The 51 Percent Project is based at the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Boston University, where Peter Fox-Penner is the Faculty Director and Jacqueline Ashmore is the Executive Director. “The Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy is a university-wide center dedicated to facilitating the transition to a sustainable, climate-safe global energy system. Through interdisciplinary research, policy analysis, and collaborative engagement, our mission is to ensure that the energy systems of the world provide abundant, sustainable, and universally accessible energy services to both emerging and advanced economies.”

Institute of Sustainable Energy


Recent ISE output includes the Carbon Free Boston summary report, which maps the City’s plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050: “Released in January 2019, this is the first of three companion reports that extensively uses real-world data to evaluate Boston’s options to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The report’s comprehensive analysis, led by the Institute for Sustainable Energy in collaboration with the Boston Green Ribbon Commission, evaluates key strategies across the transportation, building, waste, and energy sectors to inform the City’s Climate Action Plan update.”

The 51 Percent Project is working with three elite student teams and a major media producer this semester, beginning January, 2019:

Hothouse Productions, BU College of Communication.

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Advised by Prof. Garland Waller, Director of the TV Graduate Program at BU; and Meg LaVigne, President of Television, Litton Entertainment, a division of Hearst Television. Click for info on this exciting partnership.

PRLab, BU College of Communication.

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“PRLab is the longest-running student-led PR agency in the country. In its 41st year of innovation, PRLab is working to galvanize necessary conversations about climate change and to accelerate solutions by activating the empowered voices of Gen Z and their networks.” Faculty: Amy Shanler and Justin Joseph, Co-Directors, PRLab at BU and Associate Professors of the Practice, Public Relations.

PRLAB’S Sustain4Sapiens: Enacting Change Through Instagram,” BU Communicator, April 29, 2019

MFA Design for Social Innovation


MFA Design for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts, New York. Design for Social Innovation is a one-of-a-kind Graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, mobilizing designers as creators of new social conditions that increase equity, social justice and resilience for the benefit of global communities. led by Founding Chair Cheryl Heller.

“This is a moment in time,” she writes. “If creatures from another planet ever talk one day about the fate of humans on Earth, the conversation won’t be about how ergonomically our chairs were designed, how fashionable our clothes were, how erudite our theories, how much money we made, or how many industries were disrupted by design. They will say either that we pulled ourselves out of a near-fatal collision at the last possible second, or that we missed the greatest opportunity ever handed to any species in the infinite cosmos and blew up the sweetest planet that ever was.”