Role Models for London

With all the excitement over high profile activists such as Nobel Prize winning Al Gore, we sometimes forget that social and political change also comes from committed people and groups working together at the local level. In recognition of the importance of strong community leadership, a new initiative has been launched by the Mayor of London and the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC). They have named 15 London Leaders who will demonstrate, in a practical way, how individual action can make a difference. These men (and a few women) will have a year to serve as role models within their respective communities and motivate them to do more.

At London City Hall (a sustainable building), in front of an audience of 200 people including eco-hero Herbert Girardet, each leader explained their commitment. A Vicar is going to encourage other churches to get involved in sustainability issues, a local businessman hopes to make Brixton a hub of green small businesses, another wants to create green roofs on financial institutions, and another wants to build the first sustainable entertainment venue. One woman wants to promote sustainability in the film and advertising worlds and another wants to work in the cultural area to expand awareness. The diversity of the leaders and the fields that they represent is striking, with people from the world of business, academia, non-profit sector, religious and community groups. One woman will be working with small food shops and local supermarkets to eliminate the excess packaging on lunch-time take-out foods.Several of the leaders were working to help people adopt healthier diets through community food projects. "Eat to Live" is a programme that has been developed in Peabody Trust social housing projects and will include lessons on nutrition, buying healthy foods and providing supervised healthy snacks for children. The Coriander Club provides a chance for Bengali women to grow organic vegetables for their family, and participate in healthy cooking classes. These will be expanded and shared with a wider community. Wonderful aspirations, all of them, we wish the Leaders great success. :: London Sustainable Development Commission

Tags: England | London

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