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ICGC’s “Geodesigning the Future We Want” Cocktail Soiree




The Institute for Conscious Global Change (ICGC) held our First Annual Spring Cocktail Soiree on Friday, April 25th 2014. The event was hosted on the 19th Floor of the Tribeca Park building (400 Chambers St, Tribeca Park, NY, NY).  The gorgeous venue provided attendees with a beautiful outdoor terrace and a spectacular view of the city.


Titled, “Geodesigning the Future We Want”, the intimate meet and greet was attended by members of the organization, guests and long time supporters.


Attendees had a wonderful time as they sipped wine and snacked on delicious fingers foods while networking and discussing the organization’s work and our GIS based approach to sustainable development.  


The evening culminated with a message from ICGC’s CEO Ms. Etta Jackson, who’s message and affirmation of ICGC’s work and future, left the room engaged and excited about what is next to come.  


Ending on a high note, patrons left looking forward to the organization’s future work.


We look forward to future events and hope to see you all there as we strive to “Put Equity On The Map”.

To see more pictures please visit our Facebook Gallery here!


International Freight Forwarding Group A

International Freight Forwarding Group Advises the #UN to Accept More #Logistics Industry Input #Post2015 #SDGs #MDGs

Press Release – The Institute for Conscious Global Change Honored as 2013 Top-Rated Non Profit

For Immediate Release: 

Media Contact
Etta D. Jackson, Founder/CEO
Phone:  212-810-0038



New Award is Based on Positive Online Reviews

New York, NY;  October 22, 2013 – The Institute for Conscious Global Change announced today that it has been honored with the prestigious 2013 Top-Rated Award by, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

We are excited to be named a Top-Rated 2013 Nonprofit,” says Etta D. Jackson, Founder/CEO, The Institute for Conscious Global Change. “We are proud of our accomplishments this year, including the launch of our Millennium Earth Project: A Visual Framework for Sustainable Development and also the establishment of our Youth Department—Youth Advocates for Sustainability (YAS)”.

The Institute for Conscious Global Change’s Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients. The overwhelmingly positive commentary made the Institute for Conscious Global Change a real contender this year.

While the Top-Rated Awards run through the end of October, The Institute for Conscious Global Change was part of the inaugural group to qualify for the year.

“Savvy donors want to see the impact of their donations more than ever,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “People with direct experience with The Institute for Conscious Global Change have voted that the organization is making a real difference.”

Being on the Top-Rated list gives donors and volunteers more confidence that this is a credible organization.  The reviews by volunteers, clients and other donors show the on-the-ground results of this nonprofit.  This award is a form of recognition by the community.

The Institute for Conscious Global Change, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit civil society NGO organization with Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in the United Nations. The institute’s mission is a part of the United Nations focus on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and emerging Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Geographic Information Systems.

About GreatNonprofits

GreatNonprofits is the leading site for donors and volunteers to find reviews and ratings of nonprofits. Reviews on the site influence 30 million donation decisions a year.


Post-2015 Goals

The UN Panel on Post-2015 goals recently wrapped up with a report that outlined 12 highly-anticipated universal goals (which are listed below).  Additionally there were 54 associated targets created to assist the goals developing into practical outcomes:

  1. End poverty
  2. Empower girls and women and achieve gender equality
  3. Provide quality education and lifelong learning
  4. Ensure healthy lives
  5. Ensure food security and good nutrition
  6. Achieve universal access to water and sanitation
  7. Secure sustainable energy
  8. Create jobs, sustainable livelihoods, and equitable growth
  9. Manage natural resource assets sustainably
  10. Ensure good governance and effective institutions
  11. Ensure stable and peaceful societies
  12. Create a global enabling environment and catalyze long-term finance.

The report also outlined five transformative societal shifts needed in order to create an environment in which achieving the goals and  targets would be possible:

  1. Leave no one behind: “We must ensure that no person — regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status — is denied basic economic opportunities and human rights.”
  2. Put sustainable development at the core: “We must make a rapid shift to sustainable patterns of production and consumption, with developed countries in the lead. We must act now to slow the alarming pace of climate change and environmental degradation, which pose unprecedented threats to humanity.”
  3. Transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth: “A profound economic transformation can end extreme poverty and promote sustainable development, improving livelihoods, by harnessing innovation, technology, and the potential of business. More diversified economies, with equal opportunities for all, can drive social inclusion, especially for young people, and foster respect for the environment.”
  4. Build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all: “Freedom from violence, conflict, and oppression is essential to human existence, and the foundation for building peaceful and prosperous societies. We are calling for a fundamental shift — to recognize peace and good governance as a core element of wellbeing, not an optional extra.”
  5. Forge a global partnership: “A new spirit of solidarity, cooperation, and mutual accountability must underpin the post-2015 agenda. This new partnership should be built on our shared humanity, and based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.” 

Water and Sustainable Agriculture -Third Open Working Group Session


The Open Working Group’s third session held May 22nd – 24th focused primarily on the key issues of water and rural poverty. Expert panelists, UN heads and country representatives came together to discuss these aforementioned topics in depth as the UN looked to push forward the post+2015 agenda. Water was highlighted and recommended as a fourth SDG by panellists Dr. Letitia Obeng, Dr. Rabi Mohtar and UN Water Chair Dr. Zafar Adeel who also discussed water and sustainable agriculture during a heated panel discussion.

