Great Wine, People and Music: ReThink Impact, The Book of Ice and Bill McKibben

On Wednesday, July 13th, 2011, the Human Impacts Institute (Hii) attended a networking event hosted byRethink Impact and had a chance to learn a lot from other non-profit and philanthropy organizations. Afterwards, Hii staff had a wonderful time at the launch event of Paul D. Miller’s (aka DJ Spooky) new graphic design project, The Book of Ice. At both events, Hii representatives exchanged opinions and shared experiences with other participants about environmental projects.

The wine tasting and networking event was held in a cozy room on the second floor of theMoore Brothers’ Wine Company. The whole event was organized by Rethink Impact’s staff and interns. Rethink Impact is a new tech company, whose mission is to develop efficiencies to close the gap between foundations and grant seekers. Currently, Rethink Impact is working on its website and products that will match grant seekers with specific foundations based on their needs and requirements. With the new product Rethink Impact believes it will save a lot of time and effort for both sides during their grant-seeking processes. As an active grant-seeker, Hii is looking forward to partnering with Rethink Impact to utilize it’s free products and services for non-profits.

Understanding the power of networking, Rethink Impact was excited to introduce their ideas and upcoming plans at the event, while guests were enjoying wine made by artisan winegrowers in France, Italy and Germany. Thorough the event, Hii’s Executive Director, Tara DePorte, and Public Relations Intern, Hoa Do, were able to connect with many non-profit organizations in NYC. It was also an excellent opportunity for Hii to raise more awareness about the organization and its new projects and long-term planning. Despite the fact that Hii is a newly-established organization, representatives from other non-profit organizations were impressed and interested in Hii’s innovative approaches towards building sustainable communities. Many inquired more information on Hii’s projects, such as: the NYC Climate Coalition and street tree care stewardship. Besides great wine, insightful conversation with people, the event was a great experience because Hii was able to represent itself to organizations with common goals.

The adventure of Hii’s staff continued as Tara and Hoa entered the art gallery Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in Manhattan to join Paul D. Miller’s (aka DJ Spooky). Using photographs and original artworks and archival materials, Miller ponders how Antarctica could liberate itself from the rest of the world in his new book The Book of Ice. The book is part fictional, part history and part science. The book launch started with an insightful discussion with Miller, Bill McKibben, leading climate scientist and Founder of, Edward Morris of the Canary Project, and Anna Lappé of the Small Planet Institute about “The Book Of Ice” project, sustainability, and climate change.

As a bonus of the evening, Miller, a well-known hip-hop Dj, also presented compositions derived from his explorations in Antarctica with a live string quartet, The Telos Ensemble. The profound mixture of dubstep beats, beautiful sounds from string quartet and glaciers was a truly inspiring mixture. At the end of the evening, author Miller took extra time for a book signing, and invited everyone to an open social event.

Thorough the event with friendly interactions and deep knowledge of Antarctica’s science and art, Miller once again proves that he is an innovative artist capable of making the old look new. For Hii’s staff being a part of such an original and meaningful project was an amazing experience. The event provided participants with information about climate change and current conditions of Antarctica, while enjoying an evening full of rich history, inspiring exploration and artistic endeavors. Hii is looking forward to our continued partnership with, the Canary Project, and DJ Spooky.

By Hoa Do, 2011 Human Impacts Institute PR and Marketing Intern

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