OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

The ETIV Environmental Justice League (EEJL) and the New Eco-Ethical-Economy

Connecting international volunteers with local youth leaders to promote environmental justice and an eco-ethical-economy.

Photo of Jaci Braga

Written by

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The ETIV Environmental Justice League (EEJL) will address our current environmental crisis by training international volunteers and interns to support and empower local youth leaders that join the EEJL. Youth will receive education and training to help plan and lead our monthly action campaigns, becoming everyday heroes working in support of environmental justice. Monthly campaigns (as outlined in the EEJL Action Plan Calendar) are designed to move participants, businesses and communities beyond our dependency on plastics and fossil fuels, towards a new Eco-Ethical-Economy that values lives, livelihoods and the environment. The EEJL will promote this new ideology to influence individual and structural change by building new relationships between individuals, communities, business, banks/lenders, organizations, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Beyond our work here Brazil, ETIV is also building a virtual platform so that volunteers, interns and youth from all over the world can join the EEJL and participate in our monthly campaigns, but with the freedom to define and modify how these actions will look in their own communities. Using social media, Slack and webinars, we can vastly expand EEJL's impact and reach globally. Monthly action campaigns will begin with simple actions everyone can support and will become increasingly sophisticated as we build new relationships and power both within our own communities and globally.

Imagine youth leaders inspiring people, businesses, universities, banks and governments all over the globe to reject plastics and fossil fuels, and to instead invest in products and technologies that support people and the environment. Imagine families, communities and organizations accessing funding and low-rate loans to switch from harmful products and fossil fuels to renewable energy and sustainable and innovative products and technologies. Imagine the emergence of a new eco-ethical-economy that truly supports peace, prosperity and the planet.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Youth from low income/communities of color will be the primary target for our EEJLs since these communities are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation, inequality and injustice. Here in Brazil, we are targeting youth between the ages of 7 and 13 in Passagem, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Itacare. However, volunteers and Interns from around will the world will receive supervision and support to coordinate this project in their local communities or universities and they will have the freedom to define their own beneficiary base and will gain first hand experience with organizing. Youth that join EEJL will be educated and empowered to become local leaders and everyday heroes, while businesses, entrepreneurs, lenders and innovators that support our vision for a new Eco-Ethical-Economy will also benefit from our support. Finally, all humans and animals on the planet will benefit as we work together to promote environmental justice, peace and prosperity.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

At ETIV, we believe that our strategy, which mainly focuses on empowering local youth leaders to build relationships and become the catalysts for change, is what makes our idea so unique. While this process is slower and takes more time, it has an incredible potential to create long term, systemic change as our youth leaders develop into young adults who are educated in the art of organizing and empowered to drive change. Meanwhile, the use of technology to allow virtual volunteers to build EEJLs across the globe is also a great advantage as it will allow the project to be much more impactful and successful. Offering volunteers and youth a platform to connect their local work with a larger global movement, will build greater power and a strong, united voice for change. Volunteers and youth leaders will be able to continuously building from each others experiences, relationships and best practices as they plant the seeds for change and build a new vision for the future.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

ETIV do Brasil connects international volunteers with local communities to support environmental conservation and development in Brazil, with a deep focus on youth development.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

The new, innovative and eco-friendly technologies and products coming out (including the Loli-Straws and seaweed plastic alternatives) made me realize the need to organize and inspire people, communities and businesses to use and promote these products if they are to succeed in our current economy. The idea for building an EEJL already existed, but having the youth build a new eco-ethical-economy emerged from learning more about OpenIDEO and the relationships, networks and innovations involved.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

In Itacaré, Brazil, the streets and beaches are littered with plastic and vast areas of mangroves have been destroyed so that hotel owners can offer a view of the river. Local fishermen suffer as habitat loss, global warming and contamination depletes the fish and seafood supplies. Environmental injustice is stark, and this is why we must bridge peace, prosperity and the planet. Without justice, peace and prosperity is less attainable and this includes environmental justice.
Even the local sewage treatment facility releases “treated” sewage into the river just 1 kilometer upstream from where mostly low-income children of color swim and play. This also depicts the environmental racism that still exists. The tourist beaches don't have this problem. Brazil is now #1 in the world for assassinating environmentalists, mostly indigenous. This is why we are focused on empowering youth to create something completely new, rather than fighting a corrupt system that is powerful and dangerous.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

ETIV has been working with local youth in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Itacaré to offer fun and interactive environmental education, workshops and training for nearly 3 years. We are now ready to take this work to another level by encouraging youth participants to join the ETIV Environmental Justice League (EEJL), where they can become environmental leaders who will actively engage the broader community, businesses and even the government to work together to make sustainable environmental changes that will help to promote peace and prosperity. We have also been organizing a group of local fishermen who are working to become a legal union and who support our mangrove restoration project. Finally, we recently developed a virtual marketing and recruitment team, that includes volunteers and interns supporting our work in 5 different countries across the globe. We will now be introducing a virtual environmental campaign, so that everyone can be welcomed to the table on this project.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Itacaré is a beautiful fishing and surfing town where the rainforest meets the Atlantic Ocean and jungles, beaches, waterfalls, and wildlife abound. About 90% of the Atlantic forest has already been destroyed, but we enjoy a vast protected area. After 3 years of work, we now have a strong group of volunteers, youth leaders, business owners and fishermen working with us to conserve our natural resources and our planet. Our virtual online team of volunteers is also amazing and will be expanding.

Geographic Focus

The primary focus will be in Itacare, Brazil, but the virtual team will allow us to expand globally.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

36 months. We hope to begin the project in 2019, as outlined in our EEJL Action Calendar. By December of 2019, we will be going much deeper by identifying environmental injustices in our local communities and globally with our partner EEJL teams. Together, we will be planning our strategies forward into 2020 and 2021. It is critical to allow great flexibility for new ideas to unfold as we build new relationships and partnerships with all key players.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Tabi Ewing

Hi Jaci Braga 

Really liked the progressive and solutions/asset based approach of the EEJL Monthly Action Plan thanks for pointing us in it's direction. We would love to explore collaborations, and new ideas. We are beginning to establish a network of youth and enterprise and we hope to bringing existing groups like the Environmental Justice League onto OASIIS to use it as a collaboration/information resource. The OASIIS youth network is at very early stages but we would be keen to keep connected and sharing new ideas.
We're developing a new OASIIS platform as we speak but check out this one ( and out OASIIS Biennial report (attached to our idea ) for some more info and opportunities to work together.

All the best


Photo of Jaci Braga

Thank you Tabi - It looks amazing - and as though you have so many connections and relationships with power players already. In terms of the biosphere reserves, are you looking to support people that are working to create more of these, or just support the people working in areas that have already been designated as a reserve?
Best wishes,

View all comments