Sustainable Agriculture

Stats highlighted included that the half a billion small farms (and the up to 2.5 billion people on these farms), which currently uses 70% of available fresh water and 38% of the earth’s land. The discussion made a case for why sustainable agriculture needs to be a priority as the resources are being used up too fast. Proposed target goals, which need to be put in place included the dissemination of information, education and management to avoid such things as soil degradation.  Additionally, farmers need jobs and buyers in the market overall.

The discussion continued on to market access and subsidies which are equally as important. There is an immediate need to look at how to give farmers a fair access to the market.  As such, it is vital that Countries decide on their own agricultural policies.

This would undoubtedly lead to Increased productivity and income for small farmers which include a growing number of women (which also contributes to women and girls’ empowerment).  Additionally, priorities need to be given to smaller farmers and family based famers as they tend to be better Stewarts of the earth.

In the example of Niger, through little outside help, increasd education and by providing increased technical understanding, the country created a 16% regeneration of their drylands. The government also changed policies to increase incentives for farmers which played an important role in the regeneration.

To achieve sustainable development, experts strongly recommended that roadmaps and aforementioned targets should be organized at the country and decided by all the stakeholders.

Dennis Garrity the UNCCD Ambassador indicated much of land regeneration’s success comes from bottom up participatory approach. The problem is many government and private interests think they know better then the actual farmers. But change only occurs when local farmers and communities see success nearby and learn, adapt and employ the new found lessons.

So based on what we’ve seen, it becomes crucial that we see food security, nutrition, agriculture, land degradation as part of one system: A Sustainable Agriculture Development goal.


Water although a significant factor in agriculture is being positioned as its own critical sustainable development goal. Expert Rabi Mohtar highlighted water at the OWG citing discussions from the Cup 18 and the Rio +20 meetings.
 What experts overall have found is that according to current water use patterns, “We” will need 40% more new water in next 15 years – and need  40 percent more energy.  There’s also a 50 % increased need in food.  And we most sub tropical areas they’re will be 15-20% less water. Undoubtedly, a dangerous head on crash is emerging. Mohtar has since recommended a global water hub or established watermark for economic social political good. This would help coordinate the tools needed to manage and plan water resources and risk management strategies.  With rising populations in developing countries and increased pollution of fresh water basins, immediate action is required now.

Another reason in calling for water as an SDG is its far reaching impact and positioning across the MDGs. Because of this complex relationship water has never significantly or effectively been addressed. And this change must be lead by nations.  Obeng expressed that development work surrounding water was only significantly achieved when government stepped in and forced relevant stakeholders to sit down. Governmental leadership is crucial as many countries now have routine flooding and cannot handle the increased weather changes, situations and catastrophes.

In addition to this, government and politicians at the highest level are being called upon to orchestrate solutions surrounding water because it is so multifaceted. Water is tied to such factors as Population, urbanization, climate change and policy. Possible water targets would include:
Sanitation, water supply, hygiene, water management, pollution and risk management to name a few. Water/sewage (sanitation) was listed as very important.

Youth Assembly Panel


     ICGC recently attended the UN’s Annual Youth Assembly Conference as guests on the Youth Leadership and Academic Development panel.  The overall conference focused on Young Professionals, New Technology, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and Social Entrepreneurship within the context of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The February 1st session outlined opportunities in the field for youth within the context of the MDGs.

     ICGC’s Chief Operating Officer Sienna J Dutkowski spoke on behalf of the organization. She shared her experiences in the development field and how through creating technologically innovative solutions to the world’s development challenges, ICGC is an example of a youth driven organization.  Other guest panelists included Joyce Moy, Professor at City University of New York’s (CUNY) & Executive Director of CUNY’s Asian American/Asian Research Institute and Cosmo Fujiyama, NYU Reynolds Fellow and co-founder of Students Helping Honduras. They delivered an equally powerful argument on youth empowerment and self-initiated action plans for change within development.  Overall, the session and the panel discussions were a tremendous success and it was evident that students left the room feeling reinvigorated and inspired.

What is CADD Technology?


How is CADD used in Engineering, Architecture, Urban Design and Planning? 

     Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD) replaced hand drafting for designing in the 1990s. In the past, architects, engineers and master planners drafted their ideas into beautiful plans and renderings. This was a time consuming process; one that did not easily allow for many mistakes or modifications. Older architects reminisce about the times in which they were required to spend 2 hours per day for several months practicing lettering and line weights before they were allowed to touch an actual set of plans.


     Today, we can watch a video which flies through a future building or master plan before it has even been constructed. Almost like a movie, it allows us to experience the transformation of our world. Citizens can participate in the planning and design process more actively.

