Monday, February 22, 2010

What is Interdependence?

This is the question that many of us will be asking in the coming decades as we transition to a sustainable global culture.  As we evolve our understandings we will be able to bring deep definitions from first hand experiences in discovering and exploring our interdependence with all life.  

We are at the beginning of this journey so it is a good idea to at least check out existing definitions for a good starting place.  Wikipedia offers this definition:
Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually and physically responsible to, and sharing a common set of principles with, others. This concept differs distinctly from "dependence" in that an interdependent relationship implies that all participants are emotionally, economically, ecologically and or morally "interdependent." Some people advocate freedom or independence  as a sort of ultimate good; others do the same with devotion to one's family, community, or society. Interdependence recognizes the truth in each position and weaves them together. Two states that cooperate with each other are said to be interdependent. 

The part about 'sharing a common set of principles' is probably where the rubber hits the road for some.  Values and principles are usually rooted in one's unique culture so in order for 'interdependence' to be able to take root on a global scale there must be universal shared principles?  That is where sustainability comes into the equation and allows all humans to adopt shared principles in relationship to our shared future well being.

The Earth Charter Initiative is celebrating it's 10th year since the release of The Earth Charter - Values & Principles for a Sustainable Future.  You can learn about the how the Earth Charter was drafted in this Interdependent Project Radio interview with Steven Rockefeller who was chair person for the drafting committee or visit the Earth Charter website.

Web music player

The Interdependent Project is celebrating the Earth Charter through promoting the 'Earth Scouts' - a new program for children that was launched by the Earth Charter US.   There is a new network currently being created that will be launching soon that we have been supporting.  

We are also celebrating through our ongoing commitment to share and promote the Earth Charter as a valuable tool for bringing all of us into harmonious interdependence from solid shared values and principles for a sustainable future!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Looking back February 2009 - Getting the Sphere ready to launch & Re-Branding

Happy Imbolc - February 2nd!

When the Interdependent Project was first created the first intent was to create a functional, dynamic, and private social network that would serve existing/developing EcoVillages and sustainable communities at no cost to the communities.

All of us at the Interdependent Project have worked, lived, and traveled to various sustainable communities and EcoVillages throughout our lives and the one common need that we have seen among these communities was a solid online networking hub that would allow connections to happen between communities.

In February 2009 we began building this hub and making contact with the first 4 communities that would populate what we called the "Interdependent EcoVillage & Community Sphere".  Susan Frank joined the core team to serve as the Executive Administrator and provide guidance and support to the Sphere community.  

The Sphere is by invitation only and provides a safe sanctuary for members to share information, resources, trade between communities, and connect with each other.  The Sphere was officially launched on the Spring Equinox 09 and has been steadily growing as we make contact with specific communities that our team feels would benefit from the Sphere.  One of ours goals is to be able to publish resources and information that member communities would like to share publicly on the main website and through various publications as it evolves through SeThInk Media, the Interdependent Project parent company, digital publishing services. 

Independent/Interdependent Conference 09

On our last blog post we promised we would share the story of the re-branding of the Interdependent Project shortly after the launch.  Some of you who have been with the Interdependent Project since the launch remember the original logo and red/black theme of the website.  And some of you might also remember a 5 day period in February 09 when the main website had a message saying, "Site temporarily down for Independent/Interdependent Conference" on the index page.  
The brand consisted of interlocking Canterbury Cross's (in the spirit of the Flower of Life) and we developed it as a 'transformative derivative work' from the Independent Truck NHS logo (skateboard trucks).

The cross itself, being an ancient symbol, cannot be copyrighted and the way in which we developed it was protected under 'fair use' copyright laws.

Before we launched the project we envisioned how skaters could be harbingers of the evolved paradigm of interdependence and sustainability.

Also our deceased and beloved team member Beau Shaver was a skater and the design was also in tribute to him.

We attempted to contact the NHS corporate heads to invite them to jump on board with a win/win strategy but contacting them was harder than chasing someone on a skateboard - their website does not give email addresses for board members and there appeared to be a certain anarchy in their structure.  We finally found one of their directors of marketing, Keith Wilson, on facebook and tried to contact him but never got a response.  

Well months later at the end of February 09 we were contacted by the president and CEO Bob Denike.  At first we were excited to have made contact finally and were hopeful that our 'youthful idealism' would inspire Bob to see what we felt was an obvious alliance full of great potentials and possibilities...uh hmm...well the learning spiral never ends right.  We had a conference via emails and Bob and NHS has absolutely zero interest in an alliance and basically told us that they believed we were infringing upon their copyrighted logo.  We consulted with our attorney and decided that although we were protected under the 'fair use' copyright laws we had zero interest in the win/lose paradigm of court battles.  


So full of mirth and zest we re-launched and re-branded with what we feel is a much better logo and a clear understanding of why Beau always said, "Embrace skating, condemn skateboarding..." 

We are grateful to have been given the opportunity to experience the Win/Win of Interdependent thinking!

In Sustainable Solidarity