Greenprint for Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness.

The Board of the Alliance for Sustainability welcomes you to this Greenprint for Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness. It shares our perspectives on the challenging new world we are experiencing and our process and plan for addressing them. It is also an invitation for you to partner with us. Hopefully it fully expresses both our current DNA and that which has been present since our birth nearly 40 years ago. Read on to see our full Greenprint, or download a PDF below.

This Greenprint and its accompanying Declaration of Co-Creation and Interdependence are meant to contribute to a shared vision and plan for the collaborations, alliances, frameworks, values, actions and ways of being which we feel are essential to the needed fundamental systems change and transformation on a personal, organizational and planetary level.  The Greenprint and Declaration are fractal, meaning that the core ideas are meant to create patterns at one level that can then change patterns at other levels as well.

We invite you and other diverse voices to share your honest feedback and suggestions so that this Greenprint is as inclusive, inspiring and inviting as possible. We hope you will consider partnering with us and sharing it with others.

We hope that this Greenprint will be a responsive source of inspiration and guidance and will address the fierce urgency of now expressed by a Gen Z person speaking for so many: “We don’t have time to wait for change.”

With Appreciation, Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness,

Alliance for Sustainability Board Members

Terry Gips, Co-Founder and President, Terry@afors.org
Collie Graddick, Chair
Melanie Izrael
Brady Johnson  
Toya Lopez
Cass McLaughlin
SooJi Min-Maranda
Lori Myren-Manbeck
Brian Zakem  

Again and again in history some people wake up.
They have no ground in the crowd and move to broader deeper laws.
They carry strange customs with them and demand room for bold and audacious action.
The future speaks ruthlessly through them.
They change the world.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist

The World in Transition: Great Challenges and Opportunities  

We are facing a global health pandemic and accompanying social isolation and financial stress, in addition to a host of other massive challenges. These include racism, sexism, inequality, violence, division, threats to democracy, consumption addiction, population growth, planetary pollution and devastating climate-related fires, heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, sea level rise, disease epidemics, species loss, poverty, overwhelming costs and environmental refugees. Massive environmental migration alone may force half of all Americans to move and 2-3 billion people globally to live in uninhabitable parts of the world.

We experience loss, loneliness, anxiety, fear, confusion, apathy, overwhelm, depression and disempowerment. And we encounter the embedded, normalized, dominant, destructive, power over and consumptive culture of colonialism, patriarchy, discrimination, homophobia, xenophobia and a host of “isms”, including crony, exploitive capitalism, racism, sexism, classism and ageism. And we face a confusing brave new world of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, Space Wars, and all seeing and controlling corporate, media and government power.

While taken together these can appear overpowering, at the same these challenges present tremendous new opportunities, especially given the accompanying shift in public awareness and support for long-needed, fundamental systems change. These will require new, novel ways of thinking, being, collaboration and action.

Fortunately, there is a growing community of leaders, nonprofits, social enterprises, and public bodies who have the expertise, wisdom and commitment to address each of these. We can join with them and bring our integrative perspective and energy, voice and leadership to transform our world and create an abundant, healthy, equitable future of true sustainability.

This is both daunting and exhilarating. We are energized by the invitation to think, be and collaborate in new ways. It allows us to explore what is emergent and what is needed to be birthed.

We are called to answer the profound question posed by Buckminster Fuller: “How do we make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone? And we ask, how can we best help transform ourselves and our world in positive, joyous and fulfilling ways that inspire and align with our highest values and aspirations so that our dreams can become a reality?

Before I flew I was already aware of how small and vulnerable our planet is;

but only when I saw it from space, in all its ineffable beauty and fragility,

did I realize that human kind’s most urgent task is to cherish and preserve it for future generations.

Astronaut Sigmund Jahn, German Democratic Republic

The Alliance and Sustainability

The Alliance for Sustainability was created nearly forty years ago by visionaries from around the world with a mission to co-create sustainability on a personal, organizational, and planetary level. We’ve always defined sustainability as being ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane, embodying our highest values in terms of how we treat people, animals and the planet.

