DearTomorrow, a promise to the future about climate change by deartomorrow.org
Please find below the
The judges thought this idea and initiative have the potential to inspire individuals to consider the consequences of climate change. They thought it was solidly grounded in research and found it to be very creative. Good to see the website already up and running, with presence on social media. Appropriately narrow, doable, and based on a clear understanding of human behavior (norms, commitments, etc).
Because this proposal was so well thought through, the judges had only a few questions or comments on small details:
- Authors say 'We are archiving these messages so children today can read them in the year 2050' - if the intent is to strengthen people's follow through on a commitment, then in my experience, this should be much sooner than 35 years out.... Also, how will they find their children in 35 years, or how will they find you?
- Good design of a commitments campaign. It is public, signed, and durable. However, authors say they will only post some on their site. For those not posted, it was not clear to me how they will promote people to post on their own social media (to make it public and spread the norm).
- Is there a revenue model for this concept?
Jul 18, 2016
Thank you for your comments and questions about our proposal DearTomorrow. We’d like to take the opportunity to address a couple of the points raised in the last evaluation period.
Question/comment: 'We are archiving these messages so children today can read them in the year 2050' - if the intent is to strengthen people's follow through on a commitment, then in my experience, this should be much sooner than 35 years out.... Also, how will they find their children in 35 years, or how will they find you?
Note from DearTomorrow: Publicly sharing commitments immediately after they are made greatly increases the likelihood that the commitments will be kept. Keeping in touch with the user will further strengthen their commitment. Currently, we keep the user engaged and reminded of their DearTomorrow commitment by sending regular newsletters and engaging with them on social media. These communications include new sources of inspiration through the sharing of our favorite DearTomorrow letters as well as ideas and opportunities for reducing one’s own carbon footprint and for connecting with the work of our partner organizations.
As we continue to develop our technological capacity, we will implement a customer relationship management system that will automate the process of checking in on the progress of each user’s individual commitment one month and one year after it is made. As they follow-through on their first commitments, we will make new suggestions for deeper commitments over time.
The purpose of the archive is to push each user’s thinking beyond the one-month or one-year time horizon and into realizing that 2050 is not all that far away. We also want them to personalize their commitments and shift their thinking that they are not just working to save the planet, they are working to protect their loved ones.
We are in the process of developing our archive plan and strategy and are very fortunate to have Casey Davis, a professional archivist taking the lead. We are developing the archive in order to release the collection in the years 2030 and 2050. These years were selected due to their importance in the climate change discussions and also in the lifetimes of the intended recipients. Young children today will become teenagers or young adults during the first period 2030 and will be adults (many with their own families) during the second period 2050. The 2050 timeframe also help writers imagine a time when their children will be the age or older than the writer is now.
Regarding the archive itself, we are working to establish a long-term archive and a certification system where all writers would have the information and ability to access their letter. For example, each letter writer would receive a certificate with the acquisition number of their contribution to the archive. We encourage them to include this certificate in scrapbooks or with important documents they will eventually pass to their children. We will also work to secure funding for a public outreach effort during the future archive releases. In these releases, anyone will be able to look up their names to find if a letter has been written to them.
Question/Comment #2: Good design of a commitments campaign. It is public, signed, and durable. However, authors say they will only post some on their site. For those not posted, it was not clear to me how they will promote people to post on their own social media (to make it public and spread the norm).
DearTomorrow response: We would like to clarify the relationship about website posting, archive, social media and participants social media. All letters, photos and videos received are posted on the DearTomorrow website (as long as they meet our guidelines and written in the spirit of the project) and can be searched by keywords or authorship. The website allows for easy social sharing of the participant’s post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so anyone coming to the site (including the author) can share a DearTomorrow submission on social media. In addition, all participants receive a confirmation email with a link to their individual post and an encouragement to share with friends and family. All letters, photos and videos are also added to the long-term archive.
DearTomorrow curates selected content for our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We post favorite letters, photos and videos in their original form as well as in other forms of content (i.e. photo with quote overlay). We also share the best content on our e-newsletter, in traditional media opportunities, communications materials, and speeches.
Question/comment #3: Is there a revenue model for this concept?
Answer from DearTomorrow: Our main fundraising strategies include crowdfunding, private donors and foundation funding. As of June 2016, we now have an experienced development director who is volunteering his time with us to help us further develop our fundraising strategy. In addition to fundraising for the general project, we are developing fundraising materials and proposals for funding specific pieces of the project, such as the archive and spin-off projects such as a traveling or permanent exhibit. Based on our experience that the best content generated is very powerful and highly sharable, we believe that this project also has great potential for a book, which could generate revenue for further development/expansion of the project.
DearTomorrow will be powerful and sustainable without developing an rapidly-expanding staff and infrastructure. Ideally, we will grow to a team of 2-4 paid staff. We believe that we can expand this project this project with a relatively small staff by developing deep, strategic relationships with existing organizations that have on-the-ground organizers. We have already developed strong, fruitful partnerships/collaborations with Moms Clean Air Force, the Environmental Voter Project, Climate Parents, and the Solutions Project. We know that there are already so many other great organizations out there and we want to partner with them to help grow this project and, at the same time, help our partners meet their own development and engagement goals. By having these partnerships, we can focus our work on content development and curation strategies, media strategies, refining our tools, and developing the archive.