Climate Voices

September 22, 2022
By: Susan Phillips, Executive Director

Crafting New Realities, Together

Crafting New Realities, Together - Photo


I am so excited to join the Climate Generation team and community as Executive Director. Some of the thoughts and feelings running through my head and heart: joy, apprehension, wonder, and curiosity. What is clear for me is the now factor of this work. 

The climate crisis is the single most defining issue of our lifetimes. As a society, we have been misinformed and misled  by those who put profit over people. Yet, have hope and see possibilities. I believe there is still a beautiful, just, and regenerative future for my children — our children — and their children.

I am the daughter of a conservationist and a kindergarten teacher, and I was an idealistic young person. I am fortunate to have lived, worked, and played in a variety of communities from rural Costa Rica to unhoused Twin Cities youth; from freight train riders, to community gardeners, and environmental justice warriors. I have learned from these experiences about complexity and as a result I am grounded in non-judgment;  I understand the impact of systemic racism and unbridled capitalism on the planet and its living beings. I have also learned to listen deeply. I look forward to sharing more of my own climate story and personal approach to this work at our benefit event, It’s Time, on October 20th –– I hope to see you there!

In system change work, focus on structural change (policies, practices, and resource flows) tend to be front and center. I believe structural changes are only sustained when we pay attention to transformational (mental models/perceptions) and relational (relationships and power dynamics) levels. Climate Generation, while centering the voices of youth, educators, and the wisdom of impacted communities, gives attention to all those levels at the same time. This is what excites me and gives me hope, and I’ll be bringing this with me as I represent our organization at the UN climate conference, COP27, in Egypt this November through our Window into COP27 programming

We have the complex solutions to the challenges we face, which is exactly why we must work together to craft new realities. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves, to listening deeply, and to creating new futures with all of you.

Susan Phillips
Executive Director