As an early pioneer of the concept of sustainability, we have always rejected the notion that it means “sustaining” the existing, destructive systems that are in place. Instead, it is a life-affirming path requiring restoration, regeneration and resilience. We see it as holistically embracing and integrating all aspects of life while providing a clear yet ever-evolving North Star and vision that has never been fully realized.

We believe sustainability is a broad, welcoming umbrella that incorporates a range of powerful, cutting-edge approaches, including regeneration, restoration, resilience, circular economy, Cradle to Cradle, UN Sustainable Development Goals, Permaculture, Biomimicry, Net Zero, organic, Natural Step and so many more. Consequently, we fully support these initiatives and seek to have them become widely adopted. 

At the same time, we recognize that in many cases the term has been mis-appropriated, co-opted and greenwashed by various individuals and institutions. This has led to confusion and derision among some. As a long-time practitioner of holistic sustainability, we are committed to reclaiming the term and calling out those who would misuse it while celebrating those who authentically live it.

We need to change from stories of duality, domination,

scarcity, greed, isolation, competition and conflict

to stories of diverse unity, relationship, interdependence, collaboration, harmony, sufficiency,

prosperity and sustainability that work for everyone.

Thomas Berry, Dream of the Earth

Our Vision and Mission

We envision a healthy, just, equitable, thriving, kind and peaceful world that works for everyone, fulfills their fundamental needs and realizes our greatest dreams and vision of sustainability. Our mission is to co-create sustainability on a personal, organizational and planetary level.

We welcome you on our journey to co-create a diverse, inclusive alliance of more than one million people and organizations working together for personal transformation and fundamental systems change. We hope you will take the next step with a free membership.

As a black person in America, I am twice as likely as a white person

to live in an area where air pollution poses the greatest risk to my health.

I am five times more likely to live within walking distance of a power plant or chemical facility –

which I do. We’ve got to decide that we want to live in a world

that is sane and happy and healthy, and that everyone deserves that.

Author and Sustainable South Bronx Founder Majora Carter

Summary of the Alliance

We are a diverse, inclusive, entrepreneurial and high impact tax-exempt social enterprise co-creating, catalyzing and scaling an alliance for a healthy, equitable, thriving and kind world of sustainability from an open-hearted center of deep listening, empathy, compassion and collaboration. We are committed to the fulfillment of every person’s fundamental needs and achieving large and measurable social, economic and sustainability impact goals that can create Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Beloved Community” and the tipping points for transformation and fundamental systems change at every level. 

We seek to integrate the most impactful, innovative and proven technologies, models and ways of thinking, being and partnering. By identifying strategic tipping points in our society and catalyzing impactful action, we seek to scale sustainability so it can become the norm for how we live and do business. Through dynamic, cutting-edge thought leadership, effective engagement, collaboration with key stakeholders, powerful community and movement building, successful campaigns, and growth to a sufficient size, we will achieve an effective role in the adoption of impactful policies and programs in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

We are on an ever-evolving journey to explore, embody, practice and model true sustainability. We seek to embed our co-created, comprehensive and integrative understanding of sustainability as a core operating principle in our way of thinking and culture, including every institution and policy. We will seek to do this through a combination of strategic, high impact social media, publications, speaking, and trainings, along with education, engagement, empowerment and action campaigns, projects, partnerships and movements.

We seek to engage people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives, as well as public, private and nonprofit institutions. We will begin with the more than 50 million Americans (more than a quarter of adult Americans) who are open to, care about or practice sustainability, health, equity, kindness and related characteristics.

We have five primary areas of work that build on our nearly First Forty Years of pioneering, successful sustainability efforts that have brought about fundamental changes and laid the basis for our Next Forty:

  1. Be a pioneer, thought leader, content generator, convener and champion for sustainability through publications, social media, speaking, trainings, and public and private policy while addressing those who greenwash and minimize true sustainability;
  2. Inspire, inform, empower and engage all citizens to align their behavior, consumption and practices with sustainability, health, equity and kindness while encouraging them to participate in impactful action and policy;
  3. Champion the shift to sustainability by all institutions, from business and government to educational and religious institutions, nonprofits, and communities;
  4. Support public and private sustainability policies and campaigns by partnering with global, national, state and local organizations;
  5. Build a diverse, powerful alliance of more than one million individuals and institutions that co-creates and collaborates to be a catalyst for transformation generating a tipping point for scaling sustainability, health, equity and kindness.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution,

we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.

