The Challenge

We believe that the changing climate is the most pressing issue of our time. It affects and connects us all and has profound implications for the health and well-being of our families and ecologies, economy, society and culture. Our current economy, by design, makes us engage in metabolic and socioeconomic activities that keep heating the planet. Though we may try to live in a more sustainable way in our personal habits, without systems-level change, it is unlikely to be enough to tip the scales towards a cooler planet.


The Way Forward

We take a systems-level approach to addressing climate change, working to create an economy that cools the temperature of the planet, rather than heating it. In this uncharted territory that is climate change, we become wayfinders, working with our co- navigators to build an economy and culture that operates in harmonious relation to the planet.



Center for Getting Things Started provides access to sustainability consultation services; sustainability education design and development; Zero-Degree business incubation, networking, and appropriate and innovative technologies services; Zero-Degree event coordination and production; communications and marketing services; ecologically value-conscious funding; data collection and verification to organizations and gatherings, in order to cultivate the cooling economy. Get Involved.



Scott Laaback

Regeneration development. Scott is a regenerative designer, farm-to-table chef, and organizer who works to create regenerative culture and landscapes. He brings broad experience including nearly a decade as a wildland firefighter, working in restaurants and on farms, producing numerous pop-up farm-to-table events, design, installation and maintenance of regenerative landscapes, co-founding Kumukoa House and serving as its Program Director and Permaculture Designer, and serving as the Permaculture Manager and then Landcare Director at Kalanihonua Retreat Center. He is currently the Sustainability Coordinator for Flow Fest and consults privately doing Regenerative Land-coaching and design, farm-to-table cheffing, and sustainable event production. “I believe we can design the next paradigm to not only provide for the physical needs of humans but the unserved higher needs that have led us to our disharmonious relationship to ecology. Through hard work, integrity, and co-creation we foster playful reconnection, regeneration, and counter of markets of scarcity with abundance in order to bear forth and witness the emergence of a new eco-economic paradigm based in the truth of wholeness which allows for the emergence of the higher self while serving the whole which supports it.”

Koh Ming Wei, PhD.

Education and learning research. I research because I am curious. I am curious because I am dissatisfied. I am dissatisfied at the current condition of our planet. I cannot accept that human beings who have put people on the moon, created the Internet, built skyscrapers, and produced beautiful works of art permit other human beings to go to sleep hungry or live in a landscape void of anything natural. So, I look for the paths, means, and methods towards thrivability. A thriving planet where no one goes hungry, and where that which feeds us – the land, the ocean, the rivers – are nourished reciprocally. My research area is in education. I work and think about how to facilitate educational relationships and connections so that children, parents, and community can collaborate to create gardens as an outward manifestation of the internal bonds that must be nurtured to thrive.

Gregory Paul 

Initiative offering.  From a very early age, via self-reflection, my life has largely been an observable experiment. At five years old, I somehow understood that having faith in the religion I was exposed to was truly a blind faith as there didn’t seem to be an empirical method for explaining my existence. This left a void in me that persisted for almost three decades until I found myself in a spiritual community that used a mix of teachings from Buddhism and other meditative practices. A healthy diet, exercise, and devoted meditation practice does wonders in terms of grounding ourselves in the here and now. As humanity seems bent on a path of mis-steps due in part to a lack of unifying principles, I see an immense challenge and urgency in redirecting our shared trajectory. Embodying the teaching of my past, I am a witness to the narrow bandwidth of potential which most people seem to operate due to the lack of desirable alternatives. In seeing this, I find myself formulating ideas and concepts about how to navigate in our reality that is more harmonious in every way. In addition to my own deep desire to exist in an experience liberated from the fear and judgment conditioning so readily served, I’m an exhibiting sculptor, successful green builder/commercial developer and experienced seeker of the nearly impossible.  

Carly Wyman 

Cyber presence and communication. B.A. International Affairs and Political Economy. Environmental educator. I am a seeker of truth who is fascinated by the many different ways that humans have organized themselves throughout history. My life was changed when I visited Hawai’i Island in 2014 to be a farm hand. For the first time, I learned how to eat from the land in a sustainable manner, to be fully present, and to cultivate personal health while also cultivating the health of the land. I spent three years running the gardens at several public schools on Hawai’i Island, including most recently Kua O Ka La Hawaiian Culture- focused charter school in Puna, Hawai’i. I taught children from preschool through twelfth grades in the living laboratory- the school garden. I am motivated by the urgency of global warming and the growing disconnect between modern humans and the natural world.

ZDP project at Kozmetsky Global Collaboratory Stanford

Center for Getting Things Started is a field site of the Zero Degree Project at Kozmetsky Global Collaboratory Stanford, Palo Alto CA. KGC believes that there is a dormant abundance in the world that can be unleashed through the collaborative efforts of people who live their lives with an ethic of care. They want to help build a future for many generations to come where this abundance is shareable with every man, woman, and child independent of their conditions at birth.  (https://www.zerodegree.org)

Advisory Board

Lisa Brett, Business advisor and coach, Blue Startups

Creighton Litton, PhD, Forest Restoration Ecologist, UH Manoa

Shawon Rahman, PhD, Chemical and Computer Science Engineer, UH Hilo

Neeraj Sonalkar, PhD, Design Research, Stanford

Debbie, Millikan, PhD, Microbiology and Sustainability Education, Iolani School