Saturday, November 9, 2013

Getting Inspired: Looking at Some Organizations & Projects that Work on Changing the World

Dear All,

Please have a look at some of the websites below and see what you can learn from them for your own project of creating a better world….

Here the links:



Sierra Club:

Humane Society:

World Wildlife Fund:

Rainforest Action Network:

Story of Stuff Project:


Global Oneness Project:

David Suzuki Foundation:

Center for Biological Diversity:

Liberation BC:

Earthsave Canada:

Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns:

Be the Change:

Peace One Day:

The Hunger Project:

Amnesty International:



Doctors without Borders:


Habitat for Humanity:

United for a Fair Economy:

Peace Action:



Union of Concerned Scientists:


… and there are more.

Please share some of your newly gained insights!

Thank you,



  1. I read some of the websites and found Be the Change particularly interesting. I also believe that that we should act about what we believe needs to be changed. There is so much opportunity to be involved at UBC and in our communities. I believe that we need to utilize these opportunities to create a better world that we would like to live in. It relates back to our ideal world presentations, we need to make changes in our everyday lives to achieve our perfect world.

    1. Excellent points, Madelaine. BTW, Be the Change has some Circles all over town: activity groups that meet on a (somewhat) regular basis not just to discuss how to take action but to start making small changes (such as not using a plastic bag for a week or a month or a year etc)…. It would be great if someone started a Be the Change Circle at UBC! I could get you in touch with the Be the Change organizers if you wanted to do that….

  2. To be honest, although I often hear people talking about these topics, I didn't know any of these organizations before reading about this post. However, after visiting some of the web sites, I found it quite inspiring and enthusiastic because I am surprised that there are so many interesting ways that we can do to improve our community. I, for instance, love animals. I always wonder if human beings and animals can one day live closely as friends, but I often got disturbed by the fact that our daily activities, such as driving, farming, and selection of food can have such a negative impact on animals' habitats.

    1. Hi Yizhen,
      I think that learning about how our action impact animals is a really important first step on the way to creating a world in which animals and humans are more closely connected. Unfortunately, many humans are not really aware what harm they do to animals unintentionally - for example, by buying products, for which animals have been tortured and killed (I am not only talking about meat but also about milk, eggs, leather - and things like shampoo and laundry detergent, for which animals often get tortured in labs). I think that the first step is create more awareness and educate people that they can actually make a difference already by just choosing the right products (e.g. less/no meat, milk, eggs, leather, fur, and buying cleaning and bathroom products that have NOT been tested on animals). I also think that animals actually can teach us a lot. They are very intelligent - even though their intelligence is different from ours in some ways. They are also extremely loving and affectionate - not just towards members of their own species but also to us…. I will post a link to some of the amazing things that animals have done later this week. Maybe check the blog on Thursday evening or Friday.

    2. I think there are more and more people pay attention to animals right now:) I have received a booklet in UBC last term. It's about reducing the meat consumption and shows that animals are treated badly in farm. I am trying to eat less meat now, and I believe that many people would make the same decision as me after reading the booklet.

  3. I think what really amazed me as I continued to click on each of these websites is how much phenomenal work is being done in our world today. I saw so many people already acting upon many of the topics and ideas that were discussed in everyone's presentations in class.

    One that I particularly loved was the David Suzuki foundation. He lives in Vancouver, was once a professor at UBC and has made such a big impact on Canada and the rest of the world by trying to protect our environment. It is always inspiring to see one person, especially someone who comes from the same place that you do, make a huge difference. It is astounding how the foundation has worked so hard to tackle so many environmental problems and a big way that they achieve this is by building community or engaging people to live their lives in an "Earth-friendly" manner. For example, you can find so many simple articles on their website like "Homemade hair care recipes" or "Four places to cut your carbon." I think if we really want everyone to treat the environment well, we have to start with letting them know how all of their small actions can make an impact, and show them how simple the solutions can be.

    There was another emotion I felt as I looked at all of the websites, and that was disappointment. If all of these amazing things are taking place in the world, why don't more people get involved? I honestly don't know. I think sometimes people don't know where to start, or maybe they think they are one person and they can't possibly make much of a difference. I also think it takes a lot of courage to get involved, whether it's in a big or small way. The problem with a lot of these topics, is many people have different opinions, and if you want to make a difference I think you have to be strong enough to voice your own.

