Elizabeth Sawin, PhD


Elizabeth Sawin, Kelsi Eccles, Susanne Moser, and Tina Smith. (2023 November). Multisolving: Making Systems Whole, Healthy, and Sustainable. Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2023 July). Disaster Recovery Efforts Can Serve More than One Goal. Resilience.org.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2022 March). Six ways states could help cities and towns implement climate solutions. American City and County.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2022 March). We must adapt to climate change. Can we do it in ways that solve other problems too? Environmental Health News.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2021 August). Climate Paralysis? Try Multisolving Nation of Change.


Cassandra Breeze Ceballos and Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 December). COVID-19 recovery spending could catalyze transformative change, but time is running out. The Hill

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 November). Multisolving our way to COVID-19 Economic Recovery. The Revelator.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 July). How can a coronavirus response reduce inequity and protect the climate? Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 April). Why We Can’t Ignore the Link Between COVID-19, Climate Change and Inequity. U.S. News & World Report.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 April). Covid-19 Sucks. But It Could Teach Us How to Avoid the Worst Consequences of Climate Change.  Resilience.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 March). Steps to re-invigorate the economy must free us from polluting fossil fuels. Daily Climate. 


Elizabeth Sawin, Nathaniel Smith, and Tina Smith. (2019 August). Equity, Health, Resilience, and Jobs: Lessons from the Just Growth Circle. Non-Profit Quarterly.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2019 July). Softening as a Climate Adaptation Strategy. Resilience.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2019 March). Individual Carbon Footprints or Collective Systems Change? Both! Resilience.org.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2019 February). Everyone Wants “Win-win” Solutions. Apolitical. 


Elizabeth Sawin and Nathaniel Smith. (2018 December). New Thinking for a New Year. U.S. News & World Report. 

Elizabeth Sawin (2018 July). The Magic of Multisolving. Stanford Social Innovation Review. 


Elizabeth Sawin (2015 December). We Failed in Flint. Here’s How to Avoid Making the Same Mistakes in Climate Policy. Common Dreams.

Elizabeth Sawin (2015 December). 60% of Emissions Reductions Pledged in Paris Were Inspired by Pursuit of Benefits In Health, Well-Being Or Social Justice. Common Dreams.


John Sterman, Thomas Fiddaman, Travis Franck, Andrew Jones, Stephanie McCauley, Philip Rice, Elizabeth Sawin. (2012).  Climate Interactive: The C-ROADS Climate Policy Model. System Dynamics Review 28(3): 295-305.

2007 – 2011

UN Environment Program. (2011 November). Bridging the Emissions Gap. Contributing Author

UN Environment Program. (2010 November). The Emissions Gap Report. Co-Lead Author Chapters 2 and 5

Elizabeth Sawin and Andrew Jones. Climate Interactive: “Sims” for Improving our thinking About Addressing climate change. Reflections: The SoL Journal.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2008 July). Can Love Change The Wording of Laws? Common Dreams.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2008 June). $4.00 per Gallon Gasoline and Climate Change Both Call for the Same Solution: Collective Investment in Clean Energy. Common Dreams.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2007 August). Overdosing The Earth. Common Dreams.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2007 July). Climate Change: The Heart of The Problem. Common Dreams.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2007 May). The First Step to Action on Climate Change is Facing Its Reality. Common Dreams.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2007 April). Climate Change: A Window of Opportunity. Common Dreams.

Visit our archive of Dr. Sawin’s series, Letters from the Director, monthly short reflections on multisolving and multisolvers. 


Elizabeth Sawin. (2024 March). Multisolving: Actions that protect the climate while improving health, equity, and biodiversity at the same time. Elders Climate Action.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2024 January). CHE Café: Multisolving for climate, chemicals, and health. Collaborative for Health & Environment.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2023 November). Energy: Constraints and Consequences. Sustainable and Resilient Resources Roundtable.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2023 November). Navigating the Polycrisis: From Understanding to Action. Post Carbon Institute.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2023 August). Resilience in a Summer of Weather Extremes. Sustainable Herbs Program of the American Botanical Council.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2023 August). Multisolving for Resilience. Loka Initiative, University Wisconsin – Madison.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2023 May). Multisolving: Protecting the Climate While Improving Health, Equity, Biodiversity, and Well-Being. Lehigh University.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2023 April). Multisolving: Taking Action on Climate, Health, Equity, and Biodiversity as Interconnected Issues. Crowdsourcing Sustainability.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2022 April). Multisolving: Climate Solutions that Improve Health and Equity. NH Healthcare Workers for Climate Action.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2022 April). Multisolving: Improving Health, Equity, and Biodiversity While Protecting the Climate. Loyola Marymount University.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2021 September). Systems Change, Multisolving, and the Power to Change Direction. Crowdsourcing Sustainability.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2021 February). Multisolving Our Way Forward: COVID-19, Health, Justice, and Climate Protection. Spring Creek Project.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 November). The Crossroads Series, Episode 5: People. The NOVA podcast.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 October). Climate Change and Mental Health. Next Gen Policy Network.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 August). COVID-19 and Climate Change: Imagining a New Normal. Global Philanthropy Forum.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2018 September). The Power of Multisolving for People and Planet. TEDxSun Valley

