by Eban Goodstein
Events of the past year have starkly revealed the limits of an outside lobbying strategy to impact climate policy in Washington. Given the changed political landscape, and with climate change impacts accelerating, we need new strategies.
C2C Fellows is a new national network for young people aspiring to sustainability leadership in politics and business.
C2C Fellows will engage 300 students and recent graduates each year in intensive leadership training. We will challenge young people to consider: What skills and experiences are needed to become people of power, people with the ability to affect the future, within five to ten years? C2C will then support the Fellows to gain these skills.
The US Constitution empowers citizens at age 25 to become members of Congress. Yet few young people even imagine pursuing this opportunity. More students have been inspired by young business entrepreneurs. Yet few develop the leadership skills needed to launch a green business.
C2C stands for Campus to Congress, to Capitol, to City Hall, and also for Campus to Corporation. C2C stands for young people gaining control of their future. Many young people are ready to lead a sustainability revolution, but they need pathways to real power to make it possible. Within five years, C2C Fellows will be running for the US Congress, taking on leading private sector roles, and impacting politics and business at the state and community level. C2C Fellows is the power network for young people with the wisdom and grace to remake the future.
C2C Fellows is a project of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy at Bard College. Other organizations offer leadership training for young people. However, these are typically one-off events, and focused on leadership for community activism. C2C Fellows is unique in (1) our base in an academic institution, providing stability to the network (put it on your resume!); (2) the ongoing structure of Fellows membership, with repeat opportunities for engagement and growth; (3) the shared vision of a sustainable, clean energy economy underlying the fellowship; and finally, (4) the focus on opening concrete pathways to power for young people who understand the stakes, and have the talent to lead us towards a sustainable world.
— Eban Goodstein is the Director of Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy