In 2016 WCPUN welcomed new advisers and partners internationally, including Besiktas Municipality in Istanbul,where plans are underway to re-purpose space to develop a human rights centered park with special attention to accessibility for children and youth living with disabilities.
We advanced ongoing initiatives, notably the multimedia art and technology series, “A View from the Cloud,” which was presented in Scandinavia; a partnership with Florida International University/CARTA to connect the UN’s SDGs with local realities in underserved areas in Miami; and a collaboration with the Ecole Supérieure de Gestion et Commerce International and the University of San Diego to provide an emphasis on social and environmental responsibility in the luxury goods industry for the first DBA in Luxury Goods.
We also mourned the passing of longtime friend, and board member, Al Orensanz, sociologist, historian, philosopher, and supporter of the arts, whose global understanding and local civic engagement continue to inspire WCPUN’s vision.
Following are 2016 highlights shared by WCPUN Advisers.
Barbara Holub – Vienna: The „Quartier Bienvenue“ (The „Welcome Quarter“) Following up on the „Welcome Center – a Right to Space for All“ transparadiso (Barbara Holub/ Paul Rajakovics) is now working on realizing the „Welcome Quarter“, an ambitious new urban quarter in Vienna. Together with two public housing companies and two social enterprises (and in collaboration with two other architecture firms) this quarter will provide innovative housing models for enhancing an exchange between „homebased people“ and immigrants from different periods, in connection with educational programs, vocational training and cultural facilities for the neighborhood and all Viennese. New publication: “Das Bienvenue. Ein Recht auf Raum für alle.” („The Welcome. A Right to Space for All“), Social Design Reader #1/ University of Applied Arts Vienna, edited by Barbara Holub, 2016; with contributions from Alexander Betts, oltz, Barbara Holub, Georg Winter, et.al. link Part of this publication was published in „Räume des Ankommens. Topographische Perspektiven auf Migration und Flucht“, transcript Verlag, 2016 link.
transparadiso also realized „Request for the unrequested voluntary interlinguisticality“– the design for the square in Pottenhofen (Lower Austria/ Czech border; funded by Public Art Lower Austria) based on a collaborative process: A specially developed bilingual Czech-German scrabble game served as text resource for creating the major element of a seating-table-sculpture defining the new square – thus returning the responsibility to the residents. link 1 link2 http://www.transparadiso.com http://www.barbaraholub.com
Bonnie Ora Sherk – San Francisco/New York:
Transforming derelict or underused land into A Living Library of wonder & health – OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park; Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park; and protoytpe A.L.L. Living Library Nature Walk linking multiple schools, parks, public housing, streets leading to currently hidden creek, that will expand throughout whole watershed, the largest in SF, to interconnect 11 watershed communities. In NYC: Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park. A Living Library (A.L.L.) & Life Frames, Inc. (LFI) grew out of the Environmental Performance Sculpture of Founder & Director, Bonnie Ora Sherk. LFI works with multiple stakeholders to develop content-rich, healing, problem-solving, ecological gardens, learning landscapes, and resilient, watershed nature walks – locally and globally – that address,systemic issues like: climate change; stormwater reuse and flood mitigation; environmental justice; safety & accessibility; smart, ecological, land-use planning and design; community & school education, including green skills job training; community & economic development. A.L.L is currently being exhibited in Seoul, Korea, at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, and will be featured May-November 2017, in a premiere international art venue in Italy, and at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, at its international Art & Environment Conference/Exhibition. Learn more about A.L.L. at http://www.alivinglibrary.org and its evolution at video link.
Dr. Charles Koo – Hong Kong: LIONS CLUB OF HONG KONG (PACIFIC) LTD, president T P Wai and members helped support the needs of an elderly persons’ home in Shenzhen, China, donating modern blood meters and other basic necessities lacking in the facility. They visited the pediatric ward of the Pamala Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, providing a Christmas celebration for children who are unable to be at home due to the gravity of their condition. They also helped support activities of the Caritas Lions Club of Hong Kong (Pacific) Nursery School, a government-subsidized school providing full-day basic education in both Chinese and English, as well as medical services, for immigrant and low-income families. The support will continue in 2017 with donations of equipment, including a CCTV system (HK$20,000). The club will be celebrating its 27th anniversary by hosting gourmet dinners supervised by a master chef for over 500 low-income elderly persons and single parent families, accompanied by entertainment and learning about the preparation of healthy food.
