Archive for category: Environment

Global Clean Water Day Mosaic Fundraiser

The team game in the world of Donovan Bailey, the creation of a global clean water organization written about earlier here, is still going strong two years later. A fundraiser was just held on March 22 for Global Clean Water at the Mosaic Wine Bar and Art Gallery in North Park, California.

The particular date was chosen because March 22 is World Water day. The event raised funds (suggested $20 donation) and awareness for the plight of our world’s water supply, provided a benefit concert, as well as  local art and photography for sale at the event with a portion of the proceeds going to Global Clean Water.

For more information on how to get involved with clean water issues, visit the Global Clean Water or Clean Water Action websites.

Reclaiming Communities

Have you ever driven through a city neighborhood filled with vacant lots and boarded up buildings?

What do you see?

Trash. Dirt. A wasteland of gray. There is a sense of despair. Dissolution. Desperation.

When Larry Smith sees vacant urban lots, he sees possibilities.

He sees jobs. He sees communities. He sees public access parks and smart green neighborhoods. Smith feels hopeful. He is excited.

Smith has been driven to make a difference since high school. He went to UCLA in the mid-1970s and studied ecosystems, but he got burnt out from that experience.

“I was going to make a difference at any cost,” he said. “That has negative impacts that negates the difference

Smith spent his career working in public infrastructure. A year ago he lost his job “really because I wasn’t successful in creating teams even though I was accomplishing a lot.” He immediately joined Landmark Education’s Team Management and Leadership Program (TMLP).

Since March 2009 when he founded Atlas Green Works, Smith’s game in TMLP is coordinating a diverse group of public and private organizations to revitalize a contaminated 10-acre lot in a poor community in south Los Angeles County.

The Brownfield site will be converted into a public park and the revenue generated from an adjacent privately developed 5-acre industrial solar energy park will provide the funding for operations and maintenance. The plan also includes a job training center focused on green technologies located at the
park and operated by the non-profit division of Atlas Green Works.

Converting a Brownfield to something usable requires various public agencies conduct investigations and issue permits. It is critical that someone facilitate the project and bring all the pieces together. Otherwise the project can easily “languish and things fall through the cracks,” said Smith.

“Projects like this don’t get done because there isn’t a single stakeholder whose sole purpose is to make sure the project comes to fruition,” he said.

Enter Atlas Green Works. With the training from the Team Management and Leadership Program and his passion for making a difference, Smith has put together a team. The team combines the non-profit Los Angeles Conservation Corps, which is providing grant funding with the for-profit engineering company Weston Solutions, which is providing investment capital as well as engineering support. Other team members include LA County’s Regional Planning Board, the State of California Department of Health Services and the public relations firm Adi Liberman Associates.

“It can be hard to get a team together.” Smith said. “You need some entity to do things in a non-standard fashion. You have to do things outside of the box.”

He views this park as a demonstration project to show people what is possible. His goal is to replicate this project throughout the US and the world.

“I’ve learned a lot from TMLP about building a team. It has required me to apply the distinctions of communications,” Smith said.

“If you are creating a team, it’s important that people are enrolled in the possibility. It’s always about enrollment and registration,” said Smith.

Before joining TMLP, Smith said although he was able to accomplish a lot of things, it came at a high emotional cost. “I wasn’t really in a space to be with the communication taking place.”

Now Smith comes from a context of listening. “It’s important to learn what people are committed to. To make sure each member of the team gets what matters to them. If they don’t, it won’t work.”

You might have to talk to lots of people with many not interested. He found being clear in his communication is much better than having someone join the team only to find out later their priorities are different.

As Larry Smith completes his year on Team 1, “possibility is really coming home.” Atlas Green Works is moving forward with long term plans to improve a disadvantaged Los Angeles neighborhood, with a possible future of taking this game global.

by Steve Schapiro

Water Works


Water Works

Laura Sauter, Team New England, T2Q4

Can one person make a difference?

