January 14, 2015
by Daniel Katz
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Oil Palm

Have you seen this really interesting infographic on Oil Palm produced by the Guardian?
It is worth a look:

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/ng-interactive/2014/nov/10/palm-oil-rainforest-cupboard-interactive

January 14, 2015
by Daniel Katz
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A talk about the environmental movement

Here is a link to a talk I gave to the Western New York Environmental Congress in Buffalo, New York this past November. It was on building a stronger environmental movement in the United States: http://www.growwny.org/wnyea/2014-wnyea-congress/

April 21, 2014
by Daniel Katz
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Building Equity & Alignment Update

Building Equity and Alignment for Impact (the BEA initiative) is a grassroots-led entity launched in July 2013, converging around a shared future vision for a more inclusive, connective, winning environmental movement. As developed by a majority-grassroots group along with allies from “big, national green” and philanthropic sectors, the goals of the BEA are clear and simple:

  • To expand the pool of resources available to the environment and overlapping progressive issues;
  • To shift that growing pool of available resources to more equitably service the grassroots organizing sector;
  • To break down historic barriers between big green, grassroots and funding sectors, building authentic relationships toward greater alignment and solidarity;
  • To shift the prevailing culture within philanthropy away from a top-down, funder-driven approach, and toward a base-building, bottom-up, collaborative approach.

After its initial convening at Wingspread last July, the initiative formed four workgroups: (1) a Communications team; (2) a Mapping team; (3) an Outreach team; and (4) a Weaver team, tasked with keeping the other three on track toward shared goals of the initiative.

Now to the good stuff!

In February, representatives from all of the workgroups presented two sessions for funders highlighting grassroots base-building work – both at theEnvironmental Grantmakers Association State of the States briefing and at anEDGE Funders Alliance event hosted by the East Michigan Environmental Action Council. Both events were packed and furthered the conversation among funders and grassroots groups about how sectors within the movement can partner more effectively and equitably. These meetings also highlighted the next stages of the Initiative, from the short-term through the end of 2014.

And more good news: in one of his last acts as Executive Director of Greenpeace, Phil Radford hosted a reception and meeting last week between big greens and members of the BEA team in DC, discussing his own involvement in the BEA as part of his Greenpeace legacy. This was a critical meeting as it solidifies the incredible support role Greenpeace has played in the BEA’s development, and sets the stage for connecting more big, national group allies to the grassroots organizing sector.

 For more details on specific BEA workgroups, contact Samantha Harvey at Overbrook: sharvey@overbrook.org.

September 6, 2013
by Daniel Katz
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Here is an update on our efforts to make a stronger environmental movement

Dear allies:

If you are receiving this email, you have either expressed interest in the Council for 16,000* initiative in the past, or were instrumental in its development. We are tremendously grateful for everyone’s support and ideas, and it is our pleasure to update you on the initiative’s most recent developments, as well as the exciting outcomes from our summer convening at the Johnson Foundation’s Wingspread conference center.

As you know, the ability of grassroots base-building organizations and big green groups to effectively collaborate to advance common goals has been a persistent obstacle within the environmental movement.  This summer, grassroots groups, large, national green groups and philanthropy launched a collaborative initiative to address this challenge. From July 8-11, 40 representatives from these sectors convened around a simple hypothesis—that to increase the collective impact of the environmental movement, we need to increase alignment and equity within the movement overall.  In other words, grassroots organizations must be able to expand and contribute their base-building capacity in a meaningful way (equity) and various parts of the movement must be working with a common strategy and purpose (alignment).  Yet rather than dictating how the groups should achieve these goals, we worked to ensure their ideas, needs, and desires led the agenda, allowing relationship-building to support the co-creation of a group-led vision and strategy. Continue Reading →

April 25, 2013
by Daniel Katz
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The latest from the Council of 16,000 (C16K)

“Council for 16,000”

The Future Vision:

The year is 2050. You are one of several co-directors sharing leadership at a progressive U.S. NGO working on environmental and social objectives. You have just returned from a national meeting of all the groups working on conservation, environmental justice, food justice, workers’ rights, green economies, climate education, toxics…it’s actually not important to differentiate, because over the past couple of decades the movement has broken down issue silos and aligned mission and purpose. Leadership truly reflects the demographic of the country, welcomes diverse perspectives and talents and shares resources and power throughout the movement. Equitable collaborations between grassroots, community groups and national groups are commonplace, and new ideas and campaigns are mutually shared and supported. So are successes, with a win for one viewed as a win for all. A massive cultural shift has brought narrative and heart to the fore of the movement, and funders routinely prioritize alignment, community base- building and on-the-ground process. When a problem arises, the groups communicate like wildfire; national networks support community groups to call upon their bases for a common cause. The bases respond knowing local wisdom will steer the progress they envision and create. Continue Reading →

March 2, 2013
by Daniel Katz
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And the envelope, please…

And the winner is…the frog! The Rainforest Alliance’s Follow the Frog wins for best idea worth sharing at the most recent TED event in California. See it here: <http://www.ted.com/initiatives/aws>

February 1, 2013
by Daniel Katz
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UCSB Talk

Here is a talk I presented to folks at UC Santa Barbara not that long ago. Betcha a dollar you can’t sit through the whole thing! Somehow a number of folks did.

January 27, 2013
by Daniel Katz
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Follow the Frog…over one million times

The Rainforest Alliance’s catchy video has gone viral with over one million views. You can watch it here:

January 27, 2013
by Daniel Katz
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Slow Food, Lavazza and the Rainforest Alliance

Here is an article that highlighted a morning in Italy late last year. It is always fun and educational to spend time with Ana Paula Tavares from RA, Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food Movement, and Giuseppe Lavazza from the Lavazza Coffee Company.

Salone del Gusto

Salone del Gusto

Tierra, un business consapevole. Giuseppe Lavazza: “Tocca a noi essere pionieri di un nuovo modo di operare”

on 26 Ottobre 2012. Pubblicato in Archivio articoli dal 05/04/2011 – Il progetto

Dietro ad una tazzina di caffè si racchiude il futuro, quello che vedrà un nuovo riassetto del mondo della produzione più etico e sostenibile.

Non è retorica, ma una strada ben precisa che già vede i primi risultati. Come quelli che si stanno raccogliendo in Tanzania , nei campi di caffè curati da 750 piccoli produttori, dove dietro ad ogni piantina c’è la rinascita di una piccola comunità e la salvaguardia di un territorio. Questa strada si chiama Tierra e ad averla tracciata dieci anni fa in America Latina è stata Lavazza, l’azienda piemontese leader nel mercato del caffè. Sugli scaffali approda come una selezione di caffè sostenibile 100% arabica ma in origine è un lungo percorso che coinvolge tutta la filiera e che si ispira al criterio di certificazione promosso da Reinforest Alliance, l’organizzazione non governativa di respiro internazionale che promuove un modello di business basato sulla salvaguardia delle biodiversità aiutando gli agricoltori di questi Paesi ad acquisire professionalità e competitività nel mercato. Oggi, per esempio, l’organizzazione segue il 3% delle terre che producono caffè nel mondo, proteggendo in questo modo più di un milione di ettari del Pianeta.
Nelle sei tappe del progetto Tierra, partito dall’America Latina in Honduras, Colombia e Perù e poi espanso in Brasile, India e adesso in Tanzania, il modus operandi è stato duplice imprenditoriale e sociale. Proprio al luglio del 2012 è stata inaugurata una scuola materna nella grazie Tierra e alla collaborazione con l’associazione Kirua Children Lavazza ha contribuito alla costruzione di una scuola materna, la MaseRing Nursery School a Kirua, diretta da padre Peter, nel villaggio di Maande (regione di Kirua, a 1.200 metri di quota sul Monte Kilimangiaro). Al Lingotto di Torino è stato presentato il documentario che ha raccontato la realizzazione di questo progetto. Continue Reading →

January 26, 2013
by Daniel Katz
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Talking With UrbanTimes

dropdown-logo-retinaI spent some time with Alex of UrbanTimes magazine, and he wrote about it here. He was mostly interested in the Rainforest Alliance, but we got into some interesting areas about collaboration and finding hope in the movement.