Phileas

Background

Hundreds of millions are affected by droughts, extreme weather events, rising sea levels, wildfires and the destruction of nature. Climate change, like all environmental hazards, disproportionally hits developing countries. As is the case with war and political unrest, the worst-hit populations are often forced to leave their own country.

The less a society can relate to these people and their reasons, the more space is there for violence and destruction of the political dialog.

At the same time Xenophobia and racism are becoming more visible and dangerous. Right-wing terror attacks against various targets have been heavily present in German media over the last 18 months. In contrast, refugee camps have outgrown their already overstretched capacity, and the Covid crisis makes the situation unbearable, but media coverage of the subject is low. As a consequence, the dire fates of refugees drifted off people’s minds. Therefore, it is all the more important to make them visible again.

Politics in rich countries would look very different with more compassion for those affected by their policies, with climate change being the perfect example.

Global Connections

20 years ago, the only way personal relationships between developing and developed countries could be built was through pen friendships (e.g. PLAN International).

Today, smartphones are a global commodity and create ample opportunity to overcome national borders.

Smartphones are a game-changing technology.

Phileas uses WhatsApp to build relationships between pupils and young refugees. It’s a ready-to-use teaching module that connects classes directly with youths that had to flee their country. We collaborate with NGOs to build connections on the ground in refugee camps and provide teachers and pupils with conversation guidelines to make the most out of it. Trauma therapists and moderators are on standby to make sure the experience is beneficial to all participants.

Phileas’ Vision

Directly interacting with fellow humans living in refugee camps builds awareness for the fate of refugees, that we’re on this planet together and how politics impact people’s lives. Phileas helps pupils worldwide to become global citizens and take responsibility for the choices their society makes.

How it works

Participating pupils and refugees read the guidelines and an introductory call with Phileas answers open questions and gives an overview of what will happen. Each pupil then has a (video) call with a refugee to get to know each other. We collect feedback and follow up with all participants later on to see if they stayed in touch.

A trustworthy platform

Phileas provides a safe and engaging communication environment. We co-created our communication guidelines with trauma therapists. These guidelines contain example questions, briefings on the participants’ countries and are of course open source. We guide participants early-on, collect feedback, and help nurture the relationships these young adults are developing. We believe communication is the key to fostering tolerance!

Scale

One of Imagine Zero’s core principles is to build solutions that scale. We’re currently running user tests and plan to grow Phileas into a self-service platform to overcome borders and make politics tangible.

Hypotheses

  • Pupils can better relate to and appreciate the fates of refugees.
  • Awareness for the fate of refugees
    • increases a pupil’s sense of accountability
    • reduces their prejudices.
  • In the long term participants engage more for social causes.
  • Teachers use Phileas as part of their education.
  • Conversations work without moderation (or we can crowdsource that).
  • Pupils and refugees perceive conversations as beneficial.
  • Almost no conversations are emotionally harmful.
  • NGOs partner up with Phileas to connect us to refugees in camps.
  • Pupils and teachers refer Phileas to others.

Who else is in the space? 

Different initiatives cover the topic of one-time communication between young people on different sides of a border. Mostly it is done by letter or by postcard, like the UN program Letters of Love does. There are also projects already working with school classes, such as Letters of Hope. None of them are digital, however, which we believe would be more appealing to young adults because of the immediacy and closer contact it creates.

Take this further

  • Be part of our working group!
    • Connect to NGOs and Schools
    • Interact with project participants
    • Work on our online presence
    • Design!
    • Create a monitoring concept
    • …and more

How we work together

  • At Phileas
    • We work responsive to your needs
    • We have weekly meetings
    • We work in topic specific groups and self organized
    • We all work for free
  • We have good access to marketing, sales, business, legal, communication, design and software engineering experts. Make the best use of our network!

You can help by connecting

Have you worked with amazing people in the past who could help us stop the climate crisis? Connect us!

Want to stay tuned?

FlyGood

Background

Aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants are responsible for 5% of the global temperature increase.

For many people flights are an integral part of the global economy and an undeniable social good. That makes it necessary to manage the negative effects flying creates. Emission offsetting is a solution which can effectively complement other positive trends in the aviation space (fuel efficiency increases, replacing air travel with videoconferencing).

What FlyGood does

FlyGood enables passengers to offset their trip emissions and activists to campaign for more sustainable air travel. Their paths cross at airports, where activists inform passengers about the environmental consequences of frequent flying and collect electronic donations.

Besides receiving easily accessible information, passengers can compensate their emissions in two ways: by planting trees with the UN campaign “Trillion Trees” and by donating to highly impactful NGOs like Fridays for Future. More options may follow in the future. With these options users can choose between merely cleaning up after themselves and supporting organizations that fight for an inhabitable Earth.

In fact, the aim of this project is to raise awareness and change values as much as it is to collect donations – and to do both at scale. We achieve that by partnering up with NGOs and other groups of volunteers, and enabling them to run high-involvement campaigns with FlyGood.

Hypotheses

  1. An accessible user interface increases people’s willingness to offset.
  2. People will offset on-site, i.e. at the airport.
  3. Activists run physical campaigns with FlyGood.
  4. Local campaigns at airports raise enough awareness and/or donations for activists to repeat them.
  5. Activists refer FlyGood to other activists to run local campaigns.
  6. A significant portion of passengers use FlyGood to offset their emissions.
  7. Campaigns in airports attract media attention.

Who else is in the space?

Other providers of such services do not campaign, and their user interface is complex. With our easy approach and our partners in the NGO scene we want to make this a campaigning tool of cooperating NGOs.

  • Atmosfair has customer logins as well as a corporate section. The organization exists since 2005 and has operated on over 6M € in donations in 2017. 
  • Other carbon offsetting tools were designed by myclimate. These tools also include offsetting for cruises, events and more. 
  • Gold Standard tries to influence carbon impact not just by offsetting but also with advice for personal behavior. They provide their own nonprofit projects they invest into.

Take this further

  • Reach out to …
    • get to know the people behind FlyGood.
    • meet who’s already on it.
  • Marketing
    • Define and execute the PR concept for FlyGood.
    • Connect to the right media channels.
  • Campaigning
    • Organize volunteers and campaign with FlyGood and Imagine Zero.
  • Project Ownership
    • Own this project and make it big!

Who is on it?

Andre Reichel
Andre Reichel

Daily contributor & Co-Founder, NGO-experience and climate activist

Daniel Dembach

Daily contributor, Head of Engineering, Full-stack expert, coach and experienced engineer.

How we work together

  • At Imagine Zero
    • We work full-time and are responsive to your needs
    • We have daily standups
    • We use issue tracking to organize our work
  • If you want to manage this project, we want you to
    • Define clear commitments and communication preferences you can reasonably stick to
    • Decide what cadence suits you and the the rest of the team
    • Measure impact of existing coaching relationships.
    • Create a concept on how to scale this project to have more impact.
  • We all work for free.
  • We have access to possible donors and funds, talk to us!
  • We have good access to marketing, sales, business, legal, communication, design and software engineering experts. Make the best use of our network!

You can help by connecting

Have you worked with amazing people in the past who could help us stop the climate crisis? Connect us!

Want to stay tuned?