Thursday, November 21, 2013

“Imagine if Every Office Had an Ecosystem”
Wellness Professional Shares Her Thoughts on the Benefits of Ecosystems

Image: Ecosystem with Monkey Orchid

Genesis Eco Fund’s mandate to educate the public on the benefits of ecosystems is both rewarding and at times quite easy. It’s really quite amazing to witness people’s response to the ecosystem and watch as they “get it”—that is, they begin to feel the positive effects the ecosystem is having on them.

Today a friend, Lana, stopped by to see the ecosystem currently on display at 401 Richmond Street (it will be moving to 401 Bay Street and available for viewing from December 1st).

Lana works at Source Centre, “Downtown Toronto's Holistic Health and Wellness Centre” - Among various administrative duties, Lana is also an accomplished Reiki practitioner.

Upon seeing the ecosystem in person for the first time today, Lana’s initial reaction was to note how small it was. Typically, when you tell people about rainforest ecosystems, their minds conjure up images of South American jungles.

It only took a moment to point out, “the ecosystem you’re looking at is one of our smaller units; they can be scaled up to any size.”

Next she was struck by the variety of plants and how noticeably different they were from what you’d typically find in an office environment. Some of the unique roots structures and colourful flowers aside, the carnivorous flowering plants, orchids and moss clearly were clear indications of something special.

Not only was the variety of plants different, they seemed much lusher, showing greater vitality than any potted plant. Here we got into a discussion around the energy of ecosystems.

“Yeah, I can really feel how it changes the energy of the space,” Lana said. A few moments later, she added: “can you imagine if every office had an ecosystem?”

Yes, we certainly can. And with that, we discussed briefly the benefits to companies, organizations, governments, schools and society as a whole were people to be able to experience such beautiful, fresh air and soothing, relaxing vibes throughout the day.

How might working in a healing space change our perspective on the work we do, the people we work with, and the challenges we face? What sorts of new inspiration might we experience?

Genesis Eco Fund intends to explore these questions and more; documenting results and sharing the stories of all those who, like Lana, experience the benefits of ecosystems—even if only for a moment.

And, for those who really need to experience the benefits ecosystems can provide but cannot afford one, Genesis Eco Fund is determined to help them through fundraising efforts so they too can enjoy the benefits that only nature in her highest expression can provide.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Is Your Workplace Hurting You, Your People and Your Profits?
Expand Your Understanding of "Hostile Work Environment"

Image: Hostile Work Environment by Desolee
“A hostile work environment is created by a boss or coworker whose actions, communication, or behavior make doing your job impossible. This means that the behavior altered the terms, conditions, and/or reasonable expectations of a comfortable work environment for employees. Additionally, the behavior, actions or communication must be discriminatory in nature.”
~ Susan M. Heathfield
Source: Human Resources: What Makes a Work Environment Hostile? Legal Guidelines Exist to Define a Hostile Workplace
Let’s be clear from the get-go: we are in no way shape or form belittling the gravity of the circumstances currently falling under the legal definition of hostile workplace environment. Far from it. Workplace hostility in all its forms is unfortunate, in many cases deplorable and in some cases may be avoidable.

A bold statement, we know; but please bear with us, we do have a rational case to make.

It should be pointed out that there has never been any causality established in hostile work environments. Like so many facets of human behavior it has been chalked up as “human nature” which has crossed the lines of acceptable moral codes of conduct in the workplace.

If there was such a thing as spectrum of hostility, it is reasonable to suggest people tend toward “more hostile behaviours” toward their subordinates when they are under greater stress, greater duress. It’s a kind of natural transference of negatively charged energy.

We’ve all experienced some form of being “dumped on” by another person. We are social creatures and sometimes we need to “let off some steam.” Mainstream media and the Internet is filled with so-called “rants” of people expressing a seemingly endless stream of negative—sometimes violent—emotions.

What are violent films, TV shows, sports and video games if not “socially acceptable outlets” of violent tendencies? Ways of “burning off” negative energy? Surely a boss, manager, supervisor, etc. may subconsciously perceive subordinates in the same category, where power over a subject/object signals a potential outlet for negative emotions (which, we can easily recognize as hostility).

