What we do

Track Zero aims to deliver creative platforms for the arts, science and others, to inspire transformative climate action - working together to build a resilient, carbon-neutral society that's fair for all of us

Track Zero is passionate about working with the power of the arts to get us on track to a net zero carbon economy for the wellbeing of all of us and future generations. We hope to help bridge the gap between scientific information and human connection – recognising people often act by heart rather than logic alone. A dance, song or image can make climate information more personal and easy to visualise, helping us to viscerally understand the impact on our planet and people – empowering us to act. This happens at a collective and individual level - through conversations we have and the choices we make in our private and public work place and in our communities.

The Track Zero Programme is delivered across four strategic platforms.

The Track Zero Programme

Artistic Expression

Working in collaboration with creative practitioners, we aim to provide opportunities to help express their creative ideas and vision. Artistic Expression is central to everything that we do.

About Track Zero

Mīria George, writer, director, producer for theatre and Co-founder of Tawata Productions. The Night Mechanics. Image credit: Rath Prak for Tawata Productions.

Track Zero works with the arts, science and other sectors to tell the climate story in ways that engage people's hearts and minds - inspiring transformative climate change action.

Based in Wellington, our geographic focus is on our Pacific region, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Deep South (Antarctica). Climate change is an increasingly existential threat to people in the Pacific region and Antarctica is a reminder of our fragile connection with nature and the science empowers us to act. Our work aims to connect up the global, national, community and household levels - working across society for a fair, sustainable future.

We believe climate action goes hand-in-hand with improving wellbeing – tackling climate change at the same time as lifting people's equality and sustainable development while making the world safer from the risk of disasters.

Track Zero is guided by five core principles:

  • Human rights are at the centre of what we do;
  • Our work is evidence-based;
  • Empowerment of people - to feel part of shaping the world we want to live in;
  • Respect for diversity and other cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand;
  • Honouring the Treaty of Waitangi - as a fundamental discourse in creativity and climate change in New Zealand's constitution.

We acknowledge the Tangata Whenua (Indigenous Maori peoples of the land) and pay our respects to their Elders, past, present, and future.  We also acknowledge the invaluable artistic and cultural legacy of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Indigenous peoples who have engaged with the natural world and its systems, handing down traditional knowledge for 2000 years through artistic expression, and who have been sustainable stewards of this land.

Track Zero was registered as an Incorporated Society under the New Zealand Charities Trust Act in April 2018. We are in the process of registering for tax deductible status under the Charities Act. Our work is made possible through sponsorship, grants, partnerships and donations. Please help support Track Zero by making a donation now.

How we Work

Gabby O’Connor, Studio Antarctica 2016, PATAKA Art + Museum 2016. Image credit: Mark Tantrum.

We hope to innovate and vision the sustainable future we want by working with the arts, co-creating with science and other sectors – like business, think tanks, iwi, government and communities. We aim to work with creative practitioners who have a commitment and passion for caring for our environment and shaping the world we want to live in. We also aim to partner with organisations that embrace and showcase our programmes and help to bring the work of creative practitioners to communities.

Our goal is to work with all forms and scales of art in traditional and non-traditional spaces: from ancestral voices to the very modern, and from musicians, writers, poets, choreographers and sculptors across the visual, digital and performing arts.

We use evidence based research and aim to share useful science and development resources on our website for people to use and take action. We hope to generate applied research to interrogate our thinking about climate change – and to share this knowledge across the Track Zero Programme.

Track Zero know we're not the only ones passionate about inspiring climate action through artistic expression in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world. That's why, besides showing images of our own Track Zero Programme as we get going, we also hope to celebrate what creative practitioners  are doing across Aotearoa New Zealand, eventually showing their work on our website. If you're an artist dedicating part of your practice to an aspect of climate change and sustainability, tell us about your work and events you have coming up. Tell us how you think the arts can take the lead on climate change. We welcome your ideas.

We recognise the arts create valuable spaces to respectfully learn from all cultures, such as Tangata Whenua and the Maori concept of kaitiakitanga handed down over 2000 years through traditional art forms. We acknowledge the work of climate experts, creative practitioners, art producers, directors and curators, traditional voices and others who have informed, and will continue to inform, our knowledge and response to climate change.

Who we are

Track Zero is an independent, not-for-profit creative enterprise founded by Sarah Meads. Track Zero was incorporated under the New Zealand Charitable Trusts Act 1957 in April 2018. We are in the process of applying for tax deductible status under the Charities Act 2005. Track Zero is governed by a Board, and operated and managed by Trustee Manager, Sarah Meads, based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Board of Trustees

Professor Shaun Hendy – Director, Scientist, Author

Shaun is Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the University of Auckland.  Te Pūnaha Matatini is a national research network that uses methods from complex systems to solve problems for business and to develop better economic and environmental policies.  Shaun teaches in both the Department of Physics and the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland. In 2012, Shaun was awarded the Callaghan Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister's Science Media Communication Prize for his work as a science communicator. In 2013 he co-authored Get Off the Grass with the late Sir Paul Callaghan, and his new book, Silencing Science, was released in May 2016.

Sarah Meads – Founder, Trustee Manager of Track Zero

Sarah has many years of experience working at senior levels on sustainable development, climate change, and international affairs and is former Senior Policy Advisor to Oxfam New Zealand. Her focus is on working with others to design creative solutions and inter-generational frameworks that promote a low emissions future and social justice. She is passionate about engaging people on a visceral level to understand the impact of climate on people and the planet – harnessing the power of the arts to inspire climate action. A former mixed media artist and former Trustee of the Wellington Sculpture Trust, Sarah holds post graduate degrees in science, business and international development.

Professor James Renwick – Climate Scientist/ Communicator

James has many years of experience in weather and climate research. His field is large-scale climate variability and climate change, including such things as El Niño and the mid-latitude westerly winds, and the impacts of climate variability and change on New Zealand and the Antarctic. James has worked as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports, is a member of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Joint Scientific Committee, and is Co-chair of the WCRP CliC (Climate and Cryosphere) project. He is passionate about science communication and about harnessing the arts to tell science stories.

Carla van Zon, Arts Festival Artistic Director, Curator, Producer and Presenter.

Carla has been the Artistic Director of New Zealand's two major arts festivals; the New Zealand Festival in Wellington and the Auckland Arts Festival.   She recently retired from the Auckland Festival after co-leading the transition to an annual Festival, bringing increased cultural and artistic diversity to Programme and championing Maori & Pacific work. Prior to this Carla was International Manager for the Arts Council of NZ Toi Aotearoa, developing the International strategy and assisting New Zealand artists to achieve international success. Carla was involved in the New Zealand Festival from 1989, as Executive Director from 1994 and Artistic Director from 2000 - 2006.

Track Zero is excited to soon announce our full Board of Trustees.

Ambassadors

Track Zero is looking forward to announcing our Ambassadors - distinguished and creative minds from the arts and climate space who share our passion for the arts to inspire transformative climate action.

Creative Advisors

The Board of Trustees is grateful to our invited network of great scientific and creative minds who we meet with regularly for informal kōrero (conversation) sharing knowledge and expertise across sectors and cultures - helping to shape our Track Zero Programme for greater impact.