Vandana Shiva (Seeds of life - Navdanya)

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INTERVIEW WITH Vandana Shiva
(Environmental Activist, Founder of Navdanya movement)

SEEDS OF LIFE"

It’s 1 pm! It’s time to sit at the eating table and eat our preferred dish made of pasta, rice, vegetables or meat/diary-based products. Do we know what are we really eating? When Vandana Shiva told me: during the process of agriculture industrialisation our food base has passed from 10,000 to 10 species, I was literally shocked. Only three plant species - rice, maize and wheat - contribute nearly 60 percent of calories obtained by humans from plants. More and more studies (by United Nations and FAO) have underlined how big the loss of biodiversity is, that has happened during the last century. That’s a big problem! That’s a big problem for us, and especially for future generations: Nature is our first “provider of services,” and without it and its biodiversity humanity is bound to fail inexorably. Loss of Biodiversity is like a high-speed train difficult to stop, triggered especially by the greed for power and the ongoing “insectageddon” (that’s the way Vandana describes the massive deaths of pollinators due to the massive use of pesticides in agriculture). That’s why a cultural change is needed and that’s why Navdanya, the movement of farmers founded in India by Vandana Shiva started the Earth University. Its mission? Building a poison-free, fossil fuel-free food and farming by 2030 to avert species extinction and climate catastrophe. 

“Biodiversity is life. And all biodiversity begins as seed”

These are the words Vandana started her interview with us. We all know that seeds (in agriculture and in thinking) are the starting point. Without good seeds we cannot have good yields. Without flexible/diverse seeds we cannot have flexible/diverse yields necessary for facing Climate Change. Vandana and Navdanya team are doing a great job in awakening people and protecting the incredible heritage of Nature. What are the main causes of Biodiversity loss? What are the solutions? How does Navdanya movement work and how to join Earth University? How to achieve Zero Hunger (SDG goal 2), Good Health and wellbeing (SDG goal 3) at the same time? What about Navdanya’s project in Italy? Vandana Shiva, environmental activist, founder of Navdanya movement, answered to these and other questions.

Otto Scharmer (Theory U and Leadership of change)

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INTERVIEW WITH Otto Scharmer
(Senior Lecturer at MIT; Theory U author and U-Lab founder)

“HOW A LEADER IS A CHANGEMAKER AND…WHY A CHANGEMAKER IS A LONG TERM THINKER"

Over the past few decades our global society has become ever more unstable. There are more and more situations of disruptions, as well as global challenges (e.g., Climate Change) that humanity needs to face as a whole. Recognizing such uncertainty is not enough. The process of learning must change. It cannot be about just memorizing things anymore. It must evolve towards deep learning, that is involving an open mind, an open heart and an open will… Leaders of the 21st century are no longer those at the top of a hierarchical structure; leaders (or better change makers) are those who are able collectively (in coordination with the whole system) to sense and shape the future, turning from ego-systemic awareness to also eco-systemic awareness. All these things are explained in the Theory U, which after 2 decades of experimentation, and the publication of several books on the topic, in 2015 evolved in an on-line community based on a MOOC (U-lab course) organized by the MIT and coordinated by the founder of Theory U, Prof. Otto Scharmer. So What is the Theory U? Who is it addressed to? What is a change maker? How can Theory U help solve impelling problems such as Climate Change and sustainability? And how can Theory U help people change themselves? Otto Scharmer answered to these and other questions..

Christian Felber (The Economy for the Common Good)

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INTERVIEW WITH Christian Felber 
(Founder of the Economy for the Common Good Movement)

INVESTING IN THE “COMMON GOOD” FOR LONG TERM PROSPERITY"

My firm used to be a firm full of “waste.” Fortunately my community, my land have a big river, extremely important for the local ecosystem. I started to throw all my industrial-toxic waste into the river. My firm had a great benefit from that decision…We saved a lot of money and continued to produce a lot of waste. I became very rich. After 10 years all the fishers had to abandon the community and tourism to the river decreased and local economy started to go down. We had to buy water from neighboring communities, and life in our community started to become very, very hard. After 15 years I had to close my firm. When we talk about “The Economy of the Common Good” and about “Long Term Economy” take this example in your mind. By polluting the river, the firm has not worked for the “Common Good” and has had a very short-term view. The final result was ecological, social and economic crises. If we do not work for the Common Good and in a Long Term Economy perspective, our community is bound to fail. So, what is the Economy of the Common Good? Who are the actors involved? What is an Ethical balance sheet? How can we join the movement? Christian Felber, founder of the Economy for the Common Good Movement, answered to these and other questions.

Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou (WISTA)

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INTERVIEW WITH Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou
(WISTA International President)

“HOW ARE WOMEN CHANGING THE SHIPPING SECTOR FOR THE BETTER AND MAKE IT MORE SUSTAINABLE?"

 

Can sustainability be achieved without a sustainable shipping sector? I do not think so, and WISTA (Women’s International Shipping & Trade Association) does not think so… We are now more than 7 billion people living all over the world. The shipping of goods made in a rational globalized world can help share prosperity. But prosperity is not enough if we damage our environment, our world. That is why the shipping sector too is facing the important issue of Climate Change and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships of 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) from 1 January 2020. In order to be sustainable, the shipping sector needs to work on diversity, inclusion and respect as well as on environmental sustainability. Why create an organization of women in the shipping world? How can WISTA help improve sustainability in the shipping sector? What are the effects of the IMO’s new regulation on Sulphur limits in fuel? Can WISTA’s work help improve conditions of women in developing countries? Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, WISTA International President, answered to these and other questions?

Dr. Reese Halter (Earth Dr.)

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INTERVIEW WITH Dr. Reese Halter (Earth Dr.)
(Eco-stress physiologist specialising in Earth's life support systems; conservation biologist, an award-winning broadcaster and prolific writer)

“Vast areas under the sea and on land are dead from extreme heat and droughts. It's a matter of our survival to protect the living pockets of our mother, Nature, in order to survive the coming decade(s)"

Nature gives us air, water, food and land for all animals and plants. Man is destroying Nature at an unprecedented rate. Razing forests, poisoning agricultural soils and all waterways with man-made deadly chemicals and petroleum-based plastics. Less than a quarter of all ancient forests remain. 44,000 floating slaughterhouses are non-stop vacuuming the oceans of all life. Fossil fuels have destroyed the climate. Today, there are more consumers than producers on Earth. The sixth mass extinction is accelerating at least 1,000 times faster than the previous five others. 
 
Together we must all protect what remains of Nature from total annihilation. Remembering the sagacious words of Mahatma Gandhi “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”. Educating the children is the key for man's survival. Dr. Jane Goodall reminds us that, “Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved”.
 
Dr. Reese Halter is an eco-stress physiologist. He specialises in earth's life support systems. With four decades of science and broadcasting experience, we caught up with him for an in-depth interview from California.