How ICGC Started
Growing up in a political family, from early on I was always politically and civically conscious. Everyone in our family learned that he/she had a responsibility and obligation to help those less fortunate. Coming from a British Commonwealth country, I understood the geographical, political and social happenings of the day as well as an awareness of peoples of other countries.
All my life I have kept abreast of social and political events both locally and internationally. After my daughter graduated college, I shifted my focus to doing something about the problem of poverty for which there seems to be no organized plan to address in any realistic way. It appeared that governments and international bodies accepted the idea that some people were going to be poor and some rich and that is how life was going to be. Well, I do not believe that!!! I feel that all of us on this planet are here playing out different roles and that those roles are essential to the development of the individual as a soul and by extension to the whole human family.
The amount of money one has does not determine who is wealthy or poor. What makes one poor is not realizing the inter-connection and relationship of all of us to each other and our obligation and responsibility to each other, and to all life in all the kingdoms. Not knowing that our destinies are tied together. That poverty is to live in excess while your brother and sister struggle to stay alive…that to me is poverty!
So, in that respect, many of those with minimum material possessions have a lot to teach those who are society defined as rich. The wise of all ages have all known that it is consciousness in the end that truly determines true power, true wealth and true leadership.
Thirteen years ago around the beginning of the millennium, I began to think seriously about how I could make a difference in fundamentally and permanently changing the way humanity lives on this planet and in October of 2006 I was inspired to sit at the computer and concretize the ideas for making this change. It was during this time that I wrote down the concept of a visual plan that would begin a different discussion about the quality of life that ALL deserve to live. That we should not be content to sit by and watch one disaster after the other happen while accepting that there is nothing that can be done in a comprehensive, holistic and sustainable way.
Growing up in Jamaica all school children were taught and had embedded in their minds the statement: “The word can’t is written in the dictionary of fools”…and that there was no such thing. All one has to do is to figure out how to make anything he wants happen.
Knowing this was a daunting effort, after writing the proposal for The Millennium Earth Project: A visual Framework for Sustainable development, I put my hands to the sky and voiced: “All who are to help me make this a reality please come forward!!!” And, they have come! Thank you to all who have been a part of this adventure so far and to all who will come.
In the beginning the sub-title of the proposal was “The Global Marshall Plan”; the Plan that was developed to rebuild Europe after the Second World War.
I wrote up and filed the Articles of Incorporation with the State of New York and on July 12, 2007, The Institute for Conscious Global Change was born. We applied and later were granted the 501(c)(3)tax-exempt status in 2010. We were entered into the database of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) October 2010.
I knew ICGC did not have the funds to fundamentally change the lives of the peoples in these 49 LDCs and 54 DCs but I knew we now had the technology— the Web, Internet, GIS, Cloud, etc., etc. that can virtually present tangible solutions to the problems facing over 2.4 Billion people on the planet.
In September 2000, building upon a decade of major United Nations conferences and summits, world leaders came together at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets,—with a deadline of 2015.
Thus the Millennium Development Goals with their targets were established.
Building on the concept embedded in the UN Charter of 1946 for the involvement of Civil Society in the work of the United Nations, ICGC decided to align its vision for the comprehensive virtual development of the Least Developed Countries and Developing Countries. We would use the MDGs as the lens through which to develop these countries.
To facilitate our work with the UN, ICGC applied for and was granted Special Consultative Status by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in the 2012 January Session.
We realized that we could employ a technology called GIS (Geographic Information Systems), which is used in Google Earth Mapping, to pinpoint all the issues outlined in the eight Millennium Goals (MDGs) and display them both quantitatively and qualitatively with maps. By offering this “Visual Solution” to the MDGs, we plan to make our contribution. We will display the needs of each country – infrastructural, agricultural, medical, educational, economic, environmental, and developmental – highlighting the problems in one main center so the solutions can be more easily sought and served.
Our first initiative is to create virtual-yet-tangible solutions to the issues facing three selected countries – one from each of the three regions where the 49 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) exist: Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. The breakdown of countries per region is as follows: 14 in Asia, 34 in Africa, and one in the Caribbean. Afghanistan, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Haiti, are the three countries selected for this first phase of our work.
We have designed The Virtual Development Plan to serve as a call to action – by providing comprehensive and detailed information about each country – with the collective goal of moving all 49 countries from LDC status to Developed Country status.
Please join us in our efforts to raise the quality of life for those most in need.
ICGC is on track to complete the three prototypes of Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Afghanistan by September 2012. You can help us make this a reality by becoming a volunteer or intern and also with your financial contributions.
Visit us and keep track of our development work at: www.consciousglobalchange.org and www.millenniumearth.org
Together we can create a different and better world!!!
Etta D. Jackson, Founder/CEO