How to transform systems: The World Resources Institute Q&A with Andrew Steer

Mongabay.com

Deforestation for palm oil production in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

Deforestation for palm oil production in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

  • Between the pandemic, rising food insecurity and poverty, and catastrophic disasters like wildfires, storms and droughts, 2020 was a year of challenges that prompted widespread calls for systemic change in how we interact with one another, with other species, and with the environment. Bringing about such changes will require transforming how we produce food and energy, how we move from one place to another, and how we define economic growth.
  • But it’s a lot easier to talk about transforming systems than to actually do it. Because real change is hard, we’re more likely to slip back into old habits and return to business as usual than embrace paradigm shifts.
  • Recognizing this limitation, World Resources Institute (WRI), a Washington, D.C.-based organization that operates in 60 countries, works across sectors by creating tools that increase transparency, create a common understanding, and provide data and analysis that enable action.
  • WRI’s development of these platforms and tools has grown by leaps and bounds since the early 2010s when Andrew Steer joined the organization as president and CEO from the World Bank. Steer spoke with Mongabay during a December 2020 interview.

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