    1. Hi Carolina,
      Excellent points! Yes, it is amazing what one person (such as David Suzuki) can do - and how often we forget that fact when we are that one person. I think it is a matter of awareness and priority. We are all always so busy chasing after other things that we forget what really matters…. However, the good news: as soon as enough people (and it's not even a majority that is required!) are starting to act in a new way, the general behaviour will shift - and apparently everywhere! So don't give up! The fact that you are not the only person who is hoping for a better world makes it likely that things will change soon. Of course, they will have to change soon because if they don't, nobody is going to survive….

  4. Somehow, I feel those topics sort of connecting to our presentations for ideal world. At least, they both have a same “destination” to make a better world for ourselves. This world is our home, we should do something to protect every creature in our home if it is possible. After looking at those, I feel like we could do a lot of things just around us to improve our world.

    1. Hi Biwen,
      Yes, exactly! All we need to do is do it - which is very easy and difficult at the same time. Easy because we CAN easily create positive change, difficult because we are all used to being lazy and NOT act….

  5. There are so many organizations to help our world and to reach the ideal world we all want to have, which is amazing, and I think we should be thankful to those so many people who are devoting their time for the world. I felt so warm looking through some of the pages.
    I see people from unisef and world vision (most often) trying to build awareness and possibly get some donations. They try to talk to the bystanders but usually most of time they are ignored just like the way how people ignore Metro. They are the people who deserves some respect and I just wanted to point that out. Lets try to at least show our respect to those people volunteering their time for our good as whole.

    1. You are totally right, Michelle! Very good point!

    2. Yes, we really need to respect them and spend some time listening to them taking care of our world. However I found that I always meet them on my way to class, so there is not enough time to stop and listen or I will be late for my class. Maybe they can send some booklets so that the people in a hurry can just pick it and read it later.

  6. After learning about 350, I feel like there is an even greater sense of urgency when it comes to dealing with climate change. My group touched on the concept of climate change during our presentation. We mentioned that a test on carbon footprint should be done on every vehicle, factory, or anything else that produces carbon emissions. By doing a carbon footprint, we will be able to know in detail how environmental friendly a product is or how much damage does a product deal to the environment from the process of making it. 350 really helps educate people on the situation that mankind is facing, this should definitely be a priority to everyone. However, there are many people around the world that has other problems to worry about such as unemployment, poverty, and other life threatening issues. So for them to not have the time thinking about this issue would be natural and logical. It really does come down to greed I think. If the more people on the world became more generous and stop being so selfish, there wouldn't be problems with unemployment and the economy would run smoothly. But greed is a human characteristic that is common. We just have to find ways to fight it.

    1. Hi Dillon,
      You are totally right: greed is a very common problem - in particular in the Western world. Unfortunately, it's spreading. I think we can counteract this tendency by focusing on other values: cooperation and taking responsibility for others and for the world, for example….

    2. Reading Dillon's post, I have a question that since "there are many people around the world that has other problems to worry about such as unemployment, poverty, and other life threatening issues" not having time to consider others' situation, are the rich people who have comfortable lives should be more responsible for the social issues than the poor who are struggling in their lives? The rich have abilities to do more: They have high salary which allows them to donate a lot and have adequate leisure time to do good for society, so if they want to take some action, it will be a great promotion.

      And the famous people who have high reputation can easily draw people attention. If they can call people to pay attention to an social event, people would easily listen to them. So I think the famous or rich person have the ability and should do more to build a better society. And the poor still need to care about others' suffering. Though they cannot deal with some social problems such as the unemployment and poverty, they can do small things to change our world a bit.

  7. It really makes me happy to see that there are so many passionate people out there who want to contribute and make changes to our world. They are not motivated by material gain but rather by belief. Each organization has its own goals and purposes, and I think we should learn from these people and fight for what we believe. Most of these organizations strive to help others in need, whether they are humans or animals. I respect these people for what they do; I think our world needs kindness. A random act of kindness towards one person will have a ripple effect, until eventually many people will benefit from a single act. Furthermore, I believe that if we treat others with care and respect, others will do the same to us. That way, our world will be filled with a sense of positive atmosphere. Why wouldn't want to live in a world where people are always kind to each other right?