      It shows us how our environment accommodates social, environmental and economic transactions. We can predict the way water will move from one point to another. There are methods to show us where a building is losing heat. CADD allows us to incorporate more information and data (for example, traffic, weather patterns and sun radiation) to build more effectively thus reducing waste and cost.  In addition, you can simultaneously integrate various disciplines together which  makes it faster and easier to modify the design and/ or fix mistakes, all by a simple click of a button.

     CADD technology allows for the study of terrain, data, patterns and processes in various scales: a small house, city block, neighborhood, city proper and region. We can simulate different scenarios at larger scales within a shorter period of time. Clients can receive a PDF of their design plan on their smart phone and send their comments as fast as they received it.  The art of manually drawing plans will soon become a memory for too many, and a non-existent skill for others.

     CADD enables us to keep up with the large amounts of data that is available on the internet and to build intelligent buildings- responsive to the people inhabiting them as well as giving back to the environment. It is a fast-paced world, with a fast moving mouse!


MDGs PROGRESS: News related to report of 2012 MDGs progress and challenges from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).


  • Projected estimates indicate that the global poverty rate of $1.25 a day fell in 2010 to less than half the 1990 rate.  If this is true, the first target of the MDGs—cutting the extreme poverty rate to half its 1990 level—will be achieved globally well ahead of 2015.
  • Also, the target of reducing by half – the number of people without access to safe drinking water was also met by 2010, with the proportion of people using an improved water source rising from 76 per cent in 1990 to 89 per cent in 2010.  Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells.
  • Many countries facing challenging obstacles have made significant strides towards universal primary education. Enrollment rates for primary schools increased remarkably in sub-Saharan Africa, from 58 to 76 per cent between 1999 and 2010.
  • Global malaria deaths have declined by 17 percent since 2000. Over the same period, malaria related mortality rates have declined by 25 percent.             

Despite these gains, there is still a lot of work to be done.

  • Progress has stalled for MDGs after multiple world crises occurred between 2008-2009.  In fact, the goal to decrease maternal mortality by 2015 is modest at best along with the slow decline in adolescent pregnancies and increased access to contraceptives.
  • Claims of improved water sources met by 2010, apply disproportionately to urban populations; improved water sources remain low in rural areas.  Nearly half of the population in developing regions—2.5 billion—still lacks access to improved sanitation facilities.  By 2015, the world will have reached only sixty-seven (67) percent coverage, well short of the 75 percent needed to achieve the MDG target.
  • Gender inequality persists and women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work and economic assets, and participation in government.  Violence against women continues to undermine efforts to reach all goals.  Further progress to 2015 and beyond will largely depend on success on these interrelated challenges
  • The most recent estimates of undernourishment set the mark at 850 million people living in hunger around the world between 2006-2008. This number makes up 15.5 percent of the world population.  This continuing high level reflects the lack of progress on hunger in several regions, even as income poverty has decreased.

For more information please visit:

Department of Economic and Social Affairs:\

United Nations MDG Progress Report 
*ICGC will continue to highlight MDGs progress in upcoming newsletters and blogposts.

GIS & MEP: Why GIS Works For Us


Click on image or this caption for a Saint Raphael (Haiti) Interactive Map

     The Institute for Conscious Global Change, Inc (ICGC) has an innovative and revolutionary plan to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) post 2015.  The objective of the “Millennium Earth Project” (MEP) is to construct a virtual globe to act as an online library of maps and 3D infrastructure models. Initially Millennium Earth will focus on the 49 least developed countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, but eventually this will expand to include developing and developed countries as well. You might ask yourself, how does GIS (Geographic Information Systems)  allow for this and what role does GIS play in MEP specifically?  

     This is a great question; in fact, GIS is indispensable for our work towards achieving the MDGs. Comprehensive development is a complex issue that requires in-depth, site-specific knowledge and analysis in order to develop culturally sensitive strategies for improving the quality of life. This is where GIS comes in. GIS is a  technology that allows users to create maps of the current landscape, search and manipulate data and design  spatial models of planned landscapes. ICGC chose GIS because it provides a unique opportunity to visually display several features of each country’s development. MEP utilizes the latest GIS software to create 3D models of city infrastructure complete with site photos and construction drawings. In order to accurately depict the uniqueness of each country’s issues, MEP collects extensive primary data and secondary data for each of the 49 Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

     This research will provide the important details our maps need for analysts to better understand the needs of each country, as well as what changes must be made to transition each country towards a “developed” status. GIS analysts overlay multiple elements in the same map and utilize color-coded symbols to represent the important spatial aspects of development statistics, demographics, natural resources and other physical landform features. These maps will encompass a “virtual globe” and illustrate current issues hindering development in each LDC.

     These elements combined will provide a juxtaposition of each country’s current and planned states. This comparison will act as a developmental roadmap, allowing policymakers, country representatives, civil society organizations and relevant stakeholders to effectively analyze and interpret each country’s  pathway to development. ICGC believes GIS and the MEP are the holistic and revolutionary “outside of the box” solutions needed for achieving a virtual MDG plan pre and post 2015. 

     We would like to thank ESRI for donating the ArcGIS Desktop licenses needed to develop the core of our work on the Millennium Earth Project.  ESRI is also providing valuable support and consultation with our Haiti (Saint Raphael) Prototype.

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