Amy Eldon

Posted by on Nov 30, 2009 in Inspired by Dan


“There will exist one degree of separation
between the most remote village and the tallest skyscraper of industry
— a Global Degree.”

Global Degree is the leading journal studying the impact of globalization
and the relationship between business, geography, demography and global
economics. Each issue of Global Degree offers a timely, open and multidisciplinary
discussion of globalization from different perspectives including,
but not limited to, business, politics, academics, technology, economics,
activism and foreign policy. Essays and interviews will touch upon
ideas, opinions and concepts related to trade, investment, technology,
labor, governance, law, political and/or social unrest, the environment,
and culture.


A Study of Globalization

Spring 2003

Volume 1, Issue 1

Editor: Mel Ochoa

In This Issue:

I. Featured Essay: “Glocal — Global Branding”

By Marian Salzman,

Chief Strategic Officer, Euro RSCG Worldwide

II. Featured Essay: “Localizing Global E-Commerce Initiatives
With Geo-Intelligence Technology”

By Sanjay Parekh,

Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Digital Envoy

III. Global Agent: Amy Eldon

Host and Co-Producer of “GlobalTribe” on PBS

IV. Global Spotlight:

Association of South-East Asian Nations

V. Global Jobs, courtesy of Goodwyn/Powell

VI. Sidebar: Arundhati Roy




Global Agent profiles a “globalist” making an impact on
a global level with an overview of some of the responsibilities, experiences
and issues involved with their job. This profile includes a short
bio and a Q&A format piece.

Amy Eldon,

Host and Co-Producer of “GlobalTribe” on PBS

“Be the Change.” This dictum is the driving force behind
Amy Eldon’s new series on PBS, GlobalTribe, and her accompanying Web
— funded by the Packard Foundation and AOL respectively. A self-proclaimed
“peace correspondent,” Ms. Eldon seeks out individuals throughout
the world who put real solutions to global problems; visionaries who
are reinventing the world via their own communities. Her past television
credits include associate producer and presenter for the Emmy-nominated
film, “Dying to tell the Story,” co-producer and co-host
for CNN International’s “Global Trek: In Search of New Lebanon,”
and co-producer for “Soldiers of Peace: A Children’s Crusade.”
She has co-authored three books, including “Soul Catcher: A Journal
to Help you Become Who you Really Are,” and is the author of
“Angel Catcher for Kids.” As the co-founder of the Creative
Visions Foundation, she helps fund young writers, journalists and
photographers who wish to produce commercial projects with a social,
humanitarian or environmental focus. Ms. Eldon was born in England,
grew up in Kenya, has visited over 40 countries and currently resides
in Los Angeles.

I sat down with Ms. Eldon to discuss her series and her thoughts on

GD: What inspired you to create GlobalTribe?

AE: In “Soldiers of Peace” for CNN, I documented a group
of kids in Colombia nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. For them
it was more risky to work for peace than it was to work for war. It
was amazing to see a group of 15, 16 and 17 year olds faced with insurmountable
obstacles, yet they were not paralyzed by the situation and remained
full of hope. As young people they believed they could change things.
I met them at a time when I was discouraged, feeling sad about the
world and angry over the 1993 killing in Somalia of my brother, Dan
Eldon, a war correspondent. They gave me the sense that if they could
change things – really change things on a political level in Colombia
– then I, too, could make a difference. I’m not in a position to influence
policy since I don’t run a corporation, so I’m going at it from a
more grassroots approach and working to create a global dialogue where
we can all share ideas on poverty and conservation. What I found in
doing GlobalTribe is that we are truly interconnected. I’ve realized
after 9/11 that what happens in countries around the world affects
us all so it is imperative to create this multicultural understanding.

GD: What are you hoping to accomplish through the show?

AE: Basically it is that whole “Think Globally, Act Locally”
saying. Hopefully GlobalTribe will strike a chord and empower people
to create positive change in their own communities. As Teddy Roosevelt
said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
We have the Voices of Change section on the Web site to provide examples
of people who have gone out and done this, whether it’s Arun Gandhi
or Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, or just everyday people like Craig Kielburger
who, at age 20, has been nominated for a Noble Peace Prize. Our ultimate
objective is not for someone to watch our show and be sad, but to
instead be inspired to turn off the television and go do something
that makes a difference.

