Category Archives: Uncategorized

IDEAS For Us launches new website!

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 12.44.13 PMSEPTEMBER 2013 — IDEAS For Us has recently launched a new and improved IDEAS website, providing tools and resources to chapter leaders. A few of the new features include:

  • IDEAS Wiki: a database of resources, contacts and chapter pages
  • IDEAS For Job: a new career center for internships and Green job opportunities
  • IDEAS Blog: an opportunity to share success stories across the movement
  • IDEAS Events: a collection of events across the movement

In the coming months we will be rolling out new features, including a Project Platform and E-commerce section, and more!

A big thanks to Chelsea Liggatt, Ryan Harrigan and the IDEAS Web Team for an incredible website development and we look forward to the future of IDEAS.

Visit us at: IDEASforUs.org

Summer Heat launches the ‘Fossil Free Friday’ series

This August, IDEAS chapters in Central Florida and community program, The Hive Orlando, will be focusing on a month long campaign called SUMMER HEAT, in partnerships with 350.org, U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce, Keep Seminole Beautiful, First Green Bank and Wekiva Island, among many others.

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Join us all month long for  the IDEAS FOSSIL FREE FRIDAYS! Each Friday in August will be dedicated to clean energy and saying goodbye to fossil fuels.

Here’s the line up:

Aug. 2: Drink Beer, Talk Climate :: 5:30-9:30pm @ Wekiva Island
Speakeasy roundtable event to discuss the state of our climate

Aug. 7: THE HIVE ORLANDO – #ReThink Energy :: 6:30-8:30pm @ Urban ReThink
Speakeasy roundtable event to discuss the state of our climate

Aug. 9th: SWITCH movie Screening :: 5:30-9:30pm @ Wekiva Island
Outdoor movie event and a panel discussion with local energy leaders

Aug. 16th: 6MW Solar Farm Tour :: 9:00am @ OUC Solar Farm
Get an exclusive tour of the first solar farm in Orange County that is generating enough renewable energy to power 600 homes throughout Orlando.
Only 30 lucky guest will be able to attend. SIGN UP NOW! http://ideassolarfarmtour.eventbrite.com/

Aug. 23rd: Lead The Charge — Eco Car Show :: 5:30-9:30pm @ Wekiva Island
View some of the most fuel efficient, eco-friendly vehicles on the market

Lead The Charge

Please spread the word, bring your friends, and come join the fun!
For any questions, please contact us at Think@ideasforus.org.

IDEAS For Us

President Clinton Congratulates #IDEAS in the 2013 UCF Graduation Commencment

Former President Bill Clinton receives an honorary degree from UCF and recognizes IDEAS in his keynote speech for the 2013 Graduates.  May 2, 2013

Former President Bill Clinton receives an honorary degree from UCF and recognizes IDEAS in his keynote speech for the 2013 Graduates. May 2, 2013

To the members of the IDEAS Movement & our fellow Environmental Supporters,

It is a pleasure to reach out to you today with some incredible news. This past week, on May 2nd, former President Bill Clinton gave an inspiring speech as the keynote speaker for the 2013 University of Central Florida graduation ceremony; and by complete surprise, ended by recognizing IDEAS and our collective impacts since our inception in 2008 and engagement with the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) in 2010
He spoke about the opportunity and responsibility all young people have before them in the 21st Century, and indeed he is right – people under 30 are 50% of the global population and we have a lot of challenges ahead of us. Clinton also said, “No matter how smart we are, how righteous we are, how close to the truth we are, we all do better when we work together, when we share prosperity, when we share responsibilities, when we share membership in the community”.
UCF Today writes an article on President Clinton's speech for the 50th anniversary graduation at UCF.

UCF Today writes an article on President Clinton’s speech for the 50th anniversary graduation at UCF.

