World Wide Wave of Action looks to New Iberia, Louisiana

Dear Friends,

The World Wide Wave of Action is a push to evolve awareness; millions from all backgrounds coming together to express their vision for a better more connected world. Russell Brand describes it as the ultimate evolution in consciousness. I hope the essence of this cause becomes an expansion of thinking by people from all cultures. World Wide Wave of Action should focus on manifesting local solutions, not counterproductive disruption or rebellion.

This #World Wide Wave of Action launches Friday, April 4th and runs until July 4th.

To me, expansion in thinking means increased gentleness and precision in my own actions, particularly in the way I treat people and the content of my focus. This might sound a little too peace and love for some people, so for those of you who are more practical here is a direct example of what I imagine the World Wide Wave of Action could inspire, if we the people expand our thinking and act with conscious precision.

Welcome to New Iberia in Iberia Parish, Louisiana:

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New Iberia has been an impoverished, rural, racially divided area along the Bayou in Louisiana for some time. Like countless communities worldwide, it was severely lacking available fresh local foods. Last year, a small community of people took a new approach to resolving the crisis, with solar-powered hydroponic organic greenhouses. The initiative has impacted New Iberia beyond the realm of fresh foods, as racial barriers are shattering and community members find common ground to form a collective identity.

In this sense, New Iberia exemplifies how an entire community can evolve if a few people take action and get the ball rolling. Last December, Evelyn Ducote, Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain, Phanat Xanamane, and other local community members got the ball rolling when they purchased basic hydroponic growing equipment and enrolled Louis Lancon, an USA Military veteran, to build and operate a solar-powered hydroponic organic greenhouse in nearby Jeanerette, Louisana.

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What I love about this place is, though it’s prone to ecological disturbances (i.e oil spills & hurricanes), the regular folks here have proven to be incredibly resilient and innovative in embracing new systems like hydroponic farming which will help us adapt to and face the most pressing issues in the 21st century.”
-Phanat Xanamane (local community member, on right in picture above, Dylan Ratigan on left)

The greenhouse was built on an open lot in a relatively poor part of town with a predominantly African-American population. What was originally just the one greenhouse quickly became three, after its value became obvious. Now, community members of all ages and races are cultivating the greenhouses together. The culmination of New Iberia’s evolution was the Creole Farmer’s Market in West End Park. They sold out all of the produce while diverse community members showed up and not only coexisted, but totally connected. I was given the honor of ringing the bell for the grand opening.

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(ON LEFT: Dylan Ratigan, Helical Systems cofounder and Chairman rings opening bell; MIDDLE: Kohlie Frantzen, Helical Systems cofounder and CEO speaking with Louis Lancon, USA Military veteran and greenhouse builder in Jeanerette, Louisiana; RIGHT Dylan enjoys local Cajun foods)

New Iberia’s proactive approach to a food crisis transcended cultural differences and perceived barriers, while providing education and nourishment to people of all ages, regardless of race, creed, or color. The progression from a single greenhouse on an empty lot to the vibrance and fluid diversity I witnessed at the Creole market, embodies the necessary intent of World Wide Wave of Action.

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(Dylan chats with local community members and finds fantastic bargains on fresh local foods)

This is not idealogical hyperbole or a ten-step plan to fix the world. World Wide Wave of Action is about finding solutions to crises via new approaches. For all the naysayers, I only need to point to New Iberia as real life proof that positive change is attainable for regular people like you and me.

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(LEFT: Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner, Mike Strain; Helical Systems Chairman and Cofounder, Dylan Ratigan; and famous chef Patrick Mould; RIGHT: Dylan takes tour of facilities)