Monday, May 09, 2011
Ten years ago on May 7, 2001, we launched the Earth Policy Institute dedicated to providing a global roadmap for saving civilization. Until that time, no organization had been working on such a plan, let alone one that encompassed the entire earth. Ten years later, we remain the only organization that has put together such a roadmap, which we call Plan B.
You just might be able to see from the photo of our initial staff that we moved in without the carpeting (Interface, recycled) yet installed. And … yes we were so eager to get started that we worked off fold-up conference tables because most of our furniture hadn't arrived either.
Undaunted, we held a press conference on May 9 just two days after “moving in” to launch the Institute. (The reporters kindly did not mention our not-quite-ready-for-prime-time condition.) The well-attended event resulted in a number of articles, including the Washington Post, Xinhua, The Futurist, and ENS.
Even more heartening were the hundreds of congratulatory messages with comments such as “this is what we need most right now”, “right on target” and many echoing the words in an email: “I am sure this organization will make a mark globally as an innovator and facilitator of change towards an environmentally sustainable world.”
We held our next press event on May 23, with the piece “Dust Bowl Threatening China’s Future.” A week later, May 31, we released a second on “Wind Power: The Missing Link in the Bush Energy Plan.”
The press lunches and reports launched the Institute for the media as well as the public, helping to disseminate our message. Electronic coverage included the BBC, CNN, Voice of America, and Radio Free Europe. C-Span filmed the entire wind energy press conference and ran it several times over the next few days, in addition to airing it on their radio network. Wire service coverage included the Associated Press, Kyodo, Agence France Presse, Reuters, Deutsche Press Agency, Press Trust of India, and Bloomberg.
We issued five other reports that year on water shortages in China, sea level rise, the world grain harvest shortfall, a record year for temperature and Iran’s birth rate
We also published Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth, which generated great interest. E.O. Wilson called it “an instant classic.” Shimon Peres, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel said it was "a timely examination of an issue that needs to move to the forefront of the global agenda." And Børge Brende, the former Minister of Environment for Norway said it was a "marvelous and inspiring book!"
There's a lot more to cover about our beginnings, so stay tuned as we reminisce over the next few weeks!
Reah Janise Kauffman
P.S. Four of the original staff are still here ... working from real desks ... and carpeting.
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