Aaron Perry


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  • Episode 60 – Ludovica Martella, Women, Water, and Cosmology of Connection
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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 60 - Ludovica Martella, Women, Water, and Cosmology of Connection

Ludovica Martella shares her insights and perspectives about women refugees, indigenous sovereignty, mental health, the importance of staying connected to natural rhythms of Earth and Cosmos, and cycles of reciprocity. A researcher at the New School, which was founded by European scholars and intellectuals fleeing persecution in the early 1900s, Ludovica integrates diverse disciplines in her scholarship, and connects many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in her activism.

Her three primary calls to action for all of us are:

1. Vote!

2. Have more conversations (about the important things)!

3. Protect and support the youth!

Ludovica is a researcher currently enrolled in a post-master’s degree in Sustainability Strategy at the New School in New York City, where she is focusing on indigenous ecology and environmental justice. Ludovica also holds a Masters of Arts in International Relations from the Milano School of Policy, Management and Environment at The New School, and a Bachelor’s in Journalism from Fordham University. Ludovica’s work focuses on the repercussion of climate change on minority groups, such as women and indigenous people. In the past she has worked with United Nations Women and UN Development Programme in promoting and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on these very topics. Currently she is an adult mentor for the youth climate organization “This is Zero Hour,” one of the leading organizers of the Global Climate Strike which happened September 20th, 2019.

More information and ways to connect:

Instagram: @lmartella

Linkedin: ludovicamartella/

Twitter: @l_martella

Blog: https://www.letstalkaboutit.space


(Automatically generated transcript for search engine optimization and reference purposes – grammatical and spelling errors may exist.)

Welcome to the YonEarth Community Stewardship and Sustainability Podcast series.

Today we have the opportunity to visit with Ludovica Martella.

Hi Ludovica.


How are you?

Thank you for having me.


It’s so great to have this opportunity to visit with you.

And here we are in the new school in New York City.

We’ll talk about that a little bit.

And before we dive in, just let me introduce you to our audience.

So Ludovica Martella is a researcher currently enrolled in a post-master’s degree in sustainability

strategy at the New School in New York City, where she is focusing on indigenous ecology

and environmental justice.

Ludovica also holds a Master’s of Arts in International Relations from the Milano School

of Policy Management and Environment at the New School and a Bachelor’s in Journalism

from Fordham University.

Ludovica’s work focuses on the repercussion of climate change on minority groups, such

as women and indigenous people.

In the past, she has worked with the United Nations Women and the UN Development Program

in promoting and implementing the sustainable development goals, the SDGs, on these very


Currently, she is an adult mentor for the youth climate organization.

This is zero hour.

One of the leading organizers of the global climate strike, which happened on September

20th of 2019, just earlier this year.

So Ludovica, it is such a joy to have this opportunity to visit with you and look

in forward to sharing your work and your vision, your mission, your knowledge with our audience.

And I thought, you know, maybe just by way of jumping in, I might ask you, here we are

in the New School.

Tell us just a bit about this place.

What’s going on here?

Why are you here?


Glad to be here.

The New School is actually a very special place because it was founded on principles of

equality between people, between ideas.

So the New School is actually celebrating its 100 years of new.

And this is because here we really want to focus on new ideas.

So what it means is that all of our professors are focused on the idea that we don’t have

to follow the traditional teachings of the colonizer world, as we call it.

But there is more.

So that’s why I’m here.

I’m studying indigenous ecologies, something that unfortunately I found while I was browsing

through programs.

I found it to be very rare to find a university with such a rich program in indigenous cultures,

indigenous rights and history.

And therefore this is why I’m here.

Absolutely beautiful.

And given that it’s the 100-year anniversary, it tells us that the New School was founded

right around the time of World War I, right?

And there’s a really special history there that I think it’d be great to share with



Yes, the New School was founded because groups of intellectuals that were fleeing Europe

needed a place where they could actually aggregate and teach and write.

So therefore they formed the New School and they called it the New School because of

that, because they wanted to really create a group of people that was against all of

the first institutions that was happening in Europe at that time.

And still today we get very radical ideas here that you probably wouldn’t get in more

traditional universities.

And I’m including universities from my home country of Italy, which is obviously very


And yes.

Well, I love it and I love the word radical, right?

Because it actually comes from Latin rags, ratics, meaning roots.

And there’s some very important connection there, right?


Yes, that’s a great point.

That’s wonderful.

Well, so let’s start diving into this work you’re doing around the sustainable development

goals, how it’s affecting different peoples.

And perhaps you could kind of kick it off by explaining what are the sustainable development

goals and why are they important?


So the sustainable development goals are a set of 17 goals that were established in 2015

by the United Nations.

And they symbolize different causes, but they all actually connect around climate action

and this is something that some time people miss because the sustainable development

goals also called SDGs or perhaps people might have heard of them with the term agenda


They are really all different but connected.

So for example, there’s no power, T zero hunger, good mental health, good physical health,

and gender equality, decent security, and so on.

So they might seem all different, but they’re all very much connected.

And this is something that, yes, sometimes people don’t really think about because it’s

obvious people might have preference, a personal preference because of their personal history

towards one cause, more than another one.

But it’s important to recognize the connection between them.

Yeah, absolutely.

It seems that there’s so much important work being done by so many organizations and leaders

particularly around how climate crisis and other environmental crises are impacting

peoples all over the world and most particularly peoples of color, peoples from the global south,

indigenous peoples and women, right, and this is obviously a big part of your work.



So this is something that I love to talk about because throughout my research, I realized

really how all of these goals interact between each other, which is something that to be

fairly honest, I didn’t quite grasp from my textbooks or from even some of the work

that I share with colleagues.

Because I work at several UN agencies and each agency really focuses usually on one or

two goals, but by mixing my experience at work with also my studies, I really had this

aha moment, let’s say, and we can think about this, for example.

So the most recent report from the IPCC, which is in the International Panel on Climate

Change, really shows some drastic estimates of climate change, which only confirms what

scientists have been saying for years.

All of these climatic causes, so, for example, already the fact or that we are at 1.1

Celsius degrees warmer in the atmosphere than the pre-industrial levels of, I’m referring

to the industrial revolution, is causing drastic climatic effects, droughts, wildfires, we

have seen them in the news in the most recent years.

So what happens, all of these effects on the earth, the strata were agricultural systems,

and sometimes people don’t realize that the majority of people who work in the agricultural

sector are women, especially in developing countries.

So if our climate is affected by these tremendous climatic disruptions, then it’s impossible

to achieve the first goal of this sustainable development goal, no poverty, because people

will need to relocate because they are suffering from droughts, and their crops are not producing

anymore what they were producing before, and this also makes it impossible to really achieve

even the second goal, which is zero anger, already the people who are working on crops are

the ones who are the most malnourished in the world, and the Food and Agriculture Organization

in 2019 released reports that estimated that 80% of the people in developing countries

are the ones who are producing the food for the developed countries, so they are already

starting a really impoverished point here, and climate change is making it even worse.

And so we see how all of these connections between issues, obviously as I said, women

are the ones who work the most on crops, and when they’re forced to relocate, they usually

leave behind their husbands, who usually are the ones who have jobs in the cities, and this

is because in developing countries there are less infrastructures and transportations for women

to go from their homes to cities, so it’s safer for the men to go and work in cities.

So now we have already like distracted families, now even more because of climate change,

women traveling to other countries, risking their safety, their mental health, their physical

health, and therefore we see how all of these goals are really screaming for climate action,

so I think it’s important to underline this because sometimes people think that climate

change is only a destruction of the weather, and oh, we’re getting heat waves, or the issues

go much deeper than that. Yeah, absolutely. I know that for example, so many millions of people

refugees from Syria, and that we’re living in a time right now where we have more refugees

around the world than we’ve had since the Second World War, and Syria is experiencing a prolonged

drought, right, and so there are underlying, often in the news this appears as some sort of a

political problem, and certainly the politics and the regimes play into it, but underlying that

are these environmental, massive dislocations, right, affecting all kinds of people and especially

women and all the children, right? Absolutely, absolutely. Women and children and young girls

are always the ones who are most affected, unfortunately, and it’s interesting because now that you

brought up this point of migration also in Syria, this is something that it’s really not talked

about much when we think about the migration crisis, so whenever the news covers the generally

the migration crisis is just focused on migration and migration policy, but migration policy can come

without appropriate climate action and climate change policy, and it’s really important to connect

all of the dots because you might find some people who may feel more profiled to perhaps like

diminish their footprint, if their cause at heart is to, for example, protect children worldwide,

but might not perhaps like feel much affiliated with the climate change crisis, if that makes sense,

and all of these problems weren’t wider to really connect and

I’m wondering because I know in your research you’re coming across a lot of specific examples

of what you’re talking about, and I’m wondering, you know, I don’t want to get too

dramatic about it in our discussion here, but I think it’s really important for people to understand

what this means at the individual level, the family level specifics, are there any examples that come

to mind for you? Yes, definitely. When we talk about these issues it’s always a bit, let’s say that

the spirit of the conversation is never too happy, but I don’t want to get too dramatic, but

unfortunately these are very serious topics. Recently, well, about a year ago, in 2018 I worked

alongside UN Women and the Sierra Club, the Environmental NGO here in the US.

We worked on a report that actually focused on women and migration due to the climate crisis,

and this one is called Women on the Mova, and it’s free on the Sierra Club website,

if it’s really also short and concise, if people are interested in looking that one up,

and there are some interesting stories from women who were interviewed actually on the ground

about their own experience, and most of them were the ones who really found the

strength to even talk about these issues, seemed truly emotional about the fact that they were

finally given light and a spotlight to really talk about what was happening to them, because

these are issues that truly cause a problem to mental health of people, and mental health is a

huge taboo in our society, and it’s not really spoken about much, and we were briefly talking

me and you about this before, when we were mentioning how, if we’re not happy, that really impacts

everything in our lives, in impacts how we work, and vice versa, our relationship to people around

does the energy that we put out there, so yes, there are several stories in the report, and

I can go deep into one, it should like, or we can leave it open for the audience, but

I’ll say it’s your call, do you feel like that is something we should share?

Well, yes, I guess I just really want people to read the stories, because they have

direct quotes from the women interview, and it’s really touching, so I probably won’t give it

just as myself, but we’re talking about women who along like traveled miles and miles by feet,

carrying their children, carrying all of their belongings, just to move to another crop in places

where they weren’t even welcomed at first, because we’re talking about

impoverished places also, so people wonder suffering, they might have to,

you know, not exactly being at their best, so they, some of them, experience sexual violence,

almost all of them actually were approached by people who wanted to actually like,

tell them on the black market, but they were able to, fortunately, escape that kind of situation,

and that only was possible through the collaboration between groups of women that traveled together,

and I think this touches another really important point, which is the collaboration between

each other within this community, whenever we collaborate one with another and we don’t see each other

as strictly individuals in our own world, and with our individual agenda,

we really can achieve greater things that are not possible on our own,

which on a very positive side of that coin is the 17th, the final of the sustainable development

goals, right, partnerships and collaboration. That shows that. This issue where we have

such incredibly vulnerable people, women, children, and that there are people, men probably almost

entirely exploiting that situation for human trafficking, and the situation, the last statistic I’ve

heard is that there are at least 30 million slaves and trafficked people worldwide right now,

some of them are in forced labor and agricultural and fishing situations, and of course,

there’s a worldwide human trafficking network that is often dealing with sex slavery,

and so we have these extremely vulnerable populations being targeted, right?

Absolutely, absolutely, and this is actually a topic that unfortunately is often even covered up

by some governments, and it’s some kind of information that people are reluctant to even give,

that people involved who are doing the research, who are involved in the legal system with

in countries, they are afraid to speak up, and I wish I could go deeper on that because I

did have conversations in my own country, especially with people who are involved in, you know,

within this system, obviously not the traffickers, but the people are trying to tackle this issue,

but they’re even afraid of speaking to the news about it because,

because unfortunately it’s complex because of politics and people are afraid, and I’m always a

personal advocate for speaking up, obviously, with the right precautions always, but it’s definitely

tricky to address these issues, and I’m hoping for better institutions that can provide solutions

to and production to these individuals. Yeah, well I think it’s so important for our audience

to be able to connect the dots. Many of us are committed and concerned about environmental issues

and social justice issues, and I think what we’re talking about is one of the most critical

nexus points that is happening right now around the world, and I think it’s just really

important that our audience understands that. Yes, absolutely. Yes, the climate crisis is causing

all of these issues, and which people might not really think as I was saying before that they’re

caused by the climate, and it was remarkable last July of 2019 when I was volunteering and helping

the organization, the YouTube climate organization, this is zero hour, they had a summit in Miami

as a symbol of calling action to Miami because it’s estimated to go under water, actually.

We’re having a summit there, and throughout the summit there were different workshops with

different topics around climate, and one of these was women and climate, and the people

are organizing, we’re asking, okay, so we want you to separate in different groups, what are the

connections that you see between women’s rights and climate change? Well, I started from advantage

point because I had already worked on this very issues with UN women, and throughout my studies

I had discovered the dots, but the people who were there were from diverse backgrounds and

were there to learn, didn’t know really the connection so that they were there to brainstorming,

and that was fascinating to see because it really shows how much information we are lacking

from either the media or even our educational system to be fair on this very issue that is

important when we realize, just have people, when we are stronger, when we are together with stronger,

how all of these issues together are actually what is causing all of the crisis in this world,

and so if we can see everything together, the households so to truly work on the individual issues,

if that makes sense. Absolutely, it makes so much sense. You know, it’s as if so much of the

mainstream media is all about a currency of distraction, regardless of what channel you think you like

or whatever, and that too often education is distract education or something like that,

and I am a huge fan of the work that teachers are tirelessly doing in communities all over,

and often the curriculum selection is actually out of the hands of the teachers because this is

policy set at the state level, and even a couple states here in the United States, for example,

are basically driving the national curriculum in a big way, and so a big responsibility we have

at the individual level, the family level, the community level is helping to make up for that,

and to share different information and to share different education, and I love, I love, sorry,

I’m a word nerd, but I love the word educate because it means to leave out and we’re each educators

in all of this work and have the opportunity to do that with and for each other,

which is another element of this strengthening network of collaboration and partnership.

Absolutely, and I don’t apologize for being a word nerd, I think it’s fascinating, absolutely,

and that’s most definitely interesting to do everyone, but we’re all against me, and that’s great.

Well, I only apologize smiling, and I will also admit that in the book and YonEarth,

we talk about seeing through the veil of the popular media-driven culture and getting to the real

story, getting to the real reality of what’s happening culturally, what’s happening environmentally,

what’s happening socially, what’s happening spiritually, and I think in a way it’s a good

segue into another element of the work you’re doing to talk about the types of knowledge and

wisdom and understanding of reality that is carried in indigenous cultures in particular,

and I know that you’re doing a lot of work around how indigenous wisdom is intimately connected with

the environmental ecological healing and stewardship that is absolutely critical and necessary

right now. I’m wondering if you might speak to that if I didn’t, and share about that with us.

Of course, of course. So first of all, I want to introduce this topic by saying that

indigenous people are the one who should speak and be given the voice to do this,

and so I’m just here really admiring their way of life, and I’m here alongside

with them, like fighting with them and for them. So I want to speak to this issue by

recognizing my privilege and of being here and like studying in New York and doing all of these

things and recognizing that they must be given the voice to really speak about what is happening

in their communities and about their way of life. This is like a perfect ad for some of our

upcoming episodes, so stay tuned on that note. So yes, I’m fascinated by the indigenous way of life

because indigenous people are really connected to Mother Earth and to everything that we just

talking about, really about our connections and partnerships as people. It’s really related to

the climate issue because all of the climate destruction really like started before the

Industrial Revolution as our Western text tell us. It really started with colonization.

Yeah, indigenous people are truly related to their earth and their cycles and their system

believe in what they call a cosmology of connection where they see what the earth gives them

and they infect the earth. They don’t just take, it’s not a culture of extraction and consumerism.

They give back to the earth in every way possible they can and this is how the earth works. It’s a

cycle and all of the effects are happening now with drought and etc are all a sign of what we have

been doing wrong since colonization. So I’m studying indigenous ecologies and I’m advocating for

my indigenous sisters and brothers because first of all they’ve been completely evaluated

of their human rights and to practice which entails practicing all of these rituals but also

practices of agriculture for example their respect the earth and don’t disturb the earth.

So unfortunately when the colonizers that told into the tribes they took away all of their system.

They took away their language their traditions everything that was maintaining life in these

communities and at this point some scholars are trying to to bring back this knowledge in order

not only to not only to rebalance the earth so to tackle climate change but also to truly teach

people about the way the traditional way of life which is not what we’re living today absolutely.

As a matter of fact there are some studies right now being done on agriculture for example

which is being slowly integrated but there are more and more traditional knowledge especially

on agriculture that can truly benefit not only the indigenous people but all of us because I’ve

heard this claim you know but what about us okay we should give the land back to the indigenous

few of what about us we’re all connected so there’s not a distinction between us and them if

population is suffering we’re suffering too in a way or another. So I want to truly invite

people to reflect on this idea of giving back to the earth when taking something and this can be done

through for example through composting which is probably one of the this is exactly which is

probably one of the ways that we’ve been seeing this idea portrayed in the Western society and

unfortunately it’s not as popular yet but I guess we’re getting there but this really connects

also with our ability to connect to earth to also through appreciating the the sun that we see

every day or there we might not see in the elements the air and the water because we might

undermine their importance especially in a Western society but all of this elements give life

to our food to us because we couldn’t live without like either of the elements so indigenous people

truly have the knowledge and And take care of this knowledge.

So this is something that belongs to history,

but it’s reality.


And I think you want to add something.

Oh, you can.

I just, I’m so excited on this point.

We were just a couple of days ago in upstate New York,

visiting with Mohawk leaders, elders, grandmothers,

who are forming a project called the Three Sisters

Sovereignty Project, where the Mohawk people,

and I’m part Mohawk.

So I’m 12.5% Mohawk.

And I was actually joking with chief Roger Jock

about, I don’t know which 12.5% and he’s like,

you’re, you’re mine in your heart.

And I was like, yeah, perfect.

And we did a ceremony up there.

And he sang to the water and he sang in gratitude

for all the things.

And this is part of the morning waking up way of life.

And what’s so amazing about these times in my opinion

is that our science is actually becoming rather

sophisticated now and is starting to catch up

and to understand that indeed, those gestures

are actually affecting the material physical world.

And more importantly, the bio-spheric,

the living cycles and energy flows in this world.

We’ll have a long discussion.

We have time for friends to catch up on that.

There’s so much research coming out right now.

Don’t get stressed if that sounds stressful to you.

But one of the ceremonies that Roger and our friend Tiffany

Hope shared with us is called the scattering of the ashes.

And so traditionally, one would keep the fire all

through the year, burning medicines, special herbs

and plants with special properties.

And at the end of the cycle around the time of winter

solstice or a little past in the depths of winter,

the ceremony is to take these ashes

around to the whole village, have everyone stirring,

connect, and then they get scattered back into the landscape.

Well, this is also distributing micronutrients.

This is doing so much.

Sometimes we, perhaps the way we were taught in grade school

or whatever, these are kind of like neat, fanciful stories.

And we dress up and do weird plays

that are now considered objectionable.

What most of us probably don’t really understand

is that many of these indigenous cultures and life ways

are maintaining knowledge about maintenance of ecosystems.

IE, this is how the spaceship works, right?

The spaceship we’re all in space together.

We’re on a spaceship together.

And these life support systems, on some level,

require of us that reciprocity that you’re speaking to,

that relationship of when we take, we give back.

Absolutely, absolutely.

And I’m glad that you mentioned the water element, right?

Because water is life.

And this is one of the slogans of indigenous people, actually.

And it’s a really important topic,

especially when we’re talking about the dismeasure pipelines

that corporations want to build,

which then spill in the waterways of indigenous people,

like most likely, because all of these pipelines

are mostly built away from big cities, right?

And this also touches upon the huge elemental environmental

injustice, which happens even around the corner.

In cities like New York, for example, all over the world,

where harmful waste is usually dumped in poor neighborhoods,

in neighborhoods most likely of people of color.

So I see how these issues that relate to indigenous people

definitely relate also to what are considered minorities

in big cities and in developed countries.

So the issue of water is truly important,

because I feel that some, especially in the developed countries

where water is abundant or at least seems abundant,

it’s truly undermined.

People use it with the sink open, don’t think about it,

don’t celebrate it, just like indigenous people do,

because we take it for granted.

But unfortunately, water is becoming scarce,

and it’s the lifeblood of earth.

And we definitely need to work on our water usage

and water celebration, because it gets life.

Without water, we wouldn’t be here.

Our body is mostly water, so.

Yes, so beautiful, absolutely.

Well, let me pause there, and I’m very excited

to ask you a particular question on that note.

But let me remind our audience that this

is the YonEarth Communities Stewardship

and Sustainability Podcast series,

and we are visiting today with Ludovica Martella

at the New School in New York City.

To get more information about Ludovica’s work,

you can go to her blog, which is Let’s Talk About It.space.

We’ll have all the spellings in the show notes.

You can also find her on Instagram at L Martella,

on Twitter at L underscore, Martella,

and on LinkedIn at Ludovica Martella.

Also, we’re going to talk about B-corporations a little bit,

which you can find information at B-corporation.net.

And there’s a great resource here on Agroforestry,

which we’ll be getting to at the FAO.org site,

slash forestry, slash agroforestry, slash EN.

Want to take the opportunity to thank all of the sponsors

who make this podcast possible.

And that includes our corporate sponsors and allies

association of water schools of North America,

Earth Coast Productions, Equal Exchange,

the International Society of Sustainability Professionals,

the LIDGE Family Foundation, Madera Outdoor, Patagonia,

and Waylay Waters.

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to all of the individuals in the Y on Earth community

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Again, a huge thanks for everybody supporting this work

and helping us communicate and spread the ideas,

the knowledge, the wisdom, the way that we are here today.

And on that note, I want to ask,

it’s clear you’re carrying a lot of knowledge and wisdom.

And I also note that you are a native Italian speaker.

And one of the things we talk about,

I actually talked about it in the book in Y on Earth,

is that we’re all indigenous to some place on the planet

and to some culture connected to some place on the planet.

And it’s only a matter of how far back in time

and how much recovery work is perhaps at hand

in order to re-establish, reconnect, reinvigorate

that reality.

And I’m just curious for you, how does your ethnic

and linguistic heritage inform this work?

And what’s that sense of connection you have specifically,

maybe even with water, to that part of the world?

That is a very interesting question.

And it’s a tough one to answer, because I’m actually

in the middle of doing research on my heritage,

because unfortunately, with the elements

that I have, to family stories and things from this sort,

I haven’t been able to go back that much into my family history.

Obviously, people recognize Italy as being in Europe,

so obviously, it doesn’t very much connect with what indigenous history is.

And this, honestly, adds up a very heavy emotional toll on me

when I’m doing this work and researching,

because I feel so deeply and sincerely connected

with the indigenous cosmology and way of being.

And I always thought, because of where I come from,

that I was crazy, or I believed in magic,

and I always felt a bit outside of the norm,

or what is considered the norm.

But since I started, especially with my connection to water,

since I was little, I always felt truly connected to water.

And since I started studying and researching,

and especially talking to wonderful young leaders,

indigenous leaders, that I met at the zero hour summary,

my yummy discuss summer, I truly understood

why I feel so connected, especially as a woman to water

and to this kind of work.

And now I feel like I have a place, sort of feeling like I have a family,

even though most people wouldn’t recognize me

as being an indigenous person.

This is a very controversial topic,

because I spoke to some indigenous people who told me,

yes, everyone is indigenous, everyone was indigenous at some point,

and others who told me, oh, I actually don’t believe that,

like not everyone is indigenous.

So that is something I’m still working through.

So like, going deep into my heritage.

But yes, I just wanted to really point out that, you know,

after I spoke to indigenous leaders,

and they told me exactly like what we should have right now,

like our connection to the elements,

and explained to me like why we’re connected.

And why we’re all the same.

And it’s not like humans have a higher place within this Earth.

That really made sense to me.

And it’s something that I might everyone to look into.

And I have to thank, you know, the leaders, like,

Jesus Lane Charger, from the Standing Rock movement,

to Tokata, Iron Eyes.

They were just some of the people who spoke to me

and gave a wonderful panel on indigenous women,

and how they’re connected to the climate change fight.

And they really inspired me.

And that’s when I decided to really go deeper into this work.

So I’m not sure if I know that’s a bit of a larger answer for me.

But I absolutely appreciate you sharing that with us.

And thank you.

Thank you for that.

Of course, of course, it’s something

that I’m really trying to tackle down my heritage.

It’s tricky.

I have a book I’m going to have to talk with you

about after we’re done recording.

Oh, great.

That’ll be fun.

I love that.

You’ve been connecting in with more and more

of these amazing and powerful indigenous activists.

And some of them are in the youth movement, right?


I was hoping you could share a bit with us

about, from your vantage point, what

do you see happening?

What’s going on right now at that?

From the youth environmental movement, or in general?

The youth.

Yeah, the youth?

Well, it’s a topic that gets me really excited and hopeful

for the future, because as you have seen,

this past climate strike, which was completely youth led,

was one of them.

It was amazing.

It was amazing.

It was amazing.

And it actually broke the word record ever

for a climate strike that has ever happened in history,

so worldwide.

So I think we’re really experiencing a rare moment

in history right now.

The youth obviously feel compelled

to get out of school because it happened on a Friday.

And really, as permission from faculty, institutions,

their parents, because they care about what their future is

going to look like, yes.

It’s extremely important that the youth takes a step

into the climate movement, because they are the ones who

are going to be suffering from all of the emissions

and extractions from the major corporations

and fossil fuel industries.

And we’re seeing, truly, I have goosebumps,

thinking about it and speaking about it,

because we’re seeing a huge mobilization

and also attention in the media, finally,

about this grassroots movement and the climate justice


And we’re seeing how indigenous youth activists

are truly present in this fight, too, which makes me really

happy, because usually, you know, they’re left behind.

There were marvelous indigenous speakers

at the New York March, which gave great speeches

and really fired the crowd.

And there has been talk about how privileged, like,

a person with respect, greatly, of course, for her work,

like, great atomic, like how privileged she

has been more than other indigenous leaders

who have been doing this work for years.

So already the fact that there is this kind of conversation

happening shows that people’s realities

are changing in a way.

They’re not focused only on what the Westernized world is

presenting to them, but they’re recognizing

that there is more to that.

And therefore, these other leaders are also

getting more attention, because there

are people who stand with them and they see them,

and they want to give them a voice.

So that’s why I was really happy to see people on stages

from different communities having a space to talk about

these issues.


And it was so powerful to be there and to experience

at the March in particular the speeches

that were given at Battery Park.

And I got to give a quick shout out

to Shia Bastita, who’s on the YonEarth

Communities Global Advisory Board.

And she comes from a very interesting background, right?

She’s native indigenous toll tech in Central America,

as well as indigenous Celtic in Europe.

And just wonderful to see her leadership

and hear her clarity of voice.

I was at a conference with her a couple of months back

our day in the Rocky Mountains up in Colorado.

And we had retired generals.

We had presidential candidates.

We had some very accomplished and polished speakers

addressing the audience there.

I’m just glancing over at Joni Clark, who’s off camera.

She’s also one of our Global Advisory Board members.

And hi, Joni.



Happy to be here.

Well, Shia at 17 years old commanded the room

with her genuine oration, her ability

to communicate that frankly dwarfed

what a lot of these experts polished leaders were doing.

And it’s not at all to compare and contrast,

but just to highlight and emphasize

how strong her voice is, along with so many other indigenous

and youth leaders, there seems to be such an awakening,

such a convergence, and such an upswell of empowerment

and vocalization of what’s happening

and what needs to be done.

And it gives me great hope.

I just feel so much joy knowing that we are

in a critical situation.

It is a crisis we have to act.

We have to do everything we can do.

And there are more and more of us engaging day by day

with incredible knowledge and wisdom

like you’re sharing with us today, coming through.

Oh, quiet.

Yes, she’s amazing.

I actually seen her as well.

She was recently this first weekend

on the global citizen concert happening

in which happened in Central Park,

where she also had a chance to speak about climate activism

and the youth climate movement, along with other climate


So I hope that she has a very strong voice.

And I’m truly happy that we’re seeing

these young indigenous women, especially

who have a history of being truly undermined

and to use other words.

But they’re finally reclaiming their power

and they’re being given the space.

And I’m so grateful for that.

I think it’s the start of a great movement

and it gives me hope as well, for sure.



Well, another amazing movement that’s underway

is the B-Corp movement, right?

And I want to make sure we have a couple minutes

to talk about that, because it really

is among the core and the key calls to action for our audience.

So yeah, tell us what’s going on with B corporations

and what can we do in regular day-to-day life about that?

Of course.

So yes, the B-Corp operations are actually

a group of private sector, so companies

that truly care about following certain sustainable practices.

So everything that comes from their supply chains,

how they’re sourced their material,

how they manufactured their material,

everything is done by really making sure

that the environment is not distracted,

that the people who work are paid, are taking care of,

and they’re not used.

And so the audience can actually go to the link

that you provided, and which will also

be in the notes of the episode, because on this website,

there is a list of all of the corporations,

which are actually embracing these principles.

And I’m happy to say that more and more are joining

like each year, and this is a movement

worldwide that is happening, and the importance

of the private sector within the climate movement

and the reduction of fossil fuels,

and also all of these other human issues

that we’ve spoken about really has a great root

in what the private sector decides to embrace, right?

We also have a power as consumers, of course,

to drive what the private sector decides to embrace

as principles.

So the more that we will request transparency

from what we eat, or for example,

what we buy, this will drive corporations to,

because obviously they’re losing money,

they’re going to be driven to create better sustainable

practices and products.

There are huge issues with the food industry,

the clothing industry, which uses tons and tons of water

just to produce a new fashion line every two months,

which is also called fast fashion.

And also the cosmetic industry,

which truly is filled for the majority

with harmful chemicals, such a petroleum as well.

And these are things that are not really

like spoken about, but rust root organizations

alongside private sector companies

are informing each other by actually studying

what is happening on a small scale in communities.

For example, there is a nonprofit called We Act in Harlem,

which is organizing a study on the community

because women up in Harlem

have been experiencing skin rashes and health problems,

especially those who work in Nell Salons

and hair salons, because the products

that are cheaper to use especially,

and obviously are cheaper to buy are the ones

who are most filled with this chemicals.

So I truly invite people to look into

like the products that they’re using,

and to perhaps use second hand as like clothing

and things of this sort can truly help the climate crisis

as we set it so connect.

Absolutely, it’s so beautiful.

I love the way you’re weaving all of this together.

And by the way, in our soil stewardship webinar,

we have a few vignettes,

one of which is going to a second hand clothing store.

It is so fun, we had so much fun recording it.

We also in that same webinar visited a Patagonia store

in Colorado, and of course Patagonia is a B corporation.

One of the leaders approaching a billion dollars

a year in sales, they are having real impact,

positive impact on regenerative agriculture

on social justice and sustainable economic development

in the interest of communities all over.

Of course, now at their launch of their food line,

it’s amazing, I love it.

Yeah, and the fact that we did not,

we did not talk about this ahead of time folks.

I’m serious here, we have a special announcement.

And the fact that Ludovica naturally started talking

about cosmetics is amazing to me

because we are announcing a partnership with Beauty Counter

and Beauty Counter is also a beat corp.

And they are partnered in a deep way

with the environmental working group,

EWG, a toxicity lab doing all kinds of studies

on all kinds of ingredients on cosmetics,

health and beauty products for men and women.

And their lines are very clean.

They’re in the process of switching

all their packaging from plastic to glass.

And because of our partnership,

you can link on the Beauty Counter links you’ll see

on the podcast page, as well as on the sponsorship page

and the community section of the website.

And by going to Beauty Counter through the Y-Enerce link,

a portion of the proceeds will actually come back

to support the work of the Y-Enerce community.

So that’s just an amazing synergy, it’s serendipitous.

I’m blown away but not surprised.

And the thing is so critical, it’s affecting water,

it’s affecting our own health and well-being.

Every day when we get in the shower,

when we’re getting ready for the day,

doing whatever we do to get ready,

we have a very basic choice.

We’re either basically putting carcinogens

all over our body, our skin is our largest organ,

highly porous, absorbs everything.

Or not everything, that’s not literal.

That was an exaggeration, absorbs a lot.

Or we can use these very clean and plant-based products

that are not carcinogenic, not harmful.

And perhaps are even adding to our health

and well-being through the phytonutrients

and all of the other properties of the plant kingdom.

So just a tremendous example of,

in all these different sectors, food, beverage, clothing,

cosmetics, health and beauty, cleaning products, right?

Oh yeah, that’s a big one too.

The choices are in a way stark.

I mean, it’s kind of like the why, the one way, the other way.

But the good news is there are so many amazing companies

making really, really beautiful products available now.

Yes, absolutely.

And most of them really support the work

of people in developing countries,

most family businesses.

And most of them, in contrast to what most people

think are not more expensive than the products

that are filled with chemicals, actually.


So encourage people to look at their options.


And when it comes to food,

we start making a connection

to the agriculture and agroforestry opportunities, right?

And I wanted to make sure we took some time

to speak about that because I know you’ve been doing

a lot of research in that arena as well.

Yeah, sure.

Do you want me to speak about something

in particular in that sense?

Well, sure.

Maybe you could tell us what is agroforestry?

How does that look and work?

And yeah, what’s a great example, perhaps,

of how you’re seeing that deployed and activated?

Well, something that is actually relevant

to what is happening right now in the Amazon,

there are communities, indigenous communities

in the Amazon, which are applying agroforestry,

which, to put it into simple words,

is essentially a system of agriculture,

where there is absolutely no eradication of the soil

or the water, but everything is really left to sustain itself.

So it really embraces the idea of the cycle of life

and how actually both animals and plants

can collaborate together without using the monoculture

of planting, which means I’m just planting one type

of product on the soil repeatedly until it’s exhausted.

And unfortunately, the agroforestry industry

is not as large as it should be.

It wasn’t the past.

But now with the crisis that is happening in the Amazon,

at least this Amazon communities, which

are applying agroforestry, are getting more attention

because they’re claiming for justice

and showing how there is an alternative

to the Western way of practicing agroforestry, very much.

And there are some interesting short videos

documentaries on this, which we perhaps link as well,

which show some examples in practice,

because people need to see this.

It’s beautiful.

Like how it looks, it just looks like a forest, right?

But it actually maintains itself and it produces fruit

and nutrients and everything you need,

without disrupting the environment.

Absolutely beautiful.

And so those resources are through the FAO.org site.

Is that right?


That’s a more, I would say, like, a literate piece.

So it doesn’t include, like, videos,

but I can share more, like, actual videos.

Yeah, we’ll add in a link for that.

That’d be great.

And then back to the responsible fashion,

we also have a link here at GoodOnU.Eco, right?



So Gruniu is an app that was actually

recommended through a friend who works

for sustainable fashion, advocating for sustainable fashion.

And it’s an app that essentially tells you,

what are the companies that are sustainable?

So what products they use, the condition of the workers.

Obviously, they use materials such as hemp, for example.

And most importantly, they really tackle

their usage of water and seeing, like,

the minimum as possible.

And recycled materials inside there.

And you have to see the brands and their products.

It just looks like regular clothes.


Like high-end clothes, clothing, yeah.


So that’s GoodOnU.Eco.M.

Just thrilled that we’ve had the opportunity

to visit with you today, Ludwig and I know that we’ll be

staying in touch and collaborating and perhaps doing

some events together in the coming weeks and months.

And before we sign off, I just want

to give you an opportunity.

If you have any final comments, thoughts, or and-or

calls to action to share with our audience,

that would be wonderful.

Yes, for sure.

we definitely have touched upon some of the points. I feel like I’ve made some call for action

throughout this episode already, but just to really conclude this conversation, I would like

everyone to, first of all, go vote, which is extremely important for these issues to be tackled.

We must recognize our privilege of being able to vote and our freedom to voice our opinion.

That is extremely important, so no excuses, just go vote. Another important thing that can

truly make a difference is to keep on having conversations like this and trying to open our

minds to what hasn’t really been taught within our upbringing, whatever issue it is, gender issues,

climate issues, identity issues. It’s important to keep on having conversations and to really join

forces one with the other, because we’re not alone in this society, which wants us to feel alone,

so that we can consume more products and more resources, but we’re actually all connected,

one to the other, and go down in the streets and protest if you can as well, because we have

the freedom to do that, and therefore we should support the youth, especially the student

is tremendous work, and we need help from all sorts of generations and sectors in order to

relitu to climate justice. Absolutely, beautiful. Well, thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. Beautiful.

The YonEarth Community Stewardship and Sustainability Podcast series is hosted by Aaron

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