Meet the HuffPost Hopenhagen Ambassador

In the leadup to Copenhagen, The Huffington Post has been running a competition to find a citizen journalist to represent the growing worldwide community of people hoping for a global climate agreement known as Hopenhagen. At first only a trickle of submissions came through, but as the deadline approached, bloggers, activists and concerned citizens reached for their webcams and video recorders to stake their claim as the Hopenhagen Ambassador.

Each person was given 60 seconds to put forward their credentials. Voting for each person was then opened – with those receiving the most community votes making a final Top 10. The top 10 was then judged by a worldwide panel (of which I took part) according to originality, creativity and environmental knowledge.

Today, with the conference underway, David Kroodsma has been announced as the winner. He will spend the next week meeting key figures in the climate change debate such as Al Gore and the Mayor of Copenhagen, carrying out interviews, writing blog posts and reporting back via the HuffPost Green site. David’s winning video entry is below.

And in case you missed the other entries, you can see them all here – and you can also see the local entry from Cathie McGinn below. If you have not as yet signed up for Hopenhagen, please consider doing so – for while the focus at present is on the politics, it is up to us all to push our governments to not just reach some form of global agreement, but to carry it through.

One Wish – The Charter for Compassion

Make a wishIf you had a wish, what would it be? Would you direct it inwardly or towards others? Would it be personal or would it be communal? Would it be larger? Would your wish be transformative, transactional or fanciful? Could you name it, nail it down, write it on a sign? Is it something you could share or would it remain a personal secret? Would you wear your wish upon your sleeve or swallow it like a burning truth?

Karen Armstrong has a wish. The TED Prize winner’s wish is as follows:

I wish that you would help with the creation, launch and propagation of a Charter for Compassion, crafted by a group of leading inspirational thinkers from the three Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and based on the fundamental principles of universal justice and respect.

From this one wish a movement has been spawned. Around the world, people from all cultures and religions are coming together to affirm The Charter for Compassion. The charter:

The Golden Rule requires that we use empathy — moral imagination — to put ourselves in others’ shoes. We should act toward them as we would want them to act toward us. We should refuse, under any circumstance, to carry out actions which would cause them harm.

For me, compassion is feeling, thought and action. It is something we feel, something we consider – but perhaps most importantly, it is something we must act upon. We don’t show compassion by clicking a button, joining a cause online or digitally signing a petition. We show it by moving out of our comfort zones, stepping beyond our deeply worn paths of apathy and acting in a way that transforms (even momentarily), the life of another.

November 12 sees the launch of the Charter for Compassion and along with the celebrations and events that will be taking place around the globe to mark the launch of the Charter, a number of Australians were asked what compassion means to them. These individuals shared their time and their thoughts on compassion. But you can do more. Visit the Charter for Compassion website (or Facebook page) to learn, share and act.

Oh, and you can view the Australian video below. In order of appearance, it features: Adriano Zumbo, Cathie McGinn, Dr Stephen Saunders, Neil Perry, Melissa Leong, Barry Saunders, Mitzi Macintosh, Mark Pollard, Julie Posetti, Venerable Sujato Bhikkhu, Gavin Heaton, Reverend Raymond Minniecon, Bronwen Clune, Reverend Bill Crews, Rabbi Mendel Castell, Graham Long and Tim Burrowes.

Australians on Compassion from TED Prize on Vimeo.