Just ask Laura Sauter and she will reply with a resounding “Yes.”

Laura and her boyfriend Pat are leading an organization called Water Works — making a contribution to worldwide environmental issues.  They believe we are living in the “Sustainability Revolution” era. Their goal is to have their work, volunteer and family activities contribute to a more sustainable way of life.

While there are many environmental issues in the world, one issue has stayed with them.  Laura and Pat found out that there is a trash pile the size of Texas, made up mostly by plastic water bottles, floating adrift in the Pacific Ocean.  To make matters worse, many endangered birds are feeding their young babies pieces of the plastic bottles because they think it is food.  The entire eco-system is at risk and Laura realized she must be in action.  Out of this, she and Pat created Water Works.

In the past Laura was daunted by all the issues in the world and felt too overwhelmed to take action and make a difference. As a single mother, living in a new town, with very few friends she was just surviving through her daily routine.

Laura created a breakthrough for herself in the Landmark Education Team Management and Leadership Program (TMLP).  She became unstoppable, making a difference for herself, her family, and the world.   Laura learned tools to help her create numerous projects and teams in her life.  Now, she was finally able create the life that she loved and had a team of people supporting her along the way.

Water Works’ mission is to eradicate the use of plastic bottles, creatings a world where people are conscious of their impact and responsible for their actions. By switching to reusable metal bottles, they can help save the planet one bottle at a time. The organization shows others that one simple thing can make a difference.

The Water Works team works with schools to educate children about the impact of using plastic bottles and the benefit of using reusable metal water bottles.  They have begun work with city governments to ban the sales of plastic bottles.   Laura and Pat are inspiring countless people and communities.  Even their kids are getting involved by teaching other kids to use reusable metal water bottles and influencing their sports team coaches to stop the use of plastic water bottles during practice and at games.


They began Water Works on the South Shore of Boston, but the movement is growing and has already been approached by towns as far away as California.  Four months after beginning the organization, the team has accomplished the following:  Aquarion water has agreed to install hydration stations in two local towns as well as distributing 200 reusable bottles to the public and providing water for free to businesses that want to provide hydration stations; partnering with the Chamber of Commerce in Martinez California to help them redefine their town as a green town rather than a refining town; and created a pledge to help people declare that they are part of the movement and they will no longer buy bottled water.

So, can one person make a difference?  Yes one person can!

If you are interested in finding out more about Water Works, please visit their Facebook Page:

Written by Minling Chuang / edited by Jeff Bonar



Celebrating Life After Resignation

Kimberly Chiswell Team Sydney, Australia, T1,Q4

Before Kimberly Chiswell joined the Team Management and Leadership Program (TMLP), the world looked scary, filled with threats of global warming, terrorism, corruption, epidemics and global financial crises. The impact on Kimberly was that she often felt overwhelmed with fear and afraid of the future, so much so that she was could not fathom bringing a child into this dangerous place. She didn’t believe that anything she did, not even her job as a social worker, could really make a difference.

But in November of 2008 she joined the Landmark Education Team Management and Leadership Program and within a couple of weeks her worldview shifted. Even her apprehension about bringing a child into the world changed and she asked herself. “Kimberly, if you were to not add any judgments but simply come from nothing and create, what would make a difference at the end of this year-long course?” Her response was “I would have a baby”.

In the first quarter of the course, she created a colorful, musical festival entitled “Viva la Vida! (A celebration of life the Latin American way!)” The event was alive, exciting, and raised $3000 for a Mexican orphanage.

A week later she and her husband conceived a beautiful soul.

In the last quarter of her year in the Team Management and Leadership Program Kimberly realized she’d been saying she couldn’t really do anything about the threats to the environment, but she saw she was afraid to be responsible for the difference she could make. She created a ‘game’ designed around building a community of gardeners who would get together and inspire each other to harvest and share their produce.

