The theme this month is Biochar which has a near mythical past. Over 2000 years ago ancient civilisations who called the Amazon rainforest and basin their home used biochar as an ingenious technique to improve soil quality. Even today archaeologists are digging up sites known as ‘terra pleta’ or black earth, indicating the extent of this practice. Estimates suggest that up to 10% of the Amazon basin has this ‘terra pleta’ soil. 

The amazon rainforest, biochar a technology that has been used for millenia

A Friday Workshop

So Friday the 12th of February swung around and saw the CVC embark on another exciting ideation workshop. The Friday date was an accidental placing of the workshop within the eventbrite calendar. It hadn’t affected the sign up rate, but did appear to have an effect on the actual participation rate! (oops)

5 brave souls, none of whom had known anything about biochar before the evening, decided to figure out how we could use the ancient technology of biochar to solve the climate crisis. 

So why pick Biochar as a Climate Change innovation?

Biochar is a form of charcoal produced under very low oxygen levels and which offers a very stable method of storage for carbon. When mixed with other natural ingredients it can create a powerful natural fertiliser to help improve both plants and soils, drawing down even more carbon. It also has many other potential uses such as within construction and cosmetics. To discover Biochar for yourself check out our research on it here

Biochar in action. Helping sequester carbon

The smaller than usual workshop did nothing to dampen the Climate Change innovation idea generation! Once we reached the main ideation section of the workshop we generated just as many ideas as the previous workshop with double the number of people. 

The Value of ‘How Might We?’

How might we? (HMW) – is an exercise which challenges us to come up with the right question. If we ask bold  and inspiring questions, this can prompt us to think outside of the box and find unique solutions. Because there is a range of people asking these questions we can generate lots of divergent ideas. Without outside the box thinking it will be pretty difficult to solve the biggest challenge of our time…

These were a small handful of the best HMWs. How might we:

  • use biochar to reforest the world?
  • use biochar to make landfill sites pointless?
  • send biochar to London Fashion Week?
  • use biochar in vertical farming?
A snapshot of the Climate venture collective workshop on Miro

Constantly Improving

At each workshop we offer the opportunity for people to leave feedback on how we can improve. Last time we had some comments about being able to have a bit more interaction. So this ideation session we had 10 minutes where we broke out into pairs to discuss ideas, before the final pitches were put down on the board. 

This really seemed useful for helping people connect with some of their favourite ideas and offered a break from the intensity of the exercise. 

Is your brain running with ideas? Want to tackle the climate crisis? Frustrated by a lack of progress? Turn your ideas into action. We’d love to have you at one of our workshops, and the door is always open for you to join our community. The more the merrier.

Sign up for our next workshop here.


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