We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.

When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights,

are considered more important than people,

the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our Values

We believe that essential to sustainability is humaneness, which means to embody our highest values. Consequently, values are core to our ways of being, interacting and work. These include:

  • Radical gratitude, amazement and love for all and our sacred planet;
  • Honesty, integrity, transparency and trust;
  • Respect, civility, ethics, equity and fairness;
  • Relationship, connection, collaboration and mutuality;
  • Empathy, compassion, kindness, vulnerability, bravery and open-heartedness;
  • Listening and presence;
  • Self-awareness, personal growth, creative self-expression, spirituality and transformation;
  • Generosity and sharing;
  • Laughter, humor, playfulness and positivity;
  • Health and well-being;
  • Peace and non-violence towards oneself, others and all of Creation;
  • Resilience, restoration, regeneration and sustainability;
  • Creativity, arts, science, innovation and learning; and
  • Seeing possibilities, contributing to others and making a difference.

The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present,

but a place that is created–created first in the mind and will, created next in activity.

The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.

The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them,

changes both the maker and the destination.

American political theorist Dr. John Schaar

Our Theory of Change

Einstein powerfully said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we used when we created them.” We must think outside the box. As Buckminster Fuller said, “We must build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

2500 years ago Lao Tzu said, “If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” Nearly 2000 years ago Plutarch said, “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Plank said that, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” And Dr. Deepak Chopra has said that, “The crisis that we have right now is a crisis of perception, nothing else. It’s the most fundamental crisis in the world. You as a person think of yourself as separate from what you call the environment. You’re one. Unless you have a relationship of love with your personal body and your universal body you’re in trouble.”

Organizer Dorothy Day said, “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us.” And psychologist and Alliance Dream Team member Dr. Yvette Erasmus speaks about the “principle of inner change: outer impactand “bringing our whole heart back online” in order to “live our most loving, creative and free self.” She emphasizes the importance of “Going inward to heal our pastand then “aligning with the present moment and emerging into a futureof our choosing”. This will “take courage, fortitude and a willingness to feelthe full range of human emotions” so that we can “be what we want to see in the world.” The Alliance feels this is fundamental for us and our work.

Consequently, we believe in the power of ideas, ways of being, partnership and action to transform ourselves and our world. For nearly 40 years we have sought to practice that and have witnessed how it has changed the world in both small and large ways. We have always seen sustainability as requiring an integrative approach that addresses both technological and human dimensions, often with the human dimension being the more complex and challenging given people’s ingrained beliefs and behaviors, including a reluctance to change.

As a result, we believe in the importance of education, engagement and empowerment to move people to action and policy changes through inspiring, positive steps that benefit their personal lives, workplaces, and communities, as well as the planet. We have seen the power of sharing with people, institutions and communities a vision of sustainability and the extraordinary self-benefit and opportunities it presents for saving money and resources while having a more joyous, healthy, innovative and collaborative world. We also have found it is essential to share the simple, practical steps needed to make the shift and empower people and provide support to implement the changes. To accomplish this, we found powerful tools in the Natural Step Framework, personal sustainability training and other approaches designed to deeply touch and inspire people, bring them together and organize them to bring about fundamental systems change.

By identifying key tipping points, we feel it’s possible to shift thinking, nourish new ways of being, create new patterns and structures, and have significant leverage that can accelerate transformation and fundamental change.

Common people with uncommon courage and the whispers of their ancestors in their ears

continue their struggles to protect the land and water and trees on which their very existence is based.

And like small tributaries joining together to form a mighty river,

their force and power grows.

