Fahrenheit 212 works with leading global companies and private equity firms to design innovation and growth strategies that power sustainable, profitable growth. Each year, through Fahrenheit X the firm applies Fahrenheit 212’s methodology to addressing social innovation challenges for a non-profit organization. Previous partners have included Robin Hood, the Guggenheim, Teach for America, NYC Open Data, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As the leaves turned auburn in Manhattan, our team embarked on an 8-week journey with the 2019 Fahrenheit-X partner, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC). Our goal was to design a strategy and develop concrete opportunities that deepen the IFRC’s climate crisis engagement with current and future volunteers around the world.  

The IFRC is the world's largest humanitarian network, reaching 160 million people with humanitarian and development support each year via 192 National Societies. In 2019, the IFRC proclaimed climate change a humanitarian crisis and made climate change one of the core pillars of its Strategy 2030. The consequences of climate change are already impacting the global population at an increasingly faster pace. By 2050, 200 million people each year could need international humanitarian aid as a result of climate-related disasters and the socioeconomic impact of climate change. 

To this end, the IFRC is aiming to amplify the focus of its volunteer movement on climate change. This requires engaging volunteers on their terms, in their interest areas, and in measurable ways.  The Fahrenheit 212 - IFRC collaboration focused on designing climate action volunteer engagement opportunities at the intersection of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (RCRC), the climate movement, and volunteerism. To determine the RCRC’s unique position and identify opportunities to engage existing and future volunteers, we conducted extensive research. From interviews with diverse stakeholders within and outside the IFRC and meetings with global climate volunteers, to participating in climate events such as NYC Climate week, thorough review of  other climate organizations, and an exploration of IFRC current programming, no stone was left unturned. 

The team developed ‘solutions’ that emphasized local relevance and adaptability, ease-of-scalability, and opportunity for high and low-tech applications. The final portfolio of Climate Action Volunteer Engagement Opportunities included ideas such as the Daily Challenge, which allows volunteers to track their climate contributions and earn recognition amongst peers, and Mapping Resilience, a mapping tool that leverages existing technology to enable community members to identify and map community needs like climate preparedness, resilience tactics, and disaster relief. The Climate Action Engagement Opportunities Portfolio provides building blocks and principles for broader climate change programming and can be implemented independently or as a group. We hope that this portfolio of new engagement models will help catalyze increased volunteerism around climate change in support of the IFRC’s Strategy 2030. 

The F212 team emerged from this project with reverence for what is most likely our generations’, and our future generations’ greatest challenge. We are inspired by the passionate individuals who volunteer their time and expertise in many parts of the world. Taking on a challenge of this magnitude requires a radical rethinking of business-as-usual. We are proud to have helped IFRC’s  design its unique approach to creating a volunteer movement for climate change response, and are honored to have partnered with this globally respected organization that strives to improve lives by mobilizing the power of humanity.