There are several key global issues of our day that require constant advocacy and dialogue to ensure that we as a nation and as a global community are doing our utmost to make the world a better place for the next generations. I believe that some of these issues are: Food Security, Education, Environment-Energy, Economics, Democracy- Development, and Self Help, or FEEEDS.
What does FEEEDS/FE3DS® mean?
-- Food Security - meaning availability and access to not just food but nutritional food;
-- Education - representing the entire range of education from knowledge learning to knowledge management to knowledge usage, which also includes training, retraining , entrepreneurship (SMEs), and formal education;
-- Environment-Energy - enabling environments for communities to thrive, as well as a focus and realization of the importance of renewable energy and alternative energy resources;
-- Economics - enhancing living wages, and on the macro level, ensuring governments, and community leaderships manage budgets and tax payer dollars not only effectively, but efficiently in order to address social service needs;
-- Democracy-Development - linking these two symbiotic issues are key to improving life-quality, especially for people of color; and,
--Self-Help - realizing that identity for anyone provides self esteem, but for nations and people of color this also represents both power and empowerment.
In Pursuit of Change:
What and how do we proceed in communicating or educating our diverse world population (now@7 billion) on the challenges of these global human FEEEDS® issues? How do we overcome or shift the paradigms that have been pre-scripted for our families, our communities, and for some nations? There are things that are pre-destined, but the negatives on FEEEDS® are not; thus we can help change these negatives.
Let's begin with communicating and educating about the challenges:
Food Security: Most of the world population, particularly of color, and especially women and children, fail to get enough nutritional food to eat every single day. Most of us have heard the adage that many things in life are about "quality not quantity;" thus, this adage also applies to food security. There is a lack of consumption of the key food groups not just daily, but at every meal for many global communities. What we seem to be missing is the focus on and access to good nutrition. The examples seen around the world in communities, particularly those of color are similar as regards to food security, with the seminal issue being: access to nutritional food.
The FEEEDS/FE3DS® Enabling Platforms: What are they?
1.) Education: Although many global challenges are connected to FEEEDS/FE3DS®, the way forward on many issues is education, specifically training (also vocational), retraining, formal education, entrepreneurship (SMEs), knowledge sharing, usage and management, discussion, and creative and enterprising development and design solutions, particularly for youth and women. We need to think of education as our new Frontier Enterprise where dynamic development design strategies are created to respond to FEEEDS. Education is not static, and includes more than just basic and/or formal education.
2.) Environment-Energy: These two issues are linked, and we should focus on the need to improve both sectors. Simply put -- they are symbiotic and affect quality of life. Here community is being used in the big "C" sense -- meaning at the family, local, state and sovereign levels. The environment is both where you live, and how you live in your community. Where one lives must provide an "enabling atmosphere" where one feels safe and confident to thrive as a person or a culture. We must also take the responsibility to treat the living nature around us with more respect. This includes using and advocating for renewable energy, particularly using alternative resources for daily living. Here knowledge sharing will be important even on the simple things like knowing which action is greener than another. Here is a simple test: Is plastic or glass recycling greener; is flying at night greener than day flying; and, is wearing organic cotton greener than wearing recycled bamboo? (answers appear at the end.)
3.) Economics: Economics plays a key role in everything -- personal, family, community, and government. If the economic sure-footing is not present then it detracts from progress, vision and future planning. Enhancing living wages, ensuring government leaderships manage budgets and tax payer monies effectively and efficiently to address social service needs -- are part of the fundamentals. A reliable, stable economic environment is not only empowering, but powerful and is a pillar of both a strong government, and personal identity, where self-reliance and self-esteem are the order of the day.
4.) Development-Democracy: There is also a linkage of these two themes because democracy -- as defined as transparent rules, regulations, stable institutions, and equal access to social services -- are a "must-have" to develop communities and address global human values, and improve life-quality -- all hallmarks of democracy.
5.) Self-Help: Self-help, a pillar of leadership, is the center-beam. Countries should not always want (or expect) outsiders to always provide, guide, direct, or frame (meaning explain and resolve through their world lens) what the responses to FEEEDS® are. These issues for many nations will need to be driven by country-specific self-help by way of innovative, creative, and sometimes culturally-specific means.
Green answers: Recycled glass over plastic requires less energy as recycled plastic continues to degrade in quality; flying during the day; organic cotton over bamboo (Source Washington D.C. NBC local news 9/25/2011).