This year has been a rough and bumpy ride, but we firmly believe that everything we have been through in 2020 will be a catalyst for accelerated positive change in the future. We look forward to sharing a lot of new ideas and more inspiration with all of you in 2021!
LULU—LAND is a tiny global community with followers and contributors from all over the world. Since I founded LULU—LAND, I've been traveling from country to country and working from more places than I can remember (that was before the pandemic). I love exploring new destinations. However, there are two cities that'll always be a little bit closer to my heart; Copenhagen, in Denmark, where I'm from, and New York City, where I feel truly at home.
From the very first time I took a Yellow Cab from the airport to Bowery Street in lower Manhatten, I knew there was something extraordinary about this city. I once read a quote in Quoted Magazine that describes the feeling I had perfectly:
"I was walking the streets. I was noticed, but I wasn't the center of attention. I felt like I fit in. You're not awkward. You're not weird. You're home. It doesn't matter where you're from or what you believe. New York is the city for everyone."
The city is not everyone's cup of tea, but for those who thrive there—New York is magical! However, it can also be a tough place to live. The city is equally relentless, commanding, and addictive. As easily as anything, it can chew you up and spit you out in the middle of the streets.
Last year, the LULU—LAND platform was launched from a small café in Lower East Side in the coldest months of the year. Growing up in Denmark, with low rates of homelessness and one of the absolute best social security systems in the world, seeing people struggle to survive on the streets in the biting cold was absolutely heartbreaking. I kept thinking about ways to help and give back to the city that keeps inspiring me and the people in it who make it so special. This year, I've decided to do something and make a fundraiser in collaboration with The Bowery Mission.
The Bowery Mission is one of the oldest rescue missions in the United States. Since the 1870s, the organization has served New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, hunger, and other crises. It's well-known for its history as a soup kitchen and men's shelter located at 227 Bowery. However, today, the Mission provides programs and services at multiple campuses across the New York metro area.
Last year, the privately-funded Mission provided 429,500 hot meals, 104,000 nights of shelter, 27,600 articles of clothing, and 67,500 showers. And during the COVID-19 emergency, the Mission has remained open every day to safely care for their most vulnerable neighbors by offering essential services.
Each meal and every service is an invitation to residential and community programs that help neighbors in need progress towards individual goals such as regaining sobriety, reconnecting with family and faith, and preparing for work and independent living. To empower children to thrive and succeed, they also offer year-round opportunities for enrichment for youth.
I have the utmost respect for The Bowery Mission and their work. I've personally walked past the characteristic red doors on 227 Bowery countless times over the years, with the greatest admiration for those who work there to help people in need every single day. I've been reminded of how privileged I am and thankful I've always had a home and roof over my head no matter where in the world I've been.
I hope this will inspire you to take a little time to learn more about homelessness in New York City, The Bowery Mission, and their work. Further, I hope you'll consider helping us, help them by making a small donation through our official fundraising page. We appreciate every single dollar we can pass on to make a difference. Thank you!
$10 provides six meals for a New Yorker who is struggling with food insecurity
$25 provides one night of emergency shelter for a man or woman (each guest receives dinner and is invited to take a hot shower, receive clean clothing and hygiene products, sleep overnight on a comfortable mattress made with freshly laundered linens, and receive breakfast in the morning)
$75 provides one day of compassionate care services for five people at the Bowery campus (each guest can receive a hot shower, clean clothing, and hygiene products, and is invited to receive care from a social worker and other staff to choose help beyond homelessness through the long-term residential program)
$240 supports one man in long-term residence for one week as he works through the root causes of homelessness and unemployment
Homelessness — A Shared Experience in NYC
Chances are you have walked by or shared a train car with someone who is homeless, know someone personally who has been homeless or even experienced homelessness yourself.
