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Winner Spotlight: Float Map, a new NGO launched from 2013 proposal


Keith Brower Brown and the Float Map team are an example of dedicated individuals who don’t give up until their idea is realized. Float Map was inspired by a 2013 winning proposal and was recently launched.

Introducing Float Map, an interactive platform that shows the projected impacts of unchecked climate change on American homes, businesses, and communities. 

Float Map was inspired by a 2013 winning proposal.

Keith Brower Brown and his team first developed this idea as a proposal for the 2013 Shifting Cultures for a Changing Climate contest.  The proposal, titled, “Sunk Investment Map: Show the Personal Property Impacts of Climate Change,” won both the Popular Choice and Judges’ Choice awards that year. 

You are now able to see this project realized. Keith’s team established a non-profit organization and just launched their idea under the new name: Float Map.

We recently had the distinct opportunity to sit down with a member of the Float Map team, Keith Brower Brown to discuss the project and the Climate CoLab:

    Keith, originally from Oregon, attended the University of California Berkley and received undergraduate degrees in Environmental Economics and Geography. He held a position in a management consultancy in the clean energy industry, but recently dedicated most of his time toward developing Float Map.

    “Climate change could make it impossible for huge numbers of people to make a living in the places where they’ve lived for generations,” Keith said. And this hits close to home for him: generations of his family witnessed political and economic upheavals, causing them to move. “I feel very fired up to work to stop millions of people from becoming climate refugees.” 

Keith Brower Brown


    Keith wanted to motivate others to make a difference. He found the Climate CoLab through a simple Google search while looking for competitions specific to climate change. He decided this would be a good place to start. 

    “My ‘ah-ha’ moment was when I was thinking of ways to get past the political partisanship of climate change in the United States,” Keith said. “The observation that came to me was that many winning movements were based on issues of identity or property.  When it’s your identity or your property you’re fighting for, you don’t back down.” 

Keith and his team pulled data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build a prototype of their interactive map where people could see the direct impact of climate change on their personal property.

Since winning the contest, Keith and the Float Map have come a long way: the map is now live online and shows the impact of climate change on the midwestern United States.  But it doesn’t end here. Keith and the Float Map team have big plans to expand their data and projections for the rest of the United States. As they continue to grow, the experience of the Climate CoLab “has made it especially helpful to show that we’ve been vetted and awarded by both judges and audience, in a competition run by MIT,” he mentioned. 

But Float Map and Keith still need your help so that they can continue to make a positive impact on the way that we think about climate change.

Help Float Map!  

Share the Float Map with your friends and family in the Midwest United States.

  1. Partner with Float Map: Keith and his team are seeking organizational partners to help grow this project and connect with a larger audience. 
  2. Connect with Keith by messaging him on the Climate CoLab platform.