BITL's progress over the past three months has surpassed even our own expectations. We are so excited to collaborate with our partners in the new year, and to our supporters, we cannot thank you enough.
BITL'S Pilot Production: Welcome to Southeast Florida
Sea level rise poses a threat to Southeast Florida. The problem is current, urgent, and the effects interdependent. Among the concerns are the potential destruction of drinking water when freshwater and saltwater become one, the subversion of houses on the coast, affecting the real estate and insurance industries, and the dying coral reef. As such, we are tremendously excited to partner with Southeast Florida, not only because the effects are visual, current, and we believe our platform has the potential to drive real change, but because the stakeholder group in Southeast Florida is so strong.
"Five years ago, local leaders down here, Republicans and Democrats, formed the bipartisan Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact - an agreement to work together to fight climate change. And it's become a model not just for the country, but for the world."
- President Barack Obama
The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact was created by Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties in January 2010 to foster collaboration on sea level rise mitigation and adaptation strategies. The Compact has partnered with the Institute for Sustainable Communities, the South Florida Water Management District, the Nature Conservancy (FL chapter), and the Florida Climate Institute. We are so excited to work with this strong stakeholder group.
A Packed, But Fulfilling Itinerary:
We spent two days in Southeast Florida, meeting with a plethora of inspiring groups. We met with, and established partnerships with, the following:
- Mayor Jim Cason and the City of Coral Gables Sustainability team
- City of Miami
- City of Miami Beach
- Miami-Dade County
- Broward County
- Southest FL Regional Climate Change Compact
- University of Miami (U-Miami)
- Florida International University (FIU)
- Nature Conservancy South Florida Chapter
- Miami Children's Museum
- Citizens' Climate Lobby
- Young Republicans
We talked about what success would look like (action, particularly at the state and national level), fundraising ideas, the data that is available, the manner in which to communicate to the public, and many, many narrative ideas for the virtual reality content itself.
We found in Southeast Florida a true excitement and need for BITL. This, in turn, drives us to work even harder. We have created a strong partnership to help launch our pilot story with many inspiring Southeast Florida leaders. We are so excited to learn from these leaders.
Next steps on the agenda include: fundraising, data experimentation in the MIT media lab (January), and creation of a multi-university student team across U-Miami and FIU to help us from FL launch our pilot (spring semester). The future is bright.