Category Archives: Leadership

Our Youth and Sustainability

“… the assumption that young people will somehow figure out a way to undo the deeds of their forebears, has crept into and spread like a cancer through UN climate scenarios.”

Lately I have been involved in a series of meetings with about thirty people and we represent all ages. It turns out I’m the oldest of the group and the people I’m most in need of hearing from our younger folks especially on sustainability issues, the most pressing being global warming, because I work from home and there are not many younger folks involved in local organizations including neighborhood associations, museums, and even churches.  There are exceptions, of course, but what I see is mostly white hair and I live in a city with a reputation for being where young people come to retire.

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-10-02-09-amAfter the last meeting I returned to my office and found in my inbox a newly added video to YouTube entitled, Young People’s Burden, a conversation between the renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and his granddaughter Sophie Kivlehan.   I ask you to take 17 minutes to listen to Dr. Hansen and Sophie talk about how they both are plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed by Our Children’s Trust against the federal government in their efforts to secure “the legal right to a stable climate and a healthy atmosphere for all present and future generations” the very essence of the sustainability movement.

A second and related video is an interview (August 2016) with Julia Olson of The Children’s julia-olson2Trust. It is less than twenty minutes and like the Jim Hansen interview I urge you to share it with colleagues and especially your youthful friends and family members.

Finally, Dr. Hansen et. al. published a paper, Young People’s Burden: Requirement of Negative CO2 Emissions. Download PDF here.

Both of the aearthsayers-ad-copy-3bove videos are in the special collection, Climate Justice, which compliments our more general climate change and climate change risk special collections. is a specialized search engine to all curated, video content addressing sustainability and advancing those speaking on behalf of Mother Earth and her children.

Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, October 28, 2016, Portland, Oregon.




Inspiring Sustainability Champions

This past month we have called out on, Voices of Sustainability, two sustainability champions.  These two indigenous leaders address sustainability, as a concept, in their presentations and are active in sharing their wisdom with us through online video.  Their guidance has been invaluable to us.

robin kimmerer

Robin Kimmerer


ilarion two

Ilarion Merculieff

Today Earth Day, we introduce you to Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff (Aleut), Founder of the Global Center for Indigenous Leadership and Lifeways and Dr. Robin Kimmerer, SUNY distinguished teaching professor and Director, Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.

We trust you will find in their words inspiration and a better understanding of why it is the elders from all four directions of Mother Earth are calling for a “change in consciousness, a move from head to heart guided by the Laws of Nature,” a weave of nature with humankind.

These are but two of their teachings – a place to start.

Going to the Heart of Sustainability, Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff, Kalliopeia Foundation, (1 hour, 26 minutes).

Restoration of Our Relationship to Land, Robin Kimmerer, Ph.D., Center for Humans and Nature, 34 minutes.

Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, April 22, 2016, Portland, Oregon.



Inspiration from Three Leaders of Sustainability

This is the time of year I often return to those EarthSayers, the voices of sustainability, that have inspired me. The voices of our citizens who offer me helpful solid advice for weathering the storms of war, global warming, economic instability, injustice, and disasters of all kinds while keeping focused on identifying and promoting those among us who are sustainability leaders. Here are three such leaders on that I want to share with you.

jmroberts2_bio2The 2009 video by John Marshall Roberts is entitled, Inspiring Sustainability in Skeptics, and he does address skepticism and the challenge of communicators to be more effective, but he begins by advising us to tap into the present with a sense of awe in order to create radical change and commit “to redesigning our society so it can last over time.” Six minutes in length, these are words that stick.

annieIn October I had the opportunity to interview Annie Leonard best known for her Story of Stuff Project. This series of videos woke up many of us to not only mindless consumption, but to the story of bottled water, cap and trade, cosmetics and, in 2013, The Story of Solutions. It explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, a huge task, but possible if we focus on game changing solutions rather than just a “better way to play the old game of more.” In my eyes Annie Leonard is a sustainability champion so we created an special collection. You can see her work and interviews in one place on and return to them for inspiration and motivation. Here is my interview of Annie entitled, On Being Biased.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 2.08.35 PMAnd if we are to move our economy there is one game changing concept called the circular economy which is being primarily defined and implemented by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. I met Ellen MacArthur just after she completed her single handed sail around the world and before she found her calling to “rethink the future” and become a game changer. In this 2011 interview by Jon Snow I find find her energy and self assuredness catching. Visit the Circular Economy special collection to view videos that define and explain the Circular Economy along with individuals in business adopting the framework.