Today, more New Yorkers are experiencing homelessness than ever before. In a city of more than 8.3 million people, nearly one in every 106 New Yorkers is homeless — that’s nearly 80,000 men, women and children. Every night, nearly 4,000 people sleep on the street, in the subway system or in other public spaces. However, the vast majority of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness spend the night within the city’s shelter system where they remain unseen. For every person sleeping on sidewalks or on trains, 20 more are sleeping in shelters. And nearby metro areas such as Newark have smaller but persistent populations of individuals experiencing homelessness.
The COVID-19 pandemic began amidst an already raging homelessness crisis. Millions of New Yorkers already lived on the razor's edge, one personal crisis away from homelessness, with 1 in 5 New Yorkers living in poverty and 1 in 4 New Yorkers paying more than half their income in rent. Now, because of the pandemic an estimated 1 in 7 New Yorkers have lost their job and more than 50,000 people are at risk of eviction. Sadly, the many people who have lost work were already in low-income jobs and on the brink of homelessness.
WHAT CAUSES HOMELESSNESS?
In most cases, multiple factors are involved. Common ones include: mental illness, substance abuse, untreated medical issues, traumatic events, violence and abuse, lack of affordable housing and difficulty sustaining employment.
WHO EXPERIENCES HOMELESSNESS?
People of all genders, races, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds experience homelessness. Among those sleeping in city shelters, more than 13,000 are single men, nearly 5,000 are single women and more than 44,000 are adults or children in families.
HOW MANY CHILDREN ARE AT RISK AND HOW DOES IT EFFECT THEM?
During the course of each year, more than 116,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 42,000 different children, sleep in the shelter system.
Nearly 1 in 3 NYC children live below the poverty line. South Bronx and East Harlem are two New York City neighborhoods suffering from concentrated poverty. Burdened with high crime rates, poor health outcomes, and poor housing conditions, these areas pose high risks for child welfare.
Hundreds of studies have examined the detrimental effects of poverty on the well-being of children. Growing up in poverty may disturb a child's brain development and undermine his social and emotional growth.
Opportunities for enrichment and mentoring can play a critical role in helping children thrive in school and life. Quality programs support children's social and emotional development, helping them grow into adults who are healthy, grounded and economically self-sufficient.
The ClimateClock is an open-source project assembled by a team of artists, makers, scientists, and activists based in New York.
The project has recently gotten a lot of attention as the group has reprogrammed the Metronome in Union Square to adopt a new environmental mission.
Now, instead of measuring the usual 24-hour cycles, it's measuring what two artists, Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd, present as the critical window for action to prevent the effects of global warming from becoming irreversible.
On Saturday at 3:20 p.m., messages including "The Earth has a deadline" appeared on the display. Then the numbers — 7:103:15:40:07 — showed up, representing the years, days, hours, minutes, and seconds until that deadline.
The idea is to publicly illustrate the urgency of combating climate change and encourage Governments worldwide to take a stand and act against global warming, reduce greenhouse gas emission, and human-caused global heating.
At the launch Boyd said:
"The clock is telling us we must reduce our emissions as much as we can as fast as we can. The technology is there. We can do this—and in the process, create a healthier, more just world for all of us. Our planet has a deadline. But we can turn it into a lifeline."
The clock indicates that we only have limited time to undertake bold transformation of our energy system and economy in hopes of keeping global temperature rise under 1.5°C.
Right before the countdown began, Golan made the following statement:
"This is our way to shout that number from the rooftops!"
"Metronome" is a large public art installation by Andrew Ginzel and Kristin Jones, covering a 10-story-residential high rise located along the south end of Union Square in New York City. The work also includes concentric circles rendered in gold-flecked brick that ripple outward from a round opening. When it was unveiled in 1999, clouds of steam and musical tones were issued from the facade. Over the years, the sound and steam have ceased. However, the numbers kept moving.
Allegedly, the original artists had already been thinking about reimagining the work to address the deepening climate crisis when they got a letter from the Boyd & Golan in February. Call it magic or beautiful synchronicity.
