Are We Really spOILed?

A pumpjack in Texas The documentary film spOILed debuted last week in Denver to a private crowd hosted by the city’s petroleum club, which was greeted with cheers and applause as the film gushed to a start. Director Mark Mathis delivered a truthful and resonating film from the perspective of a realist who journeyed to discover the truth about oil. As a born and bred local of Colorado and an energy enthusiast I was pleased to experience a realistic and balanced perspective on oil production.

From the onset, the film is catchy and interrupting. Mathis’ story line delivers you to logical points and in an instant flashes you back in time to iconic moments in history as a reminder of how quickly our perception of oil has changed. His clip composition is timed perfectly to anticipate the moments when the viewer may be thinking, “but…"

From Greenpeace to industry insiders, Mathis interviews a gamut of individuals with a vested interest in the production of oil. While the U.S. doesn’t have an energy policy, everybody has an opinion on what it should be. Like Gasland, spOILed is sure to receive attention regarding Mathis’ “ honest discussion on energy.” The film serves as a reminder about how we came to use oil, how oil has revolutionized our world and our lifestyles as well as the results of cutting off oil production completely. It begs to the absurdity of not knowing the intrinsic connections and value that oil affords us, and how far-reaching our dependence is. spOILed reminds viewers that while figuring out an alternative solution to oil is important we can’t just sever our life line to the fuel without consequences.

English: United States petroleum production an...

Living as Americans we have come to appreciate and take for granted the freedoms and choices that are provided to us daily. Our forefathers in a quest to develop a system for free people outlined a set of laws that helped us pursue life, liberty and happiness. These freedoms have allowed us to watch the sunset from our beach bungalows, cozy up to the fireplaces in our mountain homes and drink wine on the porches of our cottages; due in part to the innovations and discoveries years ago spurred by the discovery of oil.

Like residents living on the coasts or across the plains, I too appreciate the daily aesthetics’ that living in Denver and the state of Colorado allow to me. There is nothing like watching the sun set over the mountains, enjoying the outdoors and breathing the fresh Rocky Mountain air at 5,000 feet. I am also acutely aware of the blessings I count for myself in the form of a great place to live, a hot shower in the morning, a reliable car and an iPod that like me runs for hours so that I can be alone with my thoughts, which hopefully come out as good writing when I finally get to typing on my Mac. I also know that these same blessings are the result of American discovery, innovation and ingenuity forged as a direct result of our use of oil.

Mathis’ documentary while of course focused on oil, presents a logical look into the world of oil production and asks viewers to be rational when discussing it and its alternatives. Whether you are a fan of renewable energy or fossil fuels you need to see the film spOILed to really understand both sides or at least to have a rationale conversation on how our society can cut back on its oil dependence without eliminating it completely.

The Vx

The Vx, headquartered in Colorado, brings together members of existing women’s affinity groups in a collaborative environment, giving women access to an exceptional resourceThe Goal of The Vx is to: • Secure exceptional resources to foster a community of interest • Inspire women to achieve their personal and professional potential • Integrate the full potential of this community to focus on extraordinary problems Pam Jeffords, Co-Founder and Partner of Via Management Consulting, is an experienced entrepreneur in the Denver community. Pam founded her first company, Maid to Fit, at the age of 30 and sold the company to a competitor three years later. Pam was recruited by ShopAtHome.com to move their offering to the web, growing the consumer base of on-line members to over 1Million and delivering over 1,000 advertisers with banner revenue. In 2007, she joined PAETEC as the General Manager with responsibility for launching six new markets in twelve months. Pam is the Co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Council at Mile High United Way, where she has played an instrumental role since 2003. Pam holds a Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Business Administration from Georgia State University.

 

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Peter Yarrow's Operation Respect

Peter Yarrow  

Peter Yarrow is best known for being part of the folk musical trio Peter, Paul and Mary.  Yarrow’s current project Operation Respect encourages mutual respect between all people.  “Operation Respect Program” includes a book, CD and teaching curriculum.  The book is Yarrow’s second book following “Puff the Magic Dragon.”  Operation Respect is not only a book but also a nonprofit, education and advocacy organization which teaches respectful, safe and compassionate behaviors.

Puff the Magic Dragon’s meaning has always been questioned and Yarrow assures time and time again it has an innocent message.  Puff the Magic Dragon is a song about compassion and empathy and relates to being respectful to the differences between people.  The song resonates through the ages because it touches the heart.

Operation Respect’s program curriculum can be downloaded, at; www.operationrespect.org.  At this website you can find about 50 songs to download at no cost.  Yarrow shares them because once children sing together they form respect for each other.

Another one of Yarrow’s projects is the Don’t Laugh at Me program which can be found, at; www.dontlaugh.org.

Yarrow welcomes other educators and people who work with children to develop partnerships to get the no bullying message across.

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Expansive Education Transformation

Allan Jones President of Emaginos Inc.  

Allan Jones, president of Emaginos Inc. focuses on changing K-12 education.  Changing the course of public education takes more than reforms.  Reforms are not creating the best benefits in public schools.  The NCEE reported globally we are in the middle or bottom of the middle tier of rankings for having successful K-12 education.  The best practices in transforming public education are:

  1. Creating stronger teacher unions
  2. Viewing teachers as the solution not the problem
  3. The Federal government needs to set the priorities
  4. Equity needs to go to the best preforming schools.

Charter schools are an asset in proving innovations.  Only 17 percent of charter schools are successful and those schools should be studied for best practices.

Ignoring public schools have efficiency issues will result in people unable to find jobs.  Extinct jobs are not coming back and schooling can’t get in the way of education.  Schools should focus 80 percent on problem solving and 20 percent on learning facts.

Tracy Learning Centers use hands on applications developed by Emaginos Inc. and have a one percent dropout rate and zero percent teacher turnover.  Their learning models are scalable to public schools.  They help students become active, independent learners.  For more information, visit: http://thepowerofus.org.

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ICOSA is transforming collaboration.

Kim DeCoste is vice president and editor-at-large for ICOSA where she manages the media team, and contributed to editorial planning for the magazine and a book on connections + collaboration. A few of her articles are “The Evolution of E-Learning,” “A Win-Win: Kroenke Sports Enterprises Does Great Work for Kids & Education,” “Living the Mission: Private STEM Solutions & Public Education,” “Authentic Leadership is Gender Neutral” and “Closing the Education Gap.”

ICOSA is thought of as organic―focused on developing collaboration and taking it to the next level which is transformation.  The method ICOSA uses can conceptually be adopted to fit into high schools but specifically higher education.  To be a doer one needs to learn to walk with others, and identify goals and meeting those goals in a manageable way.  ICOSA would like to work with higher education in providing students with collaborative methods.

Amazon is an example of a company who has successfully transformed.  Amazon.com launched its marketplace in 2002 selling books, music, videos and DVS’s and now has since developed the Amazon Kindle e-book reader and sells just about any product globally.

The difficult areas of collaboration are blending the different view of what success looks like and keeping people together and focused on the mission.

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Young Leaders Connecting and Collaborating Globally

By: Luke Wyckoff Issue: Big Ideas, Smart People Section: Community Unconditional Love

ICOSA:What is Junior Chamber International (known worldwide as JCI and in parts of the USA as the Jaycees)?

GREENLEE: The organization was started in 1915 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA to give young people an opportunity for leadership development and networking. Today, the organization has almost 200,000 young men and women between the ages of 18-40 in 120 countries, but there are millions of alumni members who have turned 40, like me. Many have gone on to be heads of state, hold other political positions, are leaders in non-government organizations (NGO), are business and corporate leaders, and are making a difference in many other ways around the world. The mission of JCI is: "To provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change," and the vision of JCI is: "To be the leading global network of young active citizens."

ICOSA: How did you get involved?

GREENLEE: Like most members, I had heard of JCI but was then asked to join and get involved by a current member. I was 23 at the time and looking for chances to meet people and help out my community, and JCI was the perfect vehicle to do both.

ICOSA: What is your most memorable moment as a member of JCI?

GREENLEE: Being elected the JCI world president for 2007 was a real highlight of my time in JCI and my life. Having the confidence of members from around the world and the opportunity to take a year and gain that experience, meet members and people from all over the world, and advance the interests of young people, was great.

ICOSA: As the JCI world president, what were you trying to "do" around the world? How many countries did you visit?

GREENLEE: The JCI president acts as the CEO of the organization for one year. During my tenure I oversaw the board of directors and the almost 100 global member appointments. I also oversaw a 25 member internationally-based staff; served as the chief spokesperson for JCI; and worked closely with our partners like the International Chamber of Commerce, the United Nations, and the Global Compact among others. I also helped to manage the finances while working to make JCI more attractive from a marketing and branding prospective. Our end goal was to increase the number of members, the number of countries JCI was in, and the number of people who were familiar with JCI. I visited 52 different countries that year, many of them multiple times, but have visited 76 total countries through my JCI activities.

