PORTRAITS OF INSPIRATIONAL CHANGE MAKERS
This site showcases great Change Makers and Thought Leaders, who have been very influential and inspiring to my way of perceiving the world. This collection grew one portrait at a time, chronologically leading up to the UN Climate Summit in NYC, on September 23rd, 2014. In Hope, that the stories herein showcased will set the same inspiration to you, as they did to me.
* CC-BY-SA Jenni Ottilie Keppler *
Julia Butterlfy Hill
[ACTIVISM – Civil Disobedience]
Julia Butterfly Hill squatted a giant Redwood Tree, named Luna, from December 1997 – December 1999. I felt honored to meet her in person, when I was 14. The words "YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!", that she added to her autograph, have been a source of courage to me, ever since. [September 15 – #1]
[RESILIENCE – Transition Town Network]
Rob Hopkins is the founder of the Transition Town Movement, which started in 2006 in Totnes, England and ever since then has gained traction around the world, where many small and big communities create islands of resilience for the post-fossil energy age. Fore more info: TransitionNetwork.org [September 16 – #2]
[INTERCONNECTEDNESS – Sacred Economics]
Charles Eisenstein to me, is a voice that verbalizes the status quo of Earth's condition AND the possibilities of where to go from here, from a spiritual standpoint, yet in a way, that makes it accessible to people, who wouldn't call themselves "spiritual". Through his perspective on how everything is interconnected, from living beings to the universe, as well as past, future and present, he expresses the need to reconnect with ourselves and others. He shows us, that we have all we need to create the "more beautiful world our hearts know is possible". An example he gives is the Sharing Economy, which is the surface of the deeper change underneath... For more info: CharlesEisenstein.net [September 17 – #3]
Tristan Copley-Smith & Jonathan Minchin
[IMPACT – Open Source Beehives & Green Fablab Barcelona]
Through his work Tristan has made important subjects, such as OpenSourceBeehives, OpenSource Ecology and WikiLeaks (just to name a few) accessible to a wide audience. Wanting to be a documentarian myself at the age of 19, the encounter with Tristan eight years later re-sparked a lost fire in me to focus exclusively on doing things that have a significant positive impact on sustaining the planet. It felt like an alarm clock rang to wake me up, with the same pitch the alarm had that was set off by Julia Butterfly Hill.
Another "butt-kick", exactly a year later, was the encounter with designer, artist, open source maker, environmentalist [...] Jonathan Minchin, who is also involved in Open Source Beehives and other great projects, such as building up the Green FabLab in Barcelona. To summarize in essence our two-hour-conversation: When it comes to environmental impact, we've spend enough time on theory. NOW IT IS TIME TO TAKE ACTION. No excuses. Nobody.
[ADVOCATE for HARMONIC VIBRANCY – Ecosynomics: The Science of Abundance]
Being a senior researcher at the Institute for Strategic Clarity Christoph redefines the norm of scarcity-driven economics towards abundance-driven Ecosynomics (Reference to Founder: Jim Ritchie Dunham) by finding positive economic deviance around the world. I came across their work in 2011, when Christoph asked me to do little Harmonic Vibrancy Animations (scroll to bottom, ooooold work).This year he asked me for a serious visual presentation make up, so I was able to familiarize myself more in depth with the content. I love the fact, that their scientific research results show the importance of the relationship we have with nature and spirit in order to be truly sustainable as a group, a project, a company… I also learned for myself, that being able to see and live out your potential, as well as being seen in your potential by others is key to being in "Harmonic Vibrancy", as Jim and Christoph call it.
For more information or if you're interested in a talk, read, or work together, visit: Institute For Strategic Clarity [September 19 – #5]
[TRUTH – Investigative Writer]
Reading Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" was eye-opening already, realizing how fragile the political systems are in which we live. Hearing her opening speech via Skype during the Degrowth Conference in Leipzig this year (09/2014) was again very inspiring as she pointed out how environmental initiatives since the 80's in many cases have been over-ruled and sabotaged by governments and people putting first economic growth oriented interests. She describes this in detail in her new Book, that came out in September: This Changes Everything. Her investigative books are like lighthouses that guide to the true reasons behind historic events.
