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Choice and Change: How do You Respond to Global Issues?

by Hélène Montpetit

This series on choice and change was born out of a personal need for clarity and direction at a time when there seemed to me to be little room in the world for my values and approach to life. It was only when I began to research people and organizations working for positive change that I realized I actually was in good company. For decades now, all around the world, thousands of people have been actively adopting different lifestyles and creating more collaborative and humane systems in the process. Many are featured here in the Sweet Songs collection. I am happy to also have found several groups of like minded people in my own home town, some of which have been the subject of posts in the local initiatives section of the site.

I recently had the pleasure of moderating a Transition NDG film and discussion event. The evening’s featured film was Cultural Creatives—The (R)Evolution, by Frigyes Fogel. Produced in 2011, it presents information about emerging groups who contribute creative solutions to the crises of our times. Julia Itel, a young woman currently working on her Master’s thesis on Cultural Creatives and spirituality, was there to share her knowledge with the group. She gave the phenomenon context by drawing a timeline and telling us about changes that have been taking place in our metanarratives in the context of postmodernism. I hope to include some of her work here at a later date when its publication is allowed, but for now, here is a quick summary of what I took away from the evening. I would be curious to know whether you recognize your style of response to global issues in the descriptions that follow.

Continue reading “Choice and Change: How do You Respond to Global Issues?”

Positive change for Artists & Musicians

July 14, 2016

Art And The Planet
If you are an artist interested in promoting social change, check out Artivists.net, an online platform created to facilitate horizontal communication, coordination and cross-pollination between creative activists working to build a more just and resilient planet. Meet the storytellers, dancers, painters, weavers engaged in imagining, articulating and crafting a new and better world.

Inspiration, companionship and the potential for collaborative projects await!

Social change and Art

 

On The Music Front
Earlier this week, Paul Stacey of Creative Commons published a very interesting article on what a commons based music industry might look like. Inspired by the petition signed by 160 American artists and record labels in support of reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Stacey looks into platforms such as SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple, Google, Tidal and other music services, including Imogen Heap’s Mycelia, a platform dedicated to creating a fair trade music industry. (Access Mycelia here.) Stacey also shares his thoughts on how commons-based thinking might change things.

A must read for professional music makers interested in positive solutions to this common and endemic problem.

 

PeaceDirectLogo

August 3rd happening for peace
Music and social change are on the menu on August 3rd at 7:30pm at Cecil Sharp House, London for the event A Change is Gonna Come as Heartbeat performs to spread the message of peace.

Heartbeat harnesses the transformative power of music, uniting young Israeli and Palestinian musicians and promoting critical awareness to help them become leading voices for change. Through music, young people learn to work together to build trust, understanding and to promote peaceful social change against a deeply divided background.

All the money raised at this event goes to Heartbeat and Peace Direct, to support local people who endlessly and courageously work to end wars, build peace and be the change they want to see. For more information, click here.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share your comments in the space below.

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Nuclear Age Peace Foundation up for 2016 Nobel Peace Prize

by Hélène Montpetit

Congratulations to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation on being endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize!

NAPF

A world-renowned spiritual leader and social activist, Archbishop Tutu is himself a past recipient.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is featured on our Sweet Songs Page here. You can also find out more about them here.

 

Sweet Songs Collection No. 14 : Peace First

PeaceFirstLogoPeace First (formerly Peace Games) began as an annual festival organized by Dr. Francelia Butler, a professor of children’s literature. The event brought children together to play cooperative games and share their visions for peace. Eventually, it grew from an annual event into an independent non-profit organisation that now operates in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York.

Peace First currently leads a national movement celebrating young people and their potential to create positive change. The organisation teaches peacemaking skills, empowers educators and parents to teach and model these skills and values, and creates social messages that raise expectations for young people to demonstrate compassion and empathy.

For more information about Peace First, click here.

Or check out the short introductory video on our Sweet Songs page here.

Sweet Songs Collection no. 12: Veterans For Peace


There are perhaps no more convincing arguments for peace than those made by the soldiers who have been on the front lines.

Veterans For Peace is a global organization of Military Veterans and allies working to build a culture of peace. Uniquely qualified by their experiences, they share their knowledge of the true causes and enormous costs of war. Founded in 1985 by 10 U.S. veterans in response to the global nuclear arms race and U.S. military interventions in Central America, the organisation now has over 140 chapters worldwide. Continue reading “Sweet Songs Collection no. 12: Veterans For Peace”

Giving a leg up to those who walk the talk

by Hélène Montpetit

I got an eye-opening letter from David of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation this morning. He conveyed slightly alarming information to the effect that the leaders of nine nuclear-armed countries are now in a position to activate close to 2,000 nuclear weapons.

Continue reading “Giving a leg up to those who walk the talk”

Sweet Songs Collection no. 10: The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) works to foster hope and inspiration and to promote active engagement in peace building. One of its main areas of activity is related to obtaining a signed treaty banning and eliminating all nuclear weapons worldwide. The organisation also offers educational resources to help people better understand the issues of peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons.

There are approximately 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world in nine countries: United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea. Over 90% nuclear weapons are in the arsenals of the United States and Russia.

For more information on The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, click here.

You can also watch a short introductory video here, on our Sweet Songs page.

Sweet Songs Collection no. 9: Words of Peace

The power of one

In the wake of the attacks on Paris, several individuals have stepped up to take a stand for peace and brotherhood, emphasizing the surprising influence one person can have on perceptions and attitudes.

Words of Peace is an independent charitable foundation set up by people who were inspired by  Prem Rawat, a man who has been sharing his message of peace for over five decades. The organisation provides access to materials and supports Mr. Rawat’s work. In 2014, over one million people heard him at live events as he toured over 40 cities and visited 16 countries.

For more on Words of Peace, click here

Sweet Songs Collection no. 8: Post-Attacks, November 2015

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