Gema Alava – Quito: Invited by the 8th International Art Festival “Arte al Sur del Sur” to lead the week long seminar: “Inspiring Audiences Via Relational Art: Thinking with Images”at the Universidad Pontificia Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) Participants discussed Alava’s concept: “museums are perfect ecosystems where differences can be discussed via dialogue and, therefore, they are perfect places for some artists to investigate the transformation of thoughts that arise from these differences.”At the MUSEO DE LA CIUDAD DE QUITO, she led the Art Project “Give Me a Museum to Be Lost In, and an Artwork to Find Myself” which consisted in the observation, exploration, and interpretation of an artwork on view with which the attendees were involved at a personal level. In New York, Álava was invited by ART BEYOND SIGHT to participate in the Festival “Celebrations Unite the World” an initiative promoted by the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) of the government of New York. In stand 31, Álava shared her series of performances and seminars entitled INSPIRING AUDIENCES, presented during 2016 at the Pratt Institute and the Department of Neurology of SUNY Downstate Medical Center. “…there are many generalizations and confusion when referring to the disabled …it is possible to educate and generate dialogue on this matter through participatory art projects.” –Gema Alava, 2016
Dr. Renaud Redien-Collot – Paris/Istanbul: Generation Y’s Virtual Guide to Skill Development and Personal Branding in Social Media – an EU-funded project to develop and design a virtual guide to employability, skill development and personal branding in social media for Generation Y job seekers and university graduates in Europe, as well as contribute to the modernisation of higher education by using the latest technological innovations suitable for learning modules of the Generation Y. Dr Redien-Collot leads Novancia’s team. Five collaborating partners are: Novancia Business School (Paris, France), Sabancı University (Turkey, Istanbul), Abdullah Gül University (Turkey, Kayseri), Universum Communication (Sweden, Stockholm), Türk Kültür Vakfı (Turkey, Istanbul). A jury member of the EU Women Innovators prize in Brussels, Dr. Redien Collot is also leading the Developing Entrepreneurial Women – Changing Horizons (DEWCH) project to develop future female entrepreneurial leaders and a related Masters programme.The pilot involving two 5-day intensive courses began in the UK in September 2016; the 2nd DEWCH course will take place in Athens in May 2017.
Xavier Xargay – Barcelona: Dinners That Matter, a non-profit initiative bringing together people, restaurants, and businesses in solidarity with local community causes, through financial support, awareness-raising, and the development of new synergies, helped support the following organizations: Hospital Sant Joan de Deu (Childrens Hospital); Amics de la Gent Gran (Elderly); Casa Ronald McDonald; Fundació Aspasim; Fundació SMALL; Fundació Pare Manel. Every year, four causes are selected, and DTM collaborates with specific foundations addressing those needs. Having tested the model with approximately 600 diners in each of the quarterly dinners, in 2017 DTM plans to expand from Barcelona to other cities internationally, in collaboration with local commerce, chefs, and community members. http://dinnersthatmatter.org/en/projects/
In 2017 WCPUN looks forward to furthering these efforts and initiating new educational projects, including with The Good of the Hive artist Matthew Willey, whose murals draw international attention to the world’s sensitive ecosystem through the particular lens of the present-day struggle of the honeybee. Cultural Adviser Koan Jeff Baysa, M.D. is pleased to present the 2017 Joshua Triennial and Honolulu Biennial.
Sustainable Development Partnerships
WCPUN is a host and co-convener of facilitated conversations considering collaborative intersections of media and sustainable development. Bringing together diverse stakeholders, including NGOs, the UN, Member States, Science, Media and Communications, Arts & Culture, Design, Academia, and Private sectors, the meetings are designed to provide an alternate space for people to think outside the boundaries of their respective organizations, exchange ideas and best practices.
