first identity campaign in Seattle.

Last fall, Alex Steffen of WorldChanging gave a series of presentations where he called for Seattle to be the first carbon neutral city in North America.  The room was electric with the buzz of energy.  I know because I was there.  I immediately set about the work of taking this energy and building a movement (learn the full story here).

Today we launched a new website for Seattle Innovators, shortly after Seattle’s city council made history last Monday for announcing that one of its top priorities would be to go carbon neutral.  It’s a very exciting time to be in the Emerald city!

How is this an identity campaign?  At its core is an emphasis on deeply held assumptions about society (what George Lakoff calls “deep frames”) and the core values that comprise the Seattleite’s cultural identity.  We are challenging commonly held notions about how local government works, what the role of community is in shaping the region, and how deep cultural foundations shape who we are as a people.

It’s only the beginning, but we’ve already formed unexpected alliances with local government, non-profits, research institutions, and social businesses.  These alliances reflect a shift in shared identity that comes with thinking about innovation as the bubbling of creativity that drives a local culture (as contrasted with innovation as clever ways to sell products, so typical of 20th Century corporate thinking).

I will report back from time to time about how the insights and strategies Tom and I have discussed are being applied in this radically different approach to social change.

This blog was originally posted on Identity Campaigning.

Joe BrewerLaunching Seattle’s Innovation Engine for Carbon Neutral