Friday, March 18, 2022

Launching CoSphere, a Community of Small-Planet Heroes

On Monday, we launched CoSphere. Here's my invitation to friends, family, and colleagues:

Dear friends, (apologies for cross-posting)


Many of you know that I’ve been at the forefront of science-policy efforts to bring attention to the need for transformative system change. It’s now clear that despite acknowledging this necessity, governments and businesses will not take the needed actions unless there’s an unprecedented coordination to pressure them to do so. Working only in science and science-policy circles left me feeling like a pawn in political theatre of the absurd (see the story here).


So today a powerful little team and I are launching CoSphere, a coalition for system change toward sustainability. Our aim is to bring science to build a community of those passionate about a better future.


The relevant science is the global systems science of where we have leverage and where that’s needed (what to act on), and the science of social transformation to strategize our efforts (how we can act). Millions of people demonstrated their concern for a better future through recent climate protests. Equipped with this knowledge, together we can bring about that future even despite opposition from those seeking to preserve business-as-usual.


My ask: If this resonates, join us, and share this with others. You and they may also be interested in this essay (published in The Globe and Mail), this coverage in the Vancouver Sun, or this Twitter thread. Our partners include David Suzuki Foundation, CPAWS, Canopy, Plastic Oceans, Birds Canada, Raincoast, Y2Y, and more. (If you can bring another organization, please do!)


Bring your passion, your creativity, and your expertise. On the Forum, we seek to create a space where people’s efforts are celebrated, and where we all bring our expertise towards our common objectives. Whereas so many scientists are used to speaking primarily to policymakers and journalists, we hope to create a pathway for science to empower activists and advocates of all ages (including the powerful youth movement).


So we’d love help reaching out to youth leaders. We want to help equip and orient climate groups and environment clubs at universities, high schools, and elsewhere.


In solidarity,



PS, Since we’re brand new, you’ll see that some places feel incipient (e.g., the Forum). We welcome your contributions to make it an inviting, vibrant space. KC


Kai M. A. Chan, Professor and Canada Research Chair—Rewilding and Social-Ecological Transformation (he/him)

CHANS Lab (Connected Human-and-Natural Systems)              CoSphere (now launching)

Coordinating Lead Author, IPBES Global Assessment

Lead Editor, People and Naturea BES journal of relational thinking 

Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars—member

Leopold Leadership Fellow; Global Young Academy alum; Canada’s Clean16 for 2020

Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability

The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus | Musqueam Traditional Territory

AERL Rm 438, 2202 Main Mall | Vancouver, BC | V6T 1Z4 Canada


Ph: 604.822.0400               Fax: 604.822.9250                  Blog: CHANS Lab Views 

@KaiChanUBC                   My group:

Google Scholar                   Confidential: for intended recipients only


Recent papers: Kreitzman et al., Ecosphere, Woody perennial polycultures enhance biodiversity and ecosystem functions

Bullen et al., Global Ecol. Biogeogr., Ghost of a giant (Steller’s sea cows) (Hakai Magazine)

Naito et al., Sust. Sci., An integrative framework for transformative social change

Creative Commons Licence
CHANS Lab Views by Kai Chan's lab is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at