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It is a special moment in time. We never thought such a dramatic shift in our everyday lives could be a reality. But it can. It is. So we struggle. We adapt. But as survival mode gives way to a new beginning, we must be mindful: although selfsustainment and short-term thinking will understandably become priorities and automatisms gravitate us back towards more of the same, we have a unique opportunity. We have shared a global, yet deeply personal experience of uncertainty and seen our limitations. We have an increased sensitivity to how such things may in fact happen to us. We have faced the potential of major moral dilemmas. And we have experienced the disruption of our customary routines and behaviour patterns. So are we more open to rethinking how we relate to the world? Can we redesign for our future needs? Can we grasp this opportunity to break out of the limiting – even destructive – nature of the "short term perspective"? Despite the systemic pressures of the short term, the charting of our new course should consider not only quarterly results, but also the arc of our journey as individuals, as communities and as a civilization.


More than ever, the world of tomorrow depends on what we do today. What kind of society and what world we will live in hinges on how quickly and effectively we act today. Where do we find humane and regenerative solutions to our key challenges that are not based solely on science, but which also consider the diversity of our cultures, customs and problems, while enhancing the security of the biosphere we live in? As someone wise said, "If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done." But are we capable of such comprehensive and rapid change? What kind of things and habits will we be able to leave behind? How do we prioritize our actions? What options do we have at all, what solutions are already being implemented and how might they be adapted to our situation and needs? We believe it is better to face our future today than to wait for a miracle.


Growth, like speed and performance, as a word and as our "best friend", has incredible, almost magical power. So much so, that we often subordinate everything else to it. But what is really behind the process of growth as we know it? What happens when instead of growth we choose sustainability? Or when performance cedes its place on the priority list to health and well-being? What if we see the things we do not use anymore as a reusable resource instead of disposable waste? Or if education is no longer a resolvable burden, but a storehouse of incredible possibility? And what if we exchange the zero-sum game, producing an endless series of winners and losers, with an older form of cooperation.


You cannot solve the climate crisis alone, but we can't solve it without you either. Just as an ecologically sustainable economy cannot come about by itself, these things require all of us. Moreover, there is no single special thing we can all do to fix it all. The solution is not found in any action, but is brought about by individual, community and societal commitment. For that very reason, the right time to start is always right now. This is precisely why we wanted to provide space and opportunity to present some of the initiatives and visions that can inspire ideas in us, or which we might join. Because every moment, if we act together, our actions count and can truly bring change.


Countdown is a global ini a ve by TED, to champion and accelerate solu ons to the climate crisis, turning ideas into ac on. The ini a ve’s goal is to iden fy compelling responses, and to ac vate the solu ons by connec ng ci zens directly with our business and poli cal leaders.

Learn more about the ted countdown initiative

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