As part of the Harvard Kennedy School Sustainability Initiative (HKSSI) Earth Month activities, Marshall Ganz, senior lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School’s Hauser Center, spoke to a diverse group from the greater Harvard community about grassroots sustainability efforts. The audience represented a range of Harvard University schools and centers including Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement, and the Food Literacy Project, which is part of Harvard Dining Services. Audience members hailed from multiple countries including New Zealand, Ghana, the Netherlands, Mexico, and India, demonstrating the global import of grassroots sustainability efforts.

Following a discussion with the audience about those specific sustainability initiatives they would pursue, Ganz posed the seemingly simple question, “So, what’s the problem?” Highlighting the need for changes in policy and practice, he then explained, “If the only things possible are the individual things we do, we might as well save our breath.” Ganz then led a lively conversation in which he challenged the audience to “try to create conditions for real change” by looking at “what we can accomplish together, what can we influence, and how can we influence it.”