Author and Native-American Leader Winona LaDuke

Our Strategy

Given our planetary challenges and the small window of opportunity we have, we feel we must address the “fierce urgency of now” to respond to the emergent future and co-create our Next Forty. This calls on us to become our highest and best selves and use strategic, cutting-edge and multi-faceted approaches so that we:

  1. Fully embody, share, inspire and empower the possibility of sustainability, health, equity and kindness
  2. Integrate sustainability, health, equity, the arts, activism, spirituality, media, humor, kindness and love
  3. Inspire individual and collective action
  4. Grow the Alliance and partner with other groups to form a powerful and strategic alliance that can be scaled and transform our lives, institutions and the planet with fundamental, systemic change.

We are on an ever-evolving journey to explore, embody, practice and model sustainability. We seek to embed our comprehensive, integrative, and holistic understanding of sustainability as a core operating principle in our way of thinking and culture, including every institution and policy. We will seek to do this through a combination of strategic, high impact social media, publications, speaking, and trainings, along with education, engagement, empowerment and action campaigns, projects, partnerships and movements.

We are committed to becoming a well-funded, inspiring, compelling voice and leader for systemic transformation powered by diverse people from all generations, especially young people. We will create a network of key stakeholders that will be a living organism in order to expand outward as quickly as possible to reach millions of people. We will explore the most effective ways and best models for being a dynamic catalyst, content generator and generative source, including the possibilities of chapters and a variety of impactful social movements, such as 350.org, Daily Kos, Black Lives Matter, Marriage Equality, and political campaigns. We seek to have rapid growth in membership with the goal of one million members within three years (for our Fortieth Anniversary) in order to scale our impact and increase revenue from members, advertisers and sponsors.

We live in direct relation to the heroes and sheroes we have.

The men and women who without knowing our names or recognizing our faces,

risked and sometimes gave their lives to support our country and our way of living.

We must say thank you.

Author Maya Angelou

Our Target Market Demographic

We seek to engage people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives, as well as public, private and nonprofit institutions. While our primary focus is on the United States, we welcome people from all over the world as we seek to create what Dr. Martin Luther King referred to as “Our Beloved Community.”

We will begin with those who are open to, care about or practice sustainability, health, equity and kindness. These are people who are seeking to go further and are drawn to contribute, make a difference or co-create. Studies show there are more than 50 million Americans (just over one-quarter of the American adult population) who share many of these characteristics, including love of nature, strong awareness of planet-wide issues, emphasis on helping others, volunteering for good causes, interest in spiritual and psychological development (personal growth) and desire for equality.

Now we stand at our own crossroads, looking out upon two futures:

one with rising temperatures, oceans, and violence on a hot and strip-mined planet

and another with expanding organic harvests, growing solar arrays, and deepening global partnerships on a green and thriving Earth.

Van Jones, Author and CNN Commentator and Host

Building on a Solid Foundation of 40 Years of Work and Cultivating the Future

Fortunately, we can draw on the Alliance’s DNA: our expansive vision, integrative definition and pioneering of cutting-edge sustainability. We can build upon our rich history of nearly 40 years as a small, scrappy and determined, high-impact yet low-overhead non-profit that has been a consistent, collaborative catalyst for fundamental systems change by igniting some of the most impactful movements and solid sustainability successes on a personal, organizational and planetary level.

We were founded with the support of the Third World Institute, an all-volunteer progressive education and action group in the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota. It had many astounding accomplishments, including the founding of the Infant Formula Action Coalition and the successful Nestle Boycott, which at the pre-internet time grew from 30 people to millions in only 7 years and resulted in the greatest consumer victory in the history of the world.

Our very first action took place just after we were founded in 1983 when we were able to successfully pass the first organic standards in Minnesota, which were the toughest in the nation. We built on that success to pass grant and loan programs for farmers to go organic, ban hazardous pesticides, pass cutting-edge groundwater protection legislation, and create the nation’s first Chair of Sustainable Agriculture at a land grant university.

Each of those early successes required building a powerful Alliance and laid out an effective on-going strategy we have used to insert ourselves in large movements where we shifted thinking and action. One important example from the 1980s was how we were able to persuade all the major environmental groups to shift from their proposed goal of safe use of pesticides to supporting organic agriculture instead.

An even bigger example was from 1989. In the wake of the outrageous corporate irresponsibility of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster, we joined with major environmental groups, labor unions, religious organizations, socially responsible investors, and the pension funds of the City of New York and State of California to create CERES and its principles for corporate environmental responsibility that have been signed and implemented by scores of major corporations bringing about fundamental changes.

