Learn More About Katharine Wilkinson
Humanity has faced urgent threats in the past, but never one as all-encompassing as the climate crisis. The living systems of the planet are fraying and the fabric of society cannot hold without them.
“While time is of the essence, solutions for a regenerative future are already largely in hand,” says Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, one of the world’s foremost climate change strategists and thinkers. One hundred of them are outlined in the New York Times bestselling book for which she was the senior writer: “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming” (Penguin, 2017).
“But these solutions must be implemented with speed and at scale in order to ensure a vibrant and resilient future,” says Wilkinson, who works closely with leaders around the world on strategies for addressing the climate crisis. “We have the frameworks and tools to turn away from the brink, and there are numerous near-term reasons to pursue them. But we need people, especially policymakers and leaders of global corporations, to truly step up and lead. Today, not tomorrow, because later is too late.”
Building on her strategic advisory experience at The Boston Consulting Group and the purpose consultancy BrightHouse, Wilkinson advises leaders on responsible, sustainable and regenerative practices. She has worked with global organizations including American Express, Interface, KPMG, Kroger, New Chapter, Purpose Built Communities and SunTrust Bank.
In March 2020, before leaving her post as editor-in-chief at Project Drawdown, Wilkinson and her team released “The Drawdown Review,” a comprehensive, research-driven publication cataloging the world’s top climate solutions. Later that year, she and her co-editor released the critically hailed bestseller “All We Can Save: Truth, Courage and Solutions for the Climate Crisis” (One World, 2020) and co-founded the All We Can Save Project. A profoundly inspiring anthology of writings by women climate leaders, “All We Can Save” was named among the 10 best science books of 2020 by Smithsonian magazine. Rolling Stone called it “a mosaic that honors the complexity of the climate crisis like few, if any, books on the topic have done yet … a feast of ideas and perspectives, setting a big table for the climate movement, declaring all are welcome.” In 2021, she introduced All We Can Save Circles, a self-led framework that follows the course of the All We Can Save anthology, designed to nurture connection, encourage generous dialogue, and seed action for climate solutions.
Wilkinson articulates a bold vision for the future grounded in climate solutions that are economically viable and scientifically proven. Given the urgency of change required, investing in existing solutions and promising innovations is essential. Wilkinson is equally convicted that we need the biggest, strongest team possible to turn the promise of those solutions into reality.
Through her eloquent and accessible keynotes – such as her 2018 TED Talk, which has nearly 2 million views – Wilkinson conveys a powerful call to heal the Earth and humanity in the process. As a speaker, writer and researcher, she highlights three critical dimensions of climate action strategy: the truth of where we are and why we’re here, the courage to stand up and lead, and the solutions that can move us toward a just and livable future. She stresses that changemakers and organizations need all three.
“Our collective wisdom is vast. It’s time for our collective will to match it,” says Wilkinson. “Sustainability – doing less harm – is no longer sufficient. Regeneration is now the necessary aspiration.”
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Dr. Katharine Wilkinson is the former editor-in-chief at the climate solutions nonprofit Project Drawdown and now leads The All We Can Save Project. Recently, Time featured her as one of 15 “women who will save the world,” Apolitical named her one of the “100 most influential people in gender policy,” and GreenBiz named her one of “25 badass women shaking up the corporate climate movement.” Her first book, “Between God & Green: How Evangelicals Are Cultivating a Middle Ground on Climate Change” (Oxford University Press, 2012), explored the intersection of religion, politics, culture and climate change. Among other roles, Wilkinson co-hosts the podcast “A Matter of Degrees” and is a visiting professor at Sewanee: The University of the South. She has presented at Aspen Ideas, National Geographic, Skoll World Forum, Talks @ Google, TED Women and the United Nations. Her writings have been published by the BBC, CNN and Time, among others, and she is frequently interviewed by media outlets. She serves on the boards of Doc Society, serving the transformational power of documentary film, Wild Ark, a pioneering conservation organization, and Chattahoochee NOW, a nonprofit working to reimagine Atlanta’s riverfront.
Wilkinson holds a doctorate in geography and environment from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and a bachelor’s degree in religion from Sewanee: The University of the South, where she was a Udall Scholar and valedictorian.
Katharine Wilkinson is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.
Photo credit: Ben Brinker