For the past five years, IDEAS has gotten where it is today because of people like you. Whether you have volunteered for us in an action project or you have taken part in sustainability in your own way, IDEAS is here today because of our collective actions we’re all making in our own community.
The Video below is footage of his speech. At 22:40 seconds, President Bill Clinton begins to introduce the movement by peaking about DJ Chill Will for his efforts at CGI U this past year, raising awareness about Solar-power and its creative capabilities. He then recognizes the founders of IDEAS, Chris Castro & Henry Harding, and personally congratulates them on what began at UCF in 2008 as a club dedicated to Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions. He goes on to speak about how IDEAS has now become IDEAS For Us and grown into a United Nations Accredited NGO, with a presence around the World in Africa, South America and Asia.
Please have a look and feel free to share this milestone through your network. This is just the beginning of our positive impacts in the World.
Clayton Ferarra
National Science Director
SE Regional Director

Uganda Youth take Action for ‘World Forest Day 2013′

Makerere University leaders of IDEAS join partner organizations for the World Forest Day 2013

Makerere University leaders of IDEAS join partner organizations for the World Forest Day 2013

To make up for the world’s loss of trees in the past decade, we would need to plant 1.3 million square kilometers, an area as large as Peru. Accomplishing that would mean planting about 14 billion trees every year for 10 years in a row ~ UNEP

The World Forest Day 2013 that took place on 23rd march 2013 was held at the school of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Makerere University. It was organized by the Forestry Association Makerere University (FAMU) in conjunction with ‘IDEAS For Uganda’ chapter at Makerere, Environment Alert, National Forestry Authority (NFA) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

179070_169098909910820_1884243755_n  550052_169109479909763_1363719887_nThe World Forest Day was organized under the theme Forests and Trees, Our Life, Our future”Over 350 students in the college of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (Forestry, Tourism, Agricultural and Environmental students) attended the function and official from the CAES, IDEAS, NFA, UWA, and Environmental Alert.

The activities for the day were a massive “Forest March” to Mulago National Referral hospital, engaging youth in chants about the importance of our forest and natural lands; Tree planting at the hospital; and finally a dialog at the School of Forestry and Nature Conservation.

The 1st tree planted in Uganda by IDEAS leaders

The 1st tree planted in Uganda by IDEAS leaders

Read more about the World Forest Day event HERE.

Matovu Paul
Makerere University
IDEAS For Uganda

IDEAS For Mexico: American Academy Celebrates Earth Day 2013

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K-12 Students at American Academy celebrate Earth Day 2013, and the launch of our newest IDEAS chapters in Mexico.

American Academy has done it!  To celebrate our recent incorporation to IDEAS, as an international chapter in Mexico, we held on March 13, 2013 an Earth Day where grades sixth to ninth conveyed ecological awareness to their peers from lower elementary. They presented information to educate our school community on environmental issues such as water and air pollution and how we can help alleviate them. It was also a good way to find out about issues and the solutions that are being implemented in the Guadalajara area, where our school is located.  In order to achieve this, we got statistics from our local government and organized field-trips to investigate more deeply about the topics that were presented and discussed.

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In addition, we have become active in the solutions to help the environment within our community by recycling paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, making compos using organic waste from our cafeteria, and we planted a small orchard. We’ll make sure that we will not lose this momentum. We have begun something that we cannot stop. We are now getting ready for our next projects in the field of “Water and Energy Conservation” where we intend to launch the  “Kill-A-Watt” project, which is an ‘IDEAS for Us’ initiative.

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At American Academy K-9 we are rolling our sleeves to make sure as educators we facilitate our youth with the information and proper skills, not only to realize the urgent need for a change in the way we interact and abuse our natural resources, but also to get involved and be part of the solution. It is our responsibility to make them responsible citizens of the Planet.

Lionel Patiño
Executive Director, American Academy
IDEAS For Mexico

Central Florida leaders unite to ‘Act Up Wekiva’

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April 7th, 2013, Wekiva River, FL – Building off momentum from the “Speak Up Wekiva” event, held by the Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) and others in February 2013, IDEAS leaders in Central Florida decided to take the next steps to engage citizens in a community action project called “ACT UP WEKIVA“!

Early Sunday morning, 40+ leaders in Central Florida took #Action to remove trash, litter and aquatic invasive species from the Little Wekiva River on a canoe clean-up expedition, down a natural tributary of the greater Wekiva River.

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A special thanks to Deborah Shelly, Mary Sue Weinaug and our friends who joined us from Sierra Club, First Green Bank, FL Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), Wekiva Island, Wekiva River Aquatics Preserve, local IDEAS chapters and others in Central Florida! #ActionCFL #TheHiveOrlando

IDEAS Becomes MyWorld-2015 Partner

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 9.12.28 AMApril 11, 2012: My World 2015 is a global survey for citizens led by the United Nations and partners. It aims to capture people’s voices, priorities and views, so that global leaders can be informed as they begin the process of defining the new development agenda for the world. The survey itself involves choosing 6 out of 16 potential goals and issues, including sustainability, security, governance and transparency.

