Rob at an aspiring
Rob at the United Nations
Scotland, PA USA
(To learn about Rob’s more recent activities read from the top down; to better understand Rob’s evolution
as a world leader in the fields of sustainable development and peace read from the bottom up. This is
followed by a timeline with the various activities he has helped to organize and participate in.)
Rob Wheeler is the Main Representative of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) to the United Nations at headquarters in New York. He is one of the primary coordinators of GEN’s UN/Advocacy Working Group and a Member of it’s Elder’s Council. Rob also serves on the Advisory Council of the Ecosystem Restoration Camps; and is a Board Member of the Earth Rights Institute. He is a fellow of the Findhorn Fellowship and has been one of the principal organizers and representatives of the Commons Cluster of the UN NGO Major Group for the past ten years. He co-authored and edited the 2018 and 2019 editions of Transforming our World in Harmony with Nature - yearly reports on using a nature based approach to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. See: http://www.allwinnetwork.net
Rob is also a certified GAIA Education Facilitator and Trainer with a specialty in the Ecological Dimension of Sustainable Development. See: www.gaiaeducation.org/face-to-face/trainers/rob-wheeler/
Rob has represented a number of organizations at the United Nations during the past 20 some years, participating actively in the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, High Level Political Forum, the UN’s Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, Rio+5, World Summit on Sustainable Development, Rio+20 and their preparatory processes, the UN's Annual DPI/NGO Conference, Peace and Disarmament, Financing for Development, Economic and Social Council, and other UN processes. He has represented the Global Ecovillage Network, Association of World Citizens, US Citizens Network, CCC-UN, Commons Cluster, Restore the Earth, and the International Institute for a Sustainable Future at the UN.
Mr. Wheeler has drafted and distributed numerous papers and organized and spoken at many Side Events at the UN along with the Partnership Fair. He has helped to organize and spoken at many national and international conferences on sustainable development as well as at the Hague Peace Conference, and on creating a more effective United Nations.
Rob founded and led the EcoEarth Alliance UN Partnership Initiative focusing on developing an integrated, multi-sectoral community based approach to sustainable development from 2001 - 2005. He was the featured speaker at a Conference of State Agriculture Ministers organized by the International Institute for Rural Development (a partner organization in the EcoEarth Alliance) on developing and adopting standards for Organic Agriculture in India in 2004. Rob also represented the Restore the Earth network at the UN calling for the establishment of a Decade and Century of Restoring the Earth during the run-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.
Rob joined and helped to organize the Carlisle Peace College in the months before the US attacked Iraq in 2003. The Peace College held rallies at the State Capital, organized conferences, and held monthly vigils at the US Army Carlisle War College (which trains NATO officers) for several years. Rob also helped to organize a Uniting for Peace Initiative under Resolution 377 at the United Nations calling for the UN General Assembly to hold an Emergency Session to prevent the US from invading and occupying Iraq and came within weeks from thus being able to prevent the catastrophe.
In 1998 Mr. Wheeler moved back East to participate in activities at the United Nations. He served on the Executive Committee of the UN's Millennium NGO Forum for three years, companion event to the UN's Millennium Assembly and Summit, along with the International Steering Committee for the World Civil Society Forum. Rob coordinated the Millennium Peoples Assembly Network from 1998 – 2002; chaired the Executive Committee of the World Alliance to Transform the United Nations; and was the NGO Representative on the International Steering Committee for UN Habitat’s Initiative on Access to Basic Services for All.
In 1997 Rob joined the Alliance for a Responsible Plural and United World, organized by the Fondation for the Progres of Humanity, and attended it’s World Citizen Assemblies in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Lille, France. He was the US coordinator of an effort to create a Charter of Human Responsibilities being put forward by the Alliance and co-coordinated an eForum on establishing a World Parliament for the 21st Century which was held in English, French and Spanish for 3 years, and is archived at: http://allies.alliance21.org/wp
From 1994 - 1997 Rob served on the Steering Committee of the Action Coalition for Global Change which helped to organize and held events as a part of San Francisco’s commemoration of the UN’s 50th Anniversary and the Signing of the UN Charter, along with working and advocating for the establishment of a People’s Assembly at the United Nations. Rob also supported the Global Peace Walk which walked from New York to San Francisco in 1995 and joined in as it walked into the city for the UN’s 50th Anniversary. Then in 2000 he again supported it as the walkers walked from San Francisco to Washington DC and on into New York City where Rob again joined it as it entered the city and met with staff at UN Headquarters.
