World Team: Notes from the Base Camp

Posts Tagged ‘environmental’

“Our Future” (COP15- A Personal Perspective)

Posted by 1worldteam on December 14, 2009

Copenhagen, Denmark Uited Nations Conference COP15

I knew I had to come to COP15,  the UN Conference in Copenhagen Denmark, but didn’t know exactly why or how, but that never stopped me.  We posted an actual counter with “The Countdown to Copenhagen” on our World Team Now’s home page, over six months ago.  When the leading environmental airlines, Scandinavian Airlines , (the official sponsor of COP15) came through with the  tickets, and since I had an assignment from Environment News Service (ENS),  got U.N. press accreditation, the dues as an actress allowed my press pass to come from my first union affiliation, AFTRA. Now there was enough support  for me to believe the rest of what I needed would come;  it always has, ( but usually not when I want it) or the way I expect it, but it comes…

When I was young I wrote a letter to the President of the United States and asked him what he was going to about the environmental problems that would affect our future.  That is why I’m truly here at COP15.  I realize that the President alone didn’t have the answer but from an innocent point of view one could believe all the World Leaders together as a team might.  This is one reason why I am here.  Yes—I could be here as a founder for our non-profit, World Team Now, or our emerging World Team project, but I’m actually on assignment for ENS’  with World -Wire which has quite an extensive distribution, and allows the freedom to work in all the other  capacities too.  But it truly comes back to that core question,  “How will humanity live in better balance with our environment?” and that is questions I’m willing to focus my life force into, as it is a question for our time, and our world now.

I am often asked where the passion for the environment and social issues began.  Perhaps before I was born, but I remember significant moments from my youth that demonstrate that the seeds were planted long before I was aware of them.  For example at boarding school, in the 4th grade– the year I had my first double digit birthday.  It was one of the days when the morning bell rang and we were informed at breakfast that the whole school would have an outing.  This time it would be to hike along the roadway for the day to clean it up.  Although this was so much fun being outside and out of the classroom- I was troubled.  I reflected on Manhattan where I was born, and how the garbage was piled high on the sidewalk, something seemed wrong about what then seemed like a junk city,  among the skyscraper buildings- where crowds of people made walls.  But I really could not understand why there was so much liter along this gorgeous Adirondack road?  How did it get there and why?  With gloves and garbage bags in hand  I asked my teacher, “Who is in the parent of the flowers, the grass and our earth?”  My teacher understood that I meant, who was in charge of this situation.  She explained, “The mayor is the boss”.  I persisted to ask,  “Who is the mayor’s boss?” My inquiry continued until the conversation escalated to, “Is it possible to write a letter to the President of the United States?”

Fortunately North Country School is the kind of place that inspires experiential learning, so  I wrote the letter.  Back then I didn’t know what a constituency was but I knew I was afraid to send the letter alone to the President so I asked a classmate to sign on with me. With the guidance of our teacher,  we could do it as an “exercise” to see if we could be heard by people who might be able to do something about our concern.   We asked the President of the United States of America; Gerald Ford, ‘What are you planning to do about the environmental issues, and all of the problems with our water, and air, with pollution?

Every day, for what seemed like forever, I awaited for a reply from the White House.  Many said that would never happen, to forget about it, “The White House doesn’t respond to this letters from kids,” they have more important things to do.  I realized the important thing was that I wrote the letter.

I don’t know why I had to write this letter, but I did.  Just like I knew I had to go to Rio for the Earth Summit Global Forum in 1992 and why I had to participate in the Earth Train for Peace project and go to yet another UN conference, this time on: Human Rights, in Vienna 1993.  It was a very simple letter; I have it still somewhere in storage.  That letter made me feel so good to write, and knowing I actually sent it someone older, with authority, who had the power to change our course, gave me a feeling like that was bigger than me.  Our environment was what our whole class had discussed and researched for a year but we just learned mostly about the problems.  By thinking that my action might help a solution for others, our animals, and trees, made my life different and that was enough.

It really caught me by surprise when the Head Master of our School, the late Harry Eldridge along with my teacher Andrea, told me I had received a letter from the President of the United States.  He then requested I read the letter to the school after lunch.  A combination of elation and fear in equal portion hit me like a wave.  Caught in the undertow of fear I surfaced to breath into my first public speaking role, and read the letter that was meet by the applauding of all my classmates, and the kids older and younger, because this was the question inside their hearts too.  Although the answer was more a “thank you letter”, and what I thought was a real signature was probably one of those stamps, I didn’t know that at the time.   I believed we might have made a difference, and at least it gave me and my friends hope for our future.  The value of that is priceless, and that hope has fueled me to be here at COP15 and write my first piece, “Youth Captures the Attention of World Leaders,” I could related to their passion about “Our Future”.


