Communication and Media Archives - Earth Charter

Radio Programme in Spain broadcasts the Earth Charter

Zero Emission, the programme from Spain´s International radio, which is the only program in Spanish dedicated to sustainability, disseminates the Earth Charter in its regular transmissions. The director of the program, Ricardo Fraguas Poole, shares his experience in infusing the values and principles of the Earth Charter in its transmissions.


By: Ricardo Fraguas Poole, Director of Zero Emission


It is with great emotion, pride, and satisfaction that we are able to share with all of you that the message of the Earth Charter is our daily Creed at ZERO EMISSION, Spain´s International Radio program dedicated to the diffuse and promotion of Sustainability.

We cannot find a better way to begin our program than to reaffirm ourselves in what is articulated in the preamble of the Charter.

“We are one human family, with a common destiny.” “We live moments of privilege, to be able to govern in the right way our present and our future”. “Respect and protect Earth and nature, Universal Human Rights, economic justice and the culture of Peace”.

I am continuously thrilled every day, over and over again, by publicly diffusing these words and ideas, which fill our existence with meaning.

This is something I do with the intention of helping us to remember and to assume the privilege of exercising the genuine and sincere act of generous responsibility, of caring for one another, and of preserving the natural environment that gives us life.

We infuse each program in ZERO EMISSION, which I invite you to please consider as yours, the feelings and the values of the Earth Charter, along with the poem and song of John Lennon, “Imagine¨; we confirm that yes, we are dreamers. We believe and we know that we can make a better world for more people. We are not alone in this task. We are moving along. That each day we become more and more, and that we are succeeding in this task.

I am also pleased to share with all of EQUIPO DE EMISIÓN CERO1you the celebration of our first year of live transmissions as the only programme in Spanish dedicated to the promotion and awareness raising of Sustainability.  Our audience comes from five continents; they tune in through devices connected to the Internet, in Podcast version, and through frequencies in the associated stations of Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, the United States, and Spain.

On ZERO EMISSION we promote the decarbonization of industry and transport and support the actions and initiatives of the United Nations for sustainable development; as well as movements such as divestment, driven by our fellow media group The Guardian and Bill Mckibben.

You can find access and free downloading of all the programmes issued since October 2016 up to date in:

We hope and wish that all those who promote and use the Earth Charter can participate in our programme sharing your information and actions. As for us, we will continue to to the most we can with our informative work on Sustainability, in which we believe in and enjoy.

Congratulations on your work.

-Ricardo Fraguas Poole, Director of Emission Zero.



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Reflections as the New Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator

By: Christine Lacayo

My first month of work ends and I’m excited to share some of my reflections!

As the Earth Charter Youth Projects ChristineECCoordinator, my main responsibility is to motivate, guide, and engage young people to create a more just, sustainable and peaceful world. What is the best way to do this? I think the beauty of this position is the flexibility and creativity the job requires. I have the ability to incorporate my passions and interests to expand and create new opportunities and stories. I’m excited to bring my passion for visual media and writing to collect all Earth Charter Youth actions and stories that are taking place around the world. As an ocean advocate, I would also like to continue sensitizing my community members on the importance of taking care of our ocean ecosystems!

Some of the main projects I’m focusing on now include promoting our app Mapting, used to take pictures of actions related the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have our next photo competition to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity starting from 12-22 May.Mapting_FB_AD

I’m also facilitating our next online training programme for youth, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics (LSE) starting 19 June. This 10-week course is designed to prepare and empower young people with the skills and knowledge to be effective ethical sustainability leaders and implement Earth Charter-inspired projects.

One of my favorite roles of my job is having a group of Earth Charter Young Leaders, those who have completed the LSE course, from all over the world. These leaders are from countries such as St. Lucia, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Netherlands, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Rwanda, and Spain, just to name a few! My responsibility is to support them along their year commitment as an Earth Charter Young Leader implementing activities and workshops in their community.

I’m also diving into the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Leadership Training Programme created by esd-training-flierEarth Charter International for the UNESCO Global Action Program (GAP) on ESD focusing on priority area number 4: empowering and mobilizing youth. The training is designed for young people from 18-35 who are active leaders in sustainable development in their communities.  At the beginning of July, I will be co-facilitating the training programme in Brasilia, Brazil for selected young leaders from across Latin America!

