How we fight climate change with re-signing and clear sustainability positioning

05. Oct 2023

EIZO Technologies ID Summer Camp

This essay is a reprint of a speech by Christopher Spall from The Medinge Group think tank’s panel discussion on “Conscientious Innovation” at Oslo Innovation Week on September 28, 2023.

Other panelists included Mark Irvine, Barbara Santoro, Sandra Horlings, and Peter Fischer Brown.

We have not failed yet.

Christopher Spall

We should “re-sign” more

We have not failed yet. For me, there is too much resignation in the whole climate change discussion. However, the word resignation is derived from the Latin word “resignare” and means not only to give up, but also to make a new contract with oneself. Maybe we do need a re-signing. A new contract between us and planet Earth. The old contract was a rental contract. We used the earth as tenants, but took no responsibility for any damage. The new contract should be an owner contract. So that we no longer use earth, but take care of it like our dearest possession.

This contract is not a contract of single generations. It’s not a contract that only boomers have to make. Each and every one of us needs an individual re-signing. I don’t think the generations should pass the buck to each other. But that’s exactly what we’re doing right now. In my home country, Germany, the group of radical activists is called “Last Generation.” Young against old, old against young. Generation Z vs. baby boomers. But only together can we solve complex problems.


Everyone should ask themselves what their individual greatest lever is to slow down climate change. And start right there.

How can we change?

Maybe we can’t change all our habits at once: the way we eat, work, travel and live. What if each of us focused on one issue that we wanted to tackle with relish. And concentrate all efforts on this focus topic. Individuals as well as organizations. Each company must define its contribution to a sustainable economy And anchor it in its corporate identity. That’s what I’m working on as an organizational identity developer. That is my focus. But my focus is not your focus.

By the way, we humans have always changed only when we are on the edge. That is our nature. With all our faults. With all our hope. To inspire others to change their lives, we need to do something instead of protesting.

My conclusion: we need even more hope than resignation.

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