Launching CTRL + Z
My trip to the Himalayas, solving big problems and launching CTRL + Z
This year, I went on a solo hike near Naggar in Himachal, India. The majestic Himalayas, tall pines, constantly chirping birds guiding the way and the mountain dogs that will follow you until the top. Nestled in untouched beauty without a mobile network, I couldn’t help but think what it would have been like for a lone traveller finding his way through the tough terrain of the Himalayas 100 years ago.
When I returned to the main town of Naggar after the hike, I visited the Roerich Memorial and Art Gallery - the tourist spot I had earlier decided to skip. Roerich was a Russian painter and intellectual, who travelled the Himalayas and eventually settled there… in the 1920s. He studied the structure of the Himalayas and painted the landscapes he was so impressed by.
In his own words -
It is true, mountains everywhere are mountains, water everywhere is water, sky everywhere is sky, and men everywhere are men. But nevertheless, if seated before the Alps, you attempt to picture the Himalayas, something inexplicable but convincing will be lacking.
Comparing his work to the landscapes I explored during my hike, I realized a lot has changed in the past 100 years. The snow cover is receding, the plants and animals which find common mention in his writings are nowhere to be found.
That’s a lot of change for a mere 100 years.
Climate change is a slow process, until it’s not. It can completely change our surroundings. It’s not only about rising temperatures and sea levels or deforestation, but much more. It’s also about the impact such changes have on the livelihood of billions of people worldwide.
I asked myself and a lot of people - what can we do to undo the damage? And before that, how do we control the damage and adapt to the present conditions? This is how Ctrl + Z was born, with the intent of going back to when things used to be better.
AND THE JOURNEY BEGAN
Our approach is simple - we want to maximize for impact today, not ten years from now. That’s why we’ve started with water.
Water is the primary medium through which we experience climate change - dried up freshwater resources, floods, receding forest cover, unpredictable rains, rising sea levels, etc.
Availability and continued access to clean water is a basic human right and the first step to help us cope with the realities of climate change. Yet, over four billion people, two-thirds of the world’s population experiences severe water scarcity for at least one month each year.
Over 90% use of annual freshwater supply is used in agriculture and industry. While agriculture has a higher proportion of withdrawals, industry is primarily responsible for water pollution, thereby deteriorating the health of freshwater resources. Water treatment, conservation and optimal allocation can solve the problem of water scarcity. This is that BIG problem that CTRL + Z is resolved to solve.
CTRL + Z = CARE + CURIOSITY
We care about making the world a better place. And we’re curious to find solutions to big problems. We’ve been fortunate enough to get early-stage support from the 776 Foundation run by Alexis Ohanian and Lissie Garvin who share the same vision..