I’m very excited to start this dynamic new job not to mention the stunning nature views and sounds from my office! I’m happy to be back in the country I grew up visiting as my second home while promoting a more peaceful and sustainable world using the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from my studies and experiences!IMG_0032




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Mapting: New photo-sharing app to popularize Sustainable Development Goals

Discovering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Earth Charter Principles while spreading a positive message about the future of our planet through picture and video sharing —this is the idea behind Mapting, a new mobile app developed by Earth Charter International in collaboration with Soka Gakkai International (SGI).


Mapting is a free tool that invites users to look for everyday actions that people take which help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Then it´s as simple as snapping a photo or video and sharing it on a world map.

mapting-home-screenBeyond a photo and video sharing app created to map positive actions worldwide, Mapting is also a learning tool. It was designed in such a way that each step, from the home page to the photo sharing process, offers an opportunity for its users to learn more about the 17 Goals and the principles of the Earth Charter. The app combines these two complementary frameworks, the SDGs and the Earth Charter, to build connections between the targets, or where we need to go (SDGs), and the fundamental shared values that we need to get there (the Earth Charter).

Mapting was officially launched at an event called “Youth boosting the promotion and implementation of the SDGs” held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 10 November 2016. Mapting received enthusiastic support from participants and NGOs. The app quickly had users from Mexico, Japan, Brazil, Switzerland and the US with more people joining every day.

Mapting was created based on the belief that individuals, specifically young individuals, have power to initiate change. This app is a simple, entertaining way to discover and engage around the Global Goals and the Earth Charter with the potential to popularize and expand the movement for sustainable development.

Download Mapting now for free at to join people around the world who Snap & Map everyday acts that contribute to the SDGs.

Authors: Dino De Francesco, Digital Communications Specialist and Sarah Dobson, Youth Projects Coordinator at Earth Charter International

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Earth Charter International launches new website

The Earth Charter has a new online home with a new, cleaner look.

The Earth Charter has a new website and this online home for the global movement and for Earth Charter International includes modern aesthetics and tools. ECI is very happy to have moved the online aspect of the Earth Charter movement to a modern and flexible website. The Virtual Library will also be easier to search for visitors doing research or seeking specific resources. ECI will be working on improving the website over the coming months to make the experience of learning about the Earth Charter and finding useful resources better and easier.

We hope that you will visit the site frequently and take advantage of the numerous free resources in our virtual library, as well as stay up-to-date with happenings within the global movement, the youth network, and education programmes. Let us know what you think!

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Interview with new Earth Charter International Affiliate from Belgium and Germany

tuuli-sauren-affiliate-headshotInspirit Communication joins Earth Charter International at the end of 2015.

Earth Charter International is happy to announce its newest affiliate from Belgium and Germany, Inspirit Communication. The director and owner of this organization, Tuuli Sauren, gave this interview to ECI.

ECI: What is Inspirit International Communication?

A:    We are communication design agency and are growing more towards becoming an advocacy agency for those who have no voice, for example human rights and gender equality are close to our hearts. We offer Creative Leadership services for companies who need help to see the bigger picture, helping them find innovative new ways to conduct their business, and suggesting solutions. We are for profit, but a lot of what we do comes from our passion and we are not only about business and profits. We are adding social value, which can’t be measured financially.

inspirit-logo-with-icograda-alternative-2015ECI: What does it do?

A:    We offer communication design services, which are not limited to only making campaigns and other classical design related materials for our clients (websites, info-graphics, adverts, publications, animations, just to mention few). We also don’t consider that we work “for” our clients, rather that we work with them and nurture partnerships and are not seen only as suppliers. We love our clients and do almost anything it takes to get them the best possible end results and satisfaction on projects. We are thriving from using our skill set to make a significant contribution to the world by helping to communicate and taking part as an active participant on important issues. We have a special focus on social and cultural sustainability, (human rights, indigenous peoples rights, gender equality, wildlife, i.e.), as well as financial sustainability, including issues such as fair compensation for work, anti-corruption, and transparency on business polices, all of which are issues very close to our hearts.

ECI: What does the Earth Charter mean to you personally?

