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Robert Friedman’s Blog

Building A Strong Ecosystem For Good, Green Jobs

Robert Friedman

Posted February 6, 2014 in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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Big scary question: What’s your vision for the future of the planet? I think about mine a lot. I come at my work from many different angles, but my primary focus and interest is on building a future that looks like a lot like an ecosystem. In a healthy ecosystem, plants, animals, fungi and other organisms work together and rely on each other for survival regardless of their species or preferred communication style.

Applying that to our society, my vision includes people and organizations working collaboratively across sectors towards mutually beneficial goals. We are not often given clear, intentional opportunities to work like this, but it couldn’t be more important. Our future together largely rests on if we can reach across the aisle, over the fence and push through perceived divisions to drive progress.

This Sunday, groups from across the youth labor, justice and environmental movements will do this at the inaugural Youth Climate Caucus, sponsored by NRDC and Blue Green Alliance, to learn from each other and to build a healthy ecosystem for collaboration. The Caucus, part of BGA’s annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference, is specifically focused on building lasting partnerships and relationships that defy the silos we often find ourselves working under, whether we are part of a labor union, a social justice group or an environmental organization. We can’t build a more sustainable, just future without our brothers and sisters from organized labor. And organized labor can’t build that future without strong advocacy from movers and shakers in the environmental movement.

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We have a unique opportunity as young people to build unprecedented bridges across our organizations to create a strong, fair economy that does not sacrifice our environment and creates and maintains good jobs across this country. Building a healthy, just future for all requires working together. The Youth Climate Caucus is only a seed that we think is going to grow and expand to support this powerful and growing ecosystem of collaboration.

See you out there.

Image via The Green Program

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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