I could go on and cite more of the EarthSayers who inspire and motivate me in my work as a sustainability advocate, such as Roz Savage on Taking Responsibility; Aveda President, Dominique Conseil on Changing Our Habits; Kind and Generous by singer Natalie Merchant; Recognizing the Great Mystery by Mayan Elder Flordemayo; and Wendell Berry reading his poem on Hope, but you need to take time to find the voices that speak to your needs when you visit content is curated for relevancy and quality so as to save you time searching for the hundreds of sustainability leaders who are citizens from all walks of life speaking on behalf of Mother Earth and her peoples. They will inspire and motivate you I promise.

Warmly and with best wishes for 2015,
Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, December 30, 2014 from Portland, Oregon.

The Documentary and Sustainability Awareness

In the last weekend of April I attended the conference, What Is Documentary: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow at the University of Oregon’s Portland campus organized by Gabriela Martinez and Janet Wasko of the School of Journalism and Communication.  As noted in a previous blog post, it was an extremely interesting two days and three evenings of presentations and film screenings. Best of all, I had the opportunity to interview the ethnographic filmmaker David MacDougall.  The interview is in two parts: David MacDougall on Filmmaking and Children in India: Three Places of Learning.

What is Documentary?

In the interview David reminds us there are two kinds of documentary.  Some are made based on pre-existing knowledge and prior research while others are the research process itself, a process using video to discover and explore. He notes with the latter “what you end up doing is a product of what you learned during the making of the film.  The process “often shifts you into an entirely different direction so it’s quite open ended.”


David MacDougall

Documentary Takes Money

Organizations that fund research and explorations, foundations in particular, might follow the lead of early adopters such as The Ford Foundation and their initiative, JustFilms.  JustFilms “focuses on film, video and digital works that show courageous people confronting difficult issues and actively pursuing a more just, secure and sustainable world.” Initiative funds are distributed through three distinct paths, two of which point to support of both kinds of documentary cited by David. They are:


  • Collaboration with other Ford Foundation grant-making programs where the introduction of documentary film could help draw attention to an issue or advance a movement, and


  • An ongoing open-application process that will help JustFilms stay attuned to fresh ideas and stories wherever they may emerge.

It’s the open-ended, exploratory process that in the past made funders and investors nervous, to the point of excluding documentaries all together, and yet it is through exploration that we are more likely to discover what is working at the personal and community level to insure a future for the next seven generations.  It’s learning from what the filmmaker finds and sees, especially about us.   And it’s understanding that such explorations are part of increasing sustainability awareness in the category, culture and consciousness.

The Story of Usdavid macdougall

Even environmental advocates Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Julia Butterfly Hill talk about the “us.” Kennedy noted in this interview, “…first of all we are not protecting the environment for the sake of the fishes and birds so much as for our own sake” and Hill in this video identifies the greatest threat being our disconnected consciousness. This does not preclude producing well researched documentaries about Mother Earth, about the birds and the bees, but growing a body of work around people’s behavior that goes beyond headlines and newscasts and is not bound by preconceptions imposed by disciplines and ideologies.  David MacDougall’s films are good examples of what I am talking about and you will note in his interview he talks about how the story evolved, taking years, not months, to exploring the emotional and physical lives of children.

The Opportunity

Economist and Pachamama co-founder, John Perkins calls out in this video the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor, an indigenous prophecy told by first peoples all over the world about a time dominated by an intellectual, masculine, mind-driven consciousness, which is followed by an opportunity for balance between that consciousness to one that is heart-driven, intuitive and feminine. It is a call for a shift in humanity’s relationship to the Earth and our relationship to each other and, according to the prophecy, that time is now.

We need to reconnect with Mother Earth and with one another yet how?