A:    The Earth Charter is a lifestyle. I’m not sure if other people in the EC network see it the same way. The Earth Charter unites people, in a less official way than United Nations, but I see the Earth Charter as working more at the everyday life level. Thinking about it this way, it has the potential to become a trend. Increasing sustainability should be a trend, which will grow forever. The Earth Charter represents a culture of peace and it should have its own song. It is a community with no borders.

ECI: How does the Earth Charter impact your work? Your life?

A:    The EC will further support our vision and mission, which are already well aligned with those of the Earth Charter.  I am very much looking forward to this new friendship and collaboration towards common goals. United efforts have a bigger impact and higher success rate than those coming from a small company as ours. We are eager to learn from Earth Charter International and I hope that we will be able to offer something in return that Earth Charter International doesn’t have yet.

ECI: How will INSPIRIT International Communication foster the Earth Charter vision?

A:    We want to see it adopted by many more people. We aim to help to capture the attention of the youth and get them involved in the Earth Charter lifestyle and promote its 16th principle this year. We want to communicate the principles in a language that is accessible to everybody. Same language, same vision, same mission towards one goal.

ECI: What activities are you planning using the Earth Charter? EC+16?

A:    The June 29th, 2016 Earth Charter Day is about the Earth Charter’s 16th principle. We want to explain the principle in the form of an info-graphic, which can be understood regardless of language. It will be accessible to everybody, including those with hearing impairment and those who can’t see, with a voice-over function. We want to launch this globally and share it with other Earth Charter communities and network participants.

ECI: Is there anything else you’d like to say about the Earth Charter?

A:    We are honored to have the opportunity to join the family. Earth Charter is a family without borders or restrictions based on skin color, nationality, or religion. It speaks to anybody who wants to listen.

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EC Education Center completes third programme of 2015

From April 13-17, the Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development offered its first programme for sustainability communicators. The programme, called “Communicating Effectively and Powerfully on Sustainability: The Earth Charter, Theater Training, and Storytelling” was co-facilitated by Jesai Jayhmes, an actor and communications coach, and Douglas F. Williamson, also an actor and communicator and on staff at Earth Charter International.

The programme was attended by eight participants from six countries, making the diversity very enriching and exciting. The diversity of participants was handled expertly by the facilitators, who, as usual for Earth Charter Center courses, steered the interactions towards fostering a sense of community and familiarity.

The programme integrated the Earth Charter and sustainability thought with communications tools and techniques from the theater and storytelling traditions. The focus on storytelling elicited the core concerns of the participants about their respective challenges in communicating about sustainability issues. It was, at times, very intimate and also endearing to hear the personal motivations and stories of the participants. These personal connections to the issues in the form of stories are essential for creating powerful and effective communication.

The final day of the programme consisted of staging a performance of a theater production written by and performed by the participants. It was both fun and carried a strong message about the competing interests of development and individual motivations and the opposed vision of the community of life and the need to preserve its integrity.

See all the course photos here.

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Earth Charter +15 kicks off!

On 25 February, ECI began its celebrations of the 15th anniversary of the Earth Charter with a highly compelling webinar with two eminent guest speakers. The webinar was moderated by ECI Executive Director Mirian Vilela and the guest panel consisted of former UNESCO Director General Federico Mayor and current Green Cross International President Alexander Likhotal. Both speakers have been longtime supporters of the Earth Charter. The theme of the webinar was “Thinking about Earth Community”.

Federico Mayor spoke about the Earth Charter and described it as a summary of solutions to many of the world’s problems and encouraged its study in all schools. He stressed three main points of importance in the world that are also expressed in the Earth Charter. First, he observed the need for intergenerational responsibility and the urgency for farsightedness. Secondly, he emphasized the importance of participatory democracy based on equality and human rights. Finally, he stressed the importance of empowering women to be the cornerstone of the coming changes. Reflecting on the Earth Charter and its importance to the Earth Community, he stated “We must return humanity to humans.”

