Postcards from Harvard

Harvard Business School PMNO

In pursuit of an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership at Harvard University, I participated in an Exectutive Education course, Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations, in partnerhsip with the Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School via the Social Enterprise Initiative. The experience was resoundingly informative and inspriational; I am well prepared to apply the learnings from this time to my work at GRID Alternatives.

Below are some photographic postcards from my time in Cambridge:

Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.


Postcards from Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, featuring designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago. These images are a valuable record of cultural expression and hold profound spiritual significance for contemporary Native Americans and for the descendants of the early Spanish settlers.


Postcards from IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Until this trip, I used to joke that “I’ve only set a foot in New Mexico—literally, one foot!”

My only presence in the state was years ago when I visited the Four Corners attraction and I sprawled a single foot into New Mexico on a road trip between the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde national parks, just after a night in Monument Valley.

“Navajo Nation.”

“Santa Fe.”


“White Sands National Monument.”

People have been telling me to visit New Mexico for as long as I can remember. This week, I was finally able to take some time to explore the state, but I didn’t get far. After arriving in Santa Fe, I thought I would spend most of my time hopping from galleries to museums to shops and restaurants all across town. In the end, I basically spent all of my time at the Institute for American Indian Arts, Museum of Contemporary Arts. This museum transformed my life (I know you’re thinking: “Adam, you say that about every museum!”).

Below are images of several of the pieces that shaped my experience. Please note that these images are only meant to illuminate my perspective; for full effect, please visit the museum to see them for yourself.

Dead Indian Stories (2012-2014) by Edgar Heap of Birds (Southern Cheyenne). Ink rag on paper.

Dead Indian Stories (2012-2014) by Edgar Heap of Birds (Southern Cheyenne). Ink rag on paper.

Gaaw Kooteeya 2 (2014) by Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tingit/N’ishga). Wood, rawhide, and acrylic paint.

I’m Not Living, Just Killing Time (2017) by LaShawn Medicine Horn (Yankton Sioux). Acrylic, charcoal, and wax pastels on canvas.

Niicugni (2012) by Emily Johnson (Yup’ik). Fish skin lanterns.

Untitled (2015) by Greg Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute). Mixed media on panel.


Ecological Footprints

I’m taking a fascinating course this semester in my Executive Education program at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and for an assignment this week, we took an online survey to calculate our personal ecological footprint. Basically, the survey results tell us:

When is your personal Overshoot Day?

How many planets do we need if everybody lives like you?

The survey is a free tool thanks to the Global Footprint Network, an international nonprofit organization that was founded in 2003 to enable a sustainable future where all people have the opportunity to thrive within the means of one planet. 

Our mission is to help end ecological overshoot by making ecological limits central to decision-making.

Our vision is that all people live well, within the means of nature.

Before I took the survey, I smugly thought, “I expect to have a very low ecological footprint, given that I live in a densely efficient city with a short commute—and I eat very little meat. You’re going to confirm that you’re ahead of the curve, Bad Wound!”

My results were a bit shocking. I’m definitely no model student, at least when it comes to sustainability. 

My ecological calendar would mean that I would have a great year up until about Earth Day (ironically), but shortly thereafter, my days are numbered.

And if everyone lived like me, we would need 3.2 planets.


Of course, as it turns out, I travel a lot on airplanes. I live in the US, which means that my everyday lifestyle comes at a high ecological price.

But thankfully, the site has plenty of positive and helpful information about how to reduce my carbon footprint and helped me think about the interconnections of planetary ecology, as well as my role in the ecosystems that I inhabit.

My class assignment response is below, if it’s of interest. Of course, you should take the survey for yourself and see what you find—the results might shock you too!

Assignment: Write a two-page report discussing your results. What changes could you make to your current lifestyle to decrease your footprint?


With 70-80% of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, smart urban planning and development strategies are crucial to managing our resources. Visit your city’s website and challenge your city leaders to support sustainability policies.

San Francisco is a wonderful place to call home, particularly because of our local leadership’s commitment to our local environment. The San Francisco Environment Department has widely shared a strategic plan that covers 2016-2020, which focuses on key initiatives in the following areas (all of which include behavioral actions/solutions):

1)      Promote Healthy Communities & Ecosystems

  • Adopt safer alternatives to harmful products and materials.
  • Support efforts to advance building standards and codes that reduce environmental and health impacts.
  • Increase the size, health, and biodiversity of our urban forest, natural areas, community gardens and open space.

2)      Achieve a Carbon-Free Future

  • Improve the performance of our built environment by promoting energy-efficiency and on-site renewable energy generation.
  • Reduce the use of gasoline, diesel and natural gas fuels in transportation modes.

3)      Strengthen Community Resilience

  • Support San Francisco’s ability to address and overcome the impacts of climate change, such as advancing energy security and the Sea Level Rise Action Plan.
  • Keep small businesses and residents in San Francisco by minimizing utility costs, connecting communities with resources, and creating economic opportunities that support a Green Economy.

4)      Eliminate Waste

  • Achieve zero waste and work towards closing landfills serving San Francisco.
  • Prevent food waste, increase participation in recycling and composting programs, and reduce consumption of single-use items.

5)      Amplify Community Action

  • Build a shared culture of environmental stewardship across San Francisco.
  • Provide residents with information and resources to protect our city and planet.

