Architects Advocate Action on Climate Change Develops Election-Year Tool to Empower Members on Environmental Issues

The Catalytic Action Platform outlines steps that architecture firms and “citizen architects” can take to advance the cause of finding solutions to climate change


Chicago, IL—Eighteen months after its formation, the nonpartisan grassroots network Architects Advocate Action on Climate Change (Architects Advocate) has grown to more than 900 firms and over 2,400 individual members. Now, the group is focusing on ways to activate firms and citizen architects.

“Maybe more than any other profession, architects are trained to build consensus around multiple—and often competing—interests and stakeholders. We need to deploy these skills towards a redesign of the systems that impact all of society. This is leadership in the truest sense. To achieve the ultimate goal of transforming to a carbon-free economy, we need to go to the polls and make choices based on issues, not parties,” said Architects Advocate co-founder Tom Jacobs.

To shape and accelerate the process, the network created a Catalytic Action Platform that is tailored to both individuals and firms to serve as a roadmap for activist efforts.

Citizen architects—individuals who commit to being guided by science and prudence, to being nonpartisan, and to taking action—are encouraged to take ownership of their role as employers of the government officials who represent them through participating in the Open Letter drive. Already signed by 1,500 architects nationwide, the document highlights the need for continued growth of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Citizen architects are encouraged to use the letter (available at when contacting incumbents and candidates to find out if they commit to bipartisan climate action.

At the firm level, members are encouraged to support existing initiatives like the 2030 Commitment by the AIA and the We Are Still In coalition, which represents the broadest cross-section of the U.S. economy ever assembled in pursuit of climate action. Architects Advocate also recommends firms include fossil-free fund options in their 401(k) plan offerings, allowing their employees to align their financial resources with their environmental values.

Jacobs said that Architects Advocate Action on Climate Change prioritizes results over the organizational structure. “As a leaderless network and platform of architects, we are highly nimble and able to mobilize quickly; something that can be challenging for more traditionally structured groups like the AIA, which represents 90,000 members. The opportunity before us is to innovate advocacy by meshing both approaches, to combine the advantages of our grassroots network with the initiatives and resources of the AIA.”

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