Every day, people are waking up and realizing that our planet is in need of serious healing and intervention. So many systems appear to be failing, and it seems we are facing insurmountable problems ranging from the environment, to war, to poverty, to injustice and to the global economy. Protests and civil unrest over the general condition of the human race have become commonplace, especially in recent weeks and months. Many say we need some kind of a revolution, and perhaps what we really need is a transformation of ourselves, of our society, and of our planet.

Transformation does not happen in isolation. It happens when we connect with like-minded individuals who can inspire us to build community and engage in solution-oriented action. We transform through working together, through finding knowledge, through learning, and through opening our hearts to other people and to the possibility of peace and harmony. This is why so many people are thrilled about the upcoming UPLIFT Festival, which stands for Universal Peace and Love in a Festival of Transformation. UPLIFT offers a unique space, connecting people across the world with renowned visionaries to pursue their goals for transformation and innovation

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Mark Ruffalo has just been confirmed to present an introductory video (with previously unreleased footage) for the UPLIFT Festival in Byron Bay, Australia Dec 11-14 along with other visionaries including Dr. Bruce Lipton, Lissa Rankin, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Charles Eisenstein, Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Satish Kumar, Patch Adams, Grandma Agnes, Scarlet Lewis, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Jamie Catto, Joshua Gorman and others. UPLIFT Festival has been dubbed the “Visionary TED” for bringing together diverse voices including indigenous wisdom, science, spirituality, art, and youth to dialogue together across disciplines. This is cultivating a community filled with possibilities, excitement, and solutions-oriented action. We are witnessing a growing movement of collaboration and co-creation and Uplift Festival is leading the way.  The event takes place in Bryon Bay Australia and will be streamed globally online. Please visit UPLIFT to learn more or register here for the live webcast!

Scott Smith, Chief Scientist, of Water Defense will be announcing the work and vision forWater Defense for 2015 as guided by the Founder Mark Ruffalo.  Additionally, Scott Smith and Colton Hoover Chase will participate in a live forum on Skype to announce the exciting new collaboration between Water Defense and with The Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, Unify, and Uplift Connect launching this spring in conjunction with World Water Day.   They will be taking questions via twitter during the live forum on Skype.  Water Defense will offer a fun, educational, and interactive online platform that will serve as a diagnostic tool for the health of local watersheds that also allows individuals to get involved in protecting this precious resource while holding local industry accountable.

Water Defense has an incredibly important mission, because right now we are simply not sure what kind of contaminants are in our water, or what kind of impact this might be having on us and on our planet.

From our taps to our rivers, lakes, bays and oceans, the range of contaminants in our water is increasing and there is a growing urgency to know what exactly these contaminants are, how they get into our water, and the effects they have on people and the environment. 

At Water Defense we’re working to erase this knowledge gap. We’re using the most effective technology and techniques to investigate water contamination. We’re raising awareness about the potential impacts of contamination on water quality, and on the health of our communities and ecosystems. And we’re working with partners to improve public access to information about the state of our waters nationwide.

Over the past year we’ve collected water samples at major contamination sites throughout the U.S., and held polluters’ feet to the fire. To build on this work, we are now preparing to launch a new campaign, called We Are There. The We Are There campaign is a two-year initiative consisting of water sampling and testing, informing the public about known and suspected incidents of water contamination, and building partnerships between “water defenders” everywhere. The aim is nothing less than to change the way we, as a people, protect our watersheds.” 

– Mark Ruffalo, pictured checking water in the Charles River

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To pursue this mission, Water Defense has partnered with the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation a non-profit organization committed to improving environmental health by funding cutting edge science for many years. Their goal is to bridge the gap between the scientific community and the general public by creating a technology platform that will bring together the large amount of scientific data and present it in an easily understandable way. According to Colton H. Chase, Vice Chairman of the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, “We envision that this tool will encourage learning and action in the sphere.”

During the summer of 2012, Herbert W Hoover funding allowed Kent State University at Stark to lead an unprecedented consortium of colleges, universities, watershed partners, government agencies, and the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA). This groundbreaking collaboration has brought together faculty and students at educational institutions and facilitated communication between these institutions and various regulatory agencies and treatment facilities concerning water and other environmental issues, allowing for the creation of a database and increasing understandings and workings of a watershed.

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According to Dr. Edith Widder, internationally recognized deep-sea explorer and co-founder of ORCA, “one of the biggest problems we are facing right now in terms of water pollution is that it is invisible.” In her work, she has used bioluminescent bacteria to test the sediment levels and determine the level of water contamination in certain areas. You can view a short video of her work in this article.

In September, Unify.org created an interactive map world peace day. They hope to apply this same online technology platform to creating a world map for water for the upcoming #lovewater campaign which culminates on March 22nd 2015 with a global webcast.

Unify started as an organization that hosts globally synchronized meditations and gatherings with a focused intention on healing our planet and recognizing our shared humanity. This grew into a global network of individuals passionate about creating positive change in addition to regular synchronized meditations. In 2013 with the blessing of indigenous elders, Unify began campaigning to organize a global meditation on World Water Day called #lovewater. The campaign was infused with the desire to bring together solutions to water issues as a foundation for recognizing our shared unity as a people.

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We are made of water, we drink the same water, and what we do to water we do to ourselves and all of life. With so many great individuals and organizations doing great work for our waters, Unify has been using their large social media following and global network to shed a light on this important and hopeful work. The #lovewater video is narrated by 13-year old native youth, Ta’Kaiya Blaney and was featured on Upworthy and in Huffington Post.

It is hoped that through this visionary partnership between Water Defense, The Herbert Hoover Foundation, Uplift Connect and Unify, we will we soon have a more comprehensive picture of the contaminants in our water, how they get into our water, and their effects upon human beings and our environment. This project shows that through education, inspiration and transformational leadership, it is possible to enhance people’s lives and protect our environment. How will you make a difference? Would you like to get involved? For four days of inspiring, visionary content, join the UPLIFT festival webcast from December 11-14th here. Register now and receive a free 3-hour ticket just for singing up!

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Universal Peace and Love in a Festival of Transformation !

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Kelly Neff is a social psychologist, author and educator who has helped thousands of people learn about health, relationships, love and sexuality. She has just signed on to host Lucid Planet Radio, a globally syndicated weekly talk radio program which debuts on the Transformation Talk Radio network in 2015. Dr. Neff holds a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown and M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. A professor of psychology since 2007, she has become an innovator in the field of online teaching with her book, Teaching Psychology Online. When she isn’t writing, teaching or doing healing work from her home in Boulder, CO, Dr. Neff travels the globe researching transformational festivals for her upcoming book for the Festival Research Project. She is currently a contributing author to The Mind Unleashed. You can find her daily doses of inspiration and positivity on Facebook and Twitter. Light and Love!