DECEMBER 15, 2022 – 9 am Eastern USA (GMT -5)

We are excited to launch a OPEN Zoom event before year’s end to have as many of our OPEN Family across at least 10 countries get to meet and see one another for the first time. My objective is to have you all join together to see and feel our connectedness with each other across our many cultures and locations, all of us who are working to build bridges for the common good through technology and education programs.

While I have had the privilege and honor to have met most all of you during the course of the last decade, many of you only get to work with or know a small segment of people (so far) who have contributed to the growth and success of OPEN in fulfilling its mission.

For this event we bring together OPEN strategic partners, country managers, and colleagues from so many countries, many of them on the continent of Africa, but also from the Caribbean islands, South America, as well as North America and China (up late in the evening).

To have the most meaningful and enduring impact we will also be setting up an OPEN Global Forum for us all to communicate with one another or smaller groups ongoing from this event forward in the OPEN Online Moodle Platform.

But at this time I want to now highlight two special individuals, one who is just joining with OPEN this year and will be an Ambassador of good will, environmental and social justice walking across Africa in 2023, John Francis, Planetwalker, and Dave Morimoto, colleague, supporter and friend to OPEN for many years, the Chair of Natural Sciences and Math at Lesley University here in Cambridge, Mass, USA.

An additional honor and benefit for our joint mission would be for some of our OPEN partners in Africa to meet with John and his team sometime during their trek across Africa in 2023, either in person or virtually via Zoom. We will be coordinating this in the coming months, so I encourage you to learn more about Planetwalk and this epic journey from Cape Town to Khartoum, via – ,

Dr. John Francis, aka Planetwalker, is planning a Planetwalk walk from Cape Town to Khartoum. After decades of walking the planet, Francis says planetwalking is something beyond tourism, and more a metaphor for life. “It’s a sacred journey, one with geographic as well as interior landscapes.” The mission of his walk is a return to humanity’s birthplace to learn how Africa and Africans contributes and connects with the world and its people. Former United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador to the worlds grassroots communities, John’s thesis is because we are the environment we can make a difference by being kind to each other. His latest book for children Human Kindness: True Stories of Compassion and Generosity that Changed the world, was published in September 2022 by What on Earth Books.

Dave Morimoto chairs the Natural Science and Math department at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. He is an ecologist who studies birds, urban ecology, and conservation biology, and he is involved with citizen science programs and getting people back out into nature as a basic indigenous human right.