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Why we are here...

New approaches are urgently needed to address the realities of climate change.  To envision and build a better future will require not only innovation, but also resilience in the face of escalating climatic conditions.  Nurturing this paradigm shift calls for concerted and coordinated efforts from large institutional leaders as well as small, nimble, risk-taking organizations - and individuals - that can spark new ideas and activate grass-root initiatives.  This is the role of Invoking the Pause.

How we work...

Invoking the Pause (ITP) is an environmental small grants program that cultivates innovative ideas to address climate change. We provide two "Pause" (aka 'gifts of time') funding opportunities:

  • The first 'Pause' provides up to $10,000 per project for two or more collaborators to hold a strategic retreat in a place of natural beauty to develop and/or expand upon initiatives that will eventually lead to community engagement and action.
  • The second 'Pause' is a one-day collective gathering of ITP Grant Partners that fosters collaboration, network building and cross-fertilization amongst Grant Partners to further their collective efforts.

ITP knows innovation often occurs in the margins - ideas percolate and permeate boundaries without regard to title, job description or industry - and that sometimes they need outside assistance - and time - to take root.  Our work strengthens the field's connective tissue so that efforts are more synergistic and resilient across disciplines.  We focus on early-stage initiatives that help 'prime the pump' so that larger funders, corporations and organizations have a capable and diverse pool of talent to choose from and tested ideas to work with.

What we believe...

ITP believes that the more scientists, artists, community activists, cultural creatives, educators, students, writers, journalists, photographers, filmmakers, social entrepreneurs and locavores focusing their attention on addressing the realities of climate change, the better.  Much like venture capital firms, we accept a level of uncertainty and embrace risk in the hopes of hitting a few 'home runs' by providing early-stage seed funding to a cross-section of individuals working to reduce our deleterious ecological impacts.  We invest our time and resources in efforts that build capacity, knowledge and networks for emerging leaders, practitioners and activists working to sustain our planet.

How we learn...

To gauge progress ITP has carefully chosen terminology that reflects our belief that learning, collaborating and connecting with others in meaningful work is the foundation upon which efforts succeed or fail.  Our work seeks to drive the 'how' of the process more than the 'what' that gets generated.  We care about and want to see results, but appreciate the complexity inherent in the process of changing mindsets and nurturing collaborations.

ITP  "Guiding Lights":

Founder and Executive Director: Maggie Kaplan

Advisory Committee:

Diana Cohn - Executive Director, Panta Rhea Foundation
Anisha Desai - Program Director, New Leaders Initiative at Earth Island Institute
Anne Fitzgerald - Retired Environmental Consultant
Lisa Micheli - Executive Director, Pepperwood Foundation
Nina Simons - Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Bioneers
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Through 2016, ITP has funded 51 projects - including cross-pollination among Grant Partners

o date, ITP  has funded 25 projects - including cross-pollination among various GPs.

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