Fig & Vine Collaboration

The Fig & Vine Collaboration project inspires inter-community cohesion and collaboration in two ways: (1) catalyzing coalition-building among diverse communities through ongoing conversations, events, panels, dialogs, and festivals; and (2) encouraging young adults from diverse communities to work together to achieve sustainable progress by solving real-world challenges as discerned from Stories of Adversity & Resilience . We build coalitions between communities of diverse faith, cultural, knowledge, identity, and ancestral backgrounds so that we can weave our many unique strengths and passions into a unified Tapestory of Collaborative Actions geared at creating sustainable social-environmental change. We also encourage young adults aged 18-36, together with their allies of any age, to generate innovative ideas for original projects aimed at mitigating one of the 5 Major Human-Ecological Challenges: poverty, hunger & ill-health, environmental degradation, violence & disenfranchisement, and identity loss. The implementation of these projects must involve collaborative work between individuals from diverse backgrounds. The project ideas with the largest potential impact are awarded grants for implementation.
"Fig & Vine"        
Origin: Paths of Judaism, Christianity, Islam (Middle East)
For thousands of years the vine and the fig tree have been abundant in the Middle East as reliable sources of food and drink for agrarian communities. As the vine and fig tree provided nourishment as well as shelter from the scorching heat of the sun, the peoples of the Middle East (the Jews, Christians, and Muslims) saw the vine and fig tree as capturing the agrarian ideals of self-sufficiency, contentment, domestic tranquility, security, and simplicity. Many centuries later, George Washington, the Founding Father of the United States of America, used the metaphor of the vine and fig tree to express sentiments of pluralistic tolerance, self-sufficiency, peace, and freedom from oppression. In 1790, in a letter to a small Jewish community in Newport, Rhode Island, George Washington attempted to allay their fears using the metaphor of the vine and fig: "May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants - while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."
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Śramani Institute
The Śramani Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit institution currently active in the United States and India. Our Mission is to generate and implement effective, long-term, sustainable, and equitable solutions to concertedly solve the 5 Major Human-Ecological Challenges facing humanity today: poverty, hunger & ill-health, environmental degradation, violence & disenfranchisement, and identity loss. 

The Śramani Institute synergistically solves these Challenges by promoting attitudes and behaviors (cultures) and Knowledge & Technologies (KT) that are rooted in ourselves and in nature. From our grassroots work over several years working with ancient and tribal communities we have learned that when individuals and communities are rooted in themselves and/or in the natural environments (ecosystems) they live in, they are remarkably innovative, peaceful, self-reliant, and enjoy a high overall Quality of Life.

Thus, an important part of the Śramani Institute's approach is to learn from diverse rooted – especially ancient and tribal – communities across the world, help them revitalize their cultures and Knowledge & Technologies (KT), and adapt these cultures and KT to rural and urban settings to enhance the wellbeing of a larger number of communities and ecosystems through Hybrid Knowledge & Technologies (HKT).