See the strategic plan:


Renewable energy is a direct path to reducing your Ecological Footprint and addressing climate change. Can you take transit, bicycle or walk instead of driving solo at least once a month? Once a week?

As part of the survey, I was unaware (and curious!) about the energy portfolio for my residence in San Francisco, so I looked to the website of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), my local utility. I was pleasantly surprised to see that “Nearly 70 percent of the electricity we provide to our customers comes from sources that are greenhouse-gas free. In fact, PG&E’s electricity is approximately two-thirds cleaner than the industry average, as measured by PG&E’s carbon dioxide emissions rate.” According to the PG&E website:

About 70 percent of the electricity we deliver is a combination of renewable and greenhouse gas-free resources. For example, the power mix delivered in 2016 included:

  • Non-emitting nuclear generation (24 percent)
  • Large hydroelectric facilities (12 percent)
  • Eligible renewable resources, such as wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and small hydro (33 percent).
  • Natural gas/other (17 percent)
  • Unspecified power (14 percent). This electricity is not traceable to specific sources by any auditable contract trail.

However, I suspect that my major contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and my overall carbon footprint are highly based on my reliance on airline travel. Unfortunately, my job requires frequent travel (mostly domestically) that results in many hours on an airplane. I would like to find ways to reduce this impact, but I feel limited in my ability to impact this situation. Maybe this is why carbon offsets are so important? I know, there’s no perfect solution except not traveling. Let’s Skpe!


Diet and cutting food waste are powerful sustainability levers. Can you be a smarter shopper and reduce food waste? Can you try a new vegetarian recipe once a month? Once a week?

According to the survey website, “Diet and cutting food waste are powerful sustainability levers.” The site urges us to examine resource inefficiency in food production and food waste as areas for change. In my life, my mostly pescatarian diet is largely local and I do my best not to waste food (a consequence of my childhood poverty is that I almost never waste food—even when I am full). Thankfully, I live in a region with lots of delicious local foods.


Addressing population size is essential to creating a sustainable future for all within our planet’s ecological budget. You can choose the size of your family to affect our long-term Footprint. Support women’s rights and access to family planning.

My lifestyle is not based on any intentions to have children, so my family size will remain small. I can do more to promote women’s rights (something that is a challenge, but very important), but I firmly believe in empowering women and promoting feminism, especially as it relates to family planning for a sustainable future.


Stanford Alumni Association Board of Directors Winter Meeting

Go Stanford! Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Stanford Men's Basketball vs. Arizona State. Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Stanford Alumni Association board members. Image by 'ninagirl03' on Instagram.

Directors' Cup at Stanford Hall of Champions. Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Stanford: Home of Champions. Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Stanford Alumni Association. Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Stanford President, Marc Tessier-Lavigne. Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.


Dignity of Earth & Sky

Dignity of Earth and Sky. Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Without a doubt, this is among the most beautiful sculptures I've ever seen. 

Just before the new year, I was able to see the Dignity Statue (a.k.a. Dignity of Earth & Sky), a 50-foot high stainless steel sculpture on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River near Chamberlain, South Dakota.

The statue was made by South Dakota artist laureate Dale Lamphere and it depicts an indigenous woman receiving a star quilt. According to Lamphere, the sculpture honors the culture of the Lakota and Dakota peoples who are indigenous to South Dakota.

Three Native American women from Rapid City, SD served as the models for the sculpture. The artist began by first drawing the form and then sculpting a one-eighth-scale model. The sculpture was created in an isolated area near the Cheyenne River, east of Rapid City, SD, and later moved to the installation site.

The statue boldly proclaims that South Dakota's Native cultures are alive, standing with dignity.

According to the sculpture's Facebook page, the artist shared this statement:

“Standing at a crossroads, Dignity echoes the interaction of earth, sky and people. It brings to light the beauty and promise of the indigenous peoples and culture that still thrives on this land. The intent is to have the sculpture stand as an enduring symbol of our shared belief that all here are sacred, and in a sacred place.” 

-Dale Lamphere, South Dakota Artist Laureate


Happy New Year from Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park. Photo by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Badlands National Park. Photo by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Badlands National Park. Photo by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Badlands National Park. Photo by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Badlands National Park. Photo by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.


Happy Winter Solstice


Renewables 2017: A new era for solar power

According to a report by the International Energy Agency, solar leads the charge in another record year for renewables.

Highlights include:

  • Renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world in 2016 and new solar PV capacity around the world grew by 50%, surpassing the net growth in coal!
  • For the next five years, solar PV represents the largest annual capacity additions for renewables, well above wind and hydro. This marks a turning point and underpins a more optimistic solar PV forecast which is revised up by over one-third compared to last year’s report. 
  • For the next five years, growth in renewable generation will be twice as large as that of gas and coal combined. While coal remains the largest source of electricity generation in 2022, renewables halve their gap with coal, down to 17% in 2022. 

It's becoming clear that renewable generation becomes more competitive, closing the gap with coal and the forecasts in this report give me a strong sense of optimism that we are on the road to a clean energy economy. Be sure to read the full report for more information.


Powering Communities

Who pays for solar power, and who benefits? This question has become a centerpiece of the national debate around renewable energy policy. This powerful short film explores solar’s potential to transform disadvantaged communities by lowering energy costs, providing pathways to employment and reducing pollution, and highlights some of the pioneers who are leading the way.