Haven't we all let off steam at the expense of a partner, spouse, family member, friend, store clerk, waiter, or even complete stranger? 

Where does all this negative energy come from? We know from the laws of physics that matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed but endlessly transformed. Is it outrageous to suggest that the negative energy we accumulate within our psyche has its source, at least in part, in our environment?

Certainly someone who feels they are the victim of a hostile work environment will agree with this.

The hostile work environment can be a tremendous source of stress. Individuals in such circumstances may indeed find themselves going home and taking out their work frustrations on their children, spouse, pets, comfort food, sports…use your imagination and/or personal experience. We’ve all been there.

So why not the perpetrators of workplace hostility? Even CEO’s have superiors (i.e. Board of Directors, Government Regulators, in some cases the Media). They may not experience the same concentrated hostility as someone on the receiving end of their venting, but they are exposed to a great deal of constant pressure associated with their responsibilities; pressure which becomes STRESS.

Image: Possible Causes of Hostile Workplace Environments by GenesisEcoFund

The purpose of the above diagram is not to suggest the perpetrators of workplace hostility are not responsible for their actions. We're simply pointing out both the perpetrator and the victim are part of the same negatively charged environment and that what the victim experiences as a hostile work environment is a different experience of the same negatively charged environment: accumulated, focused and directed at them.

The ultimate negative impacts of such cumulative, focused and directed negative energy on a person are numerous, and include all manner of psychological and physical illness. This is both well documented and intuitive.

We should not discount the feedback mechanism and how such hostility compounds the negative environmental pressures of the workspace (at least in part “the source” of the problem).

So let us imagine the same dynamic with an indoor rainforest ecosystem:

Image: Ecosystem Causes of Productive Workplace Environments by GenesisEcoFund

A harmonious and productive environment is only the beginning. If nature has shown us anything,  it’s that the matrix of life, Ecosystems, holds within it the potential for infinite creativity, adaptability, beauty, ingenuity and resilience. Imagine the potential inspiration and problem solving should even a fraction of these qualities of ecosystems be transferred to the people working in the self-organized, positively charged microclimate.

This is simply intuitive. We look forward to conducting real-world research as part of our mandate to explore all the benefits of establishing symbiosis within workplace environments via ecosystems.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trees Inside: Talk + Meet n’ Greet a Real Indoor Ecosystem In Person

Image: GAIA by BossLogic 

Trees Inside

A Talk on Indoor Ecosystems

Thursday, November 7, 2013
Time:  6:30 pm

Place:  The Inner Garden, 401 Richmond
Address: Suite 384, Third floor
401 Richmond Street W, Toronto (map)

REGISTER HERE: Trees Inside - A Talk on Indoor Ecosystems

Come join and My Personal Tree at the Inner Garden at 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 384 @ 6:30pm for an intimate gathering with the world’s only compact, self-contained high-order indoor ecosystem.

Listen to a talk by PeapodLife Social Entrepreneurs and Directors Martina Ernst and Attila Lendvai, in the company of a high-order rainforest ecosystem.

Talk is cheap. A recommended voluntary donation of $5 is all we ask for this unique opportunity to get up close and experience first hand the powerful life-giving energies emanating from the ecosystem.

Discover how these energies support a better expression of your own highest goals, the goals of your organization/company, and those of the planet as a whole.

Come experience a living, breathing expression of the “Tree of Life” within you; within all things, and learn how embracing nature in her highest expression via indoor ecosystems helps facilitate in a new healing chapter in Humanity.

Image: Tree of Life in The Flower of Life 

About the Speakers:

Martina Ernst is the President and Co-Founder of PeapodLife,, a Division of Wo-Built Inc. She is a design & build specialist who helps businesses improve the quality of their work spaces. Her education, both in architecture and business, and her 25-year building industry expertise give her a unique approach to designing spaces with a balanced emphasis on aesthetics, practicality and profitability. Featured on Extraordinary Women TV, the radio shows Small Business Big Ideas Show and From a Woman's Perspective, Martina's passion is to provide the healthiest indoor environment possible for her clients.

