The Elders – Veteran Diplomats Unite to Save the World

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreImagine a group of famous retired diplomats forming an alliance to solve the world’s most intractable problems. Meet The Elders: Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus, Mary Robinson, and others have already convened and agreed to combine their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity, and together be a force for good.The group was conceived in 1999 by Virgin billionaire Richard Branson and musician/activist Peter Gabriel as a new way to deal with the difficult conflicts facing the world. For their model they looked to traditional village elders, trusted by their people to resolve conflict within their communities. In 2001 they took their idea to Nelson Mandela — which even led to an agreement of Mandela and Kofi Annan to travel to Baghdad and meet with Saddam Hussein with the request for him to stand down (too late as it happened). The idea remained to form a small, dedicated group of leaders, working without any vested personal interest on the problems of humankind and, with the help of Graça Machel, they set about to make it happen. Founder Peter Gabriel said, “In traditional societies, the elders always had a role in conflict resolution, long-term thinking and applying wisdom wherever it was needed. We are moving to this global village and yet we don’t have our global elders. The Elders can be a group who have the trust of the world, who can speak freely, be fiercely independent, and respond fast and flexibly in conflict situations.”Independently funded by a group including Branson and Gabriel, the Elders also attracted support from Ray Chambers; Michael Chambers; Bridgeway Foundation; Pam Omidyar; Humanity United; Amy Robbins; Shashi Ruia; Dick Tarlow; and The United Nations Foundation.“This group of Elders will bring hope and wisdom back into the world. To play a role in bringing us together to stop unnecessary human suffering and to celebrate the wonderful world that we are so privileged to be part of,” said Founder Richard Branson, at TheElders.org.SHARE the Good News…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore Nelson Mandela announced the formation of this new group, The Elders, yesterday in a speech he delivered on the occasion of his 89th birthday.“This group can speak freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes on whatever actions need to be taken,” Mandela commented. “Together we will work to support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, and inspire hope where there is despair.”Desmond Tutu, Chair of The Elders remarked, “Despite all of the ghastliness that is around, human beings are made for goodness. The ones who ought to be held in high regard are not the ones who are militarily powerful, nor even economically prosperous. They are the ones who have a commitment to try and make the world a better place. We — The Elders — will endeavor to support those people and do our best for humanity.”The Elders will use their unique collective skills to catalyze peaceful resolutions to long-standing conflicts, articulate new approaches to global issues that may cause immense human suffering, and share wisdom by helping to connect voices all over the world. They will be working together over the next several months to carefully consider which specific issues they will approach. The Elders’ criteria are not only the magnitude and importance of the challenge, but a deliberate view that their role could contribute significantly to solving the problem.“I see The Elders as a small but independent group that may fill an existing void in the world community,” said Jimmy Carter. “Almost impervious to the consequences of outside criticism, the group will conduct unrestrained analyses of important and complex issues and share our ideas with the general public and with others who might take action to resolve problems.”The Elders will invite new members who share the attributes of the original ten: trusted, respected worldly-wise individuals with a proven commitment and record of contributing to solving global problems. Elders will step down if they are elected to public office. Fill in a form on their Web site to receive updates or give your ideas on possible new Elders.last_img read more

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Kiwi Birds Get Help Averting Extinction

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreKiwis, the endangered birds that are the national symbol of New Zealand, are now being nursed back to healthy numbers by an innovative conservation effort featuring communities taking matters into their own hands. More than two dozen privately run sanctuaries have sprouted in recent years. Thousands of volunteers have stepped up to trap, kill or chase away nonnative predators. Elsewhere, baby spotted kiwis are being introduced to the wild by researchers for the first time in a century. (MSNBC has the AP story) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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House Committee Approves $20B for Renewables

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved the $20 billion in energy tax credits and incentives proposed in the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package. A party-line vote of 24 to 13 approved the  tax cuts for alternative energy including a multiyear extension of the production tax credit for wind, geothermal, hydro power and bioenergy. (SustainableBusiness.com News) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

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Could Chicken Manure Help Save the World?

