Aligning human systems and natural systems
The underlying goal of all our work is to promote solutions that address the broad challenges of climate change, poverty eradication, environmental protection and sustainable consumption and production. We work with world renowned artists and scientists to bring our message to a wide public through exhibitions, books, films, talks and events.
At the heart of our activities are our outdoor exhibitions. In Hard Rain, launched in 2006, each line of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” is illustrated with images that present global challenges in a moving and unforgettable way. More than 15 million people on every continent have viewed the display in principal cities, at universities around the world, and at the United Nations headquarters. One of the most successful photographic exhibitions ever created, it has attracted huge public and critical acclaim, along with the support and endorsement of political and environmental leaders across the world.
A new display, Whole Earth?, offers solutions in the areas of climate, energy, fresh water, oceans and agriculture, but also in areas such as human rights and economic rule-making. It proposes some new ways of thinking. And it gets personal: it wants to know what visitors are going to do now – now that they understand the problems and know that solutions are available. Whole Earth? is continually updated and is shown with Hard Rain, a vivid reminder of the price of inaction.
It’s a difficult project: if you give people too much “hard rain” you produce listless despair; if you give them too much talk of solutions, you create listless optimism. So while talking about the problems, we remind people that solutions abound – solutions that must be scaled up if we are to avoid the tipping points that could irreversibly damage civilisation. And while talking about solutions, we remind people that if we do not act quickly we risk losing the opportunity to secure humanity’s future.
The exhibition supports a series of talks by cutting edge thinkers from science, environment, development and business.
As well as these educational activities, we also work to encourage governments of all political persuasions to develop policies that underpin sustainable development. The Hard Rain and Whole Earth? books and films have been widely distributed to decision makers in politics and business around the world and have led to a series of meetings hosted by MPs in Europe and Asia and at the UN in New York. However, our main contribution to policy change is our focus on generating widespread public support for the difficult, long-term decisions governments need to take now to protect our world for future generations.
Hard Rain Project is a not-for profit company established to campaign for realistic solutions to global problems.
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Aligning human systems and natural systems
Mark Edwards is one of the few environmental communicators to have personally witnessed the global issues that are defining the 21st century. Assignments for magazines, NGOs and United Nations agencies have taken him to over 150 countries. One of the most widely published photographers in the world, his pictures are in many international museums and private collections. In 1985 he founded Still Pictures, the world’s leading photo agency specializing in the environment, social issues and nature.
Previous environmental exhibitions include Focus on Your World, a display of 400 large prints at Heathrow Airport. It was seen by over 5 million travellers. Mark has written several bestselling books on photography and co-authored Changing Consciousness with experimental physicist Professor David Bohm.
Bob Dylan is now in his sixth decade as the most influential singer-songwriter on the planet. “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” was written at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, when the world was on the verge of nuclear wipe-out. Now we understand that our environmental problems are just as desperate and just as threatening as nuclear blasts.
Lloyd Timberlake has reported on environment and development issues from more than 60 countries, and his articles have appeared in most of the world’s major newspapers. He has written prize-winning books under his own name (Africa in Crisis, Only One Earth, When the Bough Breaks) and books for organizations such as the Brundtland Commission, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the UN Environment Programme. He recently advised President Obama’s National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
He has been a visiting academic fellow at Imperial College, London, and at New York University Law School. After graduating from Yale, he taught literature and chicken farming to members of Southern African revolutionary parties and served as honorary commandant of the Tanzanian Mounted Police Force. He now lives in Washington DC and kayaks in the Chesapeake Bay.