people + planet @ peace

 

My mission is to strengthen people and planet through philanthropy

 

Entries in Organizations (22)

Friday
Jun162017

Corpse Flower "Terra the Titan"

Today, I was able to view the blooming of the "corpse flower" (Amorphophallus titanum), on exhibit as "Terra the Titan" at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. This event was high on my botanical bucket list and it was totally unforgettable. 

What makes this event so special?

To begin, the plant itself: titan arum is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world (typically 6-8 feet tall) and produces the largest leaf in the world (reaching up to 20 feet high). The event is also special because it is rare; the plant only blooms once every 7-10 years and only for about two days. Finally, the event is special because it is marvelously malodorous: during the bloom, the plant emits a foul odor of rotting animal flesh, hence the common name of "corpse flower." 

Photo by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Photo by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Saturday
Apr222017

Factivists: Factivate!

Today I particiapted in the March for Science - San Francisco as a demonstration of my commitment to protect and promote one of my highest civic values: science.

The event celebrates public discovery, understanding, and distribution of scientific knowledge as crucial to the freedom, success, health, and safety of life on this planet.  The organization is a nonpartisan group, marching in support of the following goals: Communication, Funding, Policy, Literacy, and Diversity.

Please join me in standing up for science.

 And please be aware that we can do more than march, we can: 

  • Vote to elect representatives who will advance scientific investments, fund scientific education and research, and promote science-based policies at all levels of government.
  • Support scientific institutions and organizations financially.
  • Volunteer as a naturalist, citizen scientist, or environmental steward.
  • Advocate for scientific research in the fight against HIV/AIDS!
  • Continue to march to give voice to this important civic value. 

Together, we can build a healthier, safer, and smarter nation and society.

Here are the highlights of today's programming:


Friday
Apr212017

Science Saves Lives

Tomorrow, I will be taking part in the March for Science San Francisco. I support this movement as a demonstration of my commitment to protect and promote one of my highest civic values: science.

It's no coincidence that this movement is taking place on Earth Day, and most years I appreciate and applaud the awareness that the day brings to our collective conscience, as nothing unites humanity more than our planetary dependence and existence. We all depend on nature's bounty and live within her boundaries.

However, this year is different. I am serving in a new role at the National AIDS Memorial Grove and on a daily basis, I'm exposed to the importance of our health care system, the innovative scientific solutions developed to our most pressing public health concerns, and the critical need to invest in scientific knowledge for public health, safety, and national security. AIDS and other infectious diseases will only disappear if we can bridge the scientific and societal solutions that emerge from our pursuit of new knowledge. We must advance!

This year is also different for me because of the political disreagrd, devalued role, and diminished investment in science. I will not call it a "war" on science, because I feel as though there are already too many casualties literally for this "war on science" metaphor to be sensitive. It is a life-and-death matter, not a tired metaphor.  But I will say this:

Science saves lives. If we are to find a cure for AIDS; if we are to alleviate the unbearable pain and suffering of the sick; and if we are to overcome the deadly viciousness of the virus: we need science and we must speak up for scientific research. Our destiny is in our hands.

In addition to marching, here's what I pledge to do:

  • I will vote to elect representatives who will advance scientific investments, fund scientific education and research, and promote science-based policies at all levels of government.
  • I will support scientific institutions and organizations financially.
  • I will continue to volunteer as a naturalist and citizen scientist.
  • I will advocate for scientific research in the fight against HIV/AIDS!
  • I will continue to march to give voice to this important civic value.

Together, we can build a healthier, safer, and smarter nation and society.

Sunday
Apr022017

Educational Tall Ship Sets Sail

This weekend, I celebrated the launch of the Matthew Turner, an educational tall ship build entirely from wood and constructed over the past four years entirely by volunteers. I was honored to serve on the board of directors of the Educational Tall Ship in its earliest days and it's a project with special importance to me personally. 

