“My motivation started when I was about eleven years old, and it came from me learning about the environment from my teachers at school. It got to the point when I really wanted to make an active change and I wanted to do something that could make a difference in the world. As I started to evolve these ideas, I started to realize that we have problems so close to home.”
Jaden Smith and Drew FitzGerald went on to found JUST Water, which demonstrated a more sustainable approach to bottling water. Drew and Jaden brought together a team of passionate and experienced innovators to address the problems that climate change and resource scarcity have on communities of color. What began as an experiment to come up with an alternative to single-use plastic water bottles in Flint became the Water Box program and then 501CTHREE, a new type of nonprofit for a younger generation focused on Energy, Food, Water and Shelter. 501CTHREE is at the intersection of innovation and storytelling, and brings attention to the solutions that will help us build a cleaner, more sustainable and more hopeful future.
501CTHREE will mobilize the next generation to fight climate change by creating a global community that embraces low-carbon culture. This community will be built by intersecting YOUTH, TECHNOLOGY and STORYTELLING.
Youth: Anxiety about climate change and the environment is prevalent among today’s youth. In the face of alarmism and counter programming, youth are being made to feel hopeless and powerless to address the changes that are coming. By making a low-carbon lifestyle cool, accessible, and pervasive, we influence the adoption of climate-positive attitudes and behaviors.
Technology: Climate change will not be stopped without the rapid replacement of legacy carbon-emitting systems. Innovative climate change solutions need to be the preference of the next generation and valued for their contribution to a more sustainable future.
Storytelling: 501CTHREE will tell stories that present a more hopeful future, present the low-carbon lifestyle as desirable and attainable, and provide ways for young people to get engaged. Our global community will be built by sharing a narrative about the promise of a low-carbon future led by technology and positive lifestyle changes.