Attila Lendvai is the Co-Founder and Project Director of PeapodLife,, a Division of Wo-Built Inc.  He’s a passionate social entrepreneur with one eye on the big-picture; the other on the bottom-line. Atilla has 20 years of international experience as a consultant and manager of both for-profit and non-profit ventures, working with companies such as IBM, ABB, Gas de France, Nova Scotia Power, Georgian Bancorp and Emilio & Coco. A seasoned speaker and emcee, Attila is also a blogger and author of The Attlas Project – SEE the World in a New Light, and contributing author of Competitive Intelligence and Global Business. Attila was recently interviewed on with David Grossman and is a regular contributor to Attila has made PeapodLife his life’s mission to bring clean air indoors to serve humanity in a deep and meaningful way.

This Event Was Featured recently on  Trees Inside - A Talk on Indoor Ecosystems

Come out and hear from speakers Martina Ernst and Attila Lendvai on the topic of indoor ecosystems.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Since No Person is an Island, People need Rainforest Ecosystems: The Non-Linear Relationship between Habits, Habitat & Destiny

Image: Lao Tzu: Watch yourself; your thoughts, words, actions, habits and character become your destiny

You are probably familiar with the above quote; if not Lao Tzu as its source, perhaps a later interpretation of it by Gandhi:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Source: Mahatma Gandhi

This is all well and good. But is it accurate, we wonder? Let us look at the sentiment visually:

For starters, we take contention with the positioning of “character/values” in the linear formulation proposed. In Gandhi’s version, the whole linear equation begins with “beliefs;” how are beliefs different from values? And yet, it is true that our habitual behaviour does imprint itself on our psyche.

And then, if we consider William Shakespeare’s famous axiom “all the world’s a stage,” then character is formed by habits in particular roles; which require particular stages:

Human beings are not just creatures of habit.  No man is an island, either.  We are as much products of our environment just as sure as a character on a stage is defined not just by the actor playing the role but by the stage itself: the play, scene, scenery, other players, et al.

And yet, our habits affect the stage. Our habits affect the character of our habitat. And certainly, all this affects the ultimate outcome of our efforts, what we might call our destiny. Is there a better way to communicate all this, visually?

Image: Habitat & Destiny
The connection between our environment & our destiny is non-linear.
Even if the progression from thoughts to destiny is linear, it all takes place within (and is conditioned by) our environment.

When one considers the impact environment has on our physical, emotional and psychological wellness, one can easily identify how our choice of habitat has a direct influence on our thoughts, words, actions, habits, character and indeed, destiny.  Destiny and habitat are intimately related (both are blue).

No one likes working in “Sick Buildings” or in psychologically toxic workplaces, constantly surrounded by subtle negative energies.  Such energies are very real, whether or not science is able to detect them with machinery or not. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system of the human body can and do.

Whatever the nervous system “picks up” in terms of energetic influence, gets reverberated throughout the body and the brain.  Like any wired or wireless network suffering distortions due to background noise and strong electromagnetic interference; likewise our emotional and mental state suffers.

Image: Slit Interference by Lisa Grossman @astrolisa

So what?  The supposition here is that competing energy patterns create interference, (from our point of view, stress).  If we consider how harmonious energy patterns interact, we discover a very different result. Far from overwhelming interference, the predominant effect is harmony. An environment resonating with positive energies aligned with our own will not produce interference patterns in our physical, emotional and psychological states.

Like musicians who are in tune and playing in harmony, were we to share a living space with an ecosystem, we would have a better chance of being in harmony with the energies of said ecosystem, whose ultimate purpose is supporting its inhabitants. 

In the event an indoor ecosystem existed which could support the highest possible positive expression of all its inhabitants (very high frequency energetic resonance), all occupants living and working within said resonance field would benefit from achieving a state of harmonic resonance.