When asked about why they put the number on public display, Boyd has said:
"This is arguably the most important number in the world ... A monument is often how society shows what's important, what it elevates, what is at center stage ... We hope this initiative will encourage everybody to join us in fighting for the future of our planet."
On climateclock.world it's stated that the clock is meant to draw the world’s attention to the urgency for action—if we are to survive, we need a constant, public reminder of our deadline—everywhere! The team encourage everyone to join the movement and help them put a ClimateClock in every major city in the world.
BUT WHY IS IT VITAL TO MAINTAIN THE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE INCREASE BELOW 1.5°C?
This is the only way to ensure our world will suffer less negative impacts on the intensity and frequency of extreme events, resources, ecosystems, biodiversity, food security, cities, tourism, carbon removal, and global economy. IPCC Special Report on Global Warming clearly states that adaptation to change will be less difficult.
Future climate-related risks will be reduced by the upscaling and acceleration of far-reaching, multilevel and cross-sectoral climate mitigation and by both incremental and transformational adaptation.
To put it simply, maintaining the global temperature increase below 1.5°C is in all our interest as it increases our chances of survival on this beautiful planet of ours—everything we do matters!
This project has inspired me personally, and I want to support the message. Therefore, going forward, you'll be able to see a ClimateClock whenever you enter LULU—LAND to continuously remind all of us to do better. Even the tiniest steps and small changes in our everyday lives count when it comes to creating a better future for everyone. Let's all take part in reaching this goal!
The ClimateClock shows two numbers. The first, in red, is a timer, counting down how long it will take, at current rates of emissions, to burn through our “carbon budget” — the amount of CO2 that can still be released into the atmosphere while limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This is our deadline, the time we have left to take decisive action to keep warming under the 1.5°C threshold. The second number, in green, is tracking the growing % of the world’s energy currently supplied from renewable sources. This is our lifeline. Simply put, we need to get our lifeline to 100% before our deadline reaches 0.
“The concept of the carbon budget is based on a nearly linear relationship between the cumulative emissions and the temperature rise. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the earth would necessarily be 1.5°C warmer at the very point in time when the remaining carbon budget for staying below the 1.5°C threshold was used up. This is due to, among others, the fact that there is a time lag between the concentration of emissions in the atmosphere and the impact thereof on the temperature”.¹
MCC also notes that their calculations assume “that the annual emissions of years to come will be close to those of the year 2017, while latest numbers show that emissions are still on the rise.” If this trend continues, the time we have to act will be reduced. Furthermore, it is unlikely that earth’s climate warms at a linear rate. For example, potential climatic tipping points have been identified in Earth’s physical climate system that would cause large and possibly irreversible transitions in the state of the climate.² These uncertainties are why the IPCC report states there is a 67% chance that the carbon budget will limit warming to 1.5°C.
The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming is largely based on a research paper called “Global Carbon Budget 2018” published in 2018 by Corinne Le Quéré et al.³ This paper estimates the carbon budget in the units of GtC.⁴
1. Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. “That’s How Fast the Carbon Clock Is Ticking.” MCC Carbon Clock. https://www.mcc-berlin.net/en/research/co2-budget.html (accessed September 22, 2019).
2. Lenton, Timothy M., Hermann Held, Elmar Kriegler, Jim W. Hall, Wolfgang Lucht, Stefan Rahmstorf, and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. "Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system." Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences 105, no. 6 (2008): 1786-1793.
3. Le Quéré, Corinne, Robbie M. Andrew, Pierre Friedlingstein, Stephen Sitch, Judith Hauck, Julia Pongratz, Penelope A. Pickers et al. "Global carbon budget 2018." Earth System Science Data (Online) 10, no. 4 (2018).
4. IPCC, 2018: Global warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty [V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Zhai, H. O. Pörtner, D. Roberts, J. Skea, P.R. Shukla, A. Pirani, W. Moufouma-Okia, C. Péan, R. Pidcock, S. Connors, J. B. R. Matthews, Y. Chen, X. Zhou, M. I. Gomis, E. Lonnoy, T. Maycock, M. Tignor, T. Waterfield (eds.)]. In Press.