Perhaps our most impactful effort was leading an insurgency with a number of other NGOs that confronted our own government and the established global agrichemical industry. We partnered with Nordic countries, the Netherlands and developing countries to persuade the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization to shift from extensive pesticide use to adopt sustainable agriculture as its goal. We then built a global coalition of more than 100 NGOs that worked with the UN FAO to have the goal of sustainable agriculture adopted by all 179 countries attending the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio.

And it has continued with our creation of Resilient Cities and Communities which we have just spun off as an independent nonprofit www.rccmn.co . Throughout, we have seen our role as a thought leader, catalyst, collaborator, convener, facilitator, educator, leader and source of positive inspiration working in partnership to co-create a diverse alliance for fundamental systems change.

We can also draw from the inherent power and wisdom of listening to and experiencing each other’s stories. And we are informed by a wide range of spiritual traditions and integrative, holistic and non-violent, peaceful practices, from indigenous wisdom, earth-based spirituality, and diverse faith traditions to Non-Violent Communications, anti-racism, mindfulness, integrative health, Manfred-Max Neef’s Fundamental Needs, the Natural Step Framework, National Coalition Building Institute, ICA training, Landmark Forum, neuroscience, and other cutting-edge approaches.

We are particularly inspired by the possibility of supporting each person in fulfilling their fundamentals needs and reducing “Affluenza” (John de Graaf’s term for the disease of consuming our planet to death) as addressed by Dr. Manfred Max-Neef’s alternative Nobel Prize-winning Bottom Up, People-Centered Sustainable Development work. This approach has been utilized in Latin America, Africa and around the world and has been incorporated into the Natural Step Framework and the Alliance for Sustainability. We have found it to be transformative for both individuals and institutions and is something that can bring together people of all different political persuasions and cultural backgrounds.   

The great social justice changes in our country have happened when people came together, organized, and took direct action. It is this right that sustains and nurtures our democracy today.

The civil rights movement, the labor movement, the women’s movement, and the equality movement for our LGBT brothers and sisters are all manifestations of these rights.

United Farm Workers Labor Leader Dolores Huerta

Four Phase Plan for the Alliance

Phase One: Immediate Term (Present through December 31, 2020)