The result for her game was to have ten neighbors sharing ideas to improve their soil, sharing the food grown in their local gardens and fish from the sea. But her game really began when she realized she could be accountable for the environment by having her community reduce carbon emissions for transporting food and by putting healthy fresh food on the table. She says, “There is nothing like eating fruit and veggies freshly picked!” The unexpected benefit of her game has been a stronger sense of community.

Kimberly now knows herself as someone who can make a difference with the environment. She is being the change she wants to see in the world for her family and for her community. Rather than living in a world filled with fears, her new life is filled with incredible heroes and heroines committed to creating love, peace and abundance with freedom and ease!

Written by Kimberly Chiswell/ edited by Judi Romaine



Windows Of the World! – An International Event

Katherine Barling-Team Melbourne, Australia T2, Completed

I’m in the middle of Melbourne’s grand civic square with a huge screen – it’s a world wide event focusing on the amazing creative projects that are happening now, creating a world that is environmentally sustainable, socially just and community focused. There’s a container painted all over with animals, bound for India, as an education centre. Another container stands nearby to be out-fitted as India’s 1st mobile medical centre of it’s kind, with equipment already donated. It is covered in artwork representing the schools that have also contributed. 1000’s of people are gathered to celebrate the world we live in, the communities we live in and the projects and activities we participate in to make this world a better place for all, for now and for future generations.


Their attention is on the big screen, viewing cutting edge, short films representing many projects around the world that are making a difference. Guest presenters speak passionately of the project, answer questions and engage the audience for contribution of ideas, debate and collaboration. At café’s and restaurants around the square, excited discussions continue when the films are over.

That’s what I envisage for a few weeks away, 6 nights starting September 12, 2009. It’s taken a village of people to put this together – teams of collaborators, film-makers and editors, designers and artists, event coordinators to undertake calls and meetings, letters and follow up and invitations to indigenous elders, city dignitaries, heads of state, community leaders and members.

What the team has accomplished in less than 6 months is extraordinary! This is a world class event, focused on what is making a difference in the world now, beamed to 40 countries, with over 50 communities in Melbourne taking part, with leaders of different faith, meeting and working together to bring their communities to participate, supporting communities affected by the bush fires earlier this year, supporting indigenous communities and their art from across the country, witnessing the ancient art from war-torn lands, refugees re-create in an Australian context and more. Much more. And now these have been filmed and are screening centre stage.

In these challenging times of financial and environmental crisis, social upheaval and uncertainty, an event that gives people hope that the future that we want is indeed possible and achievable now.

The project has also created, which will be launched by 21 Aug 2009 where others projects around the world can link in, provide their films or let us know of their projects and teams can link up together.

Project initiated 3rd Quarter Team 2, 7 months ago, as the result of training in being an extraordinary communicator through teamwork. Project sparked by the indigenous people of Ecuador (Changing the Dream Symposium).



Marshall Muller- Team Detroit, Team 1 complete

Marshall Muller’s passion is renewable energy; he’d worked in it all his life and always wanted to make an impact in the world. He had invented a process for creating solar cells at half the cost. However, before he could finish, Marshall was laid off as a research scientist and ran out of money for his solar cell invention.  This is when he used the knowledge he gained from the Team Management and Leadership Program. 


Instead of quitting, Marshall persevered and created a Game in the World called Love and Light, where affordable, renewable energy would be available for all people, bringing the lowest cost solar panels to everyone. Using the Team Management and Leadership program, he created a complete management team and enrolled them in his mission to make this outcome a reality. 


Once the team was set, they began to create a business plan and develop a portfolio of patents. After two years of working to implement Love and Light, the team has an investor and is on the road to signing a two million dollar deal that will expand and enable the development of this transformational solar energy technology. The next steps for the team are to go from development to manufacturing, the next level of producing results.  


Marshall believes that sharing Love and Light with the world will bring about understanding where we see it is possible to come together as caretakers of our planet.


walkinparkRob Hubbard loves the park. Rob is inspired by contribution. Put those two together and you have Rob’s Game in the World—A Walk in the Park.

