1. Creating a Better Future One Bolt at a Time

    I saw a cartoon today that said that “Despair is the new hope”. That is not true for me and need not be true for you. It’s easy to be pessimistic given the daily stream of negative news that comes our way but it also is easy because if we believe nothing is worth doing, then we don’t really have to do anything.  Ugh, what a way to live…..wake up hopeless about our shared future and go to bed hopeless. I am not someone who is usually a fan.  But, I am a big fan of Gar Alperovitz—probably not someone...

    News stories abound about what is going wrong in our society but few cover the good news that is changing people’s lives and communities for the better. Such stories do exist and they are brought to life in Operation Road Trip: How a Car, a Video Camera & a Bottle of Rum Renewed My Faith in the Future by author Janet Roberts, who drove around the country in her Prius for two and a half months videotaping passionate people engaged in creating a future that takes good care of people and the planet. Operation Road Trip highlights people in the arts,...

    This is the introduction to just edited road trip book about to be self published. Although family and friends may have worried about this old lady taking off on a road trip by herself for two and one half months around the country, I knew there were certain things I would not have to worry about. After all, it was not like I was journeying into a foreign country. First, I could be assured that most of the times the toilets where I stayed would flush. Second, except in rare instances I could count on people speaking some dialect of...
  4. Moving Ahead: A Documentary Maker in Development

     It has been thrilling to learn more about documentary making.  So far I have read Eric Barnouw’s “documentary: a history of the non-fiction film” and “Documentary Film Making” by John Hewitt and Gustavo Vazquez.  The former brings to life the power of this genre to instruct, excite and even deceive. The latter is a pragmatic how-to guide that was both helpful and daunting at times. Next up is “Producing with a Passion” by Dorothy Fadiman and Tony Levelle.  Following my book learning introduction is immersion in hours and hours of documentary watching and analyzing.  Then, participation in the shooting of...
  5. Watch out Cannes & Sundance! Here We Come!

     It is not easy getting into the swing for 2015.  The cause is probably a combination of wicked indulgence over the holidays and wanting to just sit back and rest on the accomplishments of 2014. I am delighted with the fact that I really managed to do the 2 ½ months road trip to capture videos stories of folks creating transformational change around the country.  I also love the uplifting videos—38 in all—and I am so impressed with what people are doing in the arts, neighborhoods, economy, education, environment and more to make possible a future that takes care of...
  6. Brainiacs Learn A Lesson

     Champions for Children’s programming changed when they discovered how to learn from the parents they thought they were supposed to teach. Brian McEwen is Executive Director of Champions for Children. He previously held the position of Associate Director for 12 years. Jeanene Lurvey is Implementation Manager and Chair of the Employee Association Angel Tree Committee at Syniverse    Food for Thought Actions  
  7. What I Did Last Summer: My Road Trip to Change the World

    Operation Bon Appetit is a culinary-driven movement designed to help people effect positive change while enjoying great food, drink and conversation in a convivial atmosphere. I like to think of it as changing the world one dinner party at a time. To spark conversations and ideas for change at these dinners, I took off on a road trip this summer for 2 ½ months to capture video stories of passionate people creating transformational change in their communities. I covered 13,026 miles and 36 states. My Prius had six problems and I consumed 1.75 liters of rum and countless glasses of...
  8. Farmers’ Cooperative in Zambia

    How a Floridian couple,  Michigan school students and an African farmer teamed up to enhance the education of elementary school girls while launching agricultural reform in Zambia.               Val Gallina & George Sherman are long time educators, who developed Character Ethics for students in the Pinellas School District in Florida. Val continues to train teachers nationally in Character Ethics and George is an adjunct professor teaching ethics at St. Petersburg College in Florida. Food For Thought & Conversation George and Val have a passion to help people living in Zambia. Please share your passion or that...
  9. Sisters of the Land

    Future farmers and policymakers learn spiritual land stewardship at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice in Indiana.  White Violet Eco Justice Center has been a ministry of the Sisters of Providence since 1996 and is located on 1200 acres of land in Terre Haute, IN.  The Center recognizes & fosters the interdependence of all creation. The center offers leadership & education in the preservation, restoration and the reverent use of all natural resources.  Through organic agriculture, eco-justice education and social advocacy the center offers opportunities to participate in creating systems that support justice and sustainability, both locally and globally. WVCEJ also sponsors...
  10. Farm to College Programs: 3 Big Benefits

    What does the Rocky Horror Picture Show have to do with feeding college students while helping statewide farmers and growers? Mark LoParco is director of UM Dining at the University of Montana, and is the executive director of the UM Foodservice Management and Purchasing Consortium.  An active member of the National Association of College and University Food Services since 1986, Mark is currently serving as president of the association. As a pioneer in collegiate food service sustainability, Mark frequently presents at regional and national conferences. His leadership in sustainable business practices earned him the inaugural Greening UM Award in 2004.  At the...

About Us

Operation Bon Appetit is an initiative of the Cultural Innovations Agency, Inc. (CIA), a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, with the mission to engage ordinary people in sustainability and social change that emphasizes conviviality, arts, conversations and actions. The ethical framework for the CIA recognizes the interconnection of economic justice, human rights, respect for nature and a culture of peace.

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