Dreaming of Community Wellbeing and a Sustainable Planet

  • Purple flowers growing everywhere in Salem park.

Hundredgivers is a collaborative effort to support and accelerate initiatives, individuals and organizations that are improving communities, giving back, and regenerating the planet. We are all givers in our own way, longing for human connection, community wellbeing and a sustainable planet.

Hundredgivers is an affirmation that we all desire healthy, thriving communities and a sustainable environment. This is not wishful thinking, but a dynamic and practical belief that is actualizing with each positive, intentional moment.

As Louis Hay said, affirmations are a way to retrain our way of thinking, speaking and acting into positive patterns. It’s a way to open the door, and a beginning point on the path to change. Why not focus a little of this self healing approach towards the planet for the New Year?

tall redwoods a component of community wellbeing and a sustainable planet

Many of us want to ensure that the gifts of this beautiful planet keep on giving for generations to come. These are gifts of sunlight, blue skies, oceans of life, luscious foods, clean water, greening lands and forests, mountains, rich soils, beautiful flowers, sweet birds, amazing wildlife and of course, each other.

Have you heard of the 100th Monkey effect? As the story goes, some scientists observed a tribe of monkeys on the island of Koshima, Japan over a 30-year period. The young monkeys began teaching their parents the secret of better tasting sweet potatoes by washing the dirt off before eating. Eventually the practice spread over time and leaped over the seas to other islands. It is believed that this practice reached a critical mass of awareness (after the 100th or so) in which the idea was communicated from mind to mind.

There are some similarities in how quickly the animal kingdom and human awareness can spread to critical mass. I believe we are reaching a point in our evolution as a human species in which the scale will need to tip towards giving back more to the planet then we take.

Achieving Community Wellbeing and a Sustainable Planet

I’ve worked in the areas of environment, energy and climate change mitigation for many years. Mitigation employs technologies, renewable energy, efficiencies or behavior changes to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions to support a sustainable future.

Incredible projects, initiatives, and ideas that would benefit both the community and the environment are often left undone due to lack of funding or uncertainty about the business case.

Here are just a few examples of technologies or environmentally friendly methods that have been on the collective back burner for many years and are only recently being considered for large scale development.

  • Scaling up renewable energy storage for the power grid, net zero emission homes and buildings, electric vehicles and charging stations, distributed energy and microgrids.
  • Keeping plastics out of the oceans and eliminating waste from our landfills with reusable, biodegradable or zero waste packaging and methods for a circular economy (designing for eliminating waste in manufacturing).
  • Scaling up organic or pesticide-free farming and regenerative agricultural practices to restore soils, lands, and ensure healthy affordable foods for all.
urban farms an important component of community wellbeing and a sustainable planet

Volunteers working at the Southeast Portland Urban Farm Collective garden

The aim of Hundredgivers is to help find ways for local and global communities to thrive socially, economically and environmentally without waiting for the market to decide that it is profitable. There are lots of community benefits that aren’t so easy to quantify. For example, the benefits of happy people living fulfilled lives in a resilient, thriving community.

Over the past few years I’ve been turning this vision into a functioning model. It’s been a process of thinking, researching, writing and a lot of networking and talking to others with similar ideas. I’ve discovered that I’m not alone. There are others with a similar vision and ideas.

I started a blog to explore these ideas, and with the help of a few other thinkers, writers, collaborators and project partners, we’ve accumulated a lot of research, reported and supported launch of a few initiatives.

More than a year ago I volunteered to help a group interested in resolving land conflict through community consensus write a $100 million MacArthur grant called 100andChange. Out of 2000 candidates, we made it to the first round of 800 applicants and learned a lot in the process. The community consensus project will continue to evolve as we determine next steps (more on that later). Incidentally, if you’re interested in learning about the award recipient and finalists funded by MacArthur’s $100 million challenge, check out this link.

Hundredgivers has been supporting a project called Fly for Life Organic Farm and Education Center, led by brilliant social entrepreneur Jeremies Pimizi. He works with a small group of volunteers in the town of Togo, Africa to teach local farmers about organic farming and sustainable agricultural practices. We’re hoping to raise seed money to launch this project in 2018.

A handful of writers have volunteered to research and write for Hundredgivers on topics of community wellbeing, sustainability, conservation, education, social justice, and climate change solutions. I’ll be seeking funding to pay writers a small stipend to continue and expand this important work of research, writing and story telling.painted electrical box painted with green ferns

There are lots more ideas for initiatives in the works, new partners that we hope to collaborate with, or local and national efforts well worth volunteering and supporting. Here’s a few examples:

It’s been a long road to Hundredgivers. What started as a glimmer of an idea three years ago now has a WordPress website, more than 50 well-researched, written and published blogs, a growing resource list, a fundraising platform, bylaws, small Board of Directors, and several active social networks.

Please consider joining the Hundredgivers community as a subscriber, reader, blog writer, collaborator, volunteer, sustainability evangelist, climate activist, educator, supporter, partner, donor or sponsor.

I welcome your thoughts and insights about projects, blogs, news or ideas for collaboration!

 

Author: Kathryn Thomsen

Founder of Hundredgivers, a nonprofit supporting and accelerating sustainability initiatives benefiting local and global communities. Kathryn is a social entrepreneur, consultant, researcher, writer and urban farmer. She collaborates with individuals, organizations, and businesses to develop climate change solutions, clean energy, and sustainability strategies and programs.


1 Reply to "Dreaming of Community Wellbeing and a Sustainable Planet"

  • Eric Montgomery
    January 11, 2018 (4:52 pm)
    Reply

    Outstanding, Kathryn! So grateful for you and your work. Thank you for sharing!


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