Rob is establishing a group of volunteers who will walk the various parks and trails around Cincinnati and report back to park administrators on a regular basis any problems or concerns. The outcome of A Walk in the Park will be an ongoing team of volunteers who recruit, train and coordinate efforts to keep the parks in great shape. The added benefit, or maybe incentive, is they actually get to take walks in the parks.

Rob designed this game because walking in the park means a lot to him. He sees how it would benefit people to be in the park with a specific purpose of contributing to their community.

But it wasn’t always a ‘walk in the park’ for Rob to get his game going. Some of the park administrators were excited about it, but at first, some were discouraging. Rob didn’t let that stop him. He says that his advice for people creating a game for the world is to not rush into making up something just to get it done, but instead to keep having conversations with others until you discover a game that inspires you. He is surprised and excited to discover he can make something happen in his community. In fact, he says “I don’t have to convince people, but instead I see it’s an opportunity.”

His long-term vision for A Walk in the Park is that it spreads out to other communities. He asserts walking in the park is something that feeds the human spirit, makes people aware of the beauty in nature, promotes well being, serenity and peacefulness and has the added benefit of contributing to the community.

He plans to expand A Walk in the Park in the future to include volunteer organizations who put on cross country sporting meets, along with businesses, social groups, churches and individuals who live within the vicinity of the parks.

Ultimately, for Rob, through A Walk in the Park he’s discovered he’s someone who can inspire and move people, someone who can be a contribution to individuals and to communities.
Rob Hubbard, Team 1, Quarter 2, Team Cincinnati

Bailey Takes on Global Clean Water

Donavan Bailey’s game in the world in Landmark’s TMLP program was ambitious – He has taken on providing clean water to the world anywhere that it is wanted and needed. To that end, he has created a Global Clean Water organization, and has begun to undertake projects in the developing world.

According to the site, pilot projects will focus on scouting for rural villages in need of a long term clean water supply. These villages will be selected when a meeting has taken place with the local head of the village and he agrees that the new water supply will benefit the village. Then a well will be drilled using the local labor supply. GCW will then place a hand pump at the well drill site. Training on hand pump maintenance will be ongoing as well as sanitation education. Assistance will be given in order to build a latrine and hand-washing station. Maintenance on the pumps will be conducted by the local village women and the bathrooms will be maintained by the children.

Bailey is just now heading to India to start setting up those projects – Look for an update from Team Leadership down the road!

Joyful Tribe Restores Salmon

Jeanette Dorner is a Landmark Forum graduate and a participant in the Team Management Leadership Program. She is also the Salmon Recovery Program Manager with the Nisqually Tribe in Washington State. The program she has created, “Joyful Tribe,” has led to $3.5 million in donations for resoration projects in the Nisqually watershed that help revive salmon populations. The projects have included the contruction of logjams that raise the water level to the nearby floodplain, and the return of dead salmon to the waters to provide nutrients for younger salmon and nearby vegetation.

Part of the project has involved a huge tree planting project near the watershed, since salmon thrive in shady conditions. This year, over 19,000 trees have been planted in the Nisqually estuary as part of the project. 

Dorner has used her team building skills in the program to coordinate a powerful team of people to manage all the programs and volunteer activity, increasing her staff from five to seven this year.

To read more about the salmon resoration efforts in the Nisqually watershed, visit the Eatonville News web site. 

Gibbs and Farjadi Start Microcredit Program in Ghana

Landmark Education graduates Kathleen Gibbs and Kay Farjadi have used their participation in the Team Management Leadership Program to Create Joy to the World, a non-profit organization that provides microcredit loans for women in Ghana, West Africa. Already close to 100 women have benefited from the program. Their goal is to raise $1 million to ensure hundreds of new microloans as well the economic success of the whole area they are working in. Joy2theWorld is also working to develop other programs that might benefit local communities and local environmental conditions. For more information, go to the Joy to the World web site.