Gillian Caldwell is the Executive Director of WITNESS, an international human rights organization that provides training and support to local groups to use video in their human rights advocacy capaigns. Caldwell was a Co-Director of the Global Survival Network (now WildAid), where she coordinated the two-year undercover investigation into the trafficking of women in Russia that culminated in her 1997 film, Bought and Sold. She is the leader of the Witness to Truth video project in Sierra Leone that urges the government of Sierra Leone to implement TRC recommendations. Caldwell was the reipient of the 2000 Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership award and has been named one of 40 Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs by the Schwab Foundation, a 2003 Tech Laureate by the Tech Museum, and a Special Partner by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Caldwell received her BA from Harvard University and her JD in human rights law from Georgetown University. Her videos have been shown as evidence in legal proceedings, such as the international war crimes investigation against Slobodan Milosevic, in the Sierra Leone Truth Commission proceedings, and at the UN. Ideas recorded on: 8/13/07
Transcript:Well I mean first and foremost with respect to climate, we . . . we can and must enact legislation which is proportionate to the very serious challenge we face; which would be massive, mandatory emissions reductions. I think also, you know, we’re going to have to tax carbons and reinvest, you know, those funds in developing green and alternative energy sources, and growing a green economy in this country and in other countries around the world. So there’s a series of very concrete solutions that I think we can and must take right away; but again as I outlined earlier, I think that ultimately what’s most important is what each and every person at an individual level is called to do, and who they are called to be on this planet. And I think we need to build a global consciousness and commitment to community, and to living our lives in ways that befit the gift of life we’re given for a short period of time on this planet. And I do believe that at a cultural level, part of that gift bestowed on us obligates us to give back. And I think that requires a fundamental reorientation as to who we are and how we are; and a real invitation to live our lives in a day-to-day way with integrity. So what I’m talking about is a . . . not just structural adjustments which need to be made in almost every . . . almost every issue area imaginable, whether it’s giving free and affordable healthcare to everybody in this country, or addressing the climate collapse; but also the invitation to each of us at an individual level to really tackle the responsibility of ensuring that we’re part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.
Recorded on: 8/13/07