*Featured image taken from The Artidote; artwork by emma.vog
I think perhaps one of the most difficult things about taking a course that inspires you, is finding a way to stay involved once the academic obligations are gone. But the obligations in this project, for me, go a bit beyond academia. We’ve got an obligation to our world. Here are three ways that I think that you can continue to fulfill those obligations, and stay involved in Earthrise 2068.
I think that this is probably the most clear-cut answer. Social media is a great way for people from all walks of life to connect and collaborate Earthrise 2068 has a Facebook page, but there’s also so much more potential for further growth. A Reddit page was just developed, a site which I think is great platform for people to actively engage in innovative ideas and projects in a collaborative effort. Other forms of social media can also be productive. For example, in her work with UN Women, Emma Watson has this book project which I think is an amazing idea (its called Oursharedshelf and can be found here). It is a feminist book club that promotes books and essays about equality, and uses the wide reach of social media and the power of books to connect people. I found them primarily through their Instagram page.
Perhaps my favorite example of the social media and its healing powers in connecting people is The Artidote. The Artidote started out as a Facebook page that was founded as a space to connect and share art, a “space where to story-tell, empathize, bond and heal through art.” The page is curated by founder Jovanny Varela-Ferreyra, and since its foundation has become a large (almost 1 million followers) but tightly-knit global community of people from around the world, sharing their own personal stories of love, pain, success, hopes, dreams…the list goes on. Jovanny’s most recent project, “SnapThoughts”, invites people from around the world to answer one question though Snapchat: “What time is it there and what are you thinking?” People from all over the world have sent in Snapchats, and this project has gone on to connect an even larger community of people from all over the world. I’ve seen Snapchats from people in Pakistan, to Albania, to even in Philadelphia. And for some people, the power of this project has even been lifesaving. Jovanny’s project is one that is incredibly inspiring. And if the power of connection provided by Snapchat can save lives, it’s encouraging to think about what other positive things can be accomplished through social media.
Educating Those Around you
I think that one of the most important things about Earthrise 2068 is education; specifically, the importance of instilling in people a sense of community to those who might live far away, or might be a bit different to people than them. Encourage your friends, neighbors, and families to try new things and get involved in the community.
This last point seems a bit straightforward, but getting involved in your community is probably one of the most straightforward ways to begin. Volunteer at your favorite organizations, and also see if there are ways that you can get them to connect with each other and collaborate on different projects. Tell them about this idea of the orbital perspective. A few months ago, I volunteered at the The Urban Tree Connection, a non-profit that assists historically marginalized urban communities to revitalize their neighborhoods by transforming abandoned open spaces into safe and functional places that inspire and promote positive human interaction.
As for myself, I plan (and hope) to stay involved in this process, maybe even more so now that I’ll be done with school. Hopefully I’ll keep updating about my progress!
For more information about Oursharedshelf, The Artidote, and Urban Tree Connection, please visit the following links:
Urban Tree Connection
Web page: http://urbantreeconnection.org/