  • Experiment #1: go to dirty, chaotic, noisy place and observe how the environment affects you emotionally and mentally. Compare how it affects you versus being in a quiet, beautiful spot in nature.
  • Experiment #2: Sit in your favourite chair and put on some angry “gansta rap” music filled with lots of bass (dominant low frequency vibrations ), swearing, violent imagery, etc. Then put on a piece of choral classical music (like Handel’s Messiah or Mozart’s Great Mass). Do your best to ignore your conditioned “taste” in music and try to observe the effects of low energy vibrations versus high energy vibrations on your thoughts & feelings.
Bottom-line: science may not be expounding the impact of subtle energetic influences on the human experience, but Genesis knows of these effects and how important it is to shield our subtle and highly susceptible bodies from the subtle but substantial amounts of negative energies we are bombarded with every day. 

The best solution at our disposal are indoor ecosystems, intelligent living generators of life-giving harmonics whose very nature and function is the stimulation of life, evolution, beauty, harmony, and all those things we value so much as human beings.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Give Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders a Breath of Fresh Air!

Image Collage by Genesis Eco Fund: Donate Now to Put Ecosystems in Autism Spectrum Disorder Special Needs Home.
Image Credits & Sources: LANK UK: What is Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? ;

Your Donation will Open New Worlds & Change Families Lives

Now that Genesis Eco Fund is able to accept donations online via PayPal, we eagerly announce one of our first fundraising campaigns to raise money to help a special-needs home/school for Autism Spectrum Disorder children to be able to acquire an indoor ecosystem. (Location/School TBD).

Nature is used extensively as a therapy for ASD. Not only are ecosystems engines for purifying indoor environments, they also fill the space with the soothing, stimulating colours and sounds of nature. Last but not least, they change the energy of a space; this, we feel, is why nature has been shown to have such a profound impact on individuals suffering from ASD.

Genesis is eager to conduct real-world research to determine the impact of high-order indoor ecosystems on the lucidity of children suffering from autism-spectrum disorders. The research will be carried out under the supervision of Genesis working in conjunction with an Academic Institutional Partner. (also TBD).

Upon successful funding of this campaign, Genesis Eco Fund will award funding for an ecosystem to the Special Needs Home Partner.  Said ecosystem will be made available to the centre at cost courtesy of PeapodLife (a $40K value).  PeapodLife’s parent company, Wo-Built, Inc., will provide the installation.

Additional funding may be required for materials (i.e. monitoring equipment, computers and other equipment) required for research. We hope one or more foundations dedicated to the study of Autism Spectrum Disorders will step up to the plate, together with an Academic Institution interested in participating in the research project.

For more information on this and other fundraising campaigns, please visit: Genesis Eco Fund:: Initiatives:: Fundraising:: Fundraising Campaigns

Look for the “Donate” button on, or better yet, click it now!

List of Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Autism Spectrum Disorders are more common than you may think. Individuals with ASD’s may experience/exhibit any one or more of the following:
  • ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper-Active Disorder)
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Auditory Processing
  • Anxiety
  • Tourette’s
  • Specific Learning Difficulties
  • Depression
  • Gifted

Characteristics of Autism 

Life with Autism can be challenging, debilitating and also tremendously stressful on families.

Image: Some of the different characteristics associated with autism.
Source: Airedale & Wharfedale Autism Resource: Autism

Help Genesis Eco Fund bring a breath of fresh air into the lives of these children. Donate Now.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Innovation meets Activism: “SaveCanada” Spoof of “TransCanada” Reveals New Tactics in War on Tarsands and Pipeline Projects

YouTube Movie: "SaveCanada" punks TransCanada - Energy East Tar Sands Pipeline
" -- TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline (from the Tar Sands to the East Coast) 

needs voices like yours to say, "nope, no thanks, etc." Join SaveCanada!
Energetic people vs Energy East Pipeline."
Published by Yan Piebird

Let’s pretend for a moment you represent the interests of a proposed trans-continental oil pipeline. Faced with the inevitable community consultations, you’re struck with an idea: replace the traditional town hall style meeting (which invariably turns to into a big-business-bashing session by the “local yokels”) with a tradeshow approach and take the wind out of the small town’s sails.