Following that, Alexander Likhotal offered his broad perspectives on the Earth Community and the Earth Charter.  Mr. Lihotal began his talk with an overview of large global trends including social and economic trends. Coming back around to the Earth Charter and Earth Community, Mr. Likhotal offered the following words, “There is more freedom, but less air. The soul is thirsty for something overwhelmingly good, call it spirit. The soul is suffocating…Freedom decoupled from some ethical depths becomes locked to the surface and acquires a destructive power. At the ultimate depth, there are no isolated values because there is only one, an integral love in which freedom, responsibility, and wisdom define the borders of the possible.”

The webinar was attended by 40 people and there was a lively discussion in the chat box as well as a vibrant question and answer for the last 30 minutes of the session.

You can view a recording of the webinar here.

The next webinar in this series of celebratory EC+15 webinars will be on 29 April and will focus on the ecological integrity pillar of the Earth Charter.


As part of the EC+15 celebrations, Earth Charter International has launched a photo contest and hopes to receive inspiring images and messages on people’s understanding of the year’s slogan “One Earth Community, One Common Destiny”. The contest will be open until Earth Day, April 22nd. ECI attracted three main sponsors to the project, Yes! Magazine, The Greenhouse of the Future project and the Journey of the Universe.

YES! Magazine is an award-winning, ad-free, nonprofit publication that supports people’s active engagement in building a just and sustainable world and reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions. Online and in print, YES! outlines a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world. Yes! Magazine is donating a year’s subscription as a prize for the contest.

“Yes! Magazine’s Susan Gleason wrote, “Yes! is fully identified with the Earth Charter’s values for sustainable development. We are really happy to be able to support the Earth Charter and help the international network celebrate 15 years of this beautiful vision.”

The contest is also sponsored by The Greenhouse of the Future, a cutting-edge sustainability project. The Greenhouse of the Future is an innovative and strategic design, built of recycled and natural materials, that interacts with the natural phenomena of the planet in order to create the ideal environment for growth and abundance. The project can show you how to learn radically sustainable technologies that can lead to self-sufficiency through respect for nature and lead you towards an outstanding quality of life. The Greenhouse of the Future project has generously donated several of their e-Book/DVDs showing you to build one of the greenhouses step-by-step.

The contest is also sponsored by The Journey of the Universe Film, Book, & Conversations. This award-winning project is a collaboration between evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme and historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker. They weave a tapestry that draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, and biology with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe. Journey of the Universe is donating its film and learning materials as prizes.

Find out all the details on the Earth Charter +15 photo contest here:


Earlier this year in January, ECI co-organized a webinar in France the The Forum for the Common Good. This webinar was the first collaboration between the two organizations and signifies increased outreach and interest in France. The event was organized as part of the EC+15 effort. You can read more about it here.


Finally, two separate Earth Charter youth groups in the United Arab Emirates carried out activities in celebration of Earth Charter +15.

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EC Youth Group Students for the Earth organizes EC+15 photo contest

Guest post by George Zacharia

“Every walk with nature, just helps you to realize that there is still more you can do for it.”

This was one of the messages received for the “My 2015 Environmental Message Competition” organized by Students for the Earth, an EC Youth Group, in support of the 15th anniversary of the Earth Charter.

Students for the Earth, is a youth group based in the United Arab Emirates that engages in a variety of activities including environmental, humanitarian, and cultural activities, and was founded in 2013. The group has organized workshops, visits, volunteering activities, and charity collections. It organizes campaigns and competitions on social media to spread awareness. Students for the Earth was selected as the October 2013 youth group the month. They recently participated in a Clean Up Drive to clean up the city of Sharjah, and also organized an all UAE online quiz and art competition to celebrate the country’s national day in December.

The competition asked students from grades KG1-Grade 13 to come up with their messages for 2015. It had to be less than 15 words. To spread awareness about the Earth Charter’s anniversary, we also asked students to add “#ECplus15” in their messages. Even though the notice was short, the group received a lot of entries and 14 finalists were chosen. From them, one winner was selected by popular vote and six winners were selected by a panel of judges. The competition was able to reach to more than 12,000 people from different countries.

“We never expected such a large response to the competition. We are glad that we were able to let students know about Earth Charter and its principles and also how they could bring it about in their lives,” said George Zacharia, the founder of the group. One of the comments read, “Good work dear Kids! You Students for the Earth proved to be real teachers of Mother Earth.”