Hi, my name is Louise. For those of you that don't know, I'm the Founder & Creative Director of LULU—LAND. I don't usually write personal posts, but these are the times to break habits!
BLACK LIVES MATTER. PERIOD!
I've taken some time to figure out how to address the current situation of the world in the right way. Honestly, I've been afraid of saying the wrong things. Who am I as a privileged white woman to say anything at all when it comes to racism against Black people and POC? However, I've come to the conclusion that the only wrong thing would be to say nothing at all. We can't be neutral when it comes to racism, discrimination, and inequality. Silence is a quiet acceptance of the status quo.
As a European, when watching an unarmed man getting killed while in police custody, protests against racism, and the overall injustice happening in America, the easy thing would be to dismiss it all as an American problem. But we all know that in truth, racism and inequality are global problems, that come in many different disguises.
As a white female, born in a tiny, wealthy, country (Denmark) with free access to education, a high level of social security, and a passport that allows me to go just about anywhere in the world, I am beyond privileged. I've had advantages and opportunities that most people don't have, and I am well aware of that fact. I make an effort to remind myself not to complain, and I try to use my privileges to the best of my ability. I've never been attacked verbally or physically because of the color of my skin, or as such experienced racism first hand on my own body. I have no idea what it feels like having to deal with racism on a regular basis. I can only listen and try to understand.
For the past week, I've been silent, observing, listening, learning, and reflecting. I am horrified by the things I see and by the injustice that still exists in this day and age. Like many others, I've been trying to get a grasp on how I can use my privileges to support the change that's obviously needed.
I firmly believe that change starts within ourselves. We all have the ability to take small, simple actions that will generate impact short-term as well as long-term – even the largest changes occur in tiny increments.
For me, this means that we have to call out racism, discrimination, and inequality when we see it. We need to look within ourselves to understand any subconscious biases we might have. We must make it a priority to change our thought patterns, our behavior, and our language and work with our friends and community to do the same.
LULU—LAND was founded based on a dream of creating a community for all of those, like myself, who thrive with fluid boundaries and whose restlessness and creative mindset are their greatest strengths.
LULU—LAND is for EVERYONE who gets it, regardless of ethnicity, gender, color, sexuality, religion, and background! It's about finding your own path, learning from each other's differences, experiences, unique perspectives, and about sharing inspiration to create positive change. It's a platform that forms and grows with us as a community.
This past week has made me realize that it's time for an internal adjustment. As of today, LULU—LAND Journal has a new category;
SOCIAL JUSTICE & EQUALITY
It's essential for me that the issues around these matters become an integral part of LULU—LAND for as long as it's necessary. Racism and inequality are deep-rooted problems that we cannot solve before we truly understand the dynamics behind them and how it affects the people exposed to them. Racism, in any way or form, should not exist. Whether it's individual racism, systemic racism, or the so-called casual racism that has become a seemingly innocent part of everyday bantering. We can't ignore it just because it makes us uncomfortable. We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. The magic"progress," "development," "growth," and "change" happens outside of our comfort zones.
I would like to invite anyone in the LULU—LAND community to inspire positive change by sharing their perspectives, thoughts, feelings, insights, and learnings on topics within this category. At LULU—LAND, we welcome contributions in any form (writing, photography, music, graphics, illustration, video, etc.) that can help create more awareness. I see a lot of rightful anger that needs to be channeled into action and initiatives towards creating positive change. Hate and violence is not the solution.
Through this initiative, we want to take part in sustaining the current momentum and raise awareness in a peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring way. I know this isn't enough. However, It's a small start and our attempt at taking a step in the right direction, not just this week or the next, but for at long as it takes to create real change.
At LULU—LAND, we commit to being part of the solution. The truth is we can all do better. There are no excuses. If you want to contribute to the LULU—LAND Journal, have an idea, or a suggestion on how we can improve – we're all ears. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes. It's how we deal with them when made aware and how we move forward, that truly matters.