IDEAS is now working with the MY World team as an official partner to spread the word on how much this simple survey can impact the goals of the United Nations. Votes will be collected to be presented to the Secretary General´s High Level Panel for Post-2015 in May, and continue to be used through 2015 for important input into the priorities of UN development goals.

You can vote specifically through IDEAS at: http://ideas.myworld2015.org

Andrea Berdusco
IDEAS For UM

Bike-powered Blender Stirs Up Awareness at TEDxUF

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TedXUF was all about pursing passion this past year, and people surely showed their passion about our bike-powered ice cream blending machine! We got there and set up before the doors opened for the Lab. We quickly started setting up our table, making sure that our name I.D.E.A.S. for UF was seen in a memorable light.
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At around 10am people started trickling and they were really surprised when they realized that the blender was powered by the bike! I’m not sure if some just thought it was a decorative item, but their delight was obvious when we said they could pick out their ice cream mix ins. Before the talks began, we started getting a massive rush of TedX visitors who wanted to try out the bike. I could barely keep up with taking pictures, but I did get a good amount of them.

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Before we knew it, we ran out of ice cream and all the toppings right around the lunch break; and we had to put in water with sprinkles to keep showing off the blending power of the bike. All in all, we didn’t anticipate having over 1000 people try out our bike, but the passion this time around was easy to see. It is always great to show off innovative ideas for the future. We hope to be out again next year!

Jennifer Winter
IDEAS For UF

IDEAS Sheds A New Light on Cultural Diplomacy

Attention IDEAS:
This is Chris Stampar, Director of International Development for IDEAS. I just got back from a killer trip with Co-Founder Chris Castro and Innovations Think Tank Founder, Julian Belilty, to Berlin, Germany. We recently were given an incredible opportunity to travel to Europe to give a keynote speech and sit on a Panel discussion at the 2013 Berlin International Economics Congress!
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My portion of the presentation focused on IDEAS, and how we have implemented #ACTION with our members from around the world. We had a bit of an epiphany while we were there, that has really reshaped how we see the work we do with IDEAS on a daily basis. The conference was hosted by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD), so naturally, the founder of the organization spoke much about this topic. Then we realized, cultural diplomacy is in fact what we have been practicing in IDEAS all along, we just didn’t know it. Everyday that I spend time talking with friends in IDEAS Chapters in Uganda or Cambodia, or go out after work with new friends at a conference, that is all time spent putting cultural diplomacy into practice. We learn about each others cultures, our work, passions, dreams, issues.
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We made some great friends at a variety of UN conferences last year, we started hanging out, talking on line when we got back home, and then kept working together to expand the IDEAS movement! Forming partnerships, starting new chapters, all of which is the foundation for the ACTION we’ve started to implement across the world.
So next time your online chatting with friends, or meet someone new in another country, remember that its cultural diplomacy in action! Take the opportunity to ask questions, learn something new, make a great new friend, and do something amazing to change the World!
Chris Stampar
Director of International Development, IDEAS For Us

‘Speak Up Wekiva’ Unites Environmental Leaders in Central Florida

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On February 16th, IDEAS leaders in Central Florida united with Senator Bob Graham, Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine, the Florida Conservation Coalition, Friends of the Wekiva River, League of Women Voters of Florida, Sierra Club and other environmental orgs to rally at Wekiwa Springs State Park to raise awareness about the need to restore the impaired Wekiva River, the troubled springs that feed it, and all of Florida’s treasured waterways.

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“Water is the lifeblood of Florida,” said Senator Bob Graham (above), a longtime environmental advocate who founded the bipartisan FCC with other conservationists in 2011. “It ties our state together, provides untold recreational opportunities and draws millions of visitors each year to our state, supporting jobs and economic growth. The pollution and usage issues affecting every facet of our water supply are serious and immediate, and we must address them in order to protect our heritage and preserve our quality of life.”

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IDEAS participated in the Tabling Expo at the event to educate others about the Wekiva River Basin and collect signed petitions to reduce fertilizers and TMDL’s for Florida lawns throughout the State. At the end of March 2013, organizations will also be coming back together for the ‘Act Up Wekiva’ event to continue the momentum of raising our voices, and taking action to save one of Florida’s treasurers!