Three Degrees has joined forces with local talent pool, Re-Vision Labs, to enter the Digital Media and Learning Competition. The competition is sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, along with other partners.

Three Degrees (“3D”) and Re-Vision Labs recently submitted our joint proposal to fund an online portal that would connect students in 3D’s interdisciplinary Climate Justice Seminar to partners on the ground in the high-Andes and other climate vulnerable communities.

The students–25 graduate students from 15 different departments on the UW campus–are researching how communities in the high-Andean regions of Ecuador will adapt to glacier retreat. The objective of the 5-month seminar is to create a climate adaptation assessment focusing on five-issue areas: health, food & water, security, equity, and justice. These issue areas were chosen to help cultivate better understanding of climate’s impacts on basic human rights and peoples’ means of survival. The seminar is in its first phase as a pilot project.

The interdisciplinary seminar teams are working to apply law, atmospheric science, public policy, public health, forestry, and other diverse disciplines to an urgent inquiry: In what specific ways might climate change make basic life support systems for vulnerable communities even more vulnerable? By the end of the two quarters, the class will create a climate adaptation assessment from the bottom-up, touching on all five topic areas (mentioned above) while working directly with climate impacted communities as part of the process.

The web portal will be crucial to facilitating better communication between the students and citizens and stakeholders in Ecuador in the seminar’s next phase. It will also be a critical tool to help 3D and Re-Vision Labs leverage research and outcomes with more permanence than typical academic products can provide. The process of building a portal is a tremendous opportunity to explore just how students engage the questions of those impacted by climate change from inside the classroom.

Ultimately, the web portal will assist 3D with building its Simulation Summits—on-the-ground facilitated dialogues on predicted climate futures informed by research conducted by students in the Climate Justice Seminar. The web portal would function as an open-source wiki tool to cache information, capture the latest research and ideas, and serve as a home for live, interactive exchange between lawyers and scientists, students and vulnerable communities, and vulnerable communities with each other.

The next step in the competition, after submitting our project proposal, is to explore possible synergies with the almost-100 other projects submitted to the Digital Media and Learning Competition. Between now and Feb. 15 is our chance to see whether our idea might be improved by building broader capacity.

We are curious to hear your feedback and comments on our project proposal (which can be viewed here), and your ideas for how you think that our project can be further strengthened. (Grant criteria here.) We also are curious which other proposals you think might strengthen ours if we joined forces. (The list of them all + descriptions is here.) Please, share your ideas with us!