HopeTracker Cultural Creative News July 20, 2009

The Hopeful Future of Soweto, South Africa

July 19, 2009

Soweto, South Africa has long been the symbol of the heart-wrenching, poverty-defined lifestyle of Black South Africans. Simultaneously, the township is a source of price as home to legendary South Africans like Nelson Mandela, his wife Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela, and legendary activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Others like Steve Biko died during the apartheid era.

The South African Sunday Monitor paints a more vibrant story of Soweto’s Rainbow nation years.

Poverty remains rampant in Soweto, where affluent people desire not to distance themselves from the general population. Two white families have moved in, and the new Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is the largest medical facility in Africa.

The lack of wall building between rich and poor is unusual in the world’s cities.

Hope springs eternal, not only in South Africa and for Westeners who believe that South Africa MUST succeed politically and economically, but also in Soweto.


Will Craigslist Become Citizen-Central on the Internet?

July 17, 2009

Craigslist Founder Patrick Gavin shares his thoughts with Politico on how CL can help coordinate large groups of people looking to engage in Cultural Creatives activities that promote civic activism.

When I stop and think about the possibility, Craigslist could become a huge force as a clearing house for activism and better-world projects.

Gavin also gives his insights on the nerd credentials of President Obama.


Young and Old Flock to Ashrams

July 17, 2009

via NYTimesIn what can only be described as a throwback to the late sixties/early seventies, ashrams are in the news. Some visitors come only for an occasional weekend, while others are checking in for a long stay.

Partially due to the rise of American joblessness, and also as an alternative lifestyle, people of every age are seeking a revitalizing ashram experience in much greater numbers. Several ashrams told the NYTimes their applications have doubled in a year.

Beyond the deep spiritual study and contemplation which is part of any ashram visit, most participants do work in exhange for cheaper lodgings.

One doesn’t know how much of this Cultural Creative experience is income-based and how much by a shift in human values. As part of a program at the Himalayan Institute, one worked told the NYTimes: “At Intel, I was helping the owner get a new yacht,” he said. “Here. I’m part of something that actually makes a difference.”

When It Comes to Global Warming, Scientist’s Best Predictions May Be Wrong

July 15, 2009

As we reconfigure energy strategies and the global economy around a climate future defined by carbon emissions, a new study, which appears in Nature Geoscience, found that climate models explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth’s ancient past.

“In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,” said oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and professor of Earth science at Rice University. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.” via Science Daily.

Britain Lays Out Household Energy Plan

July 15, 2009

England’s Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has laid out how Britain would meet its legally-binding targets to cut emissions by 34 per cent by 2020. Some key points:


A Bayou Doctor Comes to Washington

July 14, 2009

Ameria’s new surgeon general Dr. Regina Benjamin has made sacrifice a key objective throughout her medical career. Folklore has her not only tending to the nation’s poor but sometimes accepting pints of oysters as payment.

President Obama on Monday announced his choice for surgeon general, Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, center. With them at the White House was the health secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. Haraz N. Ghanbari/Associated PressIn 2002 Dr. Benjamin became the president of the Alabama Medical Association the first African-American woman to be president of a state medical society in the United States. In September, she was one of 25 recipients of the $500,000 “genius awards,” awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

After Hurricane Katrina destroyed her clinic a second time (the first by a fire), Dr. Benjamin first got it rebuilt and then continued to serve with IOUs. Today the clinic owes her over $300,000. Read the NYTimes: Regina Marcia Benjamin - A Doctor From the Bayou.


Scott Harrison’s clean:water - A Modern Guy Goes Cultural Creative

July 14, 2009

NYTimes columnist Nicholas D. Kristof tells us a great story about Scott Harrison’s transition from a Modern self-absorbed guy to Cultural Creative activist. Besides sharing Scott’s personal journey, Kristoff tells us about Harrison’s sexy (his word), incredibly compelling organization charity:water.

In three years, he says, his group has raised $10 million (most of that last year alone) from 50,000 individual donors, providing clean water to nearly one million people in Africa and Asia.

Harrison is the marketing machine and a very important example of the NEW fundraiser, harnessing Modern business skills on behalf of Cultural Creative values.

charity: water


Britain Halts Some Arms Exports to Israel

July 13, 2009

The London Times reports that Britain has halted some, but not all arms exports to Israel in reponse to the most recent Gaza conflict.

The move will not seriously hamper the Israeli military but there are concerns that the preceived move ‘to appease’ by the British government could spread to other countries.