  1. Get Feedback on the Alliance’s Declaration of Co-Creation and Interdependence
  2. Hire a Part-time Executive Organizer – A part-time executive organizer (ideally, a person of color) would be hired at 50% FTE (20 hours a week) on a contract with the hope of moving it to a full-time position with benefits. They would be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Alliance’s administration, including the database, website, finances, communications, office systems, emails, newsletter, social media, webinars, events, etc.
  3. Hire an Interim Executive Director – We will seek an experienced, highly qualified part-time (perhaps 20% FTE) Executive Director (ideally, a woman of color) to work with the President, Executive Organizer and the Leadership Team in helping to guide the organization until a full-time Executive Director can be hired.
  4. Marketing and Communications Contractor or Intern – We will seek a marketing and communications contractor and/or intern that will handle overall marketing (website, resources and communications) and social media (including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, SnapChat, YouTube, Instagram and blogging), including generating content, moderating and building true engagement. Depending on the skills of the Executive Organizer, the position may be made part of their responsibility.
  5. Interns and Volunteers – One or more interns or volunteers will assist with various projects and the engagement of young people.
  6. Leadership Team – Terry Gips will continue to serve as the President (unpaid until new funding is received) and work with the new Executive Organizer (paid), Interim Executive Director, Cass McLaughlin (unpaid until new funding), Myron Lowe (unpaid until new funding), Marketing and Communications Contractor and/or intern (unpaid until funding) and others who may be added.
  7. Creation of a New Alliance Board, Dream Team and Vision Holders – The following structure is envisioned:
    • Board – We expect to have 8-12 Board members that would meet quarterly and have fiscal and legal responsibility. Board members would participate in various committees, including governance, finance, fundraising, and program. Board members would also be invited as Dream Team members.
    • Dream Team – A Dream Team would be created composed of diverse, extraordinary visionaries, practitioners, and sustainability leaders that will have dynamic, engaging quarterly hour and a half Zoom calls with several presentations and discussion. Its purpose would be to connect, build relationships, inform, inspire, delve into issues, co-create strategies for moving sustainability forward and explore collaboration. There are no required responsibilities or time commitments by members, just an invitation to participate as they are able. Dream Teamers will receive Alliance papers on various topics to give feedback as we co-create our future, with reading and responding optional.
    • Vision Holders Circle – A Vision Holders Circle will be created for leaders willing to make a major investment in the future of the Alliance and sustainability. There are no required responsibilities or time commitments. In addition to being invited to be members of the Dream Team, there will be in-person and/or virtual meetings of the Vision Holders Circle twice a year to hear their perspectives on Alliance efforts and explore possible opportunities.  
    • Advisory Councils – Advisory Councils will be formed in specific areas.
  8. Alliance Town Hall Forums and Feedback from our Stakeholders – Our Town Hall Forums and other outreach with key stakeholders (including members, donors, supporters and partners) and those we’d like to reach (especially youth and people of color), to hear their vision for sustainability and the Alliance and get feedback on the directions we are considering.
  9. Create a True Alliance – A new Alliance of partners will be created by building on existing, long-term relationships at the national, state and local levels, including the American Sustainable Business Council/ Social Venture Circle, Green America, CERES, Center for Science in the Public Interest, and other environmental, social justice, health and advocacy groups, along with businesses (like Inclusivi-tee) and educational and religious institutions. We will seek strategic partners in order to have greater impact.
  10. Meet with a Sustainability Marketing Firm – Discussions with a possible sustainability marketing partner, such as NY-based BBMG on both developing powerful materials for the SHE Kindness Campaign and reaching out to corporations aligned with sustainability.
  11. Promote our Partner Inclusivi-tee’s Sustainability Challenge, 21 days of thinking about and practicing simple sustainable living habits. With daily posts, challenges that take no more than five minutes, prizes, and some great guests, this challenge is a wonderful way to end 2020 by creating the world we want.
  12. Promote You Can Save the World…In Fact, You’re the Only One Who Can, the fabulous, colorful new book by our Board member, psychologist, and Inclusivi-tee Founder Lori Myren-Manbeck. It’s a simple guide to living a more sustainable life, with tips anyone can follow. The Alliance is highlighted in the book and receives 10% of the net proceeds.
  13. Weekly half-hour podcast with Inclusivi-tee, Inclusive-TALKS Sustainability: A podcast about Creativity, Health, Equity and Kindness. We talk with artists, musicians, and experts in the sustainability field.

Sustainable systems change will happen only when the people who control, perpetuate and benefit

from the systems engage and commit to personal change. Go small. The single, most powerful unit of capacity for transformation and good is yourself. Social systems change begins with personal disruption.

And the good thing is, you don’t have to wait for a consult or a committee…You can start small, with yourself. And you can start now.

Steven Belton, President and CEO, Urban League Twin Cities

Phase Two: Short-Term (January 1, 2021 through April 2021)

  1. Launch Online Crowd-funding Campaign – We will work with a successful crowd-funding platform like Kick-Starter to develop a complete viral crowd-funding campaign that would build on the Alliance’s past but focus on the new vision for the Alliance and the Campaign for Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness (SHE Kindness Campaign). It will feature a powerful, inspiring and engaging 2-3 minute professional video to move people to the updated website. It will also feature social media, member emails and calls to potential donors.
  2. Create Alliance for Sustainability Organic T-Shirts and Shopping Bags – Using the designs we’ve recently developed, we’ll produce T-Shirts and shopping bags, which would be utilized as gifts in the crowd-funding campaign and for Board members, major donors, interns and volunteers. 
  3. Develop and Launch the Next Forty Campaign – Materials will be developed for the launch of the Alliance’s Next Forty fundraising campaign which would be developed with Access Philanthropy to reach out to existing Alliance major donors and potential donors with the Social Venture Network, alumni of the Yale School of Management and others. We’ll also send grant proposals to foundations and explore the use of Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and other platforms to strategically and economically target philanthropy.
  4. Conduct Online and In-Person Workshops, Trainings and Coaching on Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness – These will utilize our successful training on Sustainability and the Natural Step as a template and grow it out to fully incorporate health, well-being and conscious leadership. They could be led by Myron Lowe, Terry Gips and possibly Cass McLaughlin and/or others with each being paid for their services while generating revenue for the Alliance. 
  5. Staff and/or Consultants – The Alliance will hopefully have raised adequate funds to increase the hours of various staff and consultants.
  6. Interns and Volunteers would continue to provide assistance with the possibility of some paid internships.
  7. Webinar Series on Various Aspects of Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness – This would be utilized to attract new people to the Alliance as members and to get them to support the Forum.
  8. Earth Month Events with Inclusivi-tee focused on the release of their new book. 