The group is planning to organize more events this year including a one-day environmental conference by youth and various other activities. The group can be contacted through its Facebook page: or

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EC+15 celebrations for 2015

In the year 2000, the Earth Charter was officially launched on June 29th in a ceremony in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. The launch was preceded by nearly a decade of efforts in the most participatory manner ever achieved by a civil society initiative to agree on the universal ethical principles of sustainable development. Since 2000, the Earth Charter has spread around the globe, has been translated into more than 40 languages, and has inspired millions of actions, activities, initiatives, organizations, and individuals, all to make a more peaceful, more, just, and more sustainable world.

Now, fifteen years later, the world is in some ways better, in other ways the same, and in still other ways is worse. 2015 is a moment for us to rekindle the torch of hope that the Earth Charter represents. It is a moment for the world community to recommit to achieving the lofty goals set forth in the Charter. And so, ECI is officially launching its EC+15 Campaign with the following logo and slogan:

ECI will be holding several events, mostly online, and will also organize two artistic contests, one for photos and another for videos over the course of the year. The schedule of planned events include webinars in February, April,  June, and another one near the launching of the SDGs in September, and a final one to reflect on the year in December.

On 20 March ECI plans to organize, in collaboration with partner organizations, a face-to-face event at its facilities in Costa Rica called “Finding Synergies, Building Bridges.  Reorienting Education towards Sustainable Development, Sustainable Consumption and Global Citizenship”. 

Several ECI Affiliates have already announced their own celebrations. The Mexican network is planning a suite of events around Earth Day (22 April) at the University of Coahuila, and ECI Affiliates in the Netherlands will also hold events on 29 June  in the Peace Palace in The Hague.

Earth Charter International would like to invite all of you, individuals and organizations, to plan actions and activities under the slogan “One Earth Community, One Common Destiny” during 2015 to celebrate the Earth Charter and initiate action and awareness in your communities. The more actions and activities that the global EC movement can organize, implement, and share worldwide will add strength and vitality to the movement.

ECI would like to have as much news about these celebrations as possible, leverage social media, and offer as many people as possible the chance to learn about and learn how to use the Earth Charter. So, start thinking about how you, your community, or your organization can participate.

Let us know by sending us information, posting on facebook and other social media platforms, and use the hashtag #ECplus15.

Thanks and we look forward to celebrating the Earth Charter with you next year!

Click here for more information.

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Interview with new ECI affiliate iD2 Communications from Canada

Earth Charter International Communications Coordinator Douglas F. Williamson conducted an interview with new ECI affiliate Valerie Elliott in November 2014.

D) I am here today with Valerie Elliott from iD2 Communications from Victoria, British Colombia Canada, who is a new ECI affiliate. And first of all, this interview is a welcome to you to the Earth Charter community. We’re really honored to have you be a part of our efforts as well as the larger global network. You are very welcome and we are very happy to have you.

V) Thank you, Douglas.

D) You’re welcome. Let’s jump right into it. What is iD2 Communications? What do you do?

V) We are a small high performance sustainable communications firm. We provide services that are sustainable in stakeholder engagement, in branding, in media relations, and graphic and web design and other online design work. Sometimes people glaze over when they hear the term sustainable communications. What the heck is that? Sustainable communications looks at the whole life cycle of products and services and commits to strategies, processes, procedures, and materials that consider and value the environmental, cultural, social, and economic impacts that those entail. But we are small, I guess that is probably the difference between us and some of your other affiliates. We don’t believe that that diminishes our potential for contribution.

D) Nor do I. We actually have a full range of affiliates of different sizes. Some of them are quite large and some are smaller organizations. The quality of the commitment is more important than the size of the organization, for sure.

V) For me it’s important to comment on that because many with big corporations and in some of the larger organizational structures there’s often no room for the small business. Small businesses in British Colombia account for over 90% of all business, so it’s significant that small businesses can make those contributions as well.

D) How did you find out about the Earth Charter?

V) Following along with climate action and climate summits and knowing about the Earth Summit, I knew about Maurice Strong and knew that he had worked with Mikhail Gorbachev and created this citizens’ charter. In 2001, when I began looking for ethical documents to help me build our own ethical policy and sustainability statement I continually referred back to the Earth Charter. And every time I found another source, it would refer me back to the Earth Charter because it’s so concise.

