Applied Imagination Fellows Project Report: Ian Edwards

Project summary

Bank of Nature is a new way to look at and resolve today’s crisis of climate change. As a theory of change strategy, we imagine a world already made climate secure and a safer alternative path to get there. Bank of Nature pivots on the legal concept of fiduciary duty and the untapped potential of global pensions to fund it. That means questioning the stuck status quo and assumptions that serve as obstacles to change.

With the support of the fellowship, we:

Bank of Nature blends transformative environmental philosophy and finance reform to engage the $56 trillion global pension sector that has the fiduciary duty, scale, and mission to be the heroes of climate security and Bank of Nature’s biggest customers. 

Insights, surprises encountered, and key moments in the process

The privilege of thinking imaginatively, as the Applied Imagination Fellowship made possible, gave way to a few insights about the role of imagination to solve the planet’s greatest challenges.

An example of these insights, applied to the Bank of Nature: If governments and corporations are not suited to the task of fixing the climate crisis, what is? Our project answers that question.

How did the fellowship benefit you as a researcher and/or practitioner and/or organizer? How did it benefit your work? And how did it benefit your community?

The Center for Science and the Imagination is literally our “first money in” at Bank of Nature, and has paid for critical early assets like a website, content, design and materials. CSI recognized the potential for Bank of Nature to transform the climate crisis narrative through an imaginative strategy that sidesteps the status quo. As a startup organization, the financial support put us on a path to success.

CSI introduced us to an array of supporters we wouldn’t have known otherwise. Experts in finance, law, economics, and sustainability were generous with their time and interest because CSI vouched for us. Credibility, when we are asking people to think vividly and differently about the stuck status quo, can’t be bought.

Our cohort of fellows and the team at CSI comprise a community of support. We had unique thinkers who brought their own visions to the group. Thank you to CSI for a safe place to expand on ideas that can change the world. 

What’s next? How has the fellowship shaped the path forward for you and your work?

The Applied Imagination Fellowship kick-started a project that has, in the past year, developed the real-world credentials to gain critical momentum. We are building on that with: