Ernie

Ernie

For some people, it takes a good deal of seeing to start believing. Yann Arthus-Bertrand understands the need to see, and so he made it his mission to spread the word using images. He founded the “Altitude Agency,” the world's first press agency and images bank specializing in aerial photography. But it does more than capture breath-taking images; it tells a story, an urgent call to preserve what beauty is left of this planet. After starting out as an artist, Yann converted happily to an activist.

Franz Weber has been championing the causes of environmentalism and animal rights since the 1960s, and he remains one of the most active environmentalists in the world. His passion for protecting and preserving nature has made a tremendous impact through the “Franz Weber Foundation,” which he founded himself.

There is no issue more pressing in society today than human rights. All around the world, whether in the “land of the free” or in the most dictatorial states, there has been, in every shape and form, a violation of the concept of human rights. Fortunately, there are those who dedicate their lives to fighting for human rights, doing everything they can so everyone can live in fairness and equality.

Van Phillips is certainly used to being on-the-go. Being an outdoor person, he enjoys running, hiking and playing sports. But things took a bad turn when he suffered a horrible accident, severing his left leg after being run over by a boat. From living such an active lifestyle, Van had to get used to his new – and heavy – foot. He couldn’t walk properly, he couldn’t run, and he wasn’t the person he used to be. So, he created what would become known as the “Flex-Foot” – technology that has changed the game for amputees.

“Information should be shared, not stored.” This phrase summarizes the life and career of Aaron Swartz, who spent what little time he had fighting against corruption and unnecessary secrecy so people could have access to what they need to know. One of the most influential activists of our generation, Aaron has truly made a significant mark by giving the masses the power to know the truth by fighting for freedom of information.

At only seven years old, Shanna Decker battled cancer and lived on to tell her story and inspire others. What she went through is enough to sap anyone of their hope and make cynics out of children; but Shanna discovered something else. She discovered her love for the Lord, which strengthened her all throughout her cancer battle. Her family’s ordeal, meanwhile, brought them closer and made them even more caring. With the help of her parents, Shanna set up “Brighter Tomorrows” to help families who go through the torture of having a family member suffer from cancer.

Throughout Bill Mollison’s life, he has consistently promoted the concept of “permaculture,” encouraging people to grow their own food and teaching sustainable methods of producing it. Often called the “Father of Permaculture,” Bill has contributed greatly to its international popularity through not only his lectures, but also his bestselling books.

There is a saying: “Wealth has a purpose, and it is so you could enrich others.” This is the case of the life of Pierre Omidyar, who became one of the world’s youngest billionaires and is spending his time, effort and resources to give to those who are in need. Often describing himself as a “technologist by profession, but philanthropist by heart,” Pierre lives up to what it means to be “blessed to become a blessing.”

Do we persecute someone just because of his/her family’s unbelievable monetary wealth? This is often why people judge David Mayer de Rothschild and associate him with greed, slavery and war – all because he’s a Rothschild. This has not made things easy for him, especially when he decided to raise awareness about the Pacific Garbage Patch, which led to the creation of a 60-meter boat he named “Plastiki.” As the name suggests, it is made of 12,500 reclaimed bottles and other recycled materials. David even used cashew and sugar for glue to stay faithful to the cause.

Slave labor remains one of the biggest problems in the world today. The methods may not look the same, but if you look deeply at the situations of many workers worldwide, you will see the similarities. People are breaking their backs to maintain quality products for a company without adequate compensation, and brand names benefit from the work of unpaid and underpaid employees. And, because many are unaware of this, companies get away with managing slave labor all over the world.

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