D) I think that leads to the next question. What does the Earth Charter mean to you?

V) I am a values-based person. It’s in my being and it’s always been first and foremost. What’s important to me is how people communicate, how respectful and how meaningful the communication is. So, I have a great interest in the values of others because they aren’t necessarily the same as mine. It’s very important to me that a declaration exists when I’m in discussion with others, when I’m working with others. Something that can be put in writing and can be agreed upon, that we can say this is the basis of our work, or this is the basis of our friendship. The expectations that we might have. The Earth Charter to me isn’t always about business or about social development. It’s sometimes about the real one-on-one basic connection that we have with other humans. I think the Earth Charter can be looked at from that perspective, from a smaller perspective. So, to me if we have that basis and know the values that we are drawing on with each other and share with each other, then it helps us determine how we can best move forward with each other as human beings. That’s what it means to me.

D) To go back to what you said before to how the EC influenced your company’s policy tell us a little about that, about how the Earth Charter was a reference to you. Tell me in your day-to-day work or in your larger business plans and operations, how does the Earth Charter affect that?

V) Sometimes you need to have the guiding principle when you’re challenged. We were first challenged with a situation when we are asked to work on a project that had to do with cancer research. And they were testing on animals. Now, testing on animals is ubiquitous, particularly in North America where it’s performed by almost every university. And there are certain animals that aren’t even considered living beings, such as rats. So when we took on that client, we were going to do a video about their procedure, and how their research has worked. We discovered in the process that they were able to purchase synthetic cells but were choosing instead to test on animals. This started our whole deep dive into the Earth Charter, because we recognized we had certain values but we thought, “Is it fair to impose those values we have on others?” So, we were looking for writing, for principles that had already been vetted and considered appropriate for everyone to adopt. That was the first kick at the can, and by the way, we did not deliver to the client, we explained our reasoning behind it, and we quoted the Earth Charter in doing so. We did not leave the client hanging, we found them another contractor to work with, to maintain our reputation, and be respectful of where they were at the time.

The next incident was with a government. We were asked to do some stakeholder engagement. It requires time to do that kind of engagement, and it was for the oil and gas industry. We were given a total of three weeks to do the work. I indicated to them it was impossible to perform meaningful dialogue with a stakeholder group as large as the one they were discussing, and so we indicated that it wasn’t possible. They threatened us by telling us that if we didn’t perform this work and take the contract that we would be removed from the preferred vendors’ list, and so we requested to be removed from that list. Once again, we quoted the Earth Charter and several other sources to back us up.

So, we were starting to feel pretty good about our position. But what we weren’t feeling good about was that we weren’t providing the clients the information in advance, for them to know what our principles were and what they would be coming up against and what we were asking them to agree to, so we recognized that we have to agree with our clients on these principles. Now before we work with any clients we provide them with our ethical principles, which are guided by the Earth Charter and our own staff’s writing and interpretation of wording. It’s very close I have to say without verbatim stealing, and we do of course refer to the Earth Charter in our principles. They know exactly and they agree to work under these principles. From our perspective, it helps us challenge our own industry, to look beyond pretty pictures and award-winning advertising. So, we can perform work that we believe serves society in a beneficial way. And the elders have taught me that what has heart and meaning is what we need to cherish and respect, and I can’t imagine a better way to do that than implementing the Earth Charter values in our work.

D) It’s heartening to hear someone talk about the integrity that they bring to their work and how much it means to them, so that for me is a beautiful sentiment that you expressed. That is a really beautiful Earth Charter story. Tell me then, how do you feel the Earth Charter affects your life outside of work?

V) It’s continually with me, I am constantly talking to people about how to resolve personal issues within themselves, their work, or their families. I talk a lot about the respectful process, honoring where people are right now, not judging them, and trying to really relish the journey. This is why we are on this planet, to have this life journey. And I can’t imagine why I would go to work every day or have relationships with people, friends, family that weren’t part of a joyful journey. So, to me the Earth Charter is always there and continues to be that solid rock that I know I can count on being there.