GD: Is that what you mean by “Take a Stand, Be the Change”
on your Web site?

AE: Exactly. When I interviewed Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, he
said that his grandfather had once been approached by a group of cynics
who said they couldn’t change unless the world changed. To this Mahatma
Gandhi responded, “No, no, no. The world won’t change unless
we change.” This is the show’s premise as well: you must be the
change you wish to see. And that starts, as the Colombian kids taught
me, within our own hearts. It then spreads to our families, to our
communities and then, because we are so interconnected, it ultimately
affects everybody.

GD: What is globalization?

AE: I think of globalization in terms of little experiences I have
along the way. Globalization allows me to email my friends from Internet
cafes anywhere from Manila to Michoacan, or email my father who lives
in Kenya to recount my experience from that day’s shoot at a garbage
dump in the Philippines. Globalization means eating a hamburger in
a Manila McDonald’s and then walking outside to eat Balute, a fertilized
duck embryo. Globalization has allowed the media to create a cross-border
understanding. For me in particular, GlobalTribe provides young people
with the ability to form friendships and not see each other from different
worlds and cultures.

GD: What are the most pressing issues
on the global stage and what are possible solutions?

AE: Half the world’s population lives
on less than two dollars a day. In order to bridge this tremendous
divide between rich and poor we need to educate people about what
is going on. I really do believe that if Americans knew more about
the rest of the world they would want to do something. But we’re not
educating Americans or giving them the opportunity to care. We need
more informative programming to highlight some of these issues. The
first two shows of GlobalTribe focused on issues of conservation and
population, and I’d like to expand the series to include more humanitarian
issues such as AIDS.

AIDS is especially significant to
me since I grew up in Kenya and I’m seeing my community being affected
at every level. One in five adults will die of AIDS, yet very little
is being done about this pandemic. I was so thrilled to see Bono use
his celebrity status as a platform to shout out what’s happening.
I think we need more education in America on what is happening. When
Bono was on the circuit people were horrified by the facts. However,
I think people have donor fatigue when it comes to Africa, especially
after the feminine in Ethiopia and some of the more recent tragedies.
I was amazed and thrilled to see Bush allocate money to the AIDS crisis.
The solution lies in education and more money from the government,
as well as an education campaign in the countries themselves. So as
to not scare away tourists, governments are choosing death by denial
in not to talking about AIDS. We need a real push to educate people.
Kenya, for example, is pretty prudish in that citizens don’t talk
about sex. They need an increased number of sexual health clinics,
widespread condom distribution and education from a very early age.

GD: You mentioned you don’t influence
change through the policy side, but rather through your grassroots
efforts. What do you see as the difference and is one better than
the other?

AE: Through the show I am presenting
the positive aspects of globalization. I’m not so much criticizing
corporations but instead saying that globalization is here to stay
and we cannot go back. The series looks at what we are going to do
about globalization and shows how we can make it work for us. Living
in this borderless world amplifies the need to celebrate and learn
from each other’s differences and share each other’s ideas. It is
vital to create a solidarity at this level and not the more corporate
level. Hopefully that will affect the corporations and affect the
educated policy makers we reach out to at PBS.

GD: What does an ideal world look
like in 20 years?

AE: I think it involves people
taking responsibility and, as we say on the Web site, be the change
you wish to see. My brother always said that evil is due to ignorance,
not intent. So for me personally, in my world, I want to make sure
that people are being educated. I also want to break down some of
these cultural and religious boundaries that separate us and to focus
on the positive aspects of globalization – the sense of interconnection
and learning from each other.

GD: What is your favorite movie and travel destination?

AE: “Nowhere In Africa” is my favorite movie and is deserving
of its recent Academy Award. As for a favorite travel spot, I would
have to say a little island off the coast of Kenya called Lamu. It
is an idyllic, beautiful setting. Donkeys in dusty streets replace
cars and you can hear the call to prayer in the distance. It is a
magical place where everyone falls in love.