A brilliant…in theory. But what were to happen if a group of wily volunteer “yokels” managed to infiltrate your event, cleverly disguised, and managed to propagate their anti-pipeline message to greater effect than your own paid propagandists?

The result is not only a great story in innovative guerilla activism, but the “SaveCanada” movement. Complete with a website,, this organization provides a complete “how-to” guide to kyboshing TransCanada events, complete with a schedule of stops along the TransCanada East Pipeline public relations tour, along with everything you’ll need for an effective operation:
  • Replica TransCanada “SaveCanada” shirts
  • Brochures
  • Oil spill sticky notes you can use to ‘illustrate’ the possible outcomes of the pipeline in your community

So if you’re opposed to the litany of proposed Alberta oil sands pipelines in the works, and are in the mood for some clever guerilla activism, you too can transform yourself from ‘concerned citizen’ to a thorn in the side of TransCanada at one of their own events.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Playing with Nature: Genetically Engineered Rapeseed Out of Control?

Image: GMO Rapeseed (Canola)

Canada Implicated in Uncontrolled Spread of GMO Oilseed Rape

“Canada grows genetically engineered oilseed rape on a large scale. For about ten years it has been known that these plants are spreading uncontrolled into the environment. But so far no measures have been taken to stop them…What we are observing is a lack of accepting responsibility especially on the part of industry.”
~ Dr. Christoph Then, Testbiotech.
Source: Plants can no longer be withdrawn from the environment
Testbiotech is a German-based non-profit organisation founded in 2008 by a group of experts which, among other activities, “aims to make independent research and transparency higher priorities in political decision making.”

Today they published a global overview of countries where the spread of genetically engineered rapeseed (for processing into Canola Oil) is out of control, and Canada tops the list, among the U.S., Japan, Australia and Europe.

The announcement was made to coincide with the ABIC 2013 Conference in Calgary, Alberta, a forum for bio-agro-business professionals “discuss and learn from senior business development leaders, investors, government policy makers and scientist who, by working together, can achieve significant progress in the commercialization of ag biotechnology.”

This kind of announcement made at such an event illustrates what we categorize as evidence of exploitation. It highlights the unintended consequences of treating the natural world not with reverence, respect and dignity; rather, looking upon it as a big box of biotechnological Lego, ripe for the picking apart. Which we, behaving not unlike immature children, have gleefully done unchecked for decades now.

According to Testbiotech, it may now be too late to reverse any impending damages on the horizon of our callous carelessness. As for what those damages may be, we are in the dark since,
Mind you, we do know of one company, Monsanto, who is taking decisive action on the unintended spread of GMO crops in the environment, having filed—or threatening to file—nearly 850 lawsuits against farmers between 1997 and 2010 for patent infringement after finding evidence of contamination of their fields by Monsanto-brand GMO seeds.

Image: Comic strip spoofing Monsanto’s response to spread of GMO crops, posted by Seppo

For more details on the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issues of contamination and patent infringement, we highly recommend the Activist Post article by Randy Anada from August 10, 2013: Monsanto can sue farmers when GMO contamination goes over one percent of their crop.

It seems then, in the topsy-turvy world of genetically engineered agri-biz, neither compassion nor common-sense rule. Exploitation is the norm, not the exception. Is it any wonder that our lack of corporate conscience in relation to nature gets reflected in how large companies deal with farmers?

Is it any wonder that the GMO organisms themselves spin out of control in farmers’ fields, in just the same way as the science and the lawsuits do in their respective fields? There is a kind of terrifying poetry to it all, like the geometry of a fractal as it spirals outward at an exponential rate.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Life from Lifelessness – has gone Live!

Genesis Eco Fund for Advanced Human Habitat: Air, Water, Food, Shelter
Image: Genesis Eco Fund for Advanced Human Habitat: Air, Water, Food, Shelter 

“Genesis is life from lifelessness”
~ Carol Marcus, Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan (the proper one).

