Who We Are
The Cultural Innovations Agency, Inc. (CIA), is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. Our mission is to shine the light on dynamic initiatives in the arts, education, economy and communities to inspire hope and transform society.
The ethical framework for the CIA recognizes the interdependence of all life on this planet and therefore, the interconnection of economic justice, human rights, respect for nature and a culture of peace.
What We Do
We provide a resource of video interviews with artists, educators, economists and community builders plus a conversational guide to serve as a catalyst for enlightening exchanges with family, friends, colleagues and fellow community members.
The existing video series of 40 stories continues to be expanded with new interviews done by CIA and trusted contributors. These videos serve as catalysts for uplifting and enlightening conversations with family, friends, colleagues and fellow community members. A basic premise of the CIA is that when people gather in a convivial atmosphere, learning and sharing is both fun and meaningful. See list of videos & themes.
The videos can be shown in a variety of settings including classrooms, workplaces and community spaces. Each video page includes a conversational guide and additional information to assist in the exploration of the video subjects.
Meet the Team
Jan has been a community builder locally and nationally for over forty years. She captured video interviews with people around the country with a passion, who were creating transformational change in their communities and nationally. Jan served as creator, producer, videographer and editor for the Road Trip video series.
A thread of unconventionality has woven consistently throughout Jan’s life but rests on a solid foundation of creative social change. It began with the “Boy Scout Troop for Girls” that she started at the age of 10 using her father’s manual from Great Britain because it offered girls a more exciting time than did Brownies. In the 70’s she established innovative programs that served women; in the 80’s a cutting edge alternative health program and in the 90’s the Institute for Ethics & Meaning to strengthen the Community Spirit of Caring in the Tampa Bay Area. She was also a psychotherapist in private practice and corporate motivational speaker on “Rediscovering Your Sense of Fun”.
Jan founded Earth Charter US (1999 to December 2013). The Earth Charter (EC) is a global agreement for a sustainable future written by thousands of people in 77 countries over the course of ten years. Jan was invited by Mikhail Gorbachev to the international launch of the Earth Charter at the Hague Peace Palace in 2000, where she was recognized for leading the major effort in the United States.
Jan also served on the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development’s education caucus and was adjunct professor in the College of Business at the University of Tampa where she taught graduate courses on Sustainability: The Triple Bottom Line—People, Planet & Profit.
Publications include: The New Economy Puts People & Planet First: Environmental Practice Journal, April 2017; Operation Road Trip: How a Video Camera, A Bottle of Rum & A Care Renewed My Faith in the Future; January 2016; Amazon.com; Relational Globalization; Anthology- Women at the Crossroads of the Local and Global; Cambridge Scholars Publishing; October 2008; A Community Spirit of Caring Begins with You June 2001 (iuniverse.com).
Her daughters, Allison, Andrea and Amy and their families are her joy and give her life meaning.
Andrea is Senior Director – Project Management Office for Syniverse Technologies, a global company that provides technology and business services for the telecommunications industry. Previously, she was Senior Manager – Project Management Office for Raymond James Financial Services, a national firm. Andrea brings 25+ years as an IT leader for several Fortune 500 Companies to Cultural Innovations Agency (CIA). Andrea’s passion for travel has provided her with an appreciation for and perspective on different cultures and lifestyles. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys cooking for family and friends using recipes that she has put her special ‘spin’ on.
Tracy Copes is the managing partner and creative director of Daft Generation, a creative firm in Tampa. The bulk of Tracy’s creative work is for local and international non-profit or not-for-profit organizations. As a committed arts and community advocate, she has participated in Earth Charter International Summits, curated local art exhibitions, participated in state-wide marketing campaigns, organized several fun-raising benefits, shown her own fine art locally, and has had photography published in local media. Tracy has received numerous awards over the years acknowledging her various design projects and marketing campaigns.
Tracy also serves on the Board of Prodigal Sun; a non-profit that serves to further solar power technology, education and usage.
Amy is the Associate Director for Champions for Children, a nationally accredited non-profit community based organization with a 35 year commitment to prevent child abuse and neglect in the Tampa Bay community. Champions understands that babies are not equipped with instruction manuals making our child development and parent education services valuable to any parent. An applied anthropologist by training, Amy came of age in the seventies where she was surrounded by social crusading. She approaches change from an insider’s and often introverted perspective believing that good food, abundant caffeine, quality conversation and a little sleep deprivation often leads to brilliant solutions. She brings 25+ years in the non-profit industry in planning, evaluation and service design & delivery to the efforts of the Cultural Innovations Agency.
Susan Edwards is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction writer and editor who loves helping people polish their prose until it sparkles. Her website is a work in progress: http://yourbookguru.com/ . In her spare time, she is a compulsive gardener who is happiest when digging in the dirt. Hot Mama, which she makes with a friend, is a blend of herbs and spices gathered from gardens, hillsides and spice markets around the world.
Santiago Echeverry is a Colombian American New Media and Digital Artist with a background in Television, Video and Performance Art. Thanks to the Fulbright Grant he received his Master’s degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. He taught Interactivity at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and then relocated to Florida in the Fall of 2005 to teach Interactive Media at the University of Tampa. He started exhibiting internationally in 1992, participating in festivals such as Siggraph, FILE and the Japan Media Arts Festival, among others. His interests are non-linear narration, video-art, interactive design, creative code and web experimentation. All his works are available online at www.santi.tv
Judy is a retired Information Technology executive for a Tampa energy company. She has a long history of board leadership, including past president of the Athena Society, an organization of leaders in Tampa whose mission is to promote economic and social justice for women. Judy has also served on the board of Earth Charter US and is the immediate past chair of that organization. Her interest in Cultural Innovations Agency springs naturally from her dedication to sustainability but also her rich experiences in organizing and hosting social events.
Genie Skypek, Ph.D.
Genie has a long history of doing different things that are related to psychology. She is a psychologist by training and for many years by practice – working as a feminist therapist and in substance abuse, pain management, and health psychology. She has been an educator in a number of settings and has consulted extensively to behavioral health organizations in areas of performance improvement and clinical documentation. She was a surveyor for The Joint Commission for 40 years and is now consulting with organizations who wish to prep for survey. What does she bring to the culinary world, you might wonder? First, an appreciation of the taste of food – she is not a cook by any means, but all of her friends and intimates have been cooks – making her a wise judge of character. Second, an appreciation of the role of food in mental health – Did you know that worldwide, those who consume more fatty fish tend to be less depressed – even if they live in dark climes? And third (and most importantly), an appreciation of the role of good conversation for all things – health, joy, inspiration, fun, challenge – to name only a few.
Lou Ann Robinson
Lou Ann is Chief Executive Officer of Saxon Publishing, LLC, an online publisher of science fiction novels. Formerly, she served as account executive for ATT Advertising Solutions and Tampa Bay Business Journal. Born and raised in Tampa, she is fluid in Spanish and has a large network of friends and colleagues from many sectors of the community. As a parent of a son and a daughter, she has a special interest in integrating ethnic studies into the core curricula in high schools. She was actively involved in the screening of Operation Bon Appetit’s road trip videos and researching B roll for many of them.
30+ years of IT experience including sales, technical support, project management, services and training. Seven years focused on building ROI models and tools using Alinean’s ROIAnalyst and training and supporting users worldwide. Currently, Business Value Consultant-North America, IBM Security. He has been actively involved in community building in Boulder, CO, Oakland, CA and Tampa, FL based on the sustainability principles of the Earth Charter. He is a tiny house enthusiast and recently built his own on top of a trailer to use for future explorations around the US.