A participant in the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, collaborating with other organizations to promote a Rights-based Approach to Sustainable Development Governance, WCPUN aims to continue its commitment to advance awareness of and engagement in sustainable development-related issues beyond the Conference.
WCPUN and The FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) are proud to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that unites the two organizations in the exploration of interdisciplinary collaborations around global issues related to the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations as defined in Transforming our World–The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This unique FIU/WCPUN partnership will engage in the co-organizing of public events involving individuals and content from “A View From the Cloud”, a multi-year arts and innovation platform co-produced by WCPUN and Streaming Museum. In addition, the partnership will locate funding to support public workshops and lectures, internships for students, and ways to develop strategies that raise international visibility for local explorations that seek new multi-disciplinary, creative directions in art and technology. Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. The FIU College of Architecture + The Arts engages our local and global communities by deploying the power of architecture + the arts to create, innovate, and inspire solutions to local challenges with national and global impacts. http://www.fiu.edu/.
Interdisciplinary research projects in connection with sustainable development are being realized with the Ecole Supérieure de Gestion et Commerce International (ESGCI) in Paris and consultancy LCAconseil.net.
In London, a series of events are being planned to raise awareness among future leaders about sustainable development rights, with a focus on societies emerging from conflict. Coordinated by WCPUN Youth Adviser, Alexandra Abrams, the series is designed to engage dynamic networks of people in their twenties and thirties through unique opportunities merging the glamorous with the conscientious.
WCPUN joins the Sustainability Council of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, engaging with eco-friendly businesses, non-governmental organizations and local government, at the One Hotel.
Youth Outreach and Leadership
YOUTH FORUM ON CLIMATE AND WATER, sponsored by YY Green Environmental Corporation and WCPUN, the Forum was co-convened by the 4th Annual Miami & the Beaches Environmental Film Festival; University of Miami Center for Communication Culture and Change; United Nations Development Programme; CLEO Institute; HLA Gernsbach, Germany; Media for Change; New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence; World Council of Peoples for the United Nations; UNA-USA Council of Organizations; CLEO Youth Task Force; Miami Beach Senior High; City of Miami Beach; Miami Waterkeeper; Consulate General of France; Coral Gables Museum; Florida International University; Urban Green Works Summary Youth forum on climate and water
THE SOCIETY OF YOUNG PHILANTHROPISTS, presided by WCPUN Youth Adviser, Alexandra Abrams, forms the UK Division of WCPUN. Dedicated to incentivizing and facilitating the involvement of young current and future ‘leaders’ in social action, The Society of Young Philanthropists provides a platform for charities and social action projects to make their needs understandable and accessible to members; hosts salon-style dinners to encourage discussion and activity, as well as larger-scale fundraising events; rewards members for their philanthropic activity: either volunteering , donating, or fundraising. http://theyoungphilanthropists.com
The Society of Young Philanthropists hosted ‘GIVE London’, a series of events intended to mark the launch of #GivingTuesday in the UK. The events were held in conjunction with the UN Foundation and Charities Aid Foundation, and consisted of an inaugural panel discussion to discuss ‘Why Don’t We Give?’, and two further panel discussions based on the theme of giving. They were attended by a wide variety of young adults, ranging from activists to bloggers and supermodels, as well as key philanthropic figures. To keep with The Society’s concept of melding the fashionable with the philanthropic, the salon events were accompanied by a three day charitable fair. ‘The Secret Christmas Grotto’, curated by Tessa Packard London, featured some of London’s most attractive young luxury brands, and was featured in press nationwide. GIVE London was a remarkable success in terms of spreading the concept of giving to the most interesting and forward thinking sectors of young London. Article by TATLER
WCPUN is convinced that young people’s participation in the international arena is crucial and thus consistently advocates, and when possible provides platforms, for youth to learn about the work of the United Nations and its agencies, as well as about the activities of NGOs at UN Headquarters and on the ground; and actively participate / provide input in WCPUN activities. WCPUN also contributes to the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign.