As a result of my volunteer service to the board, I was able to get to know Alan Olson, the visionary man behind the idea to build this ship to connect young people to the water-- “We want them to learn about the powers of nature, like the wind and the sea” -- I applaud his vision and success as an transformative force for future generations in the Bay Area. 

Watch this informative video about the project and be sure to see the ship near the Bay Model in Sausalito!

Saturday
Mar162013

Attention au Départ

The Restaurants du Cœur (known as the Restos du Cœur; "Restaurants of the Heart") is a French charitable organization that distributes food packages and hot meals to the needy.

It was founded by the comedian Coluche in 1985. These annual songs by "Les Enfoirés" represent a strong tradition of French philanthropy and civil society.

Monday
Sep102012

Coho Mojo!

For the past 10 weeks, I’ve been learning about the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN), an award-winning, science-based watershed protection organization that engages community members to take action in order to help the salmon recover and thrive. SPAWN is a project of the Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) and the program partner for my California Naturalist Certificate program from the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The mission of SPAWN is to protect endangered salmon in the Lagunitas Watershed and the environment on which we all depend. SPAWN uses a multi-faceted approach, including grassroots action, habitat restoration, policy development, research and monitoring, citizen training, environmental education, strategic litigation, and collaboration with other organizations, land-owners, and agencies.

SPAWN offers walks to view spawning salmon, an email action alert list-serve, homeowner consultations on creek protections, seminars, training and volunteer and internship opportunities.

As a soon-to-be-official naturalist, I have come to appreciate the focus of SPAWN’s efforts around the protection and preservation of the Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), a native species to the Lower Columbia River (threatened), Oregon Coast (threatened), Southern Oregon and Northern California Coasts (threatened), and Central California Coast (endangered).

According to the SPAWN website, "Coho have declined more than 95% from historic population levels, and are a listed species under the US Endangered Species Act. Just 30 minutes from the SF Bay Area's urban centers, Lagunitas Creek Watershed is one of the most important waterways left for these wild coho salmon, supporting 10 to 20% of all wild Central California Coast Coho surviving today."

By focusing on the Coho, our instructors explain their path to and from the ocean in the course of their lifecycle, drawing upon the connections that this species has with all of the other species is meets on its journey. We also learn about how the geography and geology play an important part in connecting such a fragile web of life.

I’m amazed at how intelligent, careful, and fun the SPAWN staff are in working with the community and watershed. Many of them are expert researchers, while others are local residents that care for the life around them.

This past weekend, I volunteered on a habitat restoration as part of the capstone project for two of my classmates. We removed the awful Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) that has taken over many areas near the SPAWN office in the Lagunitas Creek watershed.

Checkout this huge invasive weed pile that we pulled, on its way to become compost:

I hate weeds! - I HATE 'EM!

Wednesday
Apr112012

Traditional Ecological Knowledge

I recently watched this video (below) from Bioneers about traditional ecological knowledge. The mission of Bioneers is to inspire a shift to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations.

The Bioneers Indigeneity Program works to promote indigenous leaders and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) as a critical path to support all people in learning to honor bio-cultural landscapes and reconnect to place-based ways.  Native peoples are keepers of the earth's "old growth" cultures, living in harmony with their Native environments for thousands of years.  This indigenous science offers a different way of knowing that provides a crucial complement to the tools of western science.

Over the last decade, Bioneers commitment to indigenous peoples' social and ecological issues has brought together some of the greatest indigenous leaders of our time in one place. 

I originally wanted to post a presentation by Melissa K. Nelson, Ph.D. (Anishinaabe/Métis [Turtle Mountain Chippewa]), a cultural ecologist, scholar-activist, writer and media-maker, is a Professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University and the President of the Cultural Conservancy, a Native American nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of indigenous cultures and their ancestral lands. She is the editor of the Bioneers anthology, Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings For A Sustainable Future and producer of the award-winning documentary film, The Salt Song Trail. She is the co-founder/co-producer of the Indigenous Forum at Bioneers and co-founder of the new Bioneers Indigeneity Program as well as serving on Bioneers’ board.

