RESET’s Year in Review: Goodbye, 2019! Hello, Future!

Here at RESET, a look back is always a look forward. Here are our highlights of 2019.

Author Sarah-Indra Jungblut:

Translation Sarah-Indra Jungblut, 12.30.19

Over the past 12 months RESET published over 140 solutions-focused stories, interviews and opinion pieces on how people all over the world are tackling the biggest challenges facing the world today: innovative ways to tackle plastic waste and protect endangered wildlife, reduce air pollution and clean up the fashion industry… To name just a few.

Our mission at RESET isn’t just to look at the challenges that we’re facing as a planet and as a society. We also ask “What’s going right?” and “What is working?”, and more importantly, “How can we have more of it?” and “What can we do to help?” We believe that it is our duty to facilitate and inform the debate about a better tomorrow, and offer a platform for solutions and visionary ideas which could make a better world a reality.

And that’s why at RESET, a look back is actually always a look forward too. What big issues did we tackle in 2019 and who did we meet? Here’s our look back and our personal highlights of the year gone by.

Muhammad Yunus came into the RESET office for an interview

We did a deep dive into the concept of our “digital carbon footprint”

RESET has been reporting on digitalisation and sustainability – from the place where the two meet – for many years now. And recently, we’ve noticed that it’s finally not just us who are talking about it… There’s more about it in the media than ever before, more events, panels and discussions, and just recently the release of “Our Common Digital Future” by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), a draft for an international charter for a sustainable digital age, linking digital change with global sustainability. Our latest long read article, the product of many months of research into the topic, takes a closer look at the concept of our “digital carbon footprint” – the environmental impact that our online world is having on the real one  – and asks whether currently digitalisation is a blessing or a curse for the planet. Read the full article here.

We announced an exciting collaboration with the DBU

This autumn we were very poud to announce that the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) will be supporting RESET both financially and technically over the next two years, as we develop an in-depth four-part special feature series that takes a critical look at future digital sustainability challenges .We are incredibly excited to have received the support of the DBU for this. This collaboration will provide RESET with the financial support we need to able to devote ourselves to important, in-depth research and to the development of high-quality digital content. Working together with the DBU means having a truly valuable partner on board, and offers RESET the chance to meet and exchange ideas with a huge network of scientists, activists and changemakers. Find out more.

We hosted a panel at Re:publica, joined expert discussions & were even nominated for a prize

We were honoured to have been invited to share our knowledge and expertise in a whole range of different places this year. One of them was on the panel “On Behalf of the Forest – How Can Digitalisation Help Nature Have a Say?” at the 2019 Re:publica conference. We’re now involved in the selection process for Re:publica 2020. In October 2019, RESET founder Uta Mühleis was invited to speak at an expert discussion of the Digital Agenda Working Group and the Environment Working Group of the SPD parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. Under the title “Pathways to a Sustainable Digital Economy” they discussed the impact and potentials of digitalisation for a sustainable future. RESET was there alongside representatives from the WBGU, the Institute for Transformative Sustainability Research (IASS), the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (SNV).

And our work was even nominated for the Audience Prize at the DHU’s Environmental Media Awards!

We ended the year exploring different ways of shaping the future

Our Christmas trip this year took us to Berlin’s Futurium, where we explored possible futures in their highly interactive digital exhibit, tried out new ideas in the Lab and even tested Future Food in the restaurant. Highly recommended!

Thank you to all of our readers who read and shared our stories in 2019!

While systemic change is ultimately the job of politicians and policy-makers, the powerful spirit of change will always come from the grassroots, from the people demanding the future that they want. And while climate protesters, ecopreneurs and social innovators have been driving that momentum, RESET has been there to report on what’s happening and spread the word about everything that’s going right. And we’ve heard and written about so many different solutions this year, and felt such a spirit of change in the air, that we’re still full of hope that a better future is possible. Bring on 2020!

Our Digital Carbon Footprint: What’s the Environmental Impact of the Online World?

Every single search query, every streamed song or video and every email sent, billions of times over all around the world - it all adds up to an ever-increasing global demand for electricity, and to rising CO2 emissions too. Our increasing reliance on digital tools has an environmental impact that's becoming increasingly harder to ignore.

RESET Recommends 2019: 8 Hand-Picked Fundraising Projects With Real Impact

Christmas is a time for giving. And that's why each year RESET sets out to find powerful, innovative and effective fundraising projects - causes where your donations will be in good hands!

Sustainability and Digitalisation in the Spotlight: Receives Project Funding from the DBU!

The official confirmation arrived just a few weeks ago. We're excited to announce that over the next two years, the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) will provide RESET with both technical and financial support to develop an in-depth feature series that takes a critical look at future digital sustainability challenges. And kick-off is next week!

RESET at the German Environmental Media Awards

In November 2019 the German environmental organisation "Deutsche Umwelthilfe" awarded its annual Environmental Media Prize for the 24th time. RESET was among the finalists.

“How can we create business that is not based on greed?” – Interview with Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus, talks to RESET about social business, radical system change, and how the spirit of entrepreneurship that lies within all of us should be harnessed to tackle the planet’s most pressing challenges.

© Uta Mühleis/RESET
RESET’s Panel at re:publica 2019: On Behalf of the Forest – How Can Digitalisation Help Nature Have a Say?

Last week's re:publica conference saw Europe's biggest digital society get-together take a serious look at the crossover of sustainability and digital tech. RESET was there - hosting a discussion on our very own specialist subject.