Three things:

First, unlike Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan, we do not advocate the use of any technology which, “replaces existing life in favour of its own matrix.” (as demonstrated in Hollywood’s first ever CGI sequence which won the film an Academy Award for best special effects).

YouTube Video: Genesis effect
Uploaded  by galeria3D

Second, is your go-to source for all information about Advanced Human Habitat which in a way does relate to Star Trek in that any hope of human colonization of space in the near future will have to include ecosystem technology if it hopes to be sustainable.

Third, we’re not here to review the failings of J.J. Abrahms’ Star Trek: Into Darkness which recently came out on Blu-Ray (as tempted as we may be to do so; watch this Honest Movie Trailer instead:

YouTube Video: Honest Trailers - Star Trek Into Darkness (feat. HISHE)
Uploaded  by Screen Junkies

Checkout today and stay tuned for updates including details on proposed research projects and related fundraising (and crowd funding) campaigns.
“The Benefits of the many, outweigh the benefits of the few…or the one.”
~ Spock, Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan

Live long and prosper.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mars One Project: One Giant Misstep for Humankind, without a Small Leap to Ecosystems

The search for life on Mars begins on Earth - apply now at 
Directed by James Yeats Smith 
Published by MarsOneProject 

Would you want to take a one-way ticket to Mars? Over 165,000 others would. That’s how many people applied for the ‘Mars One’ project, the first manned mission to Mars, slated to arrive on the red planet in 2023.

Official Mars One Project Website:

Of interest to us at Genesis is the notion that they plan to grow their own food indoors. Currently, there is no proven way to grow food sustainably indoors with zero inputs from outside the closed system.

Industrial agricultural methods are certainly off the table. As for permaculture or other more ‘natura’ and/or ‘holistic’ approaches to farming, the fact of the matter is: soil dies indoors. Period. And there is no soil on Mars.

Hydroponics is not feasible for the simple reason there is no way to supply the chemicals required to replenish the nutrients in the water needed to grow food. As for getting that much water to Mars in the first place? One litre of water=1 kilogram.

Aquaponics? How are you going to get that many fish to Mars? As eggs? Embryos? In stasis? And are you going to be able to regulate and sustain a balanced system of animals to plants? How? For how long?

Now, Genesis isn’t saying this mission is doomed from the outset, not at all. What we’re saying is that without an in-depth comprehension of indoor ecosystem technology, the mission has very little hope of being a long-term success.

But a long term success it must be. The 165,000 applicants signed up for a one-way trip. There is no return trip; no rescue mission. And if there’s one thing history has taught us about human-conceived systems is this: they break down. They fail. They are unsustainable by very definition.

And it comes down to much more than food. What about atmosphere? Air quality? Habitat? There is a limit to how long astronauts can stay in space (and no, it’s not just because of zero-gravity and the effects of muscular atrophy).

It’s called going stir-crazy. It’s called being cooped up in a tin can breathing stale recycled air that’s mechanically filtered. Music, e-books and video games will only distract Homo sapiens’ need for interaction with nature for so long. Imagine living the rest of your life under such conditions.

Mars One needs a true life support system. One which provides the occupants with the comforts of home and feeds and nourishes them body, mind and spirit. They need a system designed on the matrix of all life support systems: the ecosystem.

To permanently colonize Mars requires a new kind of “Genesis.” Only then, will the inhabitants of Mars One have a fighting chance.  

Here is an interesting interview done by CBC News via Skype with Ken Flack, one of the 6,000 Canadians (and over 165,000 earthlings) who applied for the Mars One project. 

Image: CBC New Interview with Ken Flack, one of 6,000 Canadians who applied for the “Mars One” manned mission to Mars.
Image Credit: CBC Player: Science: One-way trip to Mars

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Is it Serendipity? Catch Sebastio Salgado’s New Photographic Series “Genesis” this Long Weekend!

