How Green is My Occupy? Rio+20 Enviromentalists Team With #OWS

Occupy is rallying its foot soldiers as well as a major online army to see that the upcoming U.N. Rio+20 Earth Summit. I imagine that in the Main Street Media, this will be billed as, "Tree Huggers Meet Wall Street Bashers."
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I imagine that in the Main Street Media, this will be billed as, "Tree Huggers Meet Wall Street Bashers."

You can be certain that something close to this will be the spin put on the conjoining of the still-fledgling Occupy Movement with the veterans of the environmental movement -- the latter now gaining its second breath and much traction.

What's the fuss?

Occupy is rallying its foot soldiers as well as a major online army to see that the upcoming U.N. Rio+20 Earth Summit on the environment will get the sort of press and attention once reserved for Zuccotti Park. It is only logical that a movement galvanized in South America some 20 years ago might need "buzz" to make it current and relevant.

For those not readily familiar with Rio+20, this was the historic 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro. It has been acknowledged as a key milestone in placing sustainable development as a top priority for the international community.

How does the Occupy Movement figure in this picture two decades down the road? Both are being either under-reported or poorly reported, and both are met with tepid enthusiasm or even resistance, no matter how important their struggles.

Whether it be saving a rainforest or saving a foreclosed home, the need is the same: something is terribly wrong and the word must be gotten out, and strong action applied.

If you are an environmentalist -- the upcoming Rio+20 Conference on June 20-22 is a hot topic. If you are an occupier, helping these two movements merge and help each other grow will be your hot topic.

At least, that's the view of Ted Schulman, who is both an Occupier and an Environmentalist and a man who has always inhabited interesting -- if opposing -- worlds. At one time a member of the "Mad Men" culture we see pictured on HBO, Ted managed a technology group for TBWA\Chiat\Day, the global ad agency known for campaigns for Apple Computer, Absolut, Nissan, Pepsi, and Visa.

Along the way, he also was instrumental in creating an award winning interactive technology demonstration project, The Learning Center at Ellis Island, and HarlemNYC.US as an example online community developed for New York State's application as a Federal Empowerment Zone.

Living in the Wall Street area, it was easy for him to walk two blocks over to be one of the very first "citizens" of the Occupy world at Zuccotti Park in September, 2011. Being someone who understood both business and societal needs (his degree is in Social Anthropology) and one who also honed his tech skills at the Ad Agency, he set about with people like Deven Balkind and Drew Hornbein, "kids" 20 years his junios to create a "TechOps" group. Naturally, it was informed by work he had done previously in the sustainability world.

Ted thus far has managed to weave together the two worlds of climate and financial concerns. In a very symbolic, if not real sense, the arctic meltdown has its equivalency in the Wall Street Collapse and that action must be taken. And, he is working hard with people here in the U.S. and around the world to see that this awareness is brought to the general population.

The chosen vehicle is the Earth Summit called RIO+20, and likely a People's Summit to take place in the southern Hemisphere. "It could be transformative," Ted believes, and is laboring to bring about an online forum for people to vote on economic as well as climate actions -- actually a "first layer of a consensus system" as pioneered in the Occupy General Assemblies.

The logical and now forthcoming fruits of all this? "Occupy Climate," of course.

For those wanting more information on this and how to join the "communities of practice" that will focus on collaboration and innovation between OWS and Rio+20, more details can be found at:, or by contacting Ted at his company,

A more detailed "15 Minutes of Fact" oral interview with Ted Schulman can be found at:

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