Collage of woman looking through binoculars surrounded by leafy vines and purple envelopes

The vision

You try to limit your after-work screen time — but today, there’s been so much good news. You’ve been joyscrolling for over an hour, sharing all your best finds with your little digital community of climate and justice nerds.

You’re getting ready to log off when you see an email from a friend, wondering if you’ll proofread a cli-fi story he’s written. Ooh, you’re tempted.

You glance out the window. It’s still too rainy to go for a walk or rally the neighbors for stoop drinks.

So you flip on your electric tea kettle and settle in for another good read.

— a drabble by Claire Elise Thompson


The spotlight

Hey there, Looking Forward readers. First of all, a huge heartfelt thanks to the more than 70 of y’all who took the time to fill out our audience survey. Your kind words and constructive feedback mean the world to us. And, in turn, we wanted to take the time to share back some of what we heard and where we’re going.

To the folks who said, “We love this newsletter! You’re perfect! Don’t change a thing!” — we say, Stop it! You’re making us blush. And to the folks who said, “I’m new here, what even is Looking Forward?” — we say, Fair enough. This subscriber list has nearly doubled since we launched the newsletter back in October, so perhaps the time is ripe for a bit of reintroduction.

Looking Forward exists to spark your imagination about what a clean, green, just future could look like and to show the possibilities already out there for achieving it. Most of our emails start with a drabble — a 100-word piece of climate fiction set in a better future. And then we dive into the here-and-now foundations of that better world through original reporting on current solutions, from solar grazing to bike equity, and the people championing them.

Hands holding flower above flood water

We’re not here to tell you that everything is going to be fine if we all just compost. But restructuring our society to mitigate and adapt to climate change may be the best opportunity we’ve ever had to build a future that’s healthier, safer, and fairer — and solutions underway today offer windows into what that future could look like, and how we can all participate in getting there.

To that end, one of the top pieces of feedback we heard in the survey is that y’all are interested in more concrete actions. You want to know what you can do to be part of building a better world, and you want to connect with others who are equally invested in making that happen. And to that, we say, Yes! There are endless possibilities for taking action in your own community or your own passion area, and we want to give you the information and examples that will help you find your path to engaging with climate and justice issues. We’re also excited to explore more ways for you — our readers — to connect with each other, and with us, starting today in the “See for yourself” section down below.

And who exactly is “us”? A very small team of humans dedicated to bringing you thoughtful words and evocative images (those are courtesy of our wondrous designer, Mia Torres). But more broadly, Looking Forward is the newsletter from Fix, Grist‘s solutions lab. Fix amplifies bold, equitable ideas for our climate future, and the people working toward them, through creative storytelling, network-building, and events. On our website you can find even more stories about the paths to a sustainable, just future in our deep-dive explorations, which explore a single theme from a multitude of angles. These digital issues are designed to help you expand your thinking about what climate solutions look like, connect the dots between ideas, and find new entry points into imagining climate possibilities.

You probably saw our latest exploration, The Outdoors Issue, featured right here in Looking Forward. We’ll always share when there’s something exciting to check out from Fix, and we’ll continue to tell you about other ways to be part of Fix’s community of climate possibility, whether through virtual events, in-person gatherings, or other opportunities.

If you like what we do, thank you — and please tell your friends! Forward them one of your favorite Looking Forwards so they can subscribe. (And then you’ll have a pal to talk about it with.)

See for yourself

Here’s something you can do right now: Ask me a question. What’s one climate, sustainability, or justice-related question you want answered? Something you’ve always wondered, a problem you’ve never seen a solution to, or a decision you’re facing in life that you could use a bit of climate solutions-y advice on? Ask it, and I’ll do my best to get to the bottom of it.

I’ve got a question for you as well. What gives you the most hope, in the face of all that’s ailing the world? It can be as simple or as involved as you please — your kids, your work, your favorite solarpunk novel. Reply to this email to tell me a tiny bit about what keeps you in it.

On our horizon

Join us for a live event (in the flesh) on June 8, at CitySpace in Boston! In partnership with Boston radio station WBUR, Fix is hosting a panel conversation exploring the importance of local food and understanding where your dinner comes from. You’ll also get to learn some practical skills in a gardening demonstration led by Quontay Turner, owner of Emerald City Plant Shop. Plus, in-person attendees can purchase goodies from a specially curated farmer’s market in the CitySpace lobby.
Tickets range from $5 to $25 — get them here!

If you can’t join the event or the livestream, but you want more on the topic of how to eat sustainably (particularly in New England), check out WBUR’s pop-up newsletter, Cooked.

A parting shot

Another bit of feedback we gleaned from the survey: We’re interested in a wide variety of topics in climate and justice … and you are too! We asked which of the below topics you wanted to read more about — and as you can see in this graph of the responses, they all got a pretty much equal amount of love (plus a couple of write-ins). Which is awesome — we’re excited that you’re excited to explore a range of climate solutions and how they intersect with various parts of society. And, as always, if you have a specific idea for a story we should cover, feel free to reach out.

A graphic showing topics of interest for Looking Forward