It’s documentary filmmakers, using their skills and experience, who can help show us the way, if we invest in them and their projects that explore “fresh ideas and stories wherever they may emerge.”  And in the process bringing to the fore those in relationship with Mother Earth and community so we can learn from them.

Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, May 6, 2014, Portland, Oregon.

Everyone Uses Social Media to Educate and Inspire

Use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest as education channels.  Why?

The reasons vary and the main one, selling more stuff, fits with the relentless commercialization of the Web, yet social media, especially the four called out above, should be viewed as education channels for growing a movement, educating our citizens, and/or advancing champions and innovators. What I am suggesting is all of the people in an organization who are active on the Web, and that should be EVERYONE, be called upon to become educators using social media and making it part of their work life.  It’s about everyone in an organization, especially a purpose-driven one, helping turn on the lights here, there and everywhere across the Web. It doesn’t mean you don’t hire folks to do social media, but you collaborate with them and do your part. Instead of a minority in the organization who use social media, shift to a minority in the organization who don’t. This assumes a small to medium-sized organization with little or no marketing budget and low awareness numbers. sustainability awareness large

For me social media is about my work and self expression as an online video producer and curator with the objective in life of increasing sustainability awareness. The chief way I do this is to advance leaders from all fields who are advocating sustainability – the integration of planet, people, and prosperity into all decision-making. Advancing leaders means making them more visible through organic search* (more likely to be found) and bringing to the fore not what they write or someone else writes about them, but what they say on video. Social media helps me with our awareness objective for like many founders my objective is both personal and professional.

However, in order to make use of it efficiently and effectively, the key I found was to link up {CONNECT} social media so when I post to one, it’s  posted to the others.  I picked an entry point (YouTube) that best fists with how I use the Web most of the day so I am leveraging my time while turning on as many lights as possible.

Here’s what I mean. YouTube-for-iOS-app-icon-full-sizeMy primary social media entry point, as a curator of online video, is YouTube.  YouTube from my perspective is a social network of video producers (it takes all kinds), rather than Facebook, which is for me mostly friends.  Yet when  I post a new video or ‘like’ a video on YouTube it shows up on my Facebook timeline so my friends see my work and other videos I like.

You may have someone on board who does all the content creation and posting, both text and video. Remember, I’m suggesting you collaborate with them to seed the Web, turn lights on, pepper the Web with your influence, thinking, the ideas of your colleagues and the people you admire. In terms of sustainability much of the content is ready-made, it all ready exists in TEDx speeches, University lectures, conference panels, and keynote addresses. Thought leaders and advocates on YouTube are waiting to be “liked” and advanced by you. Paul Hawken entrepreneur, environmentalist and author gets this as do many others with dual responsibilities and tight schedules. I just watched, liked and pinned a video he recommended on Facebook.

YouTube + twitter

I drive traffic to videos on YouTube (our own and those we have liked) through a series of twitter accounts (5), depending on the subject, using the tool, Hootsuite.

+ Pinterest audience interest on pinterest

Because the Pinterest world is a very visual, well educated group (audience infographic here) and it is easy to use I often “like” a video on YouTube and then “pin it.” Again,  I’m doing this with an eye to advancing sustainability thought leaders by increasing their page rankings on Google and adding to their presence in the webstream of consciousness.  I also pin videos from Websites I visit during the workday. I would find time to do this no matter my job or organization because in the process I am educated, inspired and motivated and who doesn’t need that these days?

Here’s a recent example of advancing the Canadian and Fine Art photographer Edward Burtynsky, a sustainability advocate. For searches on his name he has good visibility already on the Web, some search traffic (12,000 per month), and ranks in the top three results on a place search, “Canadian photographers.” He’s been shortlisted for the Prix Pictet global award in photography and sustainability. There are otEdward Burtynsky her less known, hardly visible artists and musicians that we are also advancing and connecting as we identify their video interviews and performances, get referred to them, or Stumble across them.

