On Thursday, 9 November, a coalition of partners from diverse faiths will host a convening to launch the Multi-Faith Sustainable Living Initiative.
is co-founder and director of DearTomorrow, a digital storytelling and archive project aimed at making climate change personal. Her work has been recognized by TED
, the 2017 Grist 50
, the 2016 MIT Climate Co-Lab,Vox.com, and Public Radio International. She has worked on climate change leadership development, coalition building, and public awareness since 2006. Jill is fascinated with using narratives, digital platforms, and public art to engage and motivate people to take action. Jill has a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA from Northwestern. She is inspired by her four year-old son.
is the Program Manager for the Sustainable Behaviour Program at KR Foundation.
Kate is an expert in sustainable consumption and behaviour change, with a Master´s degree in gender, anthropology and development, and 15 years´ experience in the non-profit sector as a campaigner, researcher and knowledge broker. Kate has held positions at (inter alia) Copenhagen Resource Institute, Copenhagen Business School and Greenpeace International. As a sustainable consumption consultant, Kate´s clients have included the European Environment Agency, European Commission, and Nordic Council of Ministers.
The Rev. Fletcher Harper is Executive Director of GreenFaith, an international, interfaith environmental organization that supports leadership training for faith leaders from diverse backgrounds, activist campaigns, and advocacy on climate and environmental issues. In the past four years, he coordinated the 2015 OurVoices campaign which mobilized religious support globally for COP 21, led organizing of faith communities for the People’s Climate Marches in NYC and Washington DC, helped lead the faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement, supported the launch of the global Interfaith Rainforest Initiative, and co-founded Shine, a faith-philanthropy-NGO campaign to end energy poverty with renewable energy by 2030. He helps lead GreenFaith’s effort to launch multi-faith GreenFaith Circles in local communities globally.
George Marshall is the co-founder of Climate Outreach, a non-profit based in Oxford, England and is passionate in his ambition to reach people far beyond the normal “green“ audiences. He and his team are Europe’s leading specialists in climate change communication and advise and train governments, universities and environmental organisations around the world. Climate Outreach runs a faith communications programme (see here for its reports and webinars) and designed and tested narratives for Greenfaith and Our World to mobilise multi-faith action on the lead up to the Paris COP.
George is the author of “Don't Even Think About It: Why our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change (Bloomsbury US, 2015).
is a long-time veteran of creative campaigns for social change. He led the decade-long satirical media campaign “Billionaires for Bush,” founded the art-activist toolbox and laboratory Beautiful Trouble
, and co-created the grief-storytelling ritual The Climate Ribbon
. He's the author of several books, including Daily Afflictions
and the forthcoming I Want a Better Catastrophe
— where he explores the emotional and existential dimensions of our climate predicament. Unable to come up with his own lifelong ambition, he’s been cribbing from Milan Kundera: “to unite the utmost seriousness of question with the utmost lightness of form.”
Shabaana Kidy is currently Project Manager for a multi-country environmental project at the Humanitarian Academy for Development (HAD) in Birmingham, UK. The project focuses on the important role of faith in promoting positive behaviour change around sustainable consumption in 10 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe. Shabaana is also involved in development research and is engaged in several NGO-Academic networks including the Development Studies Association where she co-convenes one of their study groups, and as a steering group member for the Arts & Humanities Research Council Network on religion and sustainable development in India and Ethiopia.
Laurie Michaelis has worked since 2002 with Living Witness, supporting Quakers in Britain on their journey towards being a low carbon sustainable community. His focus is now on supporting dialogue, learning and collaboration among people with diverse approaches to sustainable living. Laurie has worked since the 1980s on responses to energy and environmental challenges in his own life, in community and in wider society. He has been a Lead Author and Convening Lead Author for several reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and research director for an international commission on sustainable consumption.
Nana Firman is currently coordinating outreach for Muslims nationally and internationally for GreenFaith. She has been involved in encouraging the American Muslim community to practice eco-lifestyle for the last few years, which prompted her to become a member of Green Masjid Initiative for Islamic Society of North America. She previously worked with the World Wildlife Fund in Indonesia for several years, directing the recovery efforts in the wake of earthquake and tsunami, and also engaged with Muslim leaders in Indonesia to create climate resiliency plans. Recently, she helped organize the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change and co-founded the Global Muslim Climate Network.