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore Here’s a low-cost solution to global warming and a host of other problems: chicken manure. At Josh Frye’s poultry farm in West Virginia, the chicken waste is fed into a large, experimental incinerating machine. Out comes a charcoal-like substance known as “biochar” — which is not only an excellent fertilizer, but also helps keep carbon in the soil instead of letting it escape into the atmosphere, where it acts as a greenhouse gas. Former vice president and environmental advocate Al Gore calls biochar “one of the most exciting new strategies” available to stop climate change. For Frye, it means that, before long, “the chicken poop could be worth more than the chickens themselves.” (Continue reading, with charts and photos, at USA Today) PHOTO COURTESY INTERNATIONAL BIOCHAR INITIATIVE AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Small Group Fixing Neighbors’ Homes Grows to 3.4 Million Volunteers

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA small group of grassroots activists in Midland, Texas has spread hope to homeowners in need, providing critical home repairs free of charge. Since its inspiring start 30 years ago, “Rebuilding Together” has grown to a nationwide network of 3.4 million volunteers who have delivered services worth $1.3 billion to families, the elderly, veterans and community centers.Realizing their neighbors’ homes had fallen into disrepair, the original group in Texas with the help of local banks pooled their labor and skill and to set about to fix the problem. “At the very end I thought, ‘Maybe I am going to lose my home forever.’ But then I found Rebuilding Together,” said Sara, a Rebuilding Together homeowner. “They gave me hope that my home could be saved.”This simple act of neighbors helping neighbors inspired others, spread slowly, and then across the country — with the help of larger corporate partners — which eventually led to the opening of the Rebuilding Together National Headquarters in 1988.Today, Rebuilding Together consists of 200 chapters throughout the United States that have completed work on more than 100,000 homes, some left damaged by natural disasters.The goodwill of volunteers is matched by the charity and energy provided by corporate partners, like TD Bank, Sears, Lowes, Safeway, which not only provide materials and financial support but enlist employees and their families to join the rebuilding army. The teams also retrofit homes to become more energy efficient for those who can’t afford their heating bills.Governments too, support the effort through federal agencies and groups like the AmeriCorps service members. Even professional sports are involved, through NBA Cares and a partnership with the MLB All-Star Game.Visit their website to learn how you can get involved in your local city by grabbing a paint brush or hammer: RebuildingTogether.org/how-you-can-helpWATCH both videos below which beautifully illustrate how corporations step up to help and how communities, like the one in Philadelphia, are uplifted in many ways — their spirits, their homes and their health.last_img read more

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Disabled Duck Gets New 3D-printed Webbed Foot

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreBorn with a backward foot, little Buttercup could only walk in great pain — until his owner came up with a novel idea for a duckie prosthetic.The Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary in Tennessee amputated his foot and Mike Garey, a software engineer by trade, created a 3D printed mold, used to cast a silicone foot for the lucky duck. – READ the full story from CNET– FOLLOW the story on Facebook: Buttercup Gets a High Tech FootThanks to Janet Pearlman for submitting the link! – Photo courtesy of Feathered Angels Waterfowl SanctuaryAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Construction Workers Save Ducklings from Storm Drain

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA group of baby ducks outside a Red Cross headquarters couldn’t have picked a better location to get stuck in a storm drain.The ducklings were rescued by caring employees at the facility along with two construction workers, who used a golf club to help retrieve the tired ducklings.(WATCH the video below or READ the story, w/ photos. WHDH-TV) Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream Type LIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedAudio TrackCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Frankly Video Player – v7.36.0CloseThanks to katherine for the story tipAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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A Free Place Social Entrepreneurs Can Live and Learn Together (Apply Now)

