By Tim Hollo February 20, 2024

Together - Green Institute 2024 - Tim Hollo

Almost exactly 8 years ago, I wrote my first email as Executive Director of the Green Institute to many of you, expressing a lot of angst at the state of the world – in that case the shocking fires that had been ripping through Tasmanian forests. Riffing on that particular moment of crisis, I put forward a guiding principle for the work of the Institute:

“We all tell ourselves comforting lies. For some it’s denying climate science altogether. For others it’s that politics-as-usual can save us. For yet others it’s that, no matter how bad things get, somehow we’ll be ok, we’ll be the exception. This lie collapsing is the reason for my angst.

“But it’s also what drives me. Because it leaves us only one option.

“If we are to survive this century, we have to survive it together. And if we’re to survive it together, we have to radically rethink and reconstruct our politics, our society, our culture.

“That is what the Green Institute is for. It’s our job to think about where we need to be in 10, 20, 30 years’ time, work out what we need to do to get there, and use strategic interventions to put us on track.”

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s spent a lot of time in recent months confronting this reality again. The truly awful state of the world – from the horrors in Gaza to the floods and fires in Australia, from the mind-boggling tumbling of climate records to the gobsmacking increase in wealth of the billionaires while so many skip meals or are being forced into homelessness – presses down on us constantly.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

And it’s why we’re needed – the Greens party and our movement broadly, and the Green Institute very specifically. Now is a moment when we need to lift our sights well beyond election cycles and think strategically about what the world is becoming, and what that means for how we work.

What type and scale of change are we trying to achieve? What is our role in creating that change, in both the community and parliaments? How do we change the system while operating in it?

In 2024, there will be many opportunities for you to get involved in these conversations, at all sorts of levels and in all sorts of ways. Today, I want to invite you to consider a few of them.

Firstly, our quarterly magazine, Green Agenda, has issued an open call for proposals, with pitches (not your full piece of writing) due by this Friday here. This is a wonderful way to prompt discussion and debate by writing about something that really matters to you, and to our Greens project. Don’t forget to sign up to Green Agenda’s newsletter if you missed this call and want to be notified earlier next time, and to get more frequent communication about thought-provoking writing from Carlos Morreo, our wonderful editor.

Do you want to get more deeply involved in the strategic direction of the Institute? Do you have governance, fundraising, events, legal or HR skills? We’re recruiting for new Board Directors to join our fabulous team and help keep the Institute ticking over. Please give some thought to whether this is you, or someone you know, and find out more here.

I’m super excited to be rolling out more workshops this year, which you’ll have the opportunity to take part in, digging into these crucial questions of how we change the system while operating within it, how we act as a social movement as well as an electoral party, how we do politics at the end of the world as we know it.

The first one of these is happening on March 2 in Victoria, hosted by the Darebin-Whittlesea, Merribek-Hume and Yarra branches, and you can register for it here.

I’m heading to Naarm a couple of days earlier, to do a long-planned event on Living Democracy at Hobsons Bay Library. I’d love to see you there. Details here.

There’s lots more in planning for the year, and we’d love to hear from you about what you’d like to see. As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch. And get your Green Agenda pitches to Carlos ASAP!




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