Working together: the importance of collaboration

A few years ago, my wife and daughter and I travelled the United States and interviewed forty-nine different people from all over the country about sustainability. When I talk about sustainability I’m speaking about it from a holistic perspective, one that includes social systems, food systems, communities, education, healthcare, relationships, politics, family, clothing, building materials, water, music and art.

We interviewed politicians from Washington DC, organic farmers in Portland Oregon, self reliance experts in Austin Texas, educational institutions in Arizona, and many others. We then organized this into a thirteen-episode online documentary series called The Search for Sustainability, made it available for free for three weeks and received over 150,000 views on
the series in that short time. People really seemed to enjoy it and learn from it. The first episode is still free online via YouTube. As far as we know it was the first documentary to bring together all of these important facets of sustainability into an organized and practical format for inspiring and educating all of us about how to live more sustainably.

The following year, partly funded by the Visionary Ethics Foundation, I ew to Costa Rica and conducted twenty- ve interviews over two weeks. During that time I learned lots more about sustainability from people in all corners of this incredibly green-conscious country.

However, one of the things I noticed in Costa Rica was something I had also noticed in my travels around the USA. Which was that while there are many small pockets of people and organizations working towards a greener and more sustainable future, they are not necessarily working together. The various organizations, schools, and leaders often know of each other or have at least met, but more often than not I nd they do not collaborate or organize co-creative projects together…


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