Pro surfer, Kyle makes Thierman Campaign for Environmental and Economic Awareness
I feel like a baby kangaroo wrapped in a pouch, acquiring the nutrients I need to go into the world. This is my second year in Gaia University as an associate's degree and am currently developing a video documentary which will track a product sold in the U.S. from Sri Lanka where it was manufactured. The objective of this project is to show people the power they have to create change - every day - through increasing their awareness of the geographical origin of the products they buy and the people who make them. I'm just days to go to Sri Lanka as I write this!
I've spent the last months developing my new website, kylethiermann.com, where people can follow my adventures in Sri Lanka as it develops. I recently had the opportunity to wear this site publicly during a lecture he gave in San Francisco at the awards Peter Benchley. Peter Benchley is the person who wrote Jaws. Before he died he established a foundation dedicated to ocean activities. I received the youth award for my campaign Peter Benchley, Claim Your Change. Over 350 top ocean activists were at the event, so as imagined, was about to spontaneously combust into flames of excitement to get on the stage. It was a perfect opportunity to highlight my project Sri Lanka and point people to my new site.
The project which received the award, Claim Your Change, was inspired by a desire to help disengaged surfers to discover their power to protect the environment. Many corporations that engage in destructive projects receive their funding from central banks that use our deposits to loans. Documented as the Bank of America, one of the largest financiers of energy
coal worldwide, using deposits to fund coal-plant proposals that would destroy the health, livelihoods and local environment in Chile. I started a campaign calling for people to withdraw their money from Bank of America and open accounts in local banks to cut a major source of funding for environmentally destructive projects and also support stronger local economies. I have documented more than $ 110 million of borrowing capacity have been transferred as a result of the project.
At the awards ceremony, a major theme was the BP oil spill in the Gulf. Two days after the event was thinking about it, and suddenly, the question struck me: What banks are financing BP?
The rest of the day I investigated and discovered that Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase are banks BP! I called my mentor, Catherine Austin Fitts, and said he wanted to make a short documentary about these banks and how they are using their money to finance environmental disasters. I also wanted to show that people have the power to place their money in local banks and support projects in their own communities. Catherine loved the idea and emailed me important information for my video.
Now, just a couple of months later, has completed the video on BP. I feel it is a timely project and has the potential to make a big impact. On second thought, I feel the same about all the projects I've written here - even one that is unfolding through my action learning program with Gaia University. Click here to see the video I made for Gaia University experience ... and thanks for tuning in to my field notes