 Image Capture*: Tropical Island Jungle. Photo by Sebastiao Salgado
“Sebastiao Salgado turns his camera on threatened people and places in his newly released photographic series ‘Genesis.’”
~ The Globe and Mail

If you’re near Toronto and are looking for something to do this Labour Day holiday long weekend, checkout “Genesis” by Sebastiao Salgado—no affiliation with Genesis Eco Fund other than the fact that we’re in love with these photos! If you contemplate the images and the artist’s words, you can clearly see why.

Genesis Eco Fund is also about capturing what is pristine in the world, in a slightly different way.

Pristine nature “out there” around the planet might seem under threat and our technologically advanced civilization “in here,” may seem adaptable and resilient. The reality is the reverse.

Nature has no remorse; no attachments. Nature wiped out the dinosaurs; has levelled entire continents; and she will not hesitate to extinguish us, either.  To nature, we’re just a part of her body. Our own bodies have immune systems; why shouldn’t the planet?

Genesis Eco Fund is focused on bringing the pristine nature out there, in here: not just into our “technologically frenzied” lives, but our collective consciousness: our homes, schools, workplaces, etc.   

See if the artist’s own images and words help explain the essence of what “Genesis” means…

Image Capture*: Zebras at the Watering Hole. Photo by Sebastiao Salgado

“I became so close to the environment that my next project, the only thing possible for me to do was to photograph what was pure, what’s pristine on this planet in order that people who look at my pictures understand what was living in this moment…”
~ Sebastiao Salgado*

Image Capture*: Arctic Scene with Innuit. Photo by Sebastiao Salgado

“…we conceived Genesis as a project to see what was pristine in the planet, and that is the path of the planet and in that sense we must protect and hold it.”
~ Sebastiao Salgado*

Image Capture*: A Melting Iceberg & Ice “Keep”. Photo by Sebastiao Salgado
“In GENESIS, my camera allowed nature to speak to me. And it was my privilege to listen.”
~ Sebastiao Salgado

Watch the short film & slideshow online at the Globe & Mail and catch “Genesis” at the Royal Ontario Museum from May 4th to September 2nd, 2013 (meaning this Labour Day long weekend is your last chance to see it).

For more information and to view and extended slideshow and find out how you can OWN Salgado’s vision of Genesis, visit TASCHEN.

* Images and Quotes Captured from Globe & Mail Video Filmed by Moe Doiren & Edited by Patrick Dell 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Restoring Faith in Humanity: Our Compassion for Nature in Need

Video: People Helping Creatures - Compilation of people all over the world helping animals in trouble. 

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
~ Mohandas Gandhi*

We are inundated with bad news. Negative images, videos and stories highlighting the moral and ethical degeneration of our society are everywhere—particularly online. Bad news about how we treat animals, their ecosystems and the planet as a whole are no exception.

Depending on your own personal disposition, you may react to such negative impressions with sadness, disgust, anger, resentment, fear, feelings of unfairness and the like.  Conversely, you may respond to tragic events with compassion, courage and determination to take proactive, preventative action.

In terms of the latter, it is questionable just how effective the storm of bad news is in terms of motivating people to take action. After all, the internet is saturated with anti-globalization, anti-GMO, anti-fracking, anti-just-about-everything. And yet, the great multitude lumbers sideways…asleep.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
~ Anatole France*

On that note, today Genesis shares the above video featuring people taking pity on animals in need. We feel positive images, feel-good stories, and videos featuring acts of courage, kindness and determination to take action are much more likely to touch people “on the fence” of complacency—by example.

It is only by the example of those choosing the high-road of altruism can people ascend from the status of Homo sapien—with all our cold animal instincts and hedonistic desires—to that of human being, with an awakened heart-mind, conscious, compassionate and courageous to always do right by others.
“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
~ Francis of Assisi*

It just makes sense. These wise words from Francis of Assisi highlight a simple truth: one is hard-pressed to fully compartmentalize one’s own psyche such that one may subject one group of creatures to an appalling standard of treatment while applying a completely different standard to others.