Linda Steg, PhD, is professor of Environmental Psychology at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Groningen. Her research focuses on understanding factors influencing sustainable behaviour, the effects and acceptability of strategies aimed to encourage sustainable behaviour, and how and why acting sustainably affects wellbeing. She is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW), past-president of Division 4 ‘Environmental Psychology’ of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), and coordinator of the Platform for Energy Research in the Socio-Economic Nexus (PERSON).
Gopal Patel is based at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies where he serves as the Director of their Bhumi Project. Sanskrit for ‘Mother Earth’, the Bhumi Project works with Hindu communities internationally to address the environmental challenges facing our planet.
Gopal has served as Director of Bhumi since 2010, and has helped it become a leading voice on environmental issues for the global Hindu community. He has worked on greening Hindu temples and places of pilgrimage across India, regularly convenes workshops to train young Hindus on good environmental practice, and is asked to offer Hindu perspectives on environmental concerns.
Keya Chatterjee is Executive Director of USCAN, and author of the book The Zero Footprint Baby: How to Save the Planet While Raising a Healthy Baby. Her work focuses on building an inclusive movement in support of climate action. Keya's commentary on climate change policy and sustainability issues has been quoted in dozens of media outlets including USA Today, the New York Times, Fox News, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, and NBC Nightly News. Prior to joining USCAN, Keya served as Senior Director for Renewable Energy and Footprint Outreach at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), where she worked for eight years. Before that, Keya was a Climate Change Specialist at USAID. Keya also worked at NASA headquarters for four years, communicating research results on climate change. Keya was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco from 1998 to 2000. She currently serves on the board of the Washington Area Bicycling Association. Keya received her Master's degree in Environmental Science, and her Bachelor's in Environmental Science and Spanish from the University of Virginia.
Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo, a Venezuelan-American, is an eco-theologian and Presbyterian pastor who coordinates GreenFaith’s outreach to Latin American faith communities and to the US Latino faith community. Neddy earned her Doctor of Ministry in “Greening the Church” from Drew University and co-founded, with her husband, the Angelic Organics Learning Center, a farm-based nonprofit in Northern Illinois, where people connect with food, farming and caring for the earth. She has taught eco-theology courses at seminaries in Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Perú and the US, served as editor of the Presbyterians for Earth Care newsletter, been published in Working Preacher and Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet, and is co-author of God’s Earth is Sacred: Essays on Eco-Justice. In 2017, she coordinated GreenFaith’s Convergence in Rio de Janeiro with Latin American multi-faith partners, where 60 emerging faith leaders from 18 Latin American countries and 7 different religious and spiritual traditions participated in a 5-day religious-environmental training program.
Tomás Insua is the founding executive director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, an international network of 650 Catholic organizations that mobilized nearly 1 million Catholics ahead of the COP21 summit and continues to advance Pope Francis' Laudato Si message for climate justice. Before that, Tomás was a Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School, he served in the UNFCCC Secretariat, he worked with Google in Latin America and Southeast Asia, and he co-founded a faith-based nonprofit doing social justice work in the slums of Buenos Aires. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Argentina, and grew up in Buenos Aires where he had his spiritual home with the OFM Franciscan friars.
Juan J. Vazquez M. Is one of the Brahma Kumaris Representatives at the United Nations for COP23. He is a professional Homeopath and Naturopath. He has participated in the last six UN Conferences on Climate Change as well as the RIO+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. Juan has always had a genuine and deep interest in the link between spirituality and the environment, and likes to share it with others. This interest inspired him to create several inner sustainability and youth programs, with a spiritual perspective such as EcoShanti and OmCafé, in Montreal Canada the place where he resides, and these programs have already taken root in different countries. Throughout the years Juan has gain a lot of experience and has become a young leader on the field of consciousness and climate change. He continues to work with other interfaith young leaders and other organizations such as GreenFaith, Climate Reality, and he has been consistently involved with YOUNGO throughout the UNFCCC conferences.
