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being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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Indian man single-handedly plants a 1,360-acre forest

Indian man single-handedly plants a 1,360-acre forest | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

A little more than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began burying seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in northern India's Assam region to grow a refuge for wildlife. Not long after, he decided to dedicate his life to this endeavor, so he moved to the site where he could work full-time creating a lush new forest ecosystem. Incredibly, the spot today hosts a sprawling 1,360 acres of jungle that Payeng planted — single-handedly. The Times of India recently caught up with Payeng in his remote forest lodge to learn more about how he came to leave such an indelible mark on the landscape.

It all started way back in 1979, when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. One day, after the waters had receded, Payeng, only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life.

"The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me. Nobody was interested," says Payeng, now 47.

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City student overcomes the odds on his way to college

City student overcomes the odds on his way to college | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Doors that Manuel Rosado never knew existed are now opening to him.


Manny - who dropped out of high school at 14 but now is a high-achieving student on track to be valedictorian of his class at Olney ASPIRA Charter School - was profiled in The Inquirer last month.


Since then, Manny has received an astonishing stream of kindnesses from people inspired by his story of determination, perseverance, and the power of education.


People have written notes, offered to mentor him, sent checks. An entire class of middle school students wrote to tell how proud they were of him. Most important, one family has offered to help him get through college.

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KARE Givers: We lose our dreams, and that's a bad thing...

KARE Givers: We lose our dreams, and that's a bad thing... | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

What are the circumstances that create the child's dream state of mind? I think it's actually the child's state of mind that creates the circumstances. Children live in a visceral and fascinating world inside their heads that allows them to see the world they believe; not believe the world they see... the world of their dreams, and I think there is tremendous possibility in extending this perspective beyond childhood along the growth spectrum; even into adulthood. At some point we lose our dreams, and that's just profoundly sad because losing our dreams in adult terms is synonymous with lost purpose and possibility.


Sean Grainger

KARE Givers

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We are shaking the world with a new dream

We are shaking the world with a new dream | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In Detroit, everything is in your face: (the following is taken from Margaret Wheatley’s invitation to the learning journey)


“Detroit is a place of stark and compelling contrasts and contradictions. Once the fourth largest city in America that glowed with the promise of industrialization, it is now an embodied prophecy of the post-industrial world, a world where:


  • citizens have been abandoned by their government and corporations
  • factories that employed tens of thousands of workers now lie in ruins
  • 1/3 of the land once filled with homes and neighborhoods is now grassy fields
  • public schools are shuttered and closed
  • drugs, high crime, and criminalization by the authorities plague youth and destroy their future


Like abandoned citizens everywhere, when people realize that no one is coming to help, the possibility of community arises. As people stop looking outside themselves and turn to one another, they discover the richness of resources to be found within themselves, their cultures and their land. Nowhere in the Western world is this discovery of community-as-resource more vibrant than in Detroit.”


recommended reading at

Brave New World - stories from the new paradigm

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Edmonton designer's most important job is role model

Edmonton designer's most important job is role model | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

EDMONTON - In his two-storey print shop in west Edmonton, Jules Thomas works two phones, juggles two businesses and contemplates the two lives he’s already lived at age 30.

 

A self-taught designer and musician, Thomas is the creative talent in a small, two-person design firm, Distrikt Media. He’s also the brains behind his second venture, Bannock Burger, a mobile restaurant, launched this summer.

 

As part of a younger generation of aboriginals trying their hand at business in the big city, Thomas is an optimist these days: “I just want to be a better me and now I’m a role model for young aboriginals in the city.”

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El Salvador’s Historic Gang Truce May Show Pathway to Peace in the U.S. - COLORLINES

El Salvador’s Historic Gang Truce May Show Pathway to Peace in the U.S. - COLORLINES | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Activists in the United States are watching closely as El Salvador works to address the root causes of gang violence.

 

In mid-June members of rival gangs Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, and Barrio 18 in El Salvador marked 100 days of an historic gang truce. 

 

[...]

 

Rodriguez, the longtime writer, adds that restorative justice is about asking perpetrators and victims to restore what was taken away.

 

“You can’t restore lives or property damage, but you can restore trust,” Rodriguez says. “One of the ways you can do that is by getting gang members themselves to commit to community and to change. We’re not just talking about the least violent. It’s a very important concept. It has worked when we’ve done it in different parts of the US with people who were once some of the most violent. It works to restore trust within civil society and those that are on the margins of society. We want to get them back in. It’s another way to go, rather than just punishing people.”

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Dreams of Eco-community come true | Imagine Rural Development Initiative

Dreams of Eco-community come true | Imagine Rural Development Initiative | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

It begins with the dream

 

A year ago, the eco-community at Ngabwe, a thriving area of 200 sq km of virgin with sunken lakes and rivers running through it, was simply a dream. Today it is unfolding.

 

As Chief Ngabwe, the head of a tribe of 6000 people in Zambia and Steven Putter of Imagine Rural Development, sat night after night dreamtalking about the building of an eco village, thousands of miles away John Kriedler and his wife Kelly were wondering how they could make their dream of living sustainably come true.

 

If not my dream > your dream = our dream

 

Read on  


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Sonder

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The Earth Is Hiring: Paul Hawken's Inspiring Commencement Speech

The Earth Is Hiring: Paul Hawken's Inspiring Commencement Speech | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The follow snippet was taken from the Commencement Address by Paul Hawken to the Class of 2009 at University of Portland.


This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don't poison the water, soil, or air, don't let the earth get overcrowded, and don't touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food -- but all that is changing.


There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn't bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring. The earth couldn't afford to send recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here's the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don't be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.


When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't optimistic, you haven't got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair , power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, "So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world." There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.


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The 14 Most Inspirational Kids of 2012

The 14 Most Inspirational Kids of 2012 | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Meet 14 inspirational young people who have already accomplished huge feats this year, and it's only the beginning of their careers.


One young activist prompted a major American magazine to ban heavily airbrushed photos. Another young Californian boy crafted an elaborate cardboard cut-out arcade and sparked the imaginations of hundreds of kids around the world.


These young innovators are set to discover a cure for cancer, save lives by pinpointing abandoned landmines and generally inspire the world to do better.

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Oh, those telling eyes!

Oh, those telling eyes! | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

And the stories behind them…


They come in various sizes and attitudes – dressed, buttoned, tied, and tucked with hopeful fingers – walking to school on barefoot paths. Children from the townships in South Africa live in extraordinarily challenging environments, yet they convert those challenges into creativity wrapped in endless smiles. Each has the raw potential given any child at birth. Every face confirms that potential, building a world out of whatever they have – able to play and laugh and dream without limits. Their imaginations surpass their realities.


via @Counterpane

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Community Sufficiency Technologies

In the market we have a feed back loop that rewards efficiency of scale . . . bigger is better . . . and simpler is better. We can balance that with local systems of production, owned by the consumers of what they produce, because that creates a feed back loop that rewards efficiencies of integration . . .

 

Imagine a system of gardens and greenhouses that produced enough food for the entire neighborhood (Neighborhoods already own much of what is required). Imagine that anyone in the neighborhood could get a share of that food by doing what they enjoy . . . fixing cars, reading to kids, cooking, sewing, carpentry, home repair, gardening, making cheese . . .

 

Once you start an integrated system of production, it gets better the more things you can integrate . . . and, instead of labor being a cost, in this system, the more people that contribute, the less each person has to do.

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MutaBaruka - Def Poetry (Dis Poem)

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