Natural Capitalism Solutions’ Encyclical to Action event held November 23rd and 24th, 2015 was very successful. Thank you to everyone who came and participated and especially to our sponsors for making this possible, particularly Anne Butterfield, Clean Energy Action, Bill Becker and the Presidential Climate Action Project.
Over 125 people joined us to address how we, as individuals and members of one common society, can take the Pope’s recent Encyclical and create meaningful change. The goal of this event was to bring together leaders from the business, government, and faith communities, along with the general public, to share stories of success and co-create what’s needed to make a world for 100% of humanity.
The event included moving speeches from leaders in the Faith, Business, and Government sectors:
- Bill Ritter, Governor of Colorado
- Dr. Vie Thorgren, Center for Spirituality at Work
- Dr. Richard Cizik, The New Evangelical Partnership
- Russell Greene, The Cheesecake Factory
- Michael Bowman, National Hemp Association
- Sonrisa Lucero, Denver Office of Sustainability
- Dr. Lloyd Burton, UC Denver, Insight Meditation
- Carl Daly, Region 8 Air Program, EPA
Bill Ritter discussed how the Encyclical acts as an invitation to engage in dialogue, while Russell Greene confirmed this invitation and said that the Pope is reminding us that we are all a part of something in common. We are all interconnected and therefore, all responsbile. These leaders also discussed topics ranging from: the interconnectedness of all life, what it truly means to leave a “legacy”, the need to learn to speak the language of others, and what the next steps we should take to implement the Encyclical. A roundtable setup allowed for the audience members to engage with one another and with our panel and discuss their ideas for a strategy of change and announce some calls to actions.
Hunter Lovins concluded this segment by stating “Don’t let this end, stay in conversation, with us, and with each other. Transform our city and our state.” Many did just that by reconvening with us at the Alliance Center the following morning. We invited 35 thought leaders from the business, government, faith, and NGO sectors to a working meeting on November 24, where we immediately went to work on brainstorming and crafting strategies of change and commitments.
Dozens of ideas for moving forward were created or shared at this event. Many of these ideas became realistic actionable plans. Partnerships were drafted in order to continue forward progress of creating positive impact. An overarching theme that developed was the need to engage congregations in all aspects due to their large impact both globally and within their individual communities. We agreed that the faith community is a catalyst for communications and we need to utilize this resource. A few of the major calls to action that were developed include:
- Assist additional congregations and other 501(c)3 organizations in creating an LLC for solar panels as St. Johns in Boulder did
- Generate seed funding for NCS to create a website where all sectors can collaborate, ask questions, and find resources to take the Encyclical to Action in their respective communities and businesses
- Hunter Lovins and Governor Bill Ritter to write a letter to Pope Francis explaining the impact that his Encyclical has had and the work that is resulting from this amazing document. Call on him to create a global website with calls to action
- Incorporate aspects of the Encyclical into the 2016 liturgical calendars so that each week includes a call to action for the congregation
- Create “call to action” communications, using language from the Encylical, for congregations to circulate similar to email alerts from Sierra Club, Conservation Colorado, and many others
- Cultivating the world view of youth; iMatter Youth
- Parishioners to write to politicians to renew the investment tax credit (ITC) and production tax credit (PTC)
- Spread awareness of and generate support for the Soil Manifesto
We were amazed at the enthusiasm that was present during this meeting and left with a feel of excitement and hope for what’s to come. This was just the first in a series of dialogues aimed at taking Pope Francis’ Encyclical to Action. Our work surely isn’t finished and we encourage everyone to get involved, ask questions, and join the conversation! Thank you again to all participants and our supporters.
In case you missed out, you can experience “Encyclical to Action” in the videos below!