Put Life back in
our own Hands
photo: Theun Karelse
- Lali Joseph and Fern
Why the Embassy?
Embassy of the Earth has an extensive track record of setting up communities of problem owners, stakeholders to solve challenges on landscape and livelihood levels simultaneously, faster and on a continuing basis. Multiplying the problem solving capacity of communities exponentially. With common ground, possible futures, clear strategies, attainable objectives and far enough horizons, communities and regions are radically transforming their current collective realities of threat, stagnation and destruction.
WHITE MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY
A Maasai led initiative to regenerate landscape and livelihood
in the White Mountain (Mt. Kilimanjaro) region.
(Kenya, Tanzania, 2017 – present)
WHITE MOUNTAIN FUTURE SEARCH 2019
POINT CALIMERE SEARCH CONFERENCE
Restoring the mangroves in the wetlands of Point Calimere
(Tamil Nadu, India, 2020)
In 1999 a large World Peace Gathering took place in The Hague, The Netherlands, a place I just moved to after a ten year stay in the US. I took my son Frankie to school one morning when the father of one of Frankie’s classmates approached me. He said: ‘We’re looking for host families to offer a bed and a meal to some of the Indigenous Peoples at the Peace Conference.
I offered my house to lodge Catherine, a young Native American woman adopted by Hopi grandmother Carolina from Hotevilla, Arizona, USA. She said to me: ‘This peace conference will lead to nothing if it does not have the sacred fire.’ She continued to explain, sacred fires are important in the great gatherings of the First Nations – native American tribes -. I asked her what do you need? She told me to bring the fire keepers from the Ojibway people to the gathering. And so it was done. Two fire keepers, Bruce Hardwick and Duane Kinnert arrived a few days later.
The right place for the sacred fire was found on an estate in Wassenaar, close to The Hague. The fire was lit and the ceremonial space was kept ‘running’ for the remaining days of the peace gathering, with many people joining ceremonies, mainly in the evenings, including me. I never missed a night because it was such a mesmerizing experience where people were opening up and truly speaking from the heart, from their innermost being. All around this sacred fire.
One of those mornings I woke up from a remarkable, very clear dream, which I shared with Bruce and Duane later that day. I was dreaming about gathering places, Earth homes, on all seven continents of our planet. A gathering place where people with real pressing issues would sit with the ‘moving ground’, having a deep exchange about possible future directions and ways to resolve the crisis. In the dream I really experienced the immense power and spirit of the community. Bruce and Duane listened attentively, after looking at me for a while they responded: ‘Frank, we know.’
Embassy of the Earth, on whose shoulders do we stand?
Origin of the Embassy
Starting in the sixties last century, world renowned social scientists Eric Trist and Fred Emery and later Merrelyn Emery translated 'Open System Thinking' into shared learning, planning and design. Their social ecology has many applications, such as plan and organizational development for the business world, institutes, cities and regions. But also resolving conflicts between disputing parties, as well as establishing strategic alliances between organizations, building networks and entering into long-term partnerships. And now in facing climate emergencies, land degradation and more trouble, their seminal work is a ‘gift from the gods’ and a powerful method to ecological adaptation.
In 1990 one fenominal study appeared: "Flow, The Psychology of Optimal Experience", by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, professor and chairman of the Department of Psychology at the university of Chicago. Now, a little over 30 years later, "Flow" has become one of the most influential and productive areas of behavioural research across the globe, with far reaching applications for people from all walks in life, the workplace, healthcare, design, (serious)gaming industry, sports, the arts and much more.
Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi showed in a worldwide study that people are able to achieve groundbreaking performance if the match between challenge and capacity is made. Joy, contentment turned out to be an important by-product. These investigations have revealed that what makes experience genuinely enjoyable is a state of consciousness that Czikszentmihalyi calls "flow"- a state of concentration so focused that it amounts to absolute absorption in an activity, pushing past boundaries into a new reality. Under the guidance of Mihali Csikszentmihalyi we successfully researched how flow is grounded in the dynamics of community, the group. It became one of the pillars of Embassy of the Earth.
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