An Interview with Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee: Director of the Global Oneness Project
Dec 01, 2009 03:00AM
By Barbara Amrhein
Since founding the Global Oneness Project in 2005, Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee has professionally directed and produced 26 short films that have been widely distributed online and aired on LINK TV, Current TV and PBS. Vaughan-Lee and his team have traveled the world, seeking out stories and teachings from leading thinkers whose work and activities emphasize oneness with other people, animals and nature. The Global Oneness Project is exploring how the radically simple notion of interconnectedness can be made practical for daily living in an increasingly complex world.
Q. Your video at
I feel that humanity is at a crossroads, and how we respond to the global environmental crisis during the next two decades will define whether our current civilization will be able to evolve or will fail. Within this crisis is a tremendous opportunity for individuals, communities, organizations and governments to step into a more expansive consciousness that focuses on the needs of the planet, other people and our children and grandchildren’s future. Taking the focus away from the “I” to the “We” on a collective level would be a tremendous step in our evolution. If this can happen—and it needs to happen—then we could be living a much higher potential than we are now.
Q. You and your team have interviewed hundreds of people from many countries and cultures. What common themes and ideals are you hearing?
An obvious, common theme is that people have had enough of the current greed-based, commercialized, materialistic monoculture that is destroying their cultures, regional biodiversity, ecosystems and languages. They are standing up to this and saying they don’t want to be part of that story. They are telling a new narrative, one that respects diversity, sees the Earth as alive and sacred and understands that the values of respect, compassion, tolerance, stewardship and generosity must not just be ideals we aspire to, but ideals that we live and incorporate into our systems.
Q. What is the best way for people of all ages, from all walks of life, to reach out to one another and participate in making oneness real?
Taking actions suggested by our educational and online community programs, when they launch early next year, will give people many ways to get involved. At present, we encourage everyone to join in our online dialogues and host a pay-it-forward Global Oneness DVD screening. We will ship a DVD anywhere in the world for free, if you agree to gather 10 or more people in your home, office, church, community center or theater, and screen the film. When done, we ask that you pass the DVD along, asking the next recipients to do the same.
Q. How has the Global Oneness Project benefited those you interview on-camera, who are often activists working to effect compassionate change that aids people and the planet?
Several of our video interview and film subjects have received additional mainstream media attention after we spotlighted their work. This attention has helped them raise funds, win credibility in their own communities and spread their ideas to other communities around the world. Many of these activists also run non-government organizations, which have consequently received additional funding from individuals and foundations. Most importantly, I think sharing their stories and seeing the response from people around the world has made them feel like they are part of a global community, a global movement that helps invigorate their work and gives them a new level of support.
Q. What is the source of your hope?
My children give me hope, because I look at them and see a new generation that might get a chance to live in a world that is not so distorted and destroyed. I also find hope in people I’ve met these past few years who, despite all odds, live and work in a way that respects others and the Earth. Their courage inspires us all.