ICOSA: Were some countries more receptive to your causes than others?

GREENLEE: Interestingly no. I found that young people around the world, as well as companies and governments share in the same goals of making a better world through active involvement. Different countries have different ideas of specific goals based on their economics, geography, population, etc., however, at the end of the day, each wants to always improve and be better and be involved. JCI is the way for young people to do that.

ICOSA: What were some of the biggest learning points you had from all of your travel?

GREENLEE: As I mentioned above, one of the most important things I learned was that most people share very basic, common goals. I also learned the value of staying in touch as a leader and a networker. One thing that I tried to do after every visit I made was to send a quick email of thanks to each person I met. I think that far too often we attend conventions, functions, or the like and come home with stacks of business cards that sit in a drawer. I made a conscious effort to reach out to each person I met so that I could build rapport, and in many circumstances it led to a higher level of activity in JCI and other business possibilities and deals over the years.

ICOSA: Tell me some stories about the great things that other international JCI chapters and national organizations are doing to better the world?

GREENLEE: Wow—there are so many! In Taiwan, the JCI group partners with the government and does an annual medical and dental relief trip to the Dominican Republic. JCI members in the Dominican work to set up the logistics on their end and Taiwan brings doctors and medicines over for a week to see as many people as they possibly can.

In Hong Kong, the JCI organization annually works with the All China Youth Federation to bring children from Hong Kong to China to provide educational experiences. In Europe, JCI annually visits Brussels for a knowledge transfer, where they meet with members of the EU to discuss issues they are facing as young people while sharing best practices. In Zimbabwe, JCI recognizes the most active citizens of the country for their good works. JCI Monaco runs business networking happy hours for people to meet various corporate leaders. Domestically, like in Victoria, Texas; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; and at many other chapters throughout the U.S., JCI members and chapters take underprivileged children shopping at Christmas in an effort to make sure no child misses a holiday.

With over 5,000 chapters worldwide I could give you 5,000 different stories. And of course, these local organizations all run multiple projects every year where their members run the events, gain the experience from doing so and leave the community much better than they found it.

ICOSA: Going forward, where will JCI focus its attention?

GREENLEE: As a major NGO, JCI will stick with its mission and vision, and continue to look for more young people to get involved and gain leadership experience. JCI is also always looking to partnering with organizations and corporations around the world that share the vision of a better world through better future generations. JCI will continue to be a force for good and will become better known and recognized for its works and successes.

ICOSA: Why should someone be a JCI (Jaycee) Member?

GREENLEE: I have always said there are five good reasons for every person ages 18-40 to join JCI. The first and most obvious is leadership development. You can gain skills that will make you a more valuable employee and more marketable, while preparing you to run your own organization. Members gain experience in speaking, organizing, managing people and projects, and proper budgeting. Second, you have the chance to give back through JCI projects. I was raised in a home where I was taught no matter how tough things were, there were always people and things worse off than me and it was my responsibility to try to help out wherever I could. With JCI, you get to join with like-minded people from all over the world in making a real difference through real community service. Third, you will meet potential customers, partners, employers, and others that you would not come in contact with if you did not join and get active. I have met so many people just in my town from joining, not to mention interesting and influential people from my state, country, and the world. Fourth, you make lifelong friends. It is always great to get together with other active young people who share your ideas and want to accomplish things. These are people who are about your age and have similar values—what better people to have as friends? Finally, JCI is just plain fun.

ICOSA: How can corporate America and businesses around the world take advantage of their local JCI (Jaycee) Chapters?

GREENLEE: Great question for this group. Businesses and JCI groups working together are almost always a win-win proposition. Any business that wants a more prepared group of employees would love the training that JCI offers. In addition to the "learn by doing" mindset, there are seminars at local, state, national, and international levels that members can take. Additionally, there is a worldwide training program where members can become certified trainers or certified in various programs. Furthermore, many companies would like the networking that happens and the amount of people whom our members gain exposure to. Additionally, most companies have a CSR program and working with JCI can do a lot in the areas of charitable volunteer work. JCI is always looking for new partners at every level of the organization, so reach out to your local chapter in your town, or search the JCI website at www.jci.cc, or contact me directly at my personal email at scottwgreenlee@yahoo.com. I am always glad to help put people together in situations like this.

Luke Wyckoff is the Chief Visionary Officer for Social Media Energy. He can be reached at Luke@SocialMediaEnergy.com.