Embassy of the Earth Seventh Generation Project

‘Why would I take you on board?’ ‘What’s your contribution?’ She looks at me as if I’m out of my mind. I mean: ‘which three talents can I count on, when we are way beyond the shores, on the middle of the sea?’ She smiles.

 ‘Where ever I am, I’m usually the boss…’

‘Can I write down, leadership qualities?’ Wow – I see her thinking – sounds good!

We are in Irish café Sally O’Brien in the city of Zwolle, enrolling for THE JOURNEY. The Two Mast Tall Ship ‘The Gallant’ will take ten young people – who are clients of the Trias Youth Support System – and five elders on board for a nine day sailing trip. As crew. To enlist, everyone signs the sailor-contract. Upon return THE JOURNEY continues on the main land for another nine months until the spring of 2017. Purpose? Design and build your own future!

THE JOURNEY is a special adventure, originally designed as a program for Olympic athletes on their quest for immortality and gold at the Athens Olympics of 2004.

Entering THE JOURNEY, you have your own dreams and your own purpose for the future. In time you will come face to face with yourself.

“Where you stumble the treasure lies’, it is said.

Which means, meeting your demons is part of the JOURNEY! Going deep, may, to your surprise, invite unsuspected forces to become your ally.

Often, participants have said, in retrospect, that the power of the team gave them the extra needed nudge to stay on course, heading in the right direction. Issues that seemingly do not directly relate to THE JOURNEY will cross your path and will have a considerable influence. For example, what’s the role of your friends, your boyfriend or girlfriend? Your family members? How is your presence in a group or team? What’s happening in school?

The world is in motion. On all frontiers. Climate Change is putting ‘ordinary life’ under pressure. Refugees flooding all over Europe, limits to economic growth, the end of the fossil fuel era. The planet is really hurting!
No more open ticket to a stable future for this new generation. ‘Just finish your education, we’ll guarantee your first job’- is a promise we, the elders, can no longer fulfill. For the young people at Trias Youth Support this rings true as well. They also will ask themselves: ‘why would I adapt to the needs of this society? What’s the sense of that? But, where am I suppose to go?
All good questions. Answer? Do what’s happening in many places on the planet, as we are speaking. The young generation taking charge, shaping the future they want. All alone? Of course not. They connect with other young people, often face to face in small groups and with the use of social media. In fact, with everyone who has knowledge and experience in response to their needs. Currently there are three billion smart phones effectively operating on the planet.

Just as being  a sailor on board of a tall sail ship is very concrete and real task, the group will upon return engage in real and tangible projects, moving closer and closer to their desirable future.

Team Trias with Jeroen Beckers, Evelien de Hamer, Erna van den Berg en Johan van Aalderen with Team Embassy of the Earth – Frank Heckman, Emiel ten Voorde en Loek van der Lans are the JOURNEY organizers. And besides Erna and Johan, all are fellow travelers.

THE JOURNEY is handing you the tools to bring out the best you have. And there is ample space for knowledge and experience from outside people. Learning by doing, and lots of sharing.

Five Dimensions of the JOURNEY:

CALLING → If you don’t know where you are sailing, any wind will do.

FELLOWSHIP → One finger can’t lift a pebble

DRAGONS → Where you stumble the treasure lies

PERFORMANCE → Stepping in the middle of the moment, talents in motion

RETURN → Bringing home the Holy Grail, learning and sharing


It started with a vision

Old rusting cranes, the NDSM Shipyards, Mongolian Yurt and a big Work Space tent, Sacred fire burning on a barren strip of land just behind good food place ‘Noorderlicht’, on the edge of the water-way ‘t IJ, separating us from the city centre of Amsterdam. That’s where the Embassy of the Earth saw the light. Gathering 40 young people under 40 looking at the sustainable future of the Netherlands. It is June 21st 2009.  This very capable and talented group of young people presented their outcome to the Dutch Government and urged Prime Minister Peter Jan Balkenende to commit to a ‘green’ society.

Mongolian Yurt NDSM Shipyards Amsterdam

‘We envisioned permanent Embassies of the Earth on all seven
continents. To serve as educational centers and as operational
base camps. Introducing the ‘Embassy’ as a social platform
serving the urgent complex requests concerning relevant,
often ecological issues – such as for climate, water, food,
education, climate/draught, health and more. And to build local
and regional capacity, unleashing the power of community’s
ability to actively adapt to severe challenges – December 2008.’

Opening of the Asian Centre

Forty people have gathered in the Vaigai Hall of the Tata Dhan Academy. Located some 20 miles outside the City of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, in the middle of a rural and nature landscape. Today is the 27th of July, and in the next hour the Asian Centre of the Embassy of the Earth will be opened. In partnership with Dhan Foundation – a Social Enterprise enabling nearly a million of the poorest people in India to build a good life.

Beautiful unity

Leaders from rural agricultural, coastal tribal fisherman communities are present. Also the water managers are present, a responsibility in these areas, dating from ancient times. After speeches we move outside to do a Tamil Hindu, local tribal and Ojibway Sacred Fire ceremony. The women do a Water Ceremony. Many of the leaders step forward to speak or sing. Beautiful unity. In the end I offer all leaders, starting with Vasi Malai from Dhan, a pouch with coals from the Millemont/COP21 Sacred Fire in December 2015. Then it began to rain.