With Homo sapiens sorely lacking such awareness and discipline over our heart-minds, it is most likely what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Heartless, cold, selfish behavior, no matter when, where or at whom it is indulged, becomes an indelible mark on our personality and will more often than not rear its ugly head even against those we profess to love, despite our best intentions.

Treat nature, animals poorly? Sooner or later you will treat people just as poorly.
“The indifference, callousness and contempt that so many people exhibit toward animals is evil first because it results in great suffering in animals, and second because it results in an incalculably great impoverishment of the human spirit.”
~ Ashley Montagu*

Can’t get along with animals? Why is that? Do you find them frightening? Dirty? Annoying? A menace? How do animals respond to you, in general? With fear? Hostility? Indifference? How does that make you feel? Or, could you care less? How we relate to animals can tell us a lot about ourselves.
“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”
~ Martin Buber* 

Image by Genesis: Chipmunk smiles for the camera after accepting a peanut; in Kilarney Provincial Park.

Whatever the case, if you relate poorly to animals (or nature in general), you might want to take stock of your relationships—family, friends, lovers, co-workers, even strangers on the street. Are your interactions with others as satisfying and rewarding as they could be?
“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.”
~ Abraham Lincoln*

In the final analysis, it’s about treating animals better than our own base animal instincts would have us do. By rising above our own animal selves, showing pity and compassion for those creatures we observe having little—and treat as deserving even less—we truly earn the right to call ourselves human beings.

And becoming a true human being is a critical step to experiencing reality as whole person: truly happy, free and at peace in the universe:

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
~ Albert Einstein*
Image: “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better” ~ Albert Einstein

* Quotes Sourced from Compassion for Animals – Quotes – from Famous People

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"My Green School Dream" (Ted Talk) - "The Greenest School on Earth" Video | John Hardy: My green school dream
Join John Hardy on a tour of the Green School, his off-the-grid school in Bali that teaches kids how to build, garden, create (and get into college)...
Credit: TEDGlobal 2010 • Session 5: Healthier Together • Filmed Jul 2010 • Posted Nov 2010

What John Hardy achieved in Bali, Genesis will help bring to your child’s school

“Our vision is of a natural, holistic, student-centered learning environment that empowers and inspires our students to be creative, innovative, green leaders.”

Welcome to the inaugural blog post for Genesis Foundation for Ecological Atmospheric Research.

Rather than fill this space with bland expositions on “who we are, what we do, etc.,” we’ll save all that for the website (which, at the time of this post is still under construction). Instead, this blog will be dedicated to sharing stories that matter to us—and you. 

Since part of the Genesis mandate is supporting education and helping children reestablish positive, mutually harmonious relationships with nature, we share the above TED Talk by Canadian designer John Hardy, founder of the Green School in Bali.
“The U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools awarded Green School the “2012 Greenest School on Earth“. This was an affirmation of the program we provide to enrich and nurture our students.”

It shows. Here is a school which prepares children and youth for the realities of tomorrow, today. While most educational programs have emphasized material science and mathematics in order to “prepare tomorrow’s workforce,” Hardy’s Green Schools seek to prepare tomorrow’s human beings.

Green Schools seem to foster a more enlightened, well-rounded (one could even say holistic) sense of community, one which leaves space for individuals of all gifts and ability to make a positive contribution. For instance, while engineering and artistry (design) trump technical skills and craftsmanship in the west, John Hardy has built a successful international business on embracing both artistry and craftsmanship.

Teaching kids essential ecological knowledge and practical skills in sustainability via Green Schools is only the latest in John Hardy’s vision. For more, including an even more fascinating and beautifully filmed look into his world, see PeapodLife’s blog: Recreating Eden: Designing Paradise (Video)—Has John Hardy discovered the Ultimate Expression of “the PeapodLife” in Bali?

Genesis looks forward to connecting with the likes of John Hardy and all forward-thinking, NOW-acting individuals who recognize the essence of this famous warning for a humanity “addicted” to the status quo:
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
~ Narcotics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous 
Source: Quotes: Narcotics Anonymous