... in one way or the other, to find a way through this madness. Everyone is under extraordinary pressure and dealing with an extreme degree of uncertainty. We don't know when this will end and exactly how the world will look like on the other side.
Essential workers and healthcare personal work their asses off, under challenging conditions, to get us through this nightmare. In some places, even without the necessary equipment and protective measures. Thank you!
Exposed elders and those at the highest risk deal with fear, isolation, and loneliness.
Parents have to find ways to manage homeschooling children while working full-time jobs, ordering groceries and cleaning at the same time.
Kids and young people miss their friends and everyday routines – students universities, etc.
No wonder a lot of us feel a sense of unease, restlessness, and even claustrophobia.
People lose their jobs with no safety net. Freelancers and creatives struggle to survive. Entrepreneurs and business owners see everything they have worked hard to built fall apart and are, to say the least, financially screwed.
Politicians are handling a pandemic and health crisis that affect the whole world while trying to avoid sending entire nations into a deep financial depression.
Families have lost, and families are losing loved ones to the virus every day.
I could go on ... but you get the point.
We all struggle in our own way! Be kind. Be considerate. Communicate. Listen. Don't be afraid to reach out if you need a hand and do what you can to help others through this madness.
I am fortunate enough to live in a country (Denmark) with a robust economy and social security system, that has reacted resolutely and without hesitation to the COVID19 outbreak. With a cautious optimism, it seems like we have managed to break the much talked about, curve. We are in lockdown but still allowed to go outside as long as we keep a safe distance and don't gather more than ten people.
However, it touches me deeply to see how other counties have reached and are reaching the limits of what their healthcare systems can handle, people are quarantined and restricted not to go outside of their homes – It's terrifying.
I consider NYC my second home, and it's unbearable to follow how the virus spreads at the speed of lightning, and how thousands are dying. I can't even start to imagine the powerlessness the New Yorkers must feel.
Horrible images from the situation in China and Southern Europe will probably be stuck in my memory forever.
At the same time, I'm blown away and astonished by the helpfulness and compassion I see everywhere around me. How people help each other overcome challenges and come together to fight this. Creativity is flourishing, that's for sure!
A RARE INSIGHT
I personally worry about family members at risk, economy, my business, etc. For a second, I felt like I was back at square one when borders throughout Europe closed, and my plans to live and work from Barcelona for three months was canceled overnight.
I've been struggling with a sense of restlessness. I suck at being stuck in the same place for too long. I have found it unusually hard to motivate myself and get things done. I can't really figure out why I feel the way I do. I have been tired and not quite like myself, less productive and less inspired, which is kind of a problem when you are trying to make a living out of sharing inspiration.
In the beginning, I was super annoyed with myself and the situation. I felt paralyzed and unable to do anything, but I quickly realized that I had to knock myself out of the paralysis and remind myself that a lot of people are during a lot worse.
I had to do something and hope things would change as I move forward. Getting the LULU—LAND Shop up and running had been on my to-do list for months, but didn't have the time to focus on it. In the first week of the lockdown, I had the limited edition tote bags designed, printed, and ready to ship. In addition, I've tried to make new routines to fit the situation – habits that hopefully will benefit me when this is over as well.
I get up early and write down my thoughts every morning.
I try to schedule my days and the things that I want to do, to be more productive.
I've started to do home exercises. Nothing extensive. Just a few squats, sit-ups, and push-ups every day (My ass was getting flat).
I enjoy longs walks, while listening to music, or podcasts.
I have been eating healthier and I try to get into the habit of drinking more water (I drank like zero water before).
I read every night and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
I try my best to accept that this is an extraordinary situation, that things are not as they usually would be, and allow myself time for reflection and relaxation without becoming lazy.
I help creatives and small local businesses in the ways I can (Engage on social media, buy gift cards to my favorite coffee shops, take away, home delivery of flowers, etc.)
