An Open Letter to the IDEAS Movement 2014
Ladies & Gentlemen,
Happy New Year 2014! All over the world, students, teachers, and professionals who are part of the IDEAS Movement are returning to their campuses and workplaces looking forward to a fresh start in a New Year. Like many of you, we spent the close of 2013 reflecting on the good things this last trip around the sun had held for our organization. Together, we held habitat clean-up’s in the United States, planted forests of trees in Uganda and Togo, educated hundreds of children in Mexico on the environment, inspired students in Sri Lanka to take action, turned your ideas into action for your community in The Hive, and welcomed our first IDEAS Fellow from Liberia to our headquarters in Florida. Our efforts won awards, started dialogues on campuses, challenged the status quo, and even got a shout out from a former President of the United States of America on how cool we are.
This energy is contagious. Students and community members from around the World are lending their voice, experience, talents, and passions to make the IDEAS Movement what it is today. Our mission to advance sustainability and environmental awareness on campuses and in communities is realized more everyday. It has been an amazing six years since IDEAS was born as a concept in 2008. Despite having their requests to become an official club at the University of Central Florida turned down twice, the two co-founders and their growing student support held events, raised awareness, and took environmental action anyway. By the time they were granted status as a club on campus, the IDEAS Movement was beginning to spread student by student, campus by campus across the map. Now we are an officially accredited NGO with the United Nations, dedicated to making the World a better place.
IDEAS is about real solutions for real problems, built from the good ideas of people who want to be the change they wish to see in the World. We are not a one-size-fits-all organization, and we know that true sustainability success comes from knowing every community and campus is different.
If 2013 is any indicator for what lies ahead in 2014, we are going to have a wonderful year, and a lot of work to do. Many of you put in long hours between your classes and jobs, volunteered, and juggled your involvement with other clubs, academics, fraternities, or sororities. Many of you will choose to do this again, but I can honestly say that we have accomplished so much, from the changes you made, the lives you touched, and the solutions you shared across the World.
We are all in this together, all people across the World, old and young. Everyone deserves a future, and until sustainability in energy, water, food, waste, and ecology is assured, that future is in jeopardy for us all. Yet, if we have learned anything in these past six years of grassroots organizing, it is that everyone has something to contribute. Everyone has ideas. In 2014, I look forward to our best year yet as we continue to demonstrate that the best ideas are not for me, not for you, but IDEAS for Us. All of us.
Clayton Louis Ferrara
Executive Director of the IDEAS Movement