For nearly a decade, DearTomorrow has inspired people to reflect on their climate legacy through the act of crafting personal letters to the future. Our participatory exhibits, intergenerational programs, and resources enable people and communities to envision a thriving future, foster resilience in the face of climate-related challenges, and activate sustained climate action. More than 5000 stories have been shared through our digital collection – an archive documenting this pivotal era of climate transformation. DearTomorrow engages tens of thousands of individuals annually, and is one of the first and largest climate storytelling projects in the world.

How it Works

Participants submit letters, videos, and photo promises dedicated to their children, family, or future self about climate change. These messages describe how people think and feel about climate change, why it is important, and what actions they will take to ensure a safe and secure future for their loved ones. These messages are shared on our website and through social media, trainings, community events, public readings, public art, and installations.

DearTomorrow opens up conversations across generations about why climate change is important in order to create the cultural shift necessary to transition to a zero carbon world. All messages become part of our long-term archive that will document the cultural shift arising person-by-person at this crucial moment in time.

Why DearTomorrow

Communication about climate change has had limited success in motivating and sustaining widespread interest and long-term action. DearTomorrow makes climate change more personally relevant by connecting to the identities and values that people share across political and social boundaries: parental love, family, and legacy. The project is designed with best practices in climate change communications, including narrative storytelling, visual imagery, and trusted messengers. We have created a distributed partnership model and free educational resources in order to inspire, replicate, and scale climate storytelling projects in countries all over the world.

Our Founding Story

Co-founders Jill Kubit and Trisha Shrum founded this project in 2015 to harness the powerful perspective that parents have on caring for the next generation. Jill Kubit brings expertise working on climate change communications, leadership development, coalition building, and organizational development. Trisha Shrum, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist and environmental economist specializing in climate change communications and behavior, has been studying climate change policy and economics for over a decade.

Theory of Change

DearTomorrow’s theory of change starts from the simple but powerful belief that storytelling is at the root of all change. The stories we tell ourselves and one another form the social, political and physical world in which we all operate; thus, when we tell powerful stories about the world we wish to live in, we take the first, critical step toward making that world reality. And the most powerful stories we have to tell – the ones that build connection and community, give us hope for a better future, and inspire personal and collective action – are our own stories. That is why personal stories are at the core of everything we do as an organization.

More than 5000 individuals from around the world have shared their story with DearTomorrow. Our collection of climate stories has motivated thousands of individuals to become climate advocates in their communities. In a survey of participants, 75% of respondents said they made changes in their life to reduce their climate impact after writing a DearTomorrow letter, and 80% said they shared their letter with friends and family. A 2018 randomized control trial by Drs. Shrum and Markowitz found that writing a DearTomorrow letter to one’s own child, grandchild, niece or nephew, or a child born today increased participants’ donations to a climate mitigation non-profit by 50% (p = 0.001). They also found that writing a letter increased intentions to carry out a variety of environmentally friendly behaviors.

Through our future imagining framework, DearTomorrow was one of the first organizations in the world to operationalize what Potential Energy’s 2023 global report defines as “generational urgency”. According to this new study of nearly 60,000 people across 23 countries, the approach of using love and protecting future generations was the most effective approach for motivating action across geographies, age groups, education levels, income, political affiliation, and family status. Our collection of letters from more than 50 countries is a powerful testimony of this same principle.

DearTomorrow has been featured at forums such as the 2023 TED Countdown Summit, PBS, the U.N., the Nest Summit, and more; in numerous books including Optimists Telescope and The Good Ancestor; and media (e.g. Parents Magazine, Public Radio International). DearTomorrow has inspired new organizations and public engagement campaigns. Our team regularly advises leaders, cultural organizations, and foundations on creative climate communications.

Around the world, DearTomorrow is viewed as “critical infrastructure” – a catalyst to deeply connect diverse individuals to the climate crisis, while building long-term personal capacity and communal resilience.

DearTomorrow is a fiscally sponsored program of United Charitable, a registered 501(c)(3) public charity.