News From PF Network
posted Jun 30, 1998Dear Readers
Please join me in welcoming Frances F. Korten, new executive director of the Positive Futures Network, the publisher of Yes! Fran joined us on April 1, after 20 years at the Ford Foundation, where she funded sustainability innovations in Asia and the US. Even before arriving here, she and her husband, David Korten, were representing PFN at conferences on topics ranging from voluntary simplicity to alternative economics, and introducing their global network to Yes!
Fran's depth of knowledge, international contacts, commitment, and leadership represent a new level of capability for this young, but growing organization. (Please see Fran's column.)
What goes into Yes!
People often ask how we choose issue themes and articles for Yes! Our coverage ranges from the personal to political; from the local to the global; and features well-known contributors and emerging writers. How do we choose what to include?
We begin with the observation that all natural and human systems are in crisis or transition, from communities, government, and education to wetlands and rain forests. Particularly troublesome:
We are conducting a global experiment with the life-support capacity of the Earth. Global climate change; the widespread dispersal of chemicals that disrupt human and wildlife reproduction; soil, forest, and aquifer depletion; and species extinctions are signs that our ways of life are far from sustainable.
People of all classes are experiencing the tearing of the social fabric that accompanies growing inequality - 450 billionaires now control the same resources as half of humanity.
People are finding the values of the industrial/consumer culture to be unsatisfying; the spread of this culture undermines the values of rich and sometimes ancient cultures in the US and around the world.
Our main focus with YES!, however, is not to dwell on these crises. Instead, using these crises as backdrops, we search out stories that address their root causes - stories of emerging ideas and experiments, new types of economics and institutions, and creative ways of living that add up to possibilities for a new society.
Remarkably, we often find that the best solutions in any one of these areas also offer solutions for others. This is not a coincidence. The most creative work we've found isn't just about sustainability, or just about respecting and valuing ALL people, or just about becoming our most authentic selves. It is about all of these.
Sarah van Gelder
As of this issue, YES! is being printed by Hemlock Printers, just north of us in Vancouver, British Columbia. Hemlock specializes in high-quality, environmentally sensitive printing. This issue is printed on 100 percent recycled paper (30 percent post-consumer) that is 100 percent elemental and process chlorine-free. Hemlock uses inks that are free from petroleum distillates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Their waste solvents and pigments are recycled.
This issue also marks the first time we've taken advantage of an exciting new technology that involves producing the plates used for printing directly from computer files. By eliminating the production of film, which normally is used to create the plates, both type and graphics should be sharper.
There are environmental benefits to this technology as well. Since we bypass the film stage, we save the use of the silver normally used with film (which can be recycled) and plastics (which in this case cannot be recovered and recycled). The aluminum plates are completely recyclable; they are exposed and processed thermally rather than chemically, so the waste is essentially water. Because the computer-to-plate technique is more accurate, there is 40 percent less paper wastage during an average print run.
We're grateful to our designers, Chris and Allen Matsumoto, and to Hemlock for helping us make this leap to higher quality, more sustainable printing.
If you are a YES! subscriber, you probably received a letter from us recently asking for your support. As you know, we rely on donations as well as subscriptions to meet the costs of producing YES!
If you haven't already, please consider sending a contribution. You can send in the reply card you received or call 800/937-4451 during West Coast business hours. If you've already sent in your contribution or gift subscriptions, thanks for your support!
The upcoming issue of YES! will look at efforts to build peace between those in deep conflict.
We're looking for stories on bridge-building between ethnic and racial groups, former enemies, criminal offenders and their victims, men and women, and others. Send your stories, leads, and ideas to the address on this page.
We have filled our intern positions for the summer but are seeking applicants for fall and beyond. You needn't be a student - anyone willing to offer time and skills on a part-time to full-time basis here in our office on Bainbridge Island is welcome to apply. Interns help with editorial work, Web site development, outreach, and organizational development. Write to Tracy Rysavy here at PFN or check our Web site for details.
Our newest partner organization, Sustainable America, held its 2nd annual General Assembly in Portland, Oregon, May 28th-31st.
The gathering included reports on regional initiatives for sustainable economic development, "schmoozing salons" for participants to meet and exchange ideas, strategy forums, plenaries on movement building, community economics, and money and capital.
Editor's note 1/23/03: Unfortunately the Sustainable America organization no longer exists.
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