During the 1990's Rob participated in meetings of the US President's Council on Sustainable Development. He organized and chaired workshops at the Chicago and Washington DC Green Festivals and the Yale Rio+20 Conference focusing on Creating a US Strategy for Sustainable Development. He also spoke at several US Earth Charter Summits, Rio+20 People's Sustainability Treaty events, and participated actively in the US Partnership on Education for Sustainable Development and attended a Global Forum on Education for Sustainable Development in China and national conferences in the US.
Mr. Wheeler co-founded and coordinated a Sustainable Community Campaign in Santa Cruz County, California for five years in the 1990s, which included the development of a Local Agenda 21 Sustainable Community Plan - adopted by the County Board of Supervisors; a Household EcoTeams Program; a Sustainable Quality Awards Program for Businesses and Community Organizations - co-sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce; and a Sustainable Community Video Film Festival.
The Film Festival, which Rob hosted and produced, included 60 hours of programming and aired on Community TV for 9 weeks between the 25th Anniversary of Earth Day and the 50th Anniversary of the UN. Each week the Film Festival featured a different topic - paralleling many of the same themes and goals now being included in the SDGs.
Rob also co-authored an Organizer's Handbook for Creating a Sustainable Community and the Local Agenda 21 Plan; and helped organize Nine Weeks for the Earth celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations in San Francisco where the UN was chartered and established.
Rob served as Co-Chair of the Santa Cruz County Earth Day Committee; edited its Earth Day Journal; and organized student and class participation in the Earth Day activities with the County Office of Education. He has been an environmental activist his whole life. He helped to organize and lead a local chapter of the Green Party when it was established in California in the 1990s and helped to develop a Party Platform for the local and state organizations.
Rob took under-graduate and graduate classes in Environmental Education as well as Political Science in college and earned a California K-12 Teacher’s Credential. He worked for several years as a Naturalist Teacher in several Resident Outdoor School programs with 6th Grade students. He then worked in the summers with the US Youth Conservation Corps with high school students as a Crew Leader, Federal Program Officer and Evaluator visiting 60 programs in New York and Vermont, and as an Environmental Education Coordinator in a residential program and camp in California.
After graduating, Rob worked as a substitute and PE teacher in public schools on the Hupa and Yurok reservations. He took Native American Study classes in college and attended ceremonies and visited with a Yurok elder and spiritual leader as a part of People for Natural Law. In 1979 he organized a Yellow Thunder Encampment Support Group which held events and organized support for a Native American encampment in the Black Hills of South Dakota reclaiming lands that had been stolen from them a century before - returning then to live in an eco-friendly manner and that honored the ancient ways.
In the 1970s Rob served on the Organizing Committee and Board of the Redwood Alliance Safe Energy Organization, which forced the permanent closure of the Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant, which had been built on an active earthquake fault directly across from an elementary school, leading to its replacement with energy conservation and renewable programs.
The Redwood Alliance organized two Decommissioning Conferences, a successful Ballot Initiative calling for permanently closing the plant, a Public Debate co-sponsored by the County Board of Supervisors, and participated in a Legal Intervention and Public Hearings under the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Redwood Alliance also educated about and called for dismantling all nuclear weapons and supported the conversion of military activities to peace oriented jobs and economy. Rob edited the Redwood Alliance's Nuclear Free Times and wrote articles about all of the above activitics for the Abalone Alliance's It's About Time; the NorthCoast Environmental Center's EcoNews; and the Friends of the Earth Quarterly Journal.