For more information: NaomiKlein.org [September 21 – #6]
[RADICAL CHANGE – Degrowth]
Before you attend a talk on Post-Growth Economy by Niko Paech you better think twice, because the unsustainability of your life style will be stripped down naked. He voices the need to downsize, when everything is getting bigger. He radically calls for localizing as much as you can; your consumption, your food, your electric energy, your money flow, in a way even your relationships. He calls for a 20-hour-week to encourage spending more time on repairing, swapping, socializing, gifting and DIY, which then would lead to a happier life. "He refers to post-growth economy as an economic system that supplies the human needs not on the bases of, or dependency on economic growth but which is characterized by degrowth. Post-growth economy specifically distinguishes itself from popular terms or ideologies such as "sustainable", "green", "dematerialized" or "decarbonized", rejecting the idea that ecological sustainability through technological development would be a realistic goal when holding on to a system measuring progress merely in added economical value . Paech argues for the necessity of such an economic order by addressing the failure of decoupling the environmental damage and the consumption of resources from economical added value, addressing issues such as raising general well-being in society based on happiness economics and economic limitations such as the global maximum oil output." (Quoted from Wikipedia)
For more information google "Niko Paech", "Postwachstums-Ökonomie", Degrowth and try use google translate. [September 22 – #7]
[OPENNESS – A Year of Open Source]
In summer 2012 Sam set out to live A Year Of Open Source, to test out the theory and see how feasible an "Open Source Life" may be. He gave a try to almost anything: from using libre music to making parametric undies and DIY toothpaste, switching to Linux, learning Arduino, finding an open hardware phone, designing open furniture and digitally knitting a remixed-public-domain hat. Now he's using open source in video with Camera Libre, and encouraging others to do the same in their own field with the Open It Agency (openitagency.eu).
For more information and fun-to-read-and-watch content on Sam's YOOS and other work go here: CameraLibre.cc [September 23 – #8]
[LIVING ECO-SOCIAL CHANGE]
The Thinkfarm is an amazing place, filled with creative people coming from backgrounds such as social entrepreneurship, visual design, social design, degrowth, solidarity economy, food savers, makers, dragon dreaming, open source hardware, education, and I'm sure to miss some points here in the list. Thinkfarm is located in Kreuzberg, Berlin and with roughly 80 people residing, it is one of THE hubs where eco-social change is thought up, realized and ready to be passed on to visitors and observers. The five founders put high emphasize on the fact that the farm wouldn't be the farm without the uncountable hands that helped to build it, live it and develop it further until now. Having opened in July 2013 the farm is still in kindergarden age but has set inspiration to many people who passed by, it is organized through task groups that take care of different areas and every two weeks there is a (not-mandatory) plenum held in the community kitchen to hear what and who is new and has happened and what needs to be done.
The original idea of the name is connected to taking ideas that exist and are lived in the rural farmland and bring those into the city, which simply has the longer lever when it comes to reaching people.
For more information on the farm and what interesting projects reside there visit: Thinkfarm.de [September 25 – Special Portrait #1]
[WE – Mission Possible]
At this point I want to pass on the wonderful quote of Julia Butterfly Hill making it clear, that everyone is a ChangeMaker. Everyone. You cannot not be a Change Maker. That is YOU ARE A CHANGEMAKER. No choice there.
"The question we need to ask ourselves is not, “Can one person make a difference?” — Each and every one of us does make a difference. […] So the question we need to ask ourselves is, “What kind of a difference do I want to make?”
There you go.
[September 26 – Special Portrait #2]
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This is what the files looks like when only showing the vector-lines.