As an organization, we do this for a wide variety of leaders ranging from artists and musicians to farmers and experts to business and civic leaders. The Edward Burtynsky video on YouTube we curated and added to our site, voices of sustainability. As a curator, this is what I spend most of my day doing – identifying, reviewing and adding to our database sustainability videos. You may have someone else doing this footwork. This is were you come in. Then I “liked” the video on YouTube, pinned it (using a button I added to my browser’s tool bar) to the category, What is pin it buttonSustainability? pinned Edward On Pinterest I have set up categories that reflect mostly my interests as a sustainability advocate and which parallel many of the categories, but do not do so exactly as the ones on our Website,

example categories on pinterest

Categories on Pinterest

Remember this activity on social media needs to reflect your interests, your influence in support of the purpose of the organization. On Pinterest each category has its own “landing page” or board as they call it that you can link to in posts, articles, emails when you are educating and informing colleagues and clients and want to reference your own library of sorts.  Click here to see a landing page. I’ve also set up Pinterest so that my pin is posted to my twitter @earthsayer.Edward on EarthSayer twitter From this perspective, Pinterest is a social network too and for some it is more important than YouTube or Facebook or even LinkedIn. This might be your situation if you are connected to the visual arts, see the value of video and photographs over text, or just find it easy to use.

Advancing leaders by making them more visible through organic search using social media is an important part of my awareness objective, but it is not the only way nor the primary method to achieve this objective. This blog, Sustainability Advocate, focuses on advancing leaders and seeds the Web and it is particularly effective at reaching a larger audience and turning on a lot of lights.

You may not have time to blog, but opportunities to pin.  The point is find at least one tool and the best one for you and contribute to seeding and turning on the lights. Of highest priority is our Website,, a specialized search engine of all curated content, highlighting the voices of 1,300 leaders+ from all over the world.  You most likely have a Corporate Website that you can use more effectively to meet your visibility objectives, personal and professional by offering visitors a white paper, how to booklet or embed a video interview from your company YouTube channel.  The more the better. Pin it.

Seeding involves multiple keywords/phrases and is why a taxonomy or category system helps everyone in the organization be more effective with their use of social media. Settle on basic terms then allow for tagging based on subjects and interests.

This does look like a lot of work and I don’t want to minimize that it takes time to turn on the lights.  But the rewards are great and measurable. If we are to educate and influence, the Web is the place where people are active in the learning cycle.

Creating an environment where everyone contributes to the best of their ability is what social media is really all about. I know its a function, a profession, a specialization, but we need everyone to turn the lights on if we are to be successful at populating the Web with sustainability leaders and content. We need social media professionals to be conductors and organizers and the rest of us to participate.

If you see the advantages lighting up the Web for purposes of education, both personal and professional, and appreciate the value of self expression, then there are ways to do it and tools available so that seeding leverages what you are already doing and produces measurable results for the objectives you set for yourself and the organization.  In purpose-driven organizations they are one in the same.

I’m here to help. Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, July 2, 2013, Cleveland, Ohio.   A version of this post was published as part of my marketing blog, Digital Savvy.

* A quick look at the importance of organic search (47%) in terms of Web traffic.

Revisiting Definitions: What is Sustainability?

“Since you and I have been communicating regularly again, all of sudden ASPA has been publishing a lot on this subject and soliciting for articles on it too.”  Nancy Foye-Cox, Member, National Council, American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)

Nancy and I go way back to the mid-seventies when we served together on the ASPA Committee on Women in Public Administration. Over the last few months, and since I moved but an hour away from her,  we have been emailing more frequently.  And, yes, ASPA like other professional associations are increasingly turning their attention to sustainability pppresulting in more opportunities to increase awareness and answer one of the first questions often asked, What is Sustainability?  Over 60,000 searchers a month ask a variation of this question on Google and even more on the term, sustainable as in sustainable business. This out of the 1.2M overall searches per month on sustainability, thirty-seven percent from the United States.

Dr. Stuart Hart

Dr. Stuart Hart

Complicating matters is the issue of there being the opportunity to customize an answer based on individual interests and world views. Stuart Hart the Samuel C. Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University’s Johnson School, observes “Sustainability is tribal to some degree. There are many different factions. People come from different directions that all use the same term.”  In other words, there is no one strict definition (video quote 1:37).  This is particularly nettlesome as some folks use this lack of precision “as an easy way to set sustainability  aside.” It is for this reason that I am revisiting some definitions and also citing a recently posted video from the folks at Eastman Chemical Company.  You may find these quotes by sustainability leaders  helpful to reference in conversations. Link to the their videos in email and in your blog posts.  Most importantly, craft your own definition of sustainability and be passionate about it.

