Guest Post by Julie Gabrielli, Filmmaker of “I Want America to Thrive”

This is a guest post by Julie Gabrielli, the creator of “I Want America to Thrive,” a short film about how individuals have the ability to create significant change.

As sincere participants in the positive change movement, sometimes we lose our way. Who hasn’t been frustrated with arguing and finger pointing about the state of our country and the environment? Or worried about what kind of world our children and grandchildren will inherit?

As I work for a thriving future for America, and the world, I am tired of hearing that we are a doomed, destructive species, a blight on the planet.

That’s why we are making a short film, “I Want America to Thrive.”

This film will show the power of a story so inspiring that if we just turn up the volume on it, we can drown out the old story of doom and gloom, shame and blame.

See with New Eyes

Imagine the kind of world we can build when we look around with different eyes. Humans have a pretty amazing track record so far: we’ve invented philosophy and the iPhone, landed men on the moon and seated women in the boardroom. In fact, we create the future every day.

Sure, we need to pay attention to the damage that our competitive, industrial way of life has done to the people and living systems on which we all depend. But warning and scolding is not a great way to motivate people. Rather than curse the darkness, why not light a candle?

The people in this film –people like Lauren Abramson of the Community Conferencing Center, Keith Losoya of Waste Neutral Group, Jackie Carrera of Parks & People Foundation and Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen – have seen the challenges and rolled up their sleeves in the face of mighty resistance. The best part is, they love their work. It brings them great meaning, joy and satisfaction – and they touch many lives every day.

Seeing these people and their work in aggregate reveals shared themes of community, connection, healing, creativity, grit, vision and unwavering belief in humanity’s goodness.

Change our Minds

For years, we’ve been told that humans are competitive and selfish, that we are destined to use our power in destructive ways. That life is a game of winners and losers. And the natural world is merely a storehouse of raw materials for our use – and a trash bin to throw our waste. All around us, we see the consequences of believing this story about ourselves.

The Future is Here

I know I’m not alone in seeing a future where every child is safe and thriving in her school; every adult has meaningful work; our homes are powered with clean, renewable energy and built with local, non-toxic, natural materials; our neighborhoods are walkable and clean; our businesses are aligned and connected with the natural world which is their lifeblood; our food is grown locally without chemicals; our conflicts are settled with respectful dialogue; technology is a tool not a master; and we all look to the future with hope and excitement, knowing that we belong here. This is our home.

This is the new story of belonging, connection, creativity, and humility. Evidence that this future is not only in our hearts and minds. It is here, now.


Eco-architect Julie Gabrielli has been at the forefront of the sustainability movement in Maryland for over 15 years. She is an artist and writer, always searching for the most effective medium to wake people up to the beauty of our world. For more information about the film, learn and donate at


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