Last Updated: March 26th, 2019

Kate Rawarth, the senior researcher for Oxfam featured in Paul and Kate Maple’s 2013 documentary, Connected: A Film for Change, says that it would take less than one percent of the world’s food supply to feed the approximately 850 million people who are starving today. Instead of making sure this is done, many people in first-world countries are living with obesity (which is often just as detrimental to a person’s health as starving), while people in other countries can’t get enough to eat. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if the wealth was equally spread, and what can we do to nudge the powers-that-be towards finding practical ways to make sure this happens? The Maple family set off in a caravan, travelling across Europe in hopes of finding the answers to these questions and more. Connected focuses on the inspiring expert answers they received.

The Maples discovered that maintaining the balance between economic growth and prosperity and adequate preservation and allotment of our planet’s natural resources is not completely up to the various governments of the world, as many people believe. Ordinary citizens have more power than we think. That is not to ignore the fact that there are some things governments can do to ensure that they’re leading us all towards a sustainable future. For example, they can make sure all sectors (including economic, environmental, and cultural) are working together so that every decision meets the needs of all. Governments must also respond to crises within every sector more quickly, instead of engaging in lengthy debates which just delay the solving of problems. Politicians must focus less on re-election, and more on instituting policies that will guarantee our survival, even if they lose popularity in the present because the rewards of these decisions do not become evident until years in the future.

However, we can give governments an extra push towards doing these things by coming together and telling them what we want with one voice, the Maples have learned. As we’ve all likely figured out by now, politicians are more likely to listen to the many than the few. Speaking out worked with retail stores—we demanded more organic and environmentally friendly products, and they delivered. We can use the Internet to speak because it’s one of the only mediums that’s not heavily regulated by a particular powerful group. If we educate as many people as possible, so that they become invested enough in our planet to let their views be known, and if we can get politicians to respond to our needs, they may be able to accomplish what is best for all of us and what they want simultaneously—that is, help lead the world out of poverty and towards sustainability, while garnering a higher chance of re-election at the same time.

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For more information:

To find out more about the movement for strategic change regarding the world’s approach to sustainability, and for more information on the upcoming Embrace the Change web conference, visit You can also view the film there, as well as through the YouTube link below.

Watch Connected:  

image: Vincent (Creative Commons BY-NC-SA—no changes)