“Defining sustainability also means you have to admit what you are not yet doing that you ought to be doing.  And so that gap between aspirations and reality is what you want to cross.”  Christoph Lueneburger of Egon Zehnder International (video 3:02)

Dr.Karl-Henrik Robèrt

Karl-Henrik Robèrt

The first of four operational principles for sustainability is “in a sustainable society mined materials such as carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and heavy elements are no longer systematically increased in concentration in natural systems.” Karl-Henrik Robèrt, M.D., Ph.D. and founder of The Natural Step. (video 8:29) ”

My vision for sustainability at Eastman is that it is embedded in everything we do, it is part of our DNA, part of our daily life…it is an attitude, a state of mind, its not something you choose to do one day and not the other.” Godefroy Motte, SVP, Regional and Sustainability Officer, Eastman Chemical and

“What sustainability comes down to is balance. It’s about having to make hard choices every single day. To do things that are right for business, right for the planet, and ultimately right for you.” Matt Acarino, Chef ( (video 2:49)

“Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground — the unborn of the future Nation.” The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations: The Great Binding Law, Gayanashagowa.

There are many more of our leaders addressing sustainability and several animated videos in our special collection, What is Sustainability on, voices of sustainability to help with the conversations around sustainability at home, in the office, and in our communities.

Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, Cleveland, Ohio, June 28, 2013

Video Spotlight on Three Sustainability Leaders

CIWThe ongoing story of the Coalition for Immokalee Workers is a model of place-based community action (grassroots) working through coalition, collaboration, and agreement rather than separation, disagreement and opposition. It’s about CSR, business human rights, and leadership.

It’s how Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland and former UN High robinsonCommissioner of Human Rights, moved beyond “declarations” and used her leadership position and power to bring support to the co-founders Lucas Benitez and Gerardo Reyes-Chavez of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

We have added three videos today to, Farming and Food Production special collection, to share our respect for and advance the work of Lucas Benitez, Co-Director, tn_24615Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and that of the workers, friends, members, and colleagues of the Coalition.

The first video is a speech by Mr. Benitez back in 2002 at the Mary Robinson Speaker Series in which he honors Mary Robinson for joining their cause and talks about the Coalition and the Code of Conduct they are successfully enlisting Corporations and growers to sign and adopt.

The second video is a news report from Democracy Now for today, May 20th on the hundreds of farm workers and their supporters who are in New York City ahead of Wendy’s shareholder meeting to ask for improved working conditions for those who pick its tomatoes in the Fair tn_24617Food campaign organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.  CIW farmworker and a co-founder with Lucas of the CIW, Gerardo Reyes-Chavez talks about this social responsibility campaign.  So far McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King and Taco Bell have all joined the White House-recognized Social Responsibility Program, agreeing to pay an extra penny per pound of tomatoes to raise wages and only buy from fields where workers’ rights are respected.


The third is a video record of the fifteen-day, 200-mile March for Rights, Respect, and Fair Food which came to a “loud, colorful, and jubilant end” on Sunday, March 17th outside Publix corporate headquarters in Lakeland, Florida.

Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate,, May 20, 2013, Cleveland, Ohio.

earthsayers ad

Sustainability and Educating Women and Girls

Before becoming a sustainability advocate, I spent most of my career working with technology beginning with a Fire and Emergency Information Reporting System project for the City of Toledo (1975) moving in the early 80’s to technology companies.  I first used an email system and a PC at Computerland (1983), having moved off mini-computers, and in 1999 began to market high tech products and services developing on the Web seminars (now called webinars), database-driven landing pages, and micro environments.

So the eye-catching graphics with heady statistics by Allison Morris of, which I am sharing with you to encourage them being passed on, reminded me of the progress women have made and of the roads still unpaved for women and girls when it comes to the access I have been taking for granted.