However, there is no one fits all. Really, take a bit of time for yourself to figure out what you need to be okay, even if it is just a few seconds (Breathe). Notice how you feel – it's okay. Do the things that you usually don't have time for. Accept the things you can't or don't get done right now. Let go of what's outside of your control and work with the things that are in your control. Try to be tolerant. Most people are pushed outside of their comfort zones. Everyone is dealing with their own s***.
HOPE & FOCUS
Yes, 2020 has been off to a terrible start, but at LULU—LAND, we are full of hope. We firmly believe that things will change for the better. There will be grieving of the past. However, we have been giving an opportunity to recalibrate, find out what's really important to us, and rethink how we do things. We feel confident that it will become easier to create positive and sustainable change in the future.
In the coming months, we will focus on gathering contributors for the LULU—LAND Journal. Creators, writers, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, athletes, great thinkers, etc. who will love to share their stories, work, ideas, different perspectives and other inspiration. Our goal is to be able to update the journal daily within six months.
Further, we have a couple of exciting new collaborations coming up that we look forwards to share with you. Right now, we are working on a project called the "The Creative Manifest". If you are curious, sign-up to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram @lululand.io.
Finally, we'll hopefully be able to expand our team by offering a remote internship. As our intern, you'll have the opportunity to work closely with us on developing LULU—LAND from anywhere you like (with a stable internet connection). Don't hesitate to contact us, if you're interested and want to know more. Write an email to email@example.com, tell us a little bit about yourself, why you want to be our intern, and, most importantly, what inspires you.
After a short break, we are back in business. In the following weeks we will share a lot of new and exiting things with you on LULU—LAND. Sign-up to our Newsletter and follow us on Instagram @lululand.io.
LULU—LAND is a 100% remote micro-business. We have been traveling around the world since day one. Our plan was to work from Barcelona in the upcoming months and then go to New York during summer.
However, due to the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, we will stay in Copenhagen for an indefinite period of time. A tough decision, with severe economic consequences for a small newly established business, but nevertheless the only right decision. We love to travel, but we all need to take care of our selves and each other during this worldwide pandemic.
It feels surreal. We know that there are a lot of people and businesses affected a lot worse by this than we are. We want to encourage everyone to be mindful, considerate, and kind.
Help each other. Support the small creative businesses out there, struggling to survive this madness. Reach out to other people. Like, follow and comment on your favorite local business' social platforms. Make orders online and buy gift certificates if possible. It's the small things that make a difference in times like these.
To all of our friends traveling and working remotely around the world: please, postpone any travel, follow the recommendations made by WHO as well as by your governments in order to stay safe and help slow down the spread of the virus. Even though you are not at risk, locals and other people's loved ones are.
Stay happy, stay healthy, stay safe, and last but not least, stay home. Meanwhile, we will do our best to keep you inspired!
We are equally excited, anxious, and terrified about welcoming you to the LULU—LAND Journal. We have been working on this (in secret) for quite some time.
Our intention is to provide a space for the generation and sharing of inspiration. Our vision; to create a high-quality publication – inspiring, relevant, challenging, thought-provoking, and inclusive of a diverse range of voices and perspectives. A place for our community to share crazy ideas, new concepts, personal stories, experiences, thoughts, feelings, good advice, recommendations, etc. There are no rules!
We are thrilled that you are joining us as readers, and we hope you will join us as contributors as well. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have something interesting, exciting, or utterly different that you would like us to share with everyone.
LULU—LAND is a tiny global community for creative "kids," artists, photographers, designers, musicians, filmmakers, writers, athletes, and entrepreneurs – all of those to whom crazy ideas and thinking differently somehow comes naturally. A community that brings together like-minded creators, thinkers, troublemakers, popcorn brains, nomads, explorers, geeks, rebels, and curious outsiders, who thrive with fluid boundaries and whose restlessness and creative mindset are their greatest strengths.