Our partnership with TED and Future Stewards to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis

Countdown to Zero Emissions

04 December 2019

Countdown is a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action. The goal: To build a better future by cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 in the race to a zero-carbon world – a world that is safer, cleaner and fairer for everyone.

The ongoing health and economic crises are reminding us of an important fact: We’re all part of the same fragile system, dependent on nature and one another.

As we look to the future, we must build back better and emerge more sustainable and resilient than before.

We can change climate change – #JoinTheCountdown to a safer, cleaner, fairer future. Countdown invites collaboration from every organisation, company, city and nation and from citizens everywhere. It is a movement open to everyone – and everyone has a vital role to play.

As part of the Countdown initiative, Leaders' Quest is collaborating with TED and our Future Stewards partners, Global Optimism and We Mean Business.

This is a movement that is open to everyone — and everyone has a vital role to play. 

The plan

We are bringing together scientists, activists, entrepreneurs, urban planners, farmers, CEOs, investors, artists, government officials, and others to find the most effective, evidence-based ideas out there. Our goal is to identify the bold solutions that can be activated when people break out of their silos and rise to the challenge.

  1. Energy – how rapidly can we switch to 100% clean power?
  2. Transport – how can we move people and things?
  3. Materials – how can we re-imagine and remake the stuff around us?
  4. Food – how can we spark a worldwide shift to healthier food systems?
  5. Nature – how do we better protect and re-green the earth?

Countdown and beyond...

  • GLOBAL LAUNCH - 10.10.2020

On October 10, 2020, we will host a virtual event to hear from leading thinkers and doers about what a healthy, abundant, zero-emission future can look like; stirring examples of real progress underway; and powerful reasons why this post-crisis moment is the time to act. This global gathering will serve as inspiration and a call to action to the world’s leaders — and to people everywhere — to step up and participate in building a better future. You can host your own event on 10.10.2020 or the week after. Learn how →

  • ACCELERATE PROGRESS - October 2020 – October 2021

Building on the ideas shared on 10.10.2020, we will work with partners to support a series of workstreams — each designed to tackle a climate-related, cross-sector challenge. Workstreams will bring together leaders from business, finance, government, local communities, science, the arts and philanthropy. Each workstream will set specific, bold goals and drive fresh commitments and action in the lead-up to the Countdown Summit and to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2021.

In addition, around the world, independent Countdown Circles will host citizen-led conversations that help drive action. These groups will explore the five fundamental questions in their regular convenings – virtual or in-person – that are supported by the Countdown team and our partners.


We will share a blueprint for a beautiful net-zero future at a central Summit of 1,200 leaders in Edinburgh, Scotland, further amplified by hundreds of TEDx Countdown events around the world. The Summit and the TEDx events will combine talks, case studies and workshops –and celebrate new commitments made, efforts in progress, and the people who are driving them. Learn more →

Join the Countdown


The first step to making smart, informed decisions is to educate ourselves on the core problems. See the starter kit of resources →

2. JOIN US ON 10.10.2020

Sign up to host a TEDx Countdown event with your community - or tune in to watch. Mark your calendar now →


Take action in your company and in your community to put solutions into practice and to advocate for faster change.


Show your passion for this issue by sharing Countdown* with your friends and people in your networks. Follow Countdown on Twitter and Instagram

*and steal-to-share some campaign images from countdown.ted.com


Sign up to stay connected with Countdown, and be the first to hear updates on countdown.ted.com

How Leaders' Quest can help your business turn awareness into action

For two decades, we’ve focused on the power of business to drive change. We’re ideally placed to help translate business-driven problem-solving into practical action.

Through our Tools for transformation we facilitate the transformation needed to succeed as a conscious business – aligning profit with purpose, to deliver a future where everybody can thrive within the means of the planet.

Our leadership workshops and programmes can be delivered virtually, in person, or blending both.

Our broader offer  – delivered individually or as an integrated package – combines leadership development, corporate purpose and system-wide collaboration. 

Find out more about how we can help your business respond to climate change.