Teacher instructing children outside in a garden

This Is Planet Ed, an initiative of the Aspen Institute, aims to unlock the power of education as a force for climate action and solutions. We believe young people will drive the necessary and sustained action we need to address climate change , and we must partner with them to advance a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable society. Our systems that support young people–early childhood, children’s media, K-12 education, and higher education–can engage, prepare, and empower young people to succeed in a changing climate. This Is Planet Ed seeks to mobilize collaborative action across these systems to secure a livable and hopeful future for the next generation.

From school closures due to heat, to worsening asthma because of wildfire smoke, to uncertainty about their future, to coping with the loss of loved ones, our changing climate is not a distant concept but a present reality for young people across the country. Many young people are worried.

But the 73 million youth under 18 and nearly 19 million students enrolled in higher education institutions—together, about 25% of the total US population—can drive tremendous change. The education sector has a responsibility to enable young people to thrive in a changing climate and empower them for success.

Mobilizing educational leaders in the fight against climate change can help us reduce carbon pollution now and build lasting change for a sustainable, resilient, and equitable future.

"There is much work to be done to restore our planet and create a more prosperous, healthy and sustainable future. Centering children and youth…can bring people together and help communities reap long-lasting benefits for our health, our economy and our society. And our children deserve it."

—This Is Planet Ed Co-chairs Sec. John B. King Jr. & Gov. Christine Todd Whitman

"I have never let go of my faith in other young people, in education, and in my peers, and our ability to make a massive amount of difference when we work together."

—Vic Barrett

Our Strategy:

This Is Planet Ed provides a backbone, framework, and narrative for broader collective action across education. We:

  • Foster advocates and champions for climate action across early childhood, children’s media, K-12 schools, and higher education.

  • Focus the sector around key goals and roadmaps for action.

  • Catalyze action, track progress, share best practices and build the narrative for action through media and communications.

Our Initiatives:

K12 Climate Action

Early Years Climate Action

Higher Ed Climate Action

Planet Media

This Is Planet Ed Co-Chairs

Commissioner johnking

Sec. John B. King Jr., co-chair

Chancellor, State University of New York (SUNY)

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Commissioner christinetoddwhitman

Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, co-chair

President, Whitman Strategy Group

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This Is Planet Ed Staff

Team lauraschifter

Laura Schifter

Senior Fellow

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Team nikkidevignes

Nikki DeVignes

Assistant Director

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Michelle Faggert

Program Associate

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Sophia Powless

Program Coordinator

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Sarah Robbins

Senior Program Manager

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Anya Kamenetz

Senior Advisor

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Rory O'Sullivan


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