Inspiration for Action

Inspiration can spring from anywhere at any time, but it helps if you’re surrounded by stories of courageous action and transformative change. Because inspirational ideas can easily cross-pollinate, we’ve curated a sampling of them here to simulate conversations, spark new project ideas, and encourage thinking in new ways around sustainability.


The Sustainability Projects Fund

From collecting rainwater to hosting anti-oppression trainings, Sustainability Projects Fund projects have been a source of enormous inspiration and empowerment for the McGill community.

Check out some SPF project videos here

Why Buses Represent Democracy in Action

"An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport," argues Enrique Peñalosa. In this spirited talk, the former mayor of Bogotá shares some of the tactics he used to change the transportation dynamic in the Colombian capital... and suggests ways to think about building smart cities of the future.

Watch the video here

An Economic Reality Check

As the world faces recession, climate change, inequity and more, Tim Jackson delivers a piercing challenge to established economic principles, explaining how we might stop feeding the crises and start investing in our future.

Watch the video here

The Ancient Ingenuity of Water Harvesting

With wisdom and wit, Anupam Mishra talks about the amazing feats of engineering built centuries ago by the people of India's Golden Desert to harvest water. These structures are still used today — and are often superior to modern water megaprojects.

Watch the video here

The Case for Collaborative Consumption

In her talk, Rachel Botsman says we're "wired to share" — and shows how websites like Zipcar and Swaptree are changing the rules of human behavior.

Watch the video here

Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution image

A book, a web toolbox and an international network of artist-activist trainers whose mission is to make grassroots movements more creative and more effective.

Visit the website

Watch the trailer here





City Repair’s Placemaking Guidebook: Creative Community Building in the Public Right of Way image

An amazing print resource for community-based projects, including physical examples, stories, and techniques for community organizing and facilitation.

Visit the website

Watch a video of the City Repair Project