first_imgSanivation, along with fourteen other ventures housed currently at Halcyon, provide a veritable wellspring of ambitious plans to make the world a better place. These folks are “drenched in hope,” as one observer put it.Foote described it this way, “Halcyon has provided me with the time, space, and mentorship to not just have the audacity to say Sanivation is going to serve 1 million people in 5 years, but to have a concrete and vetted action plan about how we are going about do it.”Halcyon has also taken a unique approach by accepting both for-profit and non-profit startups. “We are looking for ambitious and sustainable ventures that are creating innovative solutions. This goal can be realized across sectors,” says Ross.The program accepts applications twice a year and is currently recruiting its next round of fellows. Do you have a startup or an idea that will change the world? The application for the Washington DC based program can be found online and is due by Thursday, May 7th at 5 pm EDT.Spread the Word to Give More People the Option of Applying… (below)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreEntrepreneurs across the country are creating ideas and social enterprises designed to confront our world’s biggest challenges. But there’s one catch: starting a social enterprise isn’t easy.Enter the Halcyon Incubator, a program of S&R Foundation designed to support early-stage social entrepreneurs with, most notably, a residency program where up to 8 start-up hopefuls will work and live together in the historic Halcyon House in Georgetown. This four-month residency is coupled with a living stipend, and free workspace for eight months to ensure that social entrepreneurs from any socioeconomic background can succeed with a great idea and exit the program with a plan for action. Best of all? It is free to those who are accepted and fellows don’t have to give up any equity in exchange.“Social entrepreneurs are going to fundamentally change how we solve problems in the next few decades,” says Ryan Ross, Program Manager of the Halcyon Incubator. “By providing an immersive program for the fellows, the program can significantly increase the social impact of the ventures.”At Halcyon, fellows are also provided with many of the trappings of a traditional incubator or accelerator, including mentorship, programming around key entrepreneurial skills, and access to funders. While these are all vitally important to the experience, Halcyon has carved a unique niche with its synergistic residency component.Andrew Foote, co-founder of Sanivation with its unique business model for toilets, is a current fellow at the Halcyon Incubator. He believes that by reimagining how sanitation services are delivered to the urban poor in developing countries, it can save the lives of thousands of people. Sanivation is a social enterprise that installs toilets in homes in Kenya for no upfront cost, and then transforms the waste collected into charcoal briquettes that can then be used for clean fuel.last_img read more

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Teen Builds Bridge So Kids Can Get to School Without Crossing Polluted Stream

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreOutside of Mumbai, India, children were dropping out of school rather than wading through a polluted stream in route to their classes every day.The community had complained to the government about the steep, narrow valley with foul smelling water, but nothing had been done–until a 17-year-old college student volunteered to build a bridge on his own.The Mumbai Mirror reports that Eshan Balbale used bamboo to erect the bridge that measures four-feet-wide and 100-feet across.How 550 Volunteers Transformed a Filthy, Waste-filled Train Station in IndiaHe completed the project in eight days, “an initiative that politicians and the corporation failed to address for years.”The teen, who lives elsewhere and gets financial support from his parents, learned that the residents were crossing the nullah despite risks of skin infections, malaria, dengue and other diseases.“I felt terrible when I saw the children wade through the disgusting sludge,” he told the Mirror.World’s Largest Free Kitchen Feeds 100,000 a Day Inside a Golden TempleHe also learned that 15,000 residents regularly crossed the rancid water to get to the shops and railway stations on the other side.The bridge, which can carry up to 50 people at a time, and was built to last a couple years, was inaugurated on August 29 and now gives people in Sathe Nagar easy access to the commercial districts nearby.The young Balbale had earlier set up a nonprofit group, Nirbhay Yuva Pratishthan, to encourage young people to be charitable and to do other great things in India. He also hopes to improve sanitation conditions in the area by building eight to ten toilets.SHARE the Hero Story (click below) and READ more in the Mumbai Mirror… (Photo via FB)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Urine Test Could Prevent Doctors and Drivers Causing Accidents From Fatigue

first_imgThe effects of fatigue have long been recognized and studied as a problem in the transportation and healthcare industries. In the early 2000s, studies published in scientific journals reported that fatigue-related mistakes were linked to thousands of vehicular crashes every year, and were a major concern in patient safety. Weariness can cause anyone on or off the job to lose motivation and focus, and become drowsy. Although very common, these symptoms come with biochemical changes that are not well understood. Zhenling Chen, Xianfa Xu and colleagues set out to determine whether a urine test could detect these changes.MORE: Simple Blood Test Could Detect Cancer Ten Years Before Symptoms ShowThe researchers analyzed urine samples from dozens of air traffic controllers working in civil aviation before and after an 8-hour shift on the job. Out of the thousands of metabolites detected, the study identified three that could serve as indicators of fatigue. Further work is needed to validate what they found, the researchers say, but their initial results represent a new way to investigate and monitor fatigue – and help prevent worn-out workers from making potentially dangerous errors.(Source: American Chemical Society)Don’t Snooze On The News: Click To Share – Photo by Larkery, CCAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreDoctors, pilots, air traffic controllers and bus drivers have at least one thing in common — if they’re exhausted at work, they could be putting lives at risk.But the development of a new urine test, reported in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, could help monitor just how weary they are. The results could potentially reduce fatigue-related mistakes by allowing workers to recognize when they should take a break.last_img read more

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