You know the famous, inspirational Margaret Mead quote:

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

I was reminded of the truth of this quote when I learned about the work of the Savory Institute. It might sound like a culinary academy but, in fact, the Savory Institute (named after its founder Allan Savory) is on a quiet, humble mission to save the world from the ravages of climate change.

This blog doesn’t usually delve into topics like animal manure and wild elephants, but we like the way the Savory Institute is using social media to create a buzz around its “message of hope”. While the solar industry tackles the critical issue of domestic energy independence, we know that restoring fertility to damaged landscapes is an equally important mission and, in our small way, we’d like to give them a boost.  So roll up your pant cuffs as we take a short walk on the wild side…

It all begins at a demonstration ranch in Zimbabwe, where the Institute has literally reversed the process of desertification that threatened to render the area inhospitable to life. Using a practice known as holistic management, the ranchers use the manure and herding behavior of domesticated and wild animals to restore depleted soils. As a result, maize yields have more than tripled, the grasslands have been restored and the once-dry Dimbangombe River now flows year-round and is abundant with fish.  Best of all, no fossil fuels are used — the manure provides ample fertilizer and the natural herding and grazing activity of the animals takes the place of diesel bulldozing and tilling machines.

If all that sounds confusing, picture this: A herd of animals munches down native grasses (grazing but not overgrazing thanks to careful management by humans). They (the animals) poop all over the place, spreading grass seed and then stomping the seed into the ground with their hoofs. And voila, the soil is enriched, the grass grows, the grass is cut down and rots into the soil (creating even more fertility) and crops can be planted in the rich soil during the next season. Meanwhile, all that fertile soil sequesters a (pardon my French) crapload of carbon. Pretty cool, huh?

The Savory Institute has put out a call for help — they want to invite the 20 most influential people in the world to visit their ranch this September and see for themselves how holistic management can reverse desertification and sequester carbon in soil. They want your input– who do you think should attend?

Share your nominations here and by leaving a comment on this blog–we’d love to know who you think is super-influential.

–Erica Etelson

Posted by Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy co-founded Sungevity and now serves as strategic advisor. He is an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. He is the author of Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy - and Planet - from Dirty Energy (2012), a book that has been described as the clean energy manifesto for the next greatest generation.