Multisolving: Creating Systems Change in a Fractured World (Paperback)

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For most of Elizabeth Sawin’s career, she was not a multisolver. Instead, she worked on a single, albeit immensely important problem: climate change. Despite tremendous effort—long hours of teaching, attending conferences, publicizing analysis—at the end of the day, she felt like she was chasing her tail. Unless people began to recognize the multitude of unexpected benefits from ratcheting down emissions, climate change would remain a losing political issue.
That experience, along with the guidance of leaders in systems thinking and racial justice, convinced her that the world’s thorniest problems may be easier to tackle together than one by one. That’s multisolving: using a single investment of time or money to solve many problems at the same time. (Reduced fossil fuel use = improvements in climate, health, equity, economics, and more.) While the idea of killing two birds with one stone (or “filling two needs with one deed”) is age-old, and the notion of co-benefits in policy-making has been around for years, Multisolving addresses the current mismatch between complex, deeply intertwined societal issues and our siloed approach to them.
This unique resource is for local school boards that need revenue for their students but don’t want to overtax low-income seniors. It is for nonprofits working to reduce food waste and combat the root causes of hunger while increasing racial justice. It is for seaside communities that can protect themselves from flooding while also improving biodiversity with a living coastline. It may also be for you: doing the work you know is imperative but that is sometimes overwhelming, a tiny a drop in a swirling ocean.
Multisolving can’t promise a list of “fifty simple things to make everything OK.” What it does offer are strategies to build solidarity between diverse groups, overcome powerful interests, and create last change that benefits us all.

About the Author

Elizabeth Sawin is Founder and Director of the Multisolving Institute and an expert on solutions that address climate change while also improving health, well-being, equity, and economic vitality. She developed the idea of ‘multisolving’ to help people see and create conditions for such win-win-win solutions.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781642833775
ISBN-10: 1642833770
Publisher: Island Press
Publication Date: November 26th, 2024
Pages: 328
Language: English