The importance of online access, especially from Ms. Morris’ interest in free e-learning sites, should be addressed in all initiatives, products, and programs that have education of women and girls as their focus especially in developing countries. But is this so?

In a blog supporting the University of Waterloo course MSci 442, The Impact of Information Systems on Organisations and Society (1) Peter Carr addresses information technology in the context of economic development, education and in the article I link to, the digital divide. A practicing online learning professor, Dr. Carr cites more stats and notes, “If we accept that the internet has a significant contribution to make to development then there would be an urgent need to tackle this issue.”

Is there urgency when it comes to educating women and girls? Do we accept the internet as a significant contribution?  If not, why not?

Could it be that the big picture of information technology and the issue of the digital divide come into play only when addressing commercial applications and not in terms of educating women and girls? Is it likely that out-dated stereotypes of women, girls, and of the Web itself are the cause and ignorance the driver?

If so, then it’s important to illustrate related facts and spread them far and wide especially among folks like myself who take Internet access for granted and yet understand the importance of educating women and girls to sustainability awareness and adoption.

 Girls Online Infographic

For those of my readers who are communicators and have a need for text,  Allison provided this text and like the graphics, use freely, but provide attribution to  Thank you.

Across the globe, there are an estimated 2.4 billion Internet users. And in Western society, women actually have a stronger web presence than men, according to the infographic “Women & the Web,” posted by However, this is not the case everywhere. In areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East & North Africa, and South Asia, women’s access to the Internet is significantly lower than for males. In fact, according to statistics, there are 23% fewer women online than men in developing countries across the world.

Considering the benefits women and their families can obtain through Internet access, this is an important topic of discussion. In a survey of women from developing nations who used the web, 50% reported using it to find and apply for a job, and 30% used it to earn additional income for their families. On average, women reinvested 90% of their income into their family. This figure was only 30-40% for men.

In addition, free e-learning opportunities also contributed to the liberating influence of the Internet. Approximately 8 in 10 women with web access in developing nations reported using the Internet to educate themselves. Sites like Coursera and Udacity are particularly popular.

The economic benefits of increasing women’s access to the internet across the world is undeniable. It’s estimated that $13 to $18 billion would be contributed to the annual GDP in 144 developing nations as women improved their ability to generate income and further their education. So, it’s not surprising that 90% of women surveyed said that Internet access should be a basic human right.

Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, February 26, 2013, San Francisco, California.

(1) The blog posts are content for the course which considers the impact of IT in a number of areas including the digital divide and education. Peter Carr is a professor in the Department of Managements Sciences . His research has focused on online collaboration in business and on collaboration in online learning. Peter lives in Toronto, Canada.

One Billion Rising and Three Voices of Sustainability

billion rising in whiteThis is nearly the same title of a blog post I wrote in the last week of December.  What I am writing here, however, updates you on the One Billion Rising, February 14, 2013 campaign and gives you three fresh faces of sustainability, a small sampling of those speaking on behalf of women and this campaign.

First, a reminder of what One Billion Rising is all about.

On 14 February 2013, V-Day is inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to violence against women and girls.

Secondly, why this campaign is a model of cause marketing as outlined recently in an article by Cone Communications which cites three attributes of how this campaign manages “to shine a spotlight on an age-old issue.” They are: (1) it offers a simple, unifying message; (2) it provides an easy way for people to get involved; and (3) it uses a beloved holiday as a unifying touchpoint.

I would elaborate slightly on the three to include people or social issue, multiple ways for people to get involved, and it uses a related, beloved holiday.

earthsayers adOne of the easy ways for people to get involved is the use of online video where individuals from all walks of life can express their support by appealing to viewers to participate in the February 14 events.  Because they are on YouTube, we were able to create a special collection on, voices of sustainability around the campaign thereby increasing the reach and longevity of the message as well as increasing the visibility of these sustainability thought leaders.

Here is a small sampling of the videos we included in the special collection. There is a conspicuous absence of business leaders even those who count women and girls among their best customers from among the over 200 individuals highlighted on the V-Day YouTube channel.