I think we are trapped in some dynamics of our social interactions that are challenging us and I think the challenge really is to find that joy inside and let it out so that we can help each other, we can do better things for each other. I’m often called on by friends and family to stop helping so many people. I was taught to help, but the Earth Charter solidified it for me, made it ok for me to be me. I believe that everyone is beautiful inside, but we have bound people with expectations of ownership and power and control and things that take them on a path that is not likely going to bring them on a path of much joy to either themselves or to the people around them. So, that’s why I think the Earth Charter belongs in both our private lives and our work lives.

D) Now that you are an Earth Charter affiliate, how are you going to move Earth Charter activities forward, and including you can talk about the Earth Charter +15 campaign that we were discussing the other day.

V) As part of iD2’s policies based on the Earth Charter about sharing and educating, we took that very seriously. We began speaking across Canada and I perform a self-branding exercise for youth. Youth to me is the future, literally they are the future. So, youth is probably the most important audience that I have, which is often dismissed as ignorant or naïve. I don’t believe that’s true and I think that students are fighting very hard to find their place in the world. So, I began a pro-bono workshop that I provide to students and schools, and it’s to help these students find their uniqueness.

It began with the branding process I use for corporations and non-profits. Participants distil themselves down so they eventually have a grand essence of who they are in a nutshell. I’ve been doing those exercises with students aged 14-17, occasionally we have slightly younger students, and of course I have performed this exercise for adults and designers. This branding exercise gives me the opportunity to see how I can work with the Earth Charter. Once we get the participants’ brand identity down and a strategy on how they’re going to protect their brand identity and make sure that they continue to do the things that they love to do, I’ll bring in the Earth Charter and introduce its principles. Then I want to ask them to start adopting the principles that really feel integral to who they are as a person. So, they can start identifying their own value statement. I think that’s very important, because we can assure students, youth, that they have the right to articulate these values, which might be respectful dialogue, for instance. Now, obviously those values might not be reciprocated. But what I’ve found out is that a lot of youth feel that they don’t know how best to behave, and through the Earth Charter and through the language of the Earth Charter, it would be a way for students to feel right to say that they want respectful dialogue, that they want to treat living entities with respect. I think it empowers them, and that’s one simple thing that I want to do.

I’m quite excited about this. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m anxious to do so. Of course, we don’t take our affiliations lightly, so this is an important affiliation for us, the affiliation with the Earth Charter. We want to continue working with Earth Charter International to see if we can connect, because the Earth Charter is about all of us, it’s not about us in North America, or us in Europe, or us in Asia. It’s about all of us working together. One of my goals for 2015 is to reach out and tie those threads together so we can finally start working together on projects that promote the Earth Charter.

Also, the other day we talked about mailing art pieces, which is called Artist trading cards, or ATC. It’s an art form that has been around for well over two decades. They are a baseball card-sized card with art on it and they are traded all over the world. What if we were to ask people to start ATCs based on the principles of the EC? We could create a seed gallery, send it to different communities as an exmaple and inspiration. That’s exciting to me because it involves any age group, artist or non-artist. It’s not about being an artist, but showing in visuals and texts whatever format of expression someone chooses, to support their values and principles of equality, fairness, democracy, whatever it might be. That’s another thing that I’d like to work on for the EC+15 celebrations next year.

D) As part of the affiliation to Earth Charter International you have agreed to try to help us with some fund raising. Why did you feel that that was important that you were willing to have that as part of the agreement between our organizations?

V) I think fundraising is one of the four pillars of sustainability. The economic is essential in order to ensure that we can continue telling the story of sustainability, of one world, one earth. So we absolutely must have funds coming into the organization, to allow the message to be spread across the globe and also to assist those who need that face-to-face to get down to Costa Rica where the courses are taking place. It is going to be essential that we have those individuals that can go back into their communities and share that information. There’s often no better way of doing that than with that face-to-face, being able to talk, meet with other people, feel the earth we are walking on. So, I think it’s very important that we do that fundraising in order to build capacity for Earth Charter International. It’s going to be important for the future of our world to have strong non-profits whose main focus is on the well-being of our planet. We are talking about trying to change the way people think and behave. There can be no better investment than that in my view.

D) Thanks so much for taking the time today to talk with me, for sharing your inspirational voice, and for your intention to work with us to build a better a future.

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