Social Entrepreneurship Predictions: Food, Fashion, Fun

by Annie Makela, Founding Director of the Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship

“You are the ocean in a drop” is a phrase I share with students often. Though I am not sure who first said it, I originally heard it from Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund, and it has stuck with me and guided our work at the Scott Center, especially as it relates to climate justice, K-12 climate action education, student projects, and the agency of young social impact leaders.

This month, as we celebrate Earth Month and double click on our sustainability efforts on and off campus, we owe a special shout-out to the Hillbrook Science department. Since the launch of the Scott Center in 2017, these dedicated educators have been amazing collaborators. From Aquaponics fellowships to a Reach Beyond Week at the Island School where we studied ocean preservation to collaborative field trips, we together remain committed to aligning our goals with our DEIJA (Diversity, Equity, Identity, Justice, and Action) efforts to create meaningful learning on and off campus at the intersection of social entrepreneurship, science, and sustainability. To this end, the Center and the Science department developed the following Scott Center Sustainability Statement: to increase the awareness of the impact of our choices on the planet and inspire mindful advocacy on its behalf. 

In the spirit of this statement, and on the heels of our amazing Reach Beyond Week at Hillbrook, a program committed to connecting students to real-world learning and opportunities to use their agency to make the world a better place, we want to share three predictions of the future of climate action–all inspired by past Scott Center Reach Beyond Week programs–and nine ways to quell climate anxiety with action, exercise and impact. As we head into Mayhem and a much needed, hopefully slightly more normal summer, never forget the ripple effect that a lot of powerful drops can make. 

Food: “Climate Cuisine” will be the next “Farm to Table” food movement.

  1. Reel Good Fish for a local delivery of sustainable, small-fisherman supported Seafood CSA. 
  2. Take the FoodPrint quiz or, even better, take on the 1-month Reduce Waste Food Challenge (while my score was less than ideal, I have already made two small changes in my shopping patterns that bumped me up a whole level!) 
  3. “We get by with a little Kelp from our friends” was admittedly my worst pun of RBW two weeks ago, but shout out to our guest speaker Casey Emmett for inspiring our students to learn more about the power of kelp and underwater gardening! Is “Kelp us in!” any better? 

Fashion: Ethical and sustainable fashion will move to the center of brands’ priorities and runway shows. 

  1. Check out the critical supply chain shift of “made to order” clothes from Itswithintent, an eco-friendly company that has a focus on the intersection of fashion, sustainability, and DEIJ.
  2. Inspired by the 4th grade Reach Beyond Block, check out companies using recyclable materials to make furniture 
  3. Reduce single-use plastic bottles by buying shampoo, soap, and detergent at A Refill Shop in San Jose, CA. 

Fun: From flights to hotels to staycations, be ready for your friends to brag all about future triple bottom line fun (not to be confused with type 2 fun, which is also a worthy pursuit!). From travel to movies to baking to ice cream parties, there are endless ways to put a social impact spin on family fun! 

  1. Stargaze, spend as much time outside as possible, have a dance party while you take a 2-minute cold shower: these were sustainability lessons we learned at The Island School! 
  2. Friday Movie Night: watch any number of awesome nature documentaries–we highly recommend Racing Extinction or Secret of Whales. Bonus points if you serve sustainable snacks
  3. Sign up for the Bioneers newsletter to get inspiration for planning Impact Adventures once a month with family or friends. Simple things like bringing a bag to pick up trash while hiking or planning a Bake Off challenge with neighbors featuring challenge themes such as all local, all vegetarian, or all Fair Trade provide a fun and impactful twist.