Rabbi Katy Allen
the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Jewish Climate Action Network based in Boston and the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope
, Wayland, MA, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is a board certified chaplain and former hospital and hospice chaplain and now serves as an eco-chaplain and the facilitator of One Earth Collaborative
, a program of Open Spirit in Framingham, MA. A former high school science teacher and writer and editor of educational materials, she received her ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in 2005. She writes about matters of Torah and Earth at www.mayantikvah.blogspot.com
Lou Leonard is co-founder of One Earth Sangha, an environmental lawyer, a teacher, a Fulbright Scholar and the vice-president for climate and energy at World Wildlife Fund. Lou came to the Dharma as a response to the challenges of working on climate issues and practices within the Insight Meditation Community in Washington.
heads the Sustainable Lifestyles team at CSCP, which works with decision-makers, stakeholders and the public trying to make them think differently about how to enable more sustainable ways of living.
Kristina has more than 10 years of experience as a consultant in the segments risk management, expansion strategies and corporate social responsibility across various industry sectors. Prior to working with CSCP Kristina worked at different organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Finnish Chamber of Commerce. She also worked as team leader at oekom research, evaluating sustainability aspects of multinational corporations. Her last work station before joining CSCP was as Deputy Director of the European office of an international sustainability organization with multinational companies as members.
She studied international economics and political science at the University of Lund, Sweden. Kristina holds an MBA in Sustainability Management and speaks Swedish, English and German fluently.
David Krantz is the co-founder and president of Aytzim: Ecological Judaism and serves on the board of directors of Interfaith Moral Action on Climate as well as Arizona Interfaith Power & Light. He is also a National Science Foundation IGERT doctoral researcher and Wrigley fellow at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability.
The Multi-Faith Sustainable Living Convening
Thursday, 9 November
Wissenschafts Zentrum, Ahrstrasse 45, Bonn
9:00 am Spiritual Opening
9:15 am Welcome
9:30 am Introduction to the Initiative and Moving Forward Together
- Kate Power, Director, Sustainable Behavior Program, KR Foundation
- The Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith
- Professor Linda Steg, Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Groningen; Lead Author, IPCC 1.5 Degree Report
10:25 am Fostering Sustainable Lifestyles
- Kristina Modée, Director, Sustainable Lifestyles Team, Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production
- Tomás Insua, Executive Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement
- George Marshall, Co-Founder and Director of Projects, Climate Outreach
11:00 am Spiritual Pause
11:10 am Coffee Break
11:30 am Discussion
Participants meet in small groups, reconvening in plenary at 12:20 to share insights.
At an immediate, deep and honest level, what feelings have the presentations evoked? What thoughts? What aspects of your spiritual or religious identity does this topic engage? What would it be like to open or deepen a conversation about these issues, and to invite sustainable living commitments, within your spiritual or faith community? What would you recommend be added, changed, or further emphasized as this initiative develops?
12:40 pm Spiritual Pause
- Rev. Bhagwan, Methodist Church in Fiji
1:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Introduction to Cornelia Ehl and Declaration Delivery
2:10 pm Sustainable Lifestyles — Storytelling and Sharing Experiences
- Shabaana Kidy, Humanitarian Academy for Development
- Rabbi Katy Z. Allen, Jewish Climate Action Network
- Juan Jesus Milling, Brahma Kumaris
- Keya Chaterjee, Executive Director, US Climate Action Network
After the four speakers share their story, for ten minutes share your reactions to their stories with your neighbor(s). What moved you? What felt challenging?
2:55 pm Empowering People to Act
- Jill Kubit, Co-Founder and Director, Dear Tomorrow
- Andrew Boyd, Creative Interventionist, The Climate Ribbon
- Laurie Michaelis, Living Witness
3:15 pm Discussion in Plenary
As the day has progressed, what thoughts, emotions and reactions have arisen for us as we consider this work in our spiritual and faith communities? How can our spiritual and faith traditions help or hinder this work? What resources, community and support do our communities need?
4:00 pm Spiritual Pause
- Lou Leonard, World Wildlife Fund, Co-founder of One Earth Sangha
4:10 pm Coffee Break
4:30 pm The Declaration
5:00 pm Closing Ceremony
- Sr. Jayanti, Brahma Kumaris
5:15 Closing Words
Organized by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, The Bhumi Project, CIDSE, Franciscan Action Network, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, the Global Muslim Climate Network, GreenFaith, Hazon, Islamic Society of North America, One Earth Sangha, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, the World Evangelical Alliance, and the World Council of Churches.