However, they password protected the video (why do they not want to share this?!?!), so I removed the link.  Hopefully, Bioneers will be more share-friendly in the future.

Saturday
Mar312012

Nonprofit Tech Companies

This weekend I hosted a party and one of my guests recently started working at Twitter. We had a nice conversation about social media and technology, and how in light of recent high-profile public offerings (Facebook, Groupon, LinkedIn, Pandora, Yelp, Zynga, etc.), little has been known about how these technology companies are turning a profit, like the recent 60 Minutes profile of Groupon.

I live two blocks away from the Zynga headquarters and walk past the Twitter's new building on my way to work each morning, so technology is a community interest for me, in some ways.

And for those tech companies that offer information or tools, it's fascinating to see some great examples of non-profit tech companies that serve a social mission, making the internet more of a nonprofit space, where ads and marketing aren't influencing the user experience.

I've been thinking more and more about this conversation and so I decided to explore the mission statements of my top 10 favorite nonprofit tech companies.

They are (in alphabetical order):

1. Bay Area Video Coalition (San Francisco, CA) bavc.org
Mission: The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) inspires social change by enabling the sharing of diverse stories through art, education and technology.

2. Craigslist Foundation (RIP, San Francisco, CA) craigslist.org
Mission: to empower people to strengthen their communities by connecting them to the resources they need to effectively engage in community building.

3. Creative Commons (Mountain View, CA) creativecommons.org
Mission: Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.

4. Electronic Frontier Foundation (San Francisco, CA) eff.org
Mission: The Corporation was formed for the purpose of understanding and fostering the opportunities of digital communication in a free and open society.

5. Internet Archive (San Francisco, CA) archive.org
Mission: to offer permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.

6. Kahn Academy (Mountain View, CA) kahnacademy.org
Mission: to provide a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.

Note: Kahn Academy was recently featured on 60 Minutes.

7. Mozilla Foundation (Mountain View, CA) mozilla.org
Mission: to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the web,

8. TechSoup Global (San Francisco, CA) techsoup.org
Mission: TechSoup Global is working toward a time when every nonprofit and NGO on the planet has the technology resources and knowledge they need to operation at their full potential.

9. Tehnology, Entertainment, Design (New York, NY) ted.com
Mission: Spreading ideas.

10. Wikimedia Foundation (San Francisco, CA) wikimediafoundation.org
Mission: to encourage the growth, development, and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to provide the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge.

Please share your favorite nonprofit tech companies with me! I can be reached at adam@badwound.org.

Saturday
Mar242012

Cooperation Makes It Happen!

Yesterday's post made me think of a song that I remember loving from my childhood: "Cooperation" by Sesame Street. It's also a good reminder that Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit organization with a mission "to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential."

Their projects bring critical lessons in literacy and numeracy, emotional wellbeing, health and wellness, and respect and understanding to children in 150+ countries.

Co-operation... makes it happen!

Co-operation ... working together!

Dig it!

Friday
Mar232012

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

When I was in graduate school, I took a course on organization behavior and we had a conversation about "nonprofits acting like people," which led us to the funny image of "kids playing in a sandbox."  A recent project that I've been working on has been one such example of organizations collaborating, fittingly in a park setting.

On May 12, 2012, the Stanford Alumni Association is holding the annual Global Day of Service known as "Beyond the Farm" that extends Stanford's spirit of service to communities around the world through the volunteer efforts of alumni, family and friends. As an alumnus and board member of Stanford Pride, I'm putting together a project to work at the National AIDS Memorial in Golden Gate Park (full disclosure: I'm on the board of the National AIDS Memorial, too!). We're promoting the event with the Stanford Club of San Francisco in our outreach efforts, among many other service projects in San Francisco on that day.

Our volunteers will help maintain the memorial by clearing weeds and debris, mulching and hauling topsoil, planting new trees and shrubs, and other related projects.

Grab your shovel and join me!  Let's play well together in the sanbox!