carbon negative | regenerative |circular | sustainable | renewable | resilient | clean | healthy | smart | profitable

Find your niche in the climate economy, where it’s a win-win-win for climate-economy-humanity.

The Climate Economy is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit for education and experimentation on business models and lifestyles that are good for the climate, economy and humanity. Our mission is to empower every individual, through youth-led community-based generative change, to build wealth and live their purpose in service to all life on earth, nurturing nature and human well-being. We call that “thriving authentically.” 

All of the resources we provide are free (supported by sponsors and donations). We encourage you to take the ideas and use them in your own communities. Please connect with us so we can share ideas and progress!

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

Our Growing Network

Founder and President/CEO: Amy McMorrow Hunter
Board Members: Chris Walls; Adam Stone; Tina Carpenter

Partners/Collaborators (past and present): University of Illinois Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability, Science Center, Boys and Girls Club, Southern Illinois Community Foundation,, Downstate Caucus of the Illinois Climate Table, Carbondale Spring, Southern Illinois Cooperative Business Fund, Prairie Rivers Network, Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, Women for Change, Carbondale Park District, City of Carbondale, Sierra Club Shawnee Group, Carbondale Spring, the Poor People’s Campaign of Southern Illinois, Faith in Place, Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, Touch of Nature, Cristaudo’s and the Southern Illinois Collaborative Kitchen, City of Harrisburg, City of Carbondale’s Sustainability Commission, Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association, AES Solar, Solarize Southern Illinois, StraightUp Solar, Just Transition Fund, Women’s Health Naturally, Energy Resources Group, Macedonia Development Corporation, Food Works, Carbondale Spring’s Food Autonomy Initiative, Community Development Sustainable Solutions (CDSS) East St. Louis, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, SIU’s Sustainable Communities Center (SIUeSCC), Citizens Utility Board, Land for Learning Institute, GreenOurPlanet…, a local business directory and pollinator, donates 50% of all package revenues to The Climate Economy Education Inc.

Our main offices are in Makanda, Illinois (southern Illinois).

What We Do

We’re constantly adding stuff, so for the latest update just call: 618 713 2896.

Let’s get back into balance!  We all can help. There are many things that need to be done, and we aim to ensure all the bases are covered, so you don’t have to. Your tax-deductible contribution will be used as efficiently as possible for:

  • Sustainability-Focused Economic and Community Development: Encourage and fund student-led community-based people-centered “climate ventures” that are good for the climate, economy and humanity (YES, all of that!): sometimes we’re helping to update an existing business, and sometimes we’re creating something totally new: new businesses, community projects, nonprofits, etc.
  • Project-Based Education and Training: Rapidly train university, community college and high school students to work as catalysts in their communities for high-demand clean energy and climate ventures: we’re helping upcoming generations understand, thrive and contribute in our increasingly connected world
  • Transferable Skills Development: Giving students of all ages opportunities to develop skills that are increasingly needed or required in our technology-driven economy, including networking, artificial intelligence, and more
  • Impact Investing: Help impact investors and donors get funding into the hands of motivated student and community groups for novel, collaborative ventures that are good for the climate, economy and humanity
  • Making a Difference: Give students the opportunity to work in real ventures making positive local and global change through internships: they can identify and fuel their passions, learn more about the world and how they can make a difference
  • Job Placement: Getting southern Illinoisans into training for 100’s of new jobs for the many new solar- and clean energy-related businesses around the region
  • Identifying and Increasing Awareness of Various Funding Opportunities and Other Resources: Work to ensure the plethora of government funding that’s currently available is coming to our region’s communities and institutions
  • Clean Energy Industry Establishment: Work to ensure that every person and every business in our region takes advantage of the Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act which is pouring funding into new clean energy businesses and jobs in marginalized, low income and coal-affected communities throughout the state


These lists are not exhaustive, just meant to give a taste. We’re working on an “Our History” section.

We’re currently working to launch Catalyst Corps in spring 2024, training college students to go out in the world and make positive change in their communities.

We’ve worked with students from across the US and in Canada on research projects involved with Regen Villages and other topics.

Read about earlier Youth Climate Economy Ventures.

In 2022, we worked with 5th graders from Lick Creek School to try out some pilot programs. We did a trash audit, set up a vermicomposting bin, set up an aquaponics fish tank with plants growing, and did a play to younger classes at the end. It was awesome!

Trash Audit

Setting up the Vermicomposting Bin

Thinking about Vermicomposting Goals


A full list of all our past events and links to the related videos are available on The Climate Economy Education Inc’s website. 

University of Illinois CURES Community Project Labs

Joint application for Illinois CEJA Navigator Funds

Joint application for Illinois CEJA Hub Funds