The creative assignments behind Devi Lockwood’s book 1,001 Voices on Climate Change

a propeller plane low against a blue sky with palm trees and grass below
Journalist Devi Lockwood’s book 1,001 Voices on Climate Change opens with a description of the runway at Funafuti airport in Tuvalu, a country four times smaller in area than Disney World. She describes how with salt water encroaching on the land residents rely on their ingenuity to deal with the lack of fresh water. Photo credit: “ATR Approaching” by mikecogh is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In her early twenties, Devi Lockwood donned a cardboard sign that read “Tell me a story about climate change” one one side and “Tell me a story about water” on the other. She set off traveling around the globe, often on a bike, listening to how people were experiencing climate change. The stories she collected became the basis for her new non-fiction book, 1,001 Voices on Climate Change (Simon and Schuster). In this episode of The Assignment Bureau, Devi reveals the assignments and impulses that laid the foundation for the project, as well as how it might be possible to see adapting to climate change as a type of creative assignment.

“I don’t often think about it in that way, but I think that it very much was an assignment I gave to myself, and it came out of these multiple things I was swimming in and thinking about at the time,” Devi told The Assignment Bureau.

To listen to a draft of Devi’s map of stories, or to contribute to it, visit

The Assignment Bureau is an independent podcast, with episodes published highly sporadically. Through different audio formats, it focuses on how people use creative assignments to face challenges, either in their personal lives or in the world at large.