Katie Patrick Reveals ‘The Big Mistake’ Many Artists and Activists Too Often Make (and how to avoid it!)

By Peterson Toscano

Katie Patrick is the author of the book and podcast How to Save the World, and a TEDx speaker on the critical role of creativity, optimism, and imagination in the craft of social and environmental change. She shares with us industry secrets about how to motivate people to action. She also reveals The Big Mistake so many of us make in our climate work.

She designs “Fitbit for the planet” apps that help social impact entrepreneurs and sustainability professionals implement powerful data, game design, and behavior-change techniques that create real and measurable change. She is the co-founder of Energy Lollipop and Urban Canopy in San Francisco – startups that are devoted to bringing down the peak CO2 released by the electricity grid. 

If you think a gamified Earth sounds fun, you might enjoy joining these Fitbit for the Planet video hangouts Katie organizes each month with our community of world-changers and a special expert guest.

Next month: Elli Sparks, a climate change activist, wrote a story to encourage and comfort herself. After reading the story and sharing it with family, friends, colleagues, and at public events, we have turned it into a radio play.

If you like what you hear, you can listen to full episodes of Citizens’ Climate Radio on iTunesStitcher Radio, Spotify, SoundCloudPodbeanNorthern Spirit RadioGoogle PlayPlayerFM, and TuneIn Radio. Also, feel free to connect with other listeners, suggest program ideas, and respond to programs in the Citizens’ Climate Radio Facebook group or on Twitter at @CitizensCRadio.

This article is part of The Art House series.


As host of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Peterson Toscano regularly features artists who address climate change in their work. The Art House section of his program includes singer/songwriters, visual artists, comics, creative writers, and playwrights. Through a collaboration with Artists and Climate Change and Citizens’ Climate Education, each month Peterson reissues The Art House for this blog. If you have an idea for The Art House, contact Peterson: radio @ citizensclimatelobby.org


Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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