[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
With her extensive experience in development communication, Lucia realized that communication for climate action would be key to advancing the climate movement, promoting the solutions necessary and motivating the political leadership needed to build a low-carbon, resilient and sustainable future. She made it her mission to build a social movement for climate action by raising awareness of the impact of climate change and promoting the solutions for addressing it. She worked with partners across the globe to reach the greatest audience possible, especially young people.
In 2009 she convinced the World Bank and the Italian Ministry of Environment that climate communication was critical and well worth supporting and established the Communication for Climate Change Multi-Donor Trust Fund of the World Bank Group. In 2011 the flagship global partnership program Connect4Climate was born. It quickly took hold, gathering half a million Facebook followers and forging ties with leaders in popular culture—including music, film and fashion icons—to reach the generations of the future while at the same time helping scientists, politicians, and administrators raise awareness and prompt action.
Lucia was a unique and influential presence who could mix with anyone, anywhere, gain their attention and advance proposals for seemingly impossible, but magnificent and celebratory initiatives. Who but Lucia could have brought together an unusual group of partners to orchestrate the projection of massive climate-related images on the front of the Vatican, reminding a worldwide audience of our responsibility to protecting the Planet? We remember her for "making the impossible possible."
For Lucia and the Connect4Climate program, the operative word has been to "connect." This sentiment was Lucia through and through. She was passionate about finding ways for people and organizations to interact together and did her utmost to create and grow lasting connections. Connect4Climate now interacts with hundreds of partners, reaches millions online and engages with global audiences through competitions, events, and education to support the movement for climate action and to end poverty.Lucia's ideas would never stay on paper but would lead to tangible outcomes that engaged partners and energized audiences worldwide. She was a leader driven to find the most impactful communications, and in doing so inspired and advocated for a sustainable development pathway.
As Lucia would always say, "let's get busy and make this happen!"