By Emma Riley

A few months ago, a small group of people launched Structure – an initiative focused on democratizing the dialogue around climate displacement. Almost immediately, we learned that dialogue does not yet exist. 

Climate displacement is the biggest crisis not yet thoroughly embedded in the mainstream conversation. 

When you lose your home, you lose everything. When folks flee, the power of choice, safety, ability to access education, economic stability, health, and stable mental health is lost. The risks for women and children far exceed the risks for men. In 2020, the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, published a paper stating that “Women displaced by disaster often face increased protection risks such as sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), exploitation and trafficking. Limited access to healthcare can also impede women’s access to life-saving health services, including reproductive and mental health services.”

IDMC data indicates that the average annual volume of new internally displaced people (IDPs) related to disasters during the last decade was almost three times the new IDPs volume related to conflict and violence.  

We will, to put it simply, all begin to be affected by climate displacement very soon. And young children around the world will likely be displaced due to climate in their lifetimes. They will likely flee their communities due to climate change. They may move internally, shifting systems that have not been created to manage what the New York Times is calling it: The Great Climate Migration.

We are looking at somewhere between 200 Million and 1 Billion people displaced globally due to climate within the next 25 years. At that point, I’ll be in my fifties. How old will you be?

Our team realized that millennial parents, those reading this who will be in their fifties in twenty years, need a tool to begin to talk about this new, shared reality we are already starting to encounter. Change of any kind can disrupt a child’s life, and traumatic change out of one’s control – such as a climate disaster – may overwhelmingly disrupt a child’s life. There is little literature on this. 

So we created that tool. Our writers Jesse Byrd and Sandy Kaur Gill put it nicely: by developing a dialogue on climate migration for children ages 6 – 8, written and illustrated by people of color, centering people of color, and speaking to a reality projected to disproportionately affect people of color, we hope to begin to democratize the dialogue. And, democratize it quickly. 

There are very few picture books that donate all proceeds to creating meaningful, quantifiable impact. There are even fewer books that create awareness about something of this size for millennial parents and their young children. 

Introducing ‘Seeking Shanti’ by award-winning authors and creatives Jesse Byrd and Sandy Kaur Gill, illustrated by Monica Paola Rodriguez. 

To pre-order a book, visit 

We are asking for a $ 24.00 donation to confirm your pre-order. 

A pre-order of just 15 books funds one Structure at $365.00. Structures are sustainable homes for a family of five that go directly into the field and last up to ten years. Our homes serve displaced communities worldwide. We are already serving displaced communities in India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Africa

Join us in creating Structure, and democratizing a dialogue about climate displacement. 


  • Emma is a dynamic, market savvy leader in culture, climate and brand development. After a successful early career developing and executing creative strategies, Emma was hired to launch the award winning organization Lonely Whale. Lonely Whale has been named a leader in innovation and a top global environmental mover and shaker. The company has driven worldwide change in the market on behalf of the ocean.   In January of 2021, Emma joined Better Shelter and the IKEA Foundation in developing Structure - a consumer facing, climate migrant initiative.   A driver of creative, strategic marketing, Emma has presented to diverse communities around the world. She has been recognized as a Rubicon Global Waste Fit Champion and as one of the top 100 female culture creators in the United States by PureWow. Emma has been featured in national and international publications and was a mentor and judge with the A/D/O Water Futures challenge, presented by Jane Withers Studio London. She sits on the Board of Tandem Pictures.   Emma lives in San Francisco with networks in New York, Stockholm, Los Angeles and London.