It is more important now than ever to understand the impact we have on our Planet. We must acknowledge both our direct and indirect influence on Earth’s nine planetary boundaries, a concept first proposed by Johan Rockström in 2009.
By understanding our personal impact, we are better equipped with the knowledge and urgency needed to ensure that humanity survives our time on this Planet.
What are planetary boundaries?
The nine planetary boundaries were developed as a way of identifying the limits of human-caused global environmental change before it causes irreversible damage.
These boundaries include climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone depletion, land-system change, freshwater use, nitrogen and phosphorus inputs to the biosphere and oceans, chemical pollution, aerosol loading in the atmosphere and biodiversity loss.
To exceed these limits would put humanity at risk of crossing a threshold beyond which we can no longer return safely to its current state—a phenomenon known as “tipping points” or “runaway reactions.”
How can we avoid catastrophe?
To avoid catastrophe, we must acknowledge the impact each one of us has on these planetary boundaries.
Through understanding what happens when we overstep these boundaries—and how our individual actions contribute to this—we can choose when action vs inaction is necessary for preserving our space in the natural world.
This allows us to proactively do whatever is in our power to avoid our own extinction from Earth.
We must also be aware of how our consumption habits affect these boundaries – from what products we buy and consume daily (e.g., food, fashion, FMCG, etc) to what type of energy sources are used for electricity (e.g., renewable energy).
All these decisions have an impact on Earth’s nine planetary boundaries, so it is important that they are made with care and consideration for their potential consequences.
The I AM IMPACT Project genesis
I started The I AM IMPACT Project in 2019 as a way of exploring our interdependent relationship with the natural world, specifically our relationship with the 9 planetary boundaries.
As someone who appreciates a relative idea of knowing (what the future holds), the uncertainty of not knowing what is in store for us if we go beyond these tipping points terrifies me.
So, I had a choice. Apathy or action.
I chose the latter because it gave me a sense of agency over my (and your) future. This omnipresent fear inspired me to use the skills I have learned both as an artist and as a sustainability professional to start engaging in vital conversations with people from all levels of society about personal impact.
It has become my way of finding hope in an often – seemingly – hopeless world.
“Hope doesn’t come from words. Hope only comes from actions.”
― Greta Thunberg
It is true that for seismic progress to be made in averting the worst of a 1.5C + warmer world, business leaders and global policymakers need to lead the charge. Yet, we cannot separate this from the reality, that first, these industry and global leaders, just like you and I, are individuals.
Individuals rely on one another to not simply survive, but to thrive. So, it is at this very personal, very vulnerable level I chose to start the conversation, and hopefully, inspire meaningful action.
What is our project?
The I AM IMPACT Project is a collaborative creative project bringing together artists, storytellers, and change-makers with a single-minded purpose of engaging global citizens in a way that inspires them to move into transformational action.
The project seeks to explore the relationship between the human body and the Planet, as well as the vulnerability both experience when they are stripped of their protective components.
I AM IMPACT asks the viewer to take ownership of their daily decisions that affect environmental pressures, planetary boundaries, and their social consequences, allowing them the choice of either making a positive impact or remaining part of the status quo – through action or inaction – whichever is the most appropriate.
Acknowledging the impacts that humans have had – both direct and indirect –on Earth’s nine planetary boundaries is essential if we want humanity to survive its time on this Planet. By understanding what happens when we exceed these limits – and how individual actions contribute – we can make informed decisions about when action vs inaction is necessary for preserving our environment.
In doing so, we can proactively do whatever is within our power to avoid extinction from Earth!
Business owners should pay particular attention here since their companies’ environmental footprints depend heavily upon their decisions related to production methods, energy sources used for electricity generation, customer incentives programs etc., all of which could have far-reaching implications if not addressed carefully!
As always with any decision related to sustainability matters: think twice before acting once!
If you would like to support the I AM IMPACT Project, you can buy prints from the print store, or commission a new artwork so your organisation can engage in inspiring conversations with your stakeholders.
100% of the profits are donated to grassroots organisations and projects working towards real-world solutions that offer a sense of hope for future generations.
Khandiz Joni, MIEMA CEnv
Khandiz Joni is an independent sustainability practitioner and multidisciplinary artist but calls herself a Creative Sustainableist.
She holds a certificate from Cambridge University’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership, a Diploma SBP qualification from IEMA and is a certified Charted
Today, she works with businesses to integrate ethical and responsible business practices into their day-to-day operations in the pursuit of eudaemonia.
Khandiz is passionate about storytelling, creative thinking, and systems change, which has culminated in her entrepreneurial spirit and advocacy for an improved understanding and practice of sustainability.