The Fourth Wave: A quick history


Video: See how the Fourth Wave empowers people to take environmental action.

Environmental progress has been propelled by successive waves of innovation, each unleashing powerful new tools.

Today we're seeing the emergence of a Fourth Wave of environmental innovation. It's giving people the power to take action like never before.

Building on past momentum

How we got here:

  • The first wave, in the Teddy Roosevelt era, was about setting aside large areas of land for conservation.
  • The second wave used the legal system to hold corporations and government accountable for pollution and wildlife preservation.
  • The third wave harnessed the power of business and markets, through partnerships, to reduce emissions and make products safer.

These approaches led to great and lasting gains, but 21st century problems require 21st century solutions — and that’s what the Fourth Wave is all about.

The Fourth Wave empowers everyone

Think of the Fourth Wave as the first three waves — supercharged.

It's not about technology or innovation alone, but how innovation allows people to take action in new ways, unleashing human ingenuity to ensure that humankind — and the environment we depend on — can thrive.

The Fourth Wave is also about business, technology, financial and policy leaders, nonprofits, advocates, and communities working together to amplify environmental solutions for maximum impact.

This approach gives people the power to solve our most urgent environmental challenges, by surfacing the most important problems, bringing the right people to the table and taking solutions to scale.

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