Action is the antidote to despair.

Singer, songwriter and activist Joan Baez

Phase Three: Intermediate Term (May 2021 – April 2022)

  1. Hiring of a Full-time Alliance Executive Director – The Alliance will hopefully have raised adequate funds to hire a full-time Executive Director that would be an experienced and inspiring leader who would be a person of color and ideally a woman.
  2. Full-time Staff and/or Consultants – The Alliance will hopefully have raised adequate funds to hire full-time staff with benefits.
  3. Development and Launch of the Campaign for Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness (SHE Kindness Campaign) – The Alliance will work with a leading viral video firm like Free Range Studios (The Meatrix and Story of Stuff) and a leading sustainability marketing firm like BBMG to develop and implement an entire SHE Kindness Campaign that would educate, engage and inspire people to action on everything from lifestyle and consumption to campaigns and policy changes. In addition, it would help build Alliance membership to reach the goal of one million members. The Campaign would consist of:
    • Paradigm-Shifting Video(s) on SHE Kindness – Free Range Studios would produce 1-3 paradigm-shifting videos on various aspects of SHE Kindness to drive people to our new website.
    • Social Media Campaign – Use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, SnapChat, YouTube, and Instagram to also drive people to the website.
    • Blogging – Work with ShiftCon and its 5,000-plus green lifestyle bloggers that reach more than 17 million people to develop messaging and encouragement to get involved in SHE Kindness.
    • Hollywood, Music Industry, Sports and Media Celebrities Engagement – We will build on our relationship with Effect Partners and others to develop relationships with Hollywood and music industry celebrities, as well as well-known sports and media celebrities to participate in the campaign.
    • Relationships and Sponsorships from Progressive Corporations – We will seek partnerships with a wide range of progressive companies to engage their employees, provide volunteer opportunities and obtain financial support. 
    • Dynamic New SHE Kindness Website – The website will feature the latest SHE Kindness news, inspiring stories on various S/Heroes and organizations embodying SHE Kindness, Board and user up-loaded videos on what SHE Kindness means, SHE Kindness Daily Health Tips, Inspiration, Humor, Art, Music, Dance and Videos, Young People’s Platform with Common Sense Media, engagement opportunities on featured policy issues and advocacy campaigns, SHE Kindness lifestyle articles and blogs, information about our Alliance partners and ways to volunteer and be engaged in their efforts, information about sponsors and donors, gamification to encourage more action (with prizes from our sponsors and/or a reward system from Venn or Scryp), SHE Kindness products and services, and opportunities to contribute.
    • New Short Book about SHE Kindness – Terry Gips will work with the new Executive Director on a short, engaging, informative and inspiring book about SHE Kindness that will share about the Natural Step Framework, Max-Neef’s Fundamental Needs Analysis and other aspects of SHE Kindness.
    • Book Tour, Interviews and Public Speaking about SHE Kindness – These will be used to raise public awareness, drive people to the website, encourage membership and bring in revenue from speaking and book sales.
    • Workshops, Trainings, and Coaching on SHE Kindness – These will be led by Myron Lowe, Terry Gips, Cass McLaughlin and/or others.
    • SHE Kindness Blog – We will feature various leaders speaking about SHE Kindness.
    • Policy Advocacy – We will partner with groups like the American Sustainable Business Council, Green America, Black Lives Matter, CERES, faith organizations and others advocating for priority initiatives supporting SHE Kindness at the national, state and local levels. These will include alerts, calls, sign-on letters, on-line petitions, webinars and meetings. 
    • Connected Crowd-Funding Campaign – We will develop a Crowd-Funding Campaign to further provide additional support for SHE Kindness. 
  4. First Annual Ann and Walter Gips Sustainability Forum (Earth Month, April 2022) – We will invite a well-known person who exemplifies SHE Kindness, such as Van Jones or Winona LaDuke, to speak at a Forum that would serve as an inspiring and educational event and a fundraiser with sponsors that will reach existing and potential donors, foundations and corporate sponsors. It will be broadcast and include a silent auction and ad book featuring sponsors. 
  5. Participate in National and Global Forums to Bring about a Shift to Sustainability