Art, Education, Media and Intercultural Outreach
WCPUN recognizes the role of Artists in advancing the goals of the United Nations and regularly collaborates with international artists, inviting their contributions to WCPUN publications and events according to the featured topic; providing support for artistic installations in connection with the Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference; assisting to identify international sculpture art for installation in the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza; and co-sponsoring exhibits that merge art with education and activism.
A Living Library & Think Park
Founded by Bonnie Ora Sherk, internationally known Artist, Landscape Architect, and Educator, A Living Library (A.L.L.), and Life Frames, Inc., the non-profit organization she founded and directs, works in conjunction with WCPUN to link biological, cultural, and technological resources, and provide a robust systemic framework, strategy, and methodology for creating place-based, ecological transformations with schools and communities, solving local problems, while also linking to hands-on, standards-based, interdisciplinary curricula in schools for all ages, bringing multiple subjects to life. alivinglibrary.org
Blue Frog Society
WCPUN partners with Artist and Urban Planner Barbara Holub, whose conceptual art project, the Blue Frog Society – A Habitat Without Territory, invites participants to explore the concept, possibilities and ramifications of a world without borders through an artistic prism. www.transparadiso.com BFS-overview
A publication of WCPUN, Centerpoint Now highlights issues on the agenda of the international community, with a view to showcasing the extraordinary diversity of ways in which the UN’s values and objectives can be promoted and implemented. Produced since 1984 – and since 2005 in the United States.
Renée Niño de Rivera
WCPUN serves as an Adviser to social entrepreneur Renée Niño de Rivera, whose designs engage low-income women in Mexico in technical training and introducing their work to international markets, for reinvestment in the local community.
In partnership with the Angel Orensanz Foundation, WCPUN frequently helps realize cultural programmes that explore issues of environmental and socio-political relevance through artistic and poetic works across cultures and generations. www.orensanz.org
Previous WCPUN cultural programmes include Common Ground: The Abstracted Image, a series showcasing the influence of Islamic and Judaic art on contemporary design.
International Artists for Peace and World Harmony
Under the leadership of Artist Ademola Olugebefola and Educator Cliff Frazier, WCPUN participates in the International Artists for Peace and World Harmony initiative, which aims to utilize the arts as an instrument to build bridges of understanding; as well as in the Annual Interfaith Observance for Religious and Racial Harmony, an initiative founded by the New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence, which brings together people of all faiths to honor the legacy of Dr. King and advance the realization of his vision of a “Beloved Community.” www.nymlkcenterfornonviolence.org
Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize for Broadcast Journalism
WCPUN has been honored to co-sponsor the United Nations Correspondents Association Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize for broadcast journalism coverage of the UN, along with Antena 3 TV, Spain, named after Antena 3 correspondent, Ricardo Ortega who was killed while covering events in Haiti in 2004, and whose quality reporting of significant events worldwide earned him the lasting respect of his peers and the broader community.
Founded in New York City by Nina Colosi in January 2008, Streaming Museum is a new hybrid museum for the 21st century that presents exhibitions in cyberspace and public space on 7 continents and cultural centers around the world. Together with WCPUN it is planning an ongoing program of innovative exhibitions and public programs showcasing international arts, culture, global data, and sustainable design, connecting communities worldwide via Internet. StreamingMuseum.org
what moves you? awareness campaigns
WCPUN is proud to contribute as an on-going co-sponsor of the awareness-raising campaigns by what moves you?, notably Indocumentales, an itinerant educational series film and dialogue series on Mexico-US relations and immigration, presented in collaboration with Cinema Tropical and NYU CLACS , and “Global Voices,” a traveling exhibit of portraits and statements of civil society activists worldwide.
Health and Wellness
WCPUN members include individuals in fields of medical research and development, as well as alternative medicine.