Congresswomen Jan Schakowsky

janCongresswoman Jan Schakowsky asks you join in on February 14, 2013 in One Billion Rising event in Chicago and she addresses her experience in the East Congo and understanding “rape as the low cost weapon of war.”  The event is at noon at Daly Plaza, February 14, 2013. Here is her video.

In this video she references the United Nation. This is an excellent site to get more information on the United Nation’s ongoing role to end violence against women visit this site:

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council

tn_24325Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, is RISING with V-Day on 14 February 2013. He talks about non-discrimination and gender equality in a union of values and references the statistic that one in three women will be raped, beaten or otherwise abused in her lifetime.  Here is his video.

For more information on the statistic cited by Mr. Van Rompuy, visit this site,

Eve Ensler, Founder of V-Day

eveEve Ensler is the founder of V-Day the sponsor of the One Billion Rising campaign. In this video she extends her gratitude to all of you who are practicing and preparing, organizing, singing, dancing, and writing for an end to violence against women with one week left until we rise!  Here is her video.

Ms. Ensler’s experience performing THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES inspired her to create V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. She has devoted her life to stopping violence, envisioning a planet in which women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive.

The path to sustainability from One Billion Rising is easily understood in light of the sustainability taxonomy we use everyday in archiving hundreds of sustainability videos:

One Billion Rising>women’s rights and role>human rights (social justice)>People (Social)>Sustainability and

Violence Against Women and Girls> Violence, Structural> Peace, War, Violence, Security>People (social)>Sustainability.

Screen shot 2013-02-11 at 4.08.54 PM

To find a location of the One Billion Rising event nearest you, click here.

Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, February 12, 2013, Portland, Oregon and at the One Billion Rising Event, February 14th at 3PM, PST, at Director’s Park, Downtown Portland, Oregon.

Three Voices of Sustainability and 1 Billion Rising

sustainability awarenessThis past year we made an effort to increase the number of indigenous voices of sustainability to our collection and those of women.  You see this reflected in our voices of Sustainability 2012 where we feature the animated stories of Annie Leonard, the photography of Lisa Kristine, the inspiring words of Mayan elder Flordemayo, and add a reminder of the upcoming 1 Billion Rising event – women calling for an end to violence.

Since last year the collection has grown to nearly 1,500 voices of sustainability drawing attention to the many men, women, and children from around the world who speak up on behalf of Mother Earth, her citizens, and the principle of prosperity. They include business and civic leaders, experts, teachers, consultants – citizens from all walks of life. Click on the titles to view videos and follow additional links.

Life with Annie Leonard

annieThis last month we honored Annie Leonard by including her in our special collection, Sustainability Champions and featured her work to include:  The Story of Citizens United, The Story of Electronics, The Story of Broke, The Story of Cosmetics, The Story of Bottled Water, and Cap and Trade: Devil in the Details.

Annie Leonard was the International Honoree 2012 of the tenth Annual Global Exchange Human Rights Awards.

The Wisdom of the Elders by Lisa Kristine

tn_24242Lisa Kristine, a fine arts photographer, talks about how her childhood led to seeking out indigenous knowledge through her photography of people, interconnected as we are, and all sharing the gift of our first breadth. She has documented indigenous cultures all over the world. A TEDx presentation by CalicoCanyan.

We also added to our collection her very moving TEDx presentation in Maui on January 22nd of 2012, Illuminating the World of Modern-day Slavery.

Recognizing the Great Mystery by Mayan Elder Flordemayo

flordemayoKeys to Recognizing the Great Mystery by Mayan elder Flordemayo of the Thirteen Grandmothers, reminding us the heart is key and the biggest challenge is to be still. If you have not heard of the International Council of Thirteen Grandmothers, please visit their site. They represent a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come.


1 Billion Rising – February 14, 2013

On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 2.14.13, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders. Here is their Website.

Become sustainability advocates. Use to pepper your conversations with out-of-the-box thinking, link to fresh voices on social network discussions, especially LinkedIn, and use social media and advertising to spread the word to increase sustainability awareness.

Ruth Ann Barrett, December 31, 2012, Portland, Oregon.