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Academy Awards-World Team Theme

Posted by 1worldteam on February 23, 2009

We are living in times of change as evidenced by 81st Academy Awards…It was more than the fact that the nominated movie’s content projected higher collective consciousness global themes(like World Team) that speak to universal truths. 

Like the new breath of possibility in with leadership in the USA, the Academy Awards’ show–which supports, and awards the greatest talent in our entertainment industry– finally used some of the creativity present to serve more than “entertainment value”, “the advertisers” or “the industry itself”.  It genuinely gave something authentic to humanity within the production of the television broadcast special event.  And the award goes to producer Laurence Mark and director/writer Bill Condon.

Let’s start with the light as the main attraction of the set was the arch of LED lights and screens that projected images in not only a pure, crisp way, but also using colors like indigo, purple and violet which brilliantly illuminate transformation.  Projectors screens and sets brought us into the reality of each category literally to become intimate with understanding what it really is all about. 

It is wonderful to see the international presence, each year growing becoming more and more of a global event.  This year India, Japan, the UK,  got the light, and Hugh Jackman was the light.

The humanitarian and environmental deep waters moved a current harmonious to the tide of our changing times where the heart and contribution of time and energy may have at least equal value to money.  Jerry Lewis was honored for his long amazing career, not only for all the laughter and genius, but also for the billions of funds he raised in his life time for the charity  Muscular Dystrophy Association.  He was one of the people, a leader it seems, a pioneer— who still gives back with his celebrity (way before the trend), evidenced by his upcoming long standing telethons.   With a standing ovation form audience Jerry shared, “For most of my life, I’ve thought that doing good for someone didn’t mean you would receive any commendation for an act of kindness — until now,” said Lewis, “This award touches me in the very depths of my soul.”  You touch us all Jerry.

 Even the corporate sponsors’ ads were better and integrated to this theme; World MasterCard campaign touted a virtuous take on reality, with why and when to use money and what it can and can’t buy.   The distinction of what is “priceless,” with truths about life.  And True North Nuts-Yes all of us who are founders of Non-profit organizations have to be a little “nutty” to take the risk to use one life to serve.  They showcased non-profit’s finding their “True North” in their ads how they give from a truth inside that leads and inspires with the work they do serving others ; “The Smile Train” and “Sustainable South Bronx,” (those of us at “World Team Now” can relate).

Each category was produced uniquely to reflect what the world of the category was genuinely about, bringing the audience into that reality.  That antiquated dynamic that has for so long been the back biting negative force of “Competition,” and “Comparison” was used this time to unify appreciation acceptance and gratitude to motivate, inspire and bond.  That unconditional love, team work, respect for diversity, was the creed heard in many ways this year…   

For the leading categories like Best Actor, or Best Actress, to have five previous winners who are each legendary icons, in their own right share the limelight together at the same time, ritualized the passing moment where the spot light was on each of the nominees’ journey as a rite of passage, inaugurating them into the heart of the industry.  It changed the winning and losing, duality into something greater like experience.   The moment of the nomination was transformed from a one of uncertainty, fear and competition, to one of honor, respect, and gratitude and compassionate.  It honored the love for the artist, the person who gave of themselves of their live in a role to become the life of another–for what could become transcendent for each of our lives.  For each nominee it seems a mentor type was chosen to speak directly to the nominee, that bond and energy shared is immeasurable.  The words spoken by each actor presenting, rang a truth like a toast they each made to the nominee, as they rallied admiration to enforce the nomination by inviting them to join in.  

For all the other categories–each way the production was executed reflected what is was about to finally educate the public, and show how each of these incredible pieces have to come together to make that movie up on the screen—no more illusion and magic, it is love and something higher that allows films like “Slum Dog Millionaire”, “The Curious Condition of Benjamin Buttons” and “Milk” to be made–works of art that “move “us from the core with ineffable gifts. 

Who was the genius that integrated a real aspect to the production an actual truth?  It was less like illusion, façade, spectacle and more like inspiration, truth and love… ready and eager to accept a new leader and change here in this Academy’s production…  It was great when the President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences who is stepping down was equated to the change in the White House, and relieved that there was no allowance of air time for his speech. Applause to all who were involved with the 81st academy awards, now there is a worthy production finally where the synergy of the event became something more with its own independent value.

More than a gold statue”Oscar” was brought to life–this year the awards production actually had a heart–more than entertainment, it was a work of art.

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