WCPUN partners with organizations to hold awareness-raising conferences that are accessible to the international community, such as the Medical Assembly at the UN, designed to bring together renowned scientists and doctors, with UN Agencies, Missions, International NGOs and the Private Sector, to examine ways of preventing disease globally, exchange “best practices” and generate opportunities for collaboration in research, treatment and advocacy; the International Forum on Advances in Psychopharmacology and Recovery in Severe Mental Illness, organized by Letters and Sciences, with support from the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the UN.
Champions for Life
WCPUN is an umbrella organization for Champions for Life, an initiative founded in 1997 to honor cancer survivors and heighten awareness of persons throughout the world who are overcoming life threatening diseases. Champions for Life (CFL) further works to increase the knowledge base of new effective treatments, while being an advocate for those patients in need of assistance.
Participation in the UN-Affiliated NGO Community
WCPUN regularly participates in UN meetings and processes that are open to the NGO community, collaborates with Member States, different entities within the UN system, and other NGOs on a project-specific basis, and dedicates space within the WCPUN publication, Centerpoint Now, to highlight innovative projects and inspirational individuals in the UN and NGO communities.
NGO/DPI Executive Committee
An active member of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee and Annual DPI/NGO Conference Planning Committee for over a decade, WCPUN had a leading role in fund-raising for the Annual DPI/NGO Conference; Development of the Communications Workshop model; development of the Media and Youth Sub-Committees; Co-production of public outreach events, including the Human Rights Village at the City Hall of Paris in 2008, and the first public information fair in New York City on the Millennium Development Goals, in 2004 “the No Excuse Concert and Information Fair” at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. WCPUN members have also served as Chairperson for the Annual Conference. ngodpiexecom.org
2015 Highlights from WCPUN’s Advisory Board
Gema Álava – Madrid: Álava’s installation HEXAGONS was presented at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) as part of the exhibition “Leonardo,” a tribute to art and science, reflecting on different aspects of CSIC research areas and related to concern about the earth’s natural resources. HEXAGONS consists of 22 carat gold hexagons glued to the floor of CSIC Headquarters. The public wasn’t prevented from stepping on the gold panels, allowing the possibility of the eventual erosion or destruction of the piece. The ephemeral installation will remain on view until it disappears under visitors’ shoes, or the exhibition concludes. “Many artists and scientists live under the same threat as bees. Bees are generous and intelligent with a great sense of ethics but when exploited and poisoned with insecticides they get sick and abandon their beehives. When artists, scientists and bees are not allowed to pollinate –due to ignorance, lack of attention or premeditation– their panels and nectar of knowledge fall to the floor. Einstein predicted that without bees, without pollination, there would be no flowers, fruits or humanity since resources that are not sustainable become obsolete. Our future, and that of our children, requires that we learn to walk in between hexagons.” -Gema Álava, 2015
Koan Jeff Baysa, M.D. – California, Split, Mestre: In 2015 Baysa co-founded and opened the Joshua Treenial, (site responsive art) in its inaugural year, in the California high desert Joshua Treenial; Curated Phlogiston, at GalerijaUmjetnina, a museum in Split, Croatia PHLOGISTON; Helios at Virgin America, Terminal 3, LAX HELIOS; and Confluence Island at 3D Gallery, Mestre, Italy CONFLUENCE.
Barbara Holub – Vienna: “Welcome Center – a Right to Space For All.” Barbara Holub and Paul Rajakovics, co-directors of transparadiso, are engaged in the establishment of a “Welcome Center” (Das Bienvenue) for new ways of cohabitation between “homebased people” and “arrivals”, developing midterm and long-term strategies, as well as concrete projects, for Vienna’s changing urban conditions due to the stream of immigrants and asylum-seeking people in Austria and Europe. Their new models combine infrastructure for housing (that take into consideration the various cultural backgrounds and what people can contribute to new ways of a communal life), jobs (taking into account legal constrictions and using artistic strategies to counteract these) and culture: based on exchange on an equal level (rather than considering the refugees “a problem”) – and what locals can learn from newly arrived people. They aim to set up a refugee camp in Vienna working with students to research needs on a 1:1 basis, develop programs based on that research, and provide creative opportunities for exchanging ideas such as http://www.kunsthauswien.com/en/events/game. They will also soon launch the “Charter for Welcome Architecture”, which will be available internationally for amendments and signature.