Other Speaking

Elizabeth Sawin. (2021 September). Imagining the Future of Public Health. Public Health National Center for Innovations. 

Elizabeth Sawin. (2021 July). Multisolving: Jobs, Health, Equity, Biodiversity AND Climate Protection. On Deck Climate Fellowship Session. 

Elizabeth Sawin. (2021 June). Multisolving. Biodiversity Funders Group.

2022 – 2023

Kendra Pierre-Louis. (2023 August). Climate Change is Raising the Threat Level on Rain. Bloomberg.

Matt Simon. (2022 September). It’s Time to Make Cities More Rural. Wired.


Matt Simon. (2021 October). Deadly Heat is Baking Cities. Here’s How to Cool Them Down. Wired.

Whitney Bauck. (2021 August). Interconnected Problems Call for Interconnected Solutions. Atmos.

Naina Bajekal and Elijah Wolfson. (2021 April). These Women Are Transforming What Climate Leadership Looks Like. Here’s What They Learned From the Pandemic. Time.

Ashoka Fellows. (2021 April). Thinking Differently- Ideas for Action on Planet and Climate. Ashoka.

Pip Wheaton. (2021 February). How Our COVID Response Can Address Climate Change And So Much More. Forbes.

Matt Simon. (2021 February). So, Jeff Bezos, You Really Want to Fix the Planet? Wired.

Matt Simon. (2021 January). Climate Change Is Turning Cities Into Ovens. Wired.


Beth Gardiner. (2020 December). 2020 Was Supposed To Be Our Best Last Chance To Save The Planet. So How Did We Do? Huffington Post.

Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Kristina Karlsoon, Kitty Richards, Bracken Hendricks, and David Arkush. (2020 October). A Green Recovery: The Case for Climate-Forward Stimulus Policies in America’s COVID-19 Recession Response. Roosevelt Institute.

Matt Simon. (2020 October). Could Biden Rebuild the Economy by Funding Green Energy? Wired.

Matt Simon. (2020 September). Climate Grief is Burning Across the American West. Wired.

Kate Knuth. (2020 July). From Climate Change and COVID-10 to Racial Injustice, We are In a Period of Rapid Transformation. How Do We Make Sense of What’s Happening? Ensia.

Matt Simon. (2020 July). How a ‘Heat Dome’ Forms – And Why This One Is So Perilous. Wired.

Tara Lohan. (2020 July). Want to Design a Livable Future? Try ‘Multisolving’. The Revelator.

Sarah Kaplan. (2020 April). 50 Years Later, Earth Day’s Unsolved Problem: How to Build a More Sustainable World. Washington Post.

Beth Gardiner. (2020 April). Coronavirus Holds A Magnifying Glass To America’s Inequalities And The View Is Brutal. Huffington Post.

Ros Davidson. (2020 April). Stimulus Funds can Transition Economies Away from Climate Wrecking Activity. Foresight Climate & Energy.

Kate Ravilious. (2020 April). Life in a Carbon-neutral World. Physics World.

Beth Gardiner. (2020 April). The Lessons We Choose. Granta.

Beth Gardiner. (2020 March). Coronavirus Holds Key Lessons on How to Fight Climate Change. Yale Environment 360.


Terri Hansen. (2019 September). Four Climate Scientists on How to Take on Climate Change Today. Yes!


Elizabeth Sawin. (2023 August). Kate Raworth on Donella Meadows. Great Lives segment on BBC Radio 4.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2022 May). A Web of Relationships. Reseed podcast.

Myke Bartlet. (2022 May). Elizabeth Sawin: scientist, systems thinker, multisolver. Dumbo Feather (originally appeared in the systems change magazine issue, released here as a podcast). 