In 1970 Rob participated in the Student Strike against the war in Vietnam, which shut down all classes for a week at his college, Humboldt State University. When classes resumed it was requested that they all include a focus on the war and military activities as related to their subject area - and most of them did. Rob wrote to the US Draft Board and returned his draft card. He told them that they had no right to require him to register with a system requiring him and others to kill other people in conflicts that he did not believe were justified and he quit applying for a student deferment.
In subsequent years Rob joined the US China Peoples Friendship Association and helped organize media interviews and community events with Chinese experts who advocated for better relationships with China and then later the Central American Solidarity Network which educated and called for the US government to quit supporting right wing military dictatorships in Latin America.
Mr. Wheeler has worked as a teacher and Environmental Educator with K-12 grade classes for more than 30 years in public, private, and resident outdoor education schools; the Youth Conservation Corps; and the UC Berkeley Hall of Science Summer Science Camp programs. In 2014 he was the Media Coordinator for Congressional Democratic Party Candidate, Alanna Hartzok, in PA District 9. He is a clown, storyteller, and folk musician and performed Stories and Songs for the Earth for many years in school assemblies, classes, festivals, and other community events in California, Pennsylvania, and New York City.
TimeLine of Rob Wheeler’s Activist and Organizing Activities
Main UN Representative, Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) 2001 - 2019
Co-coordinator GEN’s UN/Advocacy Working Group
Member of GEN’s Elders Council and General Assembly
Advisory Council, Ecosystem Restoration Camps
Board Member, Earth Rights Institute
Fellow, Findhorn Fellowship
UN Representative and Organizer, Commons Cluster of the UN’s NGO Major Group 2009 - 2019
Media Coordinator, Hartzok for Congress 2014, PA District 9
Organizer, Circular Economy Campaign 2012 - 2013
Chair of the Executive Committee, World Alliance to Transform the United Nations 2008 - 2012
Organizing Team, World Transforming Initiative and the Global Synergizer; 4 Years Go; and Occupy Cafe 2008 - 2011
2000 - 2007
Advocacy Campaign for a Sustainable America
Steering Committee, UN Initiative on Access to Basic Services for All
US Citizen’s Network for Sustainable Development
US Partnership on Education for Sustainable Development (K-12 Working Group)
Founder and Chair, EcoEarth Alliance UN Partnership Initiative
Senior Associate, International Institute for Sustainable Future
UN Representative, Association of World Citizens and Communications Coordination Committee for the UN
UN Representative, Restore the Earth
Organizer of the Carlisle Peace College and the Uniting for Peace Initiative
Chief Justices Conference and the Global Symposium, City Montessori School, India
Delegate, Peoples Congress
UBUNTU: Campaign for UN Reform and the Assembly of the UN of the Peoples
International Steering Committee, World Civil Society Forum 2001 - 2002
Coordinator, Millennium Peoples Assembly Network and Executive Committee, UN NGO Millennium Forum 1998 - 2001
Global Peace Walk 1995 & 2000
Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World
Steering Committee, Action Coalition for Global Change (Nine Weeks for the Earth and UN 50 Celebration) 1994 - 1997
Co-Founder and Organizer, Action Santa Cruz County 1992 - 1997
Co-Chair and County Schools Liaison, Santa Cruz County Earth Day Committee
Meetings of the President’s Council for Sustainable Development
Iraq War protests 1991 and 2003
Center for World Networking 1988 - 1997
Organizing Committee, Santa Cruz Green Party and California Green Party 1990 - 1992
1970s and 1980s
People for Natural Law (Yurok Spiritual Teachings) 1984 - 1986
Central American Solidarity Network early 1980s
Organizer, Yellow Thunder Encampment Support Group 1979 - 1981
Organizer and Board Member, Redwood Alliance Safe Energy Organization and California’s Anti-Nuclear Abalone Alliance 1979 - 1982
US China Peoples Friendship Association 1974 - 1976
Student Strike against the Vietnam War 1970