Renée Niño de Rivera – Torreón: “La Jabonera.” A coalition formed by the Government of Torreón, México, business men and NGOs contacted Renée Niño de Rivera to design and implement a Center, “La Jabonera” for the development of women entrepreneurs. The women in the center will receive classes and orientation on how to open and run their own businesses. The center will also impart classes on women’s health, nutrition and leadership. As proof of concept the center will run a social-impact textile business. MBA students from Columbia University’s Pangea project, Diane Wauters, Pauline Henriquez and Seth Greenbug, will collaborate with Renée in developing the financial structure of the business. As of January 11th, 2016, Renée and the MBA Columbia students will be working in Torreón, Mexico along with students from Tecnológico Torreón to start the program. (Photo: Renée – right- with civil society representative Luisa Villegas at the site where the center will be built.)
Dr. Renaud Rédien-Collot – Paris: Dr. Renaud Rédien-Collot, leads the Scientific Committee of Women Equity for Growth. His paper, Formal and informal communication in CSR communication – the case of women leaders’ high-growth entrepreneurial businesses, co-authored with Prof. Catherine Léger-Jarniou was awarded Best Paper in the Conference of the French Academy of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in May 2015. Since 2010, with the support of Bryan Garnier Partners and BNP Paribas, Women Equity for Growth has launched a unique private equity fund in the EU that identifies and ranks French high-growth entrepreneurial women-led businesses. The objectives of WEG INDEX are as follows: Documenting the investment universe; Contributing to the deal flow; Promoting women-led companies. Overview Women Equity Scientific Committee; Read more (français)
Bonnie Ora Sherk – San Francisco and Roosevelt Island: Under the leadership of Bonnie Ora Sherk, Life Frames Inc, had a spectacular 2015 of achievement and growth, working with thousands of children and youth from 7 schools in San Francisco and the Beacon school on Roosevelt Island in New York City, providing hands-on learning and ecological transformation of their schools and communities. The Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk underway since 2002, linking multiple schools, parks, public housing, streets, and other open spaces leading to the currently hidden Islais Creek, has become a strong prototype for larger vision and plan to expand it, and interconnect the 11 communities of the Islais Creek Watershed through development of new, expressive, resilient landscapes, and transformation of two currently derelict freeway interchanges into Northern and Southern Gateways to the Watershed, while systemically addressing multiple issues of climate change, flood mitigation, green skills, job training, community education, environmental justice, safety, accessibility, and other pertinent issues. A Living Library, or A.L.L., implements place-based long-term methodologies, transforming communities locally and globally, with a view to interlinking them through Green Powered Digital Gateways. http://www.alivinglibrary.org/blog/
Asst. Prof. Dr. Peri Uran – Istanbul: Co-authored with Prof. Pasquale Pasquino, eminent scholar at NYU Politics Department and at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – Centre de Théorie du Droit, Paris (CNRS), Peri Uran’s study of the role of Constitutional Courts, with a focus on Turkey, was published in the Canadian Center of Science and Education’s Journal of Politics and Law. Read more.
Xavier Xargay – Barcelona: In 2015, Dinners That Matter (DTM) a social initiative founded by Xavier Xargay to inspire and generate collaboration among diners, restaurants, businesses and local communities, celebrated its second year. Developing an extensive network of participating restaurants, diners, local institutions and foundations, on a quarterly basis, participating restaurants donate 25% of their revenues from a particular day or night to the institutions/foundations selected for that date. DTM aims to create a community, a message and a communications platform, providing awareness, financial and communications support to local organizations addressing important needs. Constituencies whose needs were addressed in 2015 included homeless people with the organization “El Chiringuito de Dios”, children with “Hospital Sant Joan de Deu”, and older persons with “Amics de la Gent Gran”. www.dinnersthatmatter.org