Global Grassroots Sustainability: Models for Action

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Join us for Global Grassroots Sustainability: Models for Action as we explore how three organizations continue to take action, create community awareness about environmental issues, and promote sustainable local economies. This virtual event is organized by the UCF Office of Global Perspectives & International Initiatives.

The panel will bring together trailblazing environmental and sustainability champions including: Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, the president of the High Atlas Foundation; Dr. Arturo A. Massol-Deyá, the executive director of Casa Pueblo de Adjuntas; and Bill Dale, Founder and CEO of Beach Buddies.

The panelists will address the work their organizations are undertaking in Morocco, Puerto Rico, and Isle of Man, and how their experiences could lead to successful sustainability efforts elsewhere.

Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir President High Atlas Foundation
“Yossef Ben-Meir has been dedicated to the field of international development since he joined the Peace Corps as a volunteer in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco in 1993. In 2000, he co-founded the High Atlas Foundation and served as president of the Board of Directors until January 2011, and since has been leading its operations. Dr. Ben-Meir was a member of the faculty at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco (2009-10). In 2003, he was a research fellow at the American Institute of Maghrib Studies in Morocco. Yossef was also an Associate Peace Corps Director (1998-99), managing the agriculture and environment program in Morocco. He writes and publishes on the subject of promoting human development in the Middle East and North Africa. Dr. Ben-Meir holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of New Mexico (2009) where he also taught, an MA in international development from Clark University (1997), and a BA in economics from New York University (1991).”
For more information about the High Atlas Foundation, please visit:

Dr. Arturo A. Massol-Deyá is the executive director of Casa Pueblo de Adjuntas
“Arturo A. Massol-Deyá is the executive director of Casa Pueblo de Adjuntas, a community-based group with 38 years of services in natural resources conservation, education, and sustainable development. He obtained his doctoral degree from the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University in 1994 and has been a faculty member at the Department of Biology of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus since then where he established the Tropical Microbial Ecology Lab. He has been a principal investigator of projects on microbial ecology with emphasis on biological processes aimed at restoring contaminated environments. He studies microbial diversity associated to plant communities and in extreme contaminated sites like at the former US Navy bombing range in Vieques. After the direct impact of Hurricane Maria over Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, Dr. Massol-Deyá, together with Casa Pueblo, has led a community aid response that aims to change the energy landscape of a country dependent on fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy sources.”
For more information about Casa Pueblo de Adjuntas, please visit:

Bill Dale- Founder and CEO of Beach Buddies (Isle of Man)
Bill dale is born and educated in the Isle of Man, an island located in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. He has a rich career in journalism, newspapers, photography, public relations, and graphic design. Mr. Dale is also the owner of two community newspapers based in the Isle of Man.
In 2007, he founded beach Buddies, a community organization devoted to providing sustainable operation and using volunteers to keep the beaches and foreshores of the Isle of Man clean from litter. Beach Buddies started with two volunteers and five dogs and grow to more than 11,250 volunteers.
After the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status was granted to the Isle of Man in October 2016, Mr. Dale became a frequent guest speaker highlighting the work of his organization in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, San Francisco, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Ohio, and across the British Isles and Europe. The achievements of Beach Buddies have been also recognized through several awards including the British Empire Medal awarded by Queen Elizabeth for Services to the Marine Environment in 2017, and Isle of Man UNESCO Biosphere Reserve First Annual Awards in 2018. In 2021, BEACH Buddies has created its first international branch and will hold its first event away in Hong Kong.
For more information about the Beach Buddies, please visit:

This is a public forum, all are welcome to attend.

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