Elizabeth Sawin. (2022 March). Multisolving Leader – Elizabeth Sawin. Spread Love in Organizations Podcast.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2021 August). Does This UN Report on Climate Change Force Us to Act on Climate Change? NewsTalk Radio.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 September). What the Climate Crisis Can Teach Us About Fixing the Parenting Crisis. Labor Podcast.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 August). What the Pandemic has Revealed about Climate Change Views, Activism. Minnesota Public Radio.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 August). #84: Elizabeth Sawin, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Climate Interactive. From ‘Bigger Than Us’ podcast by Nexus PMG.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 April). COVID-19 and Climate Change. From ‘Skimm This’ podcast by theSkimm.

Elizabeth Sawin. (2020 April). Truth and Multisolving with Dr. Elizabeth Sawin. From ‘With Love and Rage’ podcast by Extinction Rebellion NYC.


Elizabeth Sawin. (2019 August). Interview with Beth Sawin. Council on the Uncertain Human Future.

Vermont Climate Scientist Sees Irene as Turning Point, Elizabeth Sawin, September 1, 2011. Burlington Free Press.

A Mother, a Daughter, a Graph, Elizabeth Sawin, December 19, 2007.

Overdosing the Earth, Elizabeth Sawin, August 29, 2007.

Acting at the Roots, Elizabeth Sawin, July 10, 2007.

What Can One Person Do?, Elizabeth Sawin, June 13, 2007.

Practical Visionaries, Elizabeth Sawin, May 25, 2007.

Climate change: A Window of opportunity, Elizabeth Sawin, April 3, 2007.

Top Three Steps Towards Sustainability, Elizabeth Sawin, November 7, 2005.

A Sane System Wouldn’t Have Mad Cows, Elizabeth Sawin, January 20, 2004.

Climate Change Hits The Oil Industry, Elizabeth Sawin, September 4, 2003.

Seeing Possibilities, Elizabeth Sawin, July 6, 2003.

Speeding Through a School Zone, Elizabeth Sawin, June 4, 2003

Searching for Our Untapped Sources of Power, Elizabeth Sawin, March 19, 2003.

Our Burdened Bodies, Elizabeth Sawin, March 3, 2003.

Petitioning a Government That Does Not Yet Exist, Elizabeth Sawin, February 3, 2003.

Questions to Shape the Future, Elizabeth Sawin, January 15, 2003.

We Are Vulnerable but not Powerless, Elizabeth Sawin, December 2, 2002.

Ending The Race To The Bottom, Elizabeth Sawin, November 1, 2002.

Dead Zone Economics, Elizabeth Sawin, October 1, 2002.

New shoes, Elizabeth Sawin, September 2, 2002.

Moving In, Elizabeth Sawin, August 1, 2002.

Up is not Down, Black is not White, Elizabeth Sawin, July 1, 2002.

Healthy Systems Need Good Feedback, Elizabeth Sawin, June 2, 2002.

It Will Be A Great Adventure, Elizabeth Sawin, May 1, 2002.

Economics for Four-Year-Olds, Elizabeth Sawin, Mar. 31, 2002.

The Perversity of Farm Bills, Hal Hamilton and Elizabeth Sawin, Feb. 1, 2002.

Why Does Farm Income Keep Disappearing?, Hal Hamilton and Beth Sawin, Jan. 1, 2002.

I’m Dreaming of a Solar Powered Christmas, Elizabeth Sawin, Nov. 31, 2001.

Homeplanet Security, Elizabeth Sawin, Oct. 31, 2001.

Declare War on Escalation, Andrew Jones & Elizabeth Sawin, Sept. 15, 2001.

That opened a new front of research at Climate Interactive: what else would improve around the world if countries truly transitioned away from fossil fuels? From improvements in air quality to energy security we documented many co-benefits of climate action, and incorporated some of them into Climate Interactive’s well known computer simulation, En-ROADS.

But, the multiple benefits of actions to protect the climate remain mostly theoretical without ways of overcoming the obstacles to multisolving. That’s why, from the beginning of our work we have collaborated with others to understand the bright spots of multisolving around the world and to pilot multisolving approaches. First in Milwaukee in partnership with the Milwuakee Metropolitan Sewerage District and then in Atlanta, with Partnership for Southern Equity, we began to see what was possible by bringing the different parts of a system together in pursuit of actions and investments that lifted up many goals at once.

From this action research, along with a series of case studies of multisolving projects, we began to see attitudes and approaches that are in common across a wide diversity of multisolving projects, a topic we wrote about in Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Then came 2020. Pandemic. Escalating climate change impacts. Dire warnings about biodiversity loss. And more and more folks connecting the dots between each of these issues and structural inequity. Invitations to write, speak, and teach about multisolving came fast and furious and with it the possibility that what we’ve learned from multisolving bright spots could help support leaders around the world to respond to crises with multisolving. That spark led to the launch of the Multisolving Institute and our mission of supporting leaders as they pursue multisolving approaches