The Power of The Artist’s Pen

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Understanding a potent, if underused, agent of social change

By Mina Lee

A link to the article is available here:

Once a corporate lawyer and now an international consultant, Laura Ballantyne-Brodie, brings a unique perspective to her work. Her project, ShareHouse Earth Rental Agreement, uses a contract to represent our relationship with Earth.

“Breaking down very large concepts and complex science to a social contract, a concept of ‘rent’ — at once uncomfortable, and jarring — this is the area I seek to explore — and hope to prevail,” she said.

Source: Laura Ballantyne-Brodie and Claire Durand Gasselin

A link to the article is available here:

Active Hope, Earth Ethics, Earth Jurisprudence, Installations, Planetism, ShareHouse Earth, Social Movements, Sustainability

The Rights of Nature Arts Festival (RONA16) & Future Projects

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We’re excited to take part in an installation at the Brunswick Street Gallery opening on Friday 5th August.

The  Future Projects exhibition is a part of the RONA16 Arts Festival.

Future projects.jpeg

The ShareHouse Rental Agreement is back to explore the concept of radical self-responsibility. We ask: what if each of us took our obligation to live on Earth in a spirit of compassionate responsibility to each other, other species, and ecosystems?

Active Hope, Climate Change, Earth Ethics, Earth System Ethics, ShareHouse Earth

The Pope: We’re trashing humanity’s shared home

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An extract from Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, released just days before the Pope will address a global audience, compels humanity to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.

According to Pope, the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon.

In the Pope’s own words, echoing Rent the World’s call to action, we are trashing our shared home. We won’t get our bond back. It is time to take care of Earth, so it can continue to house and take care of us. 

More information here:

Active Hope, Climate Change, Earth System Ethics, ShareHouse Earth, Sustainability

We have every reason in the world to act. This is our only home

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“…We need our leaders to be brave and their choices to be bold. They will either remember us as the generation that destroyed its home, or the one that finally came to respect it. We have every reason in the world to act. We can’t wait until tomorrow. This is our only home…”

Installations, Sustainability

Would you sign a rental agreement for ShareHouse Earth?

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We were pleased to meet with a lot of people who replied “Yes! Sure!”, and to see the little sparkle in their eyes, as they agreed and signed the rental agreement:



“This Rental Agreement covers the terms and conditions that you agree to follow as a resident housemate tenant (Housemate/Tenant) living in our shared home (ShareHouse Earth).

TENANT acknowledges: ShareHouse Earth is shared home to 7 billion Housemates (and counting) and countless other tenant species. The ultimate Landlord M. Earth (Landlord) houses us on condition that we take care of ShareHouse Earth. Landlord reserves the right to keep the deposit for damage or misuse of resources or shared spaces.

HOUSEMATES agree: to look after the space that they share in common to make them liveable spaces for all. To co-operate to leave ShareHouse Earth in substantially the same state of cleanliness and the same – preferably better – condition as it was found.

TENANT acknowledges: that Tenant does not own the Planet but rents it from future generations. Tenant must do their part to take care of ShareHouse Earth and pay rent (Rent). As a fee for service, use and privilege, TENANT may pay Rent by actively looking after ShareHouse Earth. Tenant may pay Rent through actions such as activism, volunteering or contributing to projects that look after ShareHouse Earth for all future Housemates.”

Conceptual Artist: Laura Ballantyne-Brodie

Photographer: Claire Durand-Gasselin

Graphic Design: Vera Apuzen

Installations, Sustainability

Our First Official Campaign – Cut the Crap

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Check out the event page for photos and the low down from our first campaign here.

A team from Rent the World will be traveling to NYC for the Climate March and imploring world leaders to “Cut the Crap” and take bold action on climate change. The “Cut the Crap” campaign will be using social media to promote its message of CO2 emissions reductions while also spreading the word about Rent the World.

With the future of the planet on the line, we all need to take collective action on climate change. By forging crucial connections between individuals, organizations, and businesses, Rent the World will be a vital tool in mitigating climate change and ensuring our planet’s continued survival. And it all starts right here in NYC!

Earth Ethics, Sustainability

Rent the World: A Manifesto

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Among the doomsday predictions and naysaying climate skeptics have you stopped to appreciate that you are the result of around 3.8 billions years of evolution?  It strikes me sometimes that in the midst of doom and gloom scenarios we forget to rejoice the fact that despite the odds human life has evolved in a truly remarkable way.  We are alive to experience the world wide wake-up call challenging us to shift our paradigm and start to take care of the Earth.

Despite the turmoil that surrounds us (disruptive technology, economic woes and environmental degradation), we live at a fascinating time.  We are witnessing the evolution of human consciousness before our eyes.  The news has been delivered telling us that the way we are living is at odds with the physical systems of the planet and we are fast approaching crisis point. It is up to us to choose the path to a safe, clean and free society for current generations and for future generations after us.

A changing paradigm – ethics and cosmology

We’re moving from a worldview that prioritizes nations to one that prioritizes planet. Peter Ellyard a renowned futurist and intellectual, coined the term planetism to describe the worldview where our first allegiance is to the planet.  As a concept planetism recognizes that humanity exists as part of a whole in an interconnected system.

The shift that we’re experiencing is a shift in paradigm from a worldview in which:

  • individual is king to community being paramount;
  • autocracy and hierarchy rule to democracy taking a deeper hold;
  • humanity working against nature (or from above) to one where humanity sees itself as inextricably linked to nature.

Consciously or unconsciously the predominant worldview stresses that life (you, me and all the creatures of the biosphere) is insignificant because we are so tiny in comparison to the infinite universe.  This is recognized by the expression ‘in the scheme of things, I’m insignificant’ or ‘one person won’t change a thing’.  We must challenge this view.  While the Earth may be ‘insignificant’ in space (i.e. we are tiny in comparison to the rest of space) we are significant in time. Earth has been around such a long time that it has allowed complex human life and everything in the biosphere to flourish.  This fact alone means there is no justification for us to continue approaching our relationship with the Earth and life itself with indifference.  Our fundamental relationship with the Earth needs some counselling so that collectively we recognize we’re flying in the face of 3.8 billion years of miraculous design, destroying the planet for the benefit of a relative few.

The rise of civil society: citizens and entrepreneurs

With the rise of the civil sector, we’re witnessing an extraordinary shift in the way in which people are grappling with and responding to the global challenge of sustainability.  The organisation I founded, Rent to the World started because we recognized the need to catalyze the paradigm shift and get on with the task of looking after the commons.

The metaphor of paying ‘rent’ to the world is unmistakable because it challenges our worldview and encourages us to recognize there’s a corresponding duty (or fee!) for our place on the planet.  As a noun, rent is defined as “a fee for use, service or privilege”.  The concept encourages us to recognize the symbiotic nature of our existence and that we each have a role (or duty depending on your point of view) to give something back.  As everyone has a concept of money it is a powerful tool to remind us that we all have an impact, and therefore a responsibility to give back to the Earth – our home – for the gift of life and the use of its resources – valuable, beautiful and quite often finite.


For the moment we are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole but the message is resoundingly clear: we cannot continue on our current course.  Once we make the mental shift placing cooperation, collaboration and responsibility as the central principles of our worldview, we can harness our energy and ingenuity to begin the task of looking after the commons.  Our hope at Rent to the World is that many more people are ready to join with us to turn things around.  Wendell Berry, the remarkable American poet, farmer and activist has said “the world and life it holds are conditional gifts.  We have the world to live in on condition that we take good care of it”.  Humanity is receiving a wake-up call, after many years of taking our place on Earth for granted.  It is our responsibility to take care of the planet, so that in return, it will look after us.