We share this planet, our home, with millions of species.

Justice and sustainability both demand that we do not use more resources than we need.

Indian author and global sustainability leader Dr. Vandana Shiva

Phase Four: Long-Term (May 2022 through the Alliance’s 40th Anniversary May 18, 2023)

There are a number of additional exciting opportunities that are possible for the Alliance to undertake as we move towards our Fortieth Anniversary:

  1. MPower Sustainability Champions – We would become the third location for our Madison-based sister organization Sustain Dane’s innovative and successful program to welcome businesses to be Sustainability Champions by voluntarily committing over one year to undertaking five sustainability projects, tracking their energy and other resource use, having two people attend a monthly peer learning luncheon on various aspects of sustainability and then reporting their financial savings and impacts. After a year they are then publicly recognized as Sustainability Champions. At a public celebration ceremony, they are each acknowledged, and the amount of savings is announced, as well as the cumulative savings. We would expand on its efforts in several ways, welcoming the participation of cities, schools, congregations, nonprofits and other institutions, creating additional levels of acknowledgement like silver, gold and platinum and expanding the program nationally.
  2. Creation of the Alliance for Sustainability Action, a 501c4 Lobbying Organization – This would enable us to actually lobby on particular issues.
  3. Annual Sustainability Awards – We would pick up on the Sustainability Awards we had for our 20th and 25th Anniversaries and make it an annual event, which would be both educational and support our fundraising through sponsors.
  4. National Sustainability Conference
  5. Students for Sustainability – A Young People’s Sustainability Platform – We would create a completely youth-led sustainability platform to engage them in sustainability.
  6. PBS Documentary on Sustainability
  7. Annual Public Opinion Poll on Sustainability – We would track and annually release information on shifts in public attitudes about sustainability to measure our progress.
  8. Top Ten Lists – We would do a list of the Top Ten Winners and Losers of sustainability to help highlight the positive leaders and the laggards.
  9. Personal Connections – The place to connect with others for sharing, dating, collaboration, etc.
  10. Sustainability Comedy, Music and/or Art Festival – Possibly done in partnership with Effect Partners, Inclusivi-tee and others.

All the misery we inflict on sentient beings slackens our human evolution

and makes the progress of humanity slower towards the ideal that it is seeking to realize…

you cannot isolate yourself while you are trampling others down.

Those that you trample on retard your own progress.

The misery that you cause is as it were mire which round your feet when you would ascent;

for we have to rise together or fall together.

British author and women’s rights activist Annie Besant

Metrics for Measuring Our Success

We will utilize a number of key qualitative and quantifiable metrics, including surveys, polls, evaluations and the number of people reached (website views, podcast listening and social media), members, allied organizations, books sold, workshops held, and successful, impactful campaigns and public and private policies passed. We hope to have a social impact study to document the actual impact. We are also hoping to create a member fundamental needs fulfillment and happiness index and develop methods for measuring the number of random acts of kindness, savings of money, energy, CO2, water, and waste and consumption, etc., and the number of campaigns joined, calls, emails and letters sent.

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project,

all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations,

your consciousness expands in every direction,

and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.

Patanjali, Indian sage and author

We Welcome Your Comments, Suggestions, Involvement, Membership and Partnership

Terry Gips, President
Terry@afors.org
www.afors.org