Jonathan Cloud::Life, Examined Reflections on the Human Project, & on the ironies & opportunities of the 21st century.

JC Sketch NYC 2004

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"An unexamined life is not worth living." (Socrates)


UN Environment Award,
received 1985.

      UN Environment Award (1985)

This is my personal web site, workspace, and web log. It is where I present myself professionally, as a speaker, a mentor, and a business advisor. In addition, it serves as a place for things that do not have a home elsewhere. Principally, at this point, this includes my work on "the Human Project," a multidisciplinary inquiry into the continuing evolution of our species. This is the underlying theme of all of my interests: given the reality of history, what is our direction as humans, as the most "advanced" expression of the force of life in our corner of the universe?

My principal everyday focus is on creating the Sustainable Business Incubator as "Entrepreneur in Residence" at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Institute for Sustainable Enterprise. I am also available to speak on a number of topics to groups of any size; my presentations are informative, interactive, and entertaining - and they make the point that we face both an overwhelming challenge, and an overwhelming opportunity, to transform our world.

My work is spread over several dozen web sites, personal, political, and professional. Some of these are listed below, with brief descriptions. Once this listing is more or less complete, it will give a good overview of my interests, preoccupations, and dilemmas.

The photos above include my grandfather Herman Bernstein, my mother Hilda Cloud, my sister Joyce Abell, my daughter Ilana, and my wife Victoria Zelin-Cloud. For more of my posted photos, click here.

Hitler or Hillary? A Stark Choice

August 4th, 2016

Why we all need to stand up and be counted

The mere fact that Donald Trump has been designated the Republican nominee for President should give us all cause for concern. No one with such a clearly authoritarian personality has ever been a plausible candidate for the most powerful office in the world. The campaign that we see unfolding before us is not a reality show, but a sobering reality. It is not unreasonable that we should ask ourselves what would happen if we were to stand by and not speak out against it.
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Recently Discovered News Article on Rooftop Greenhouses

May 25th, 2016

Thanks to Google News, I’ve recently uncovered a 1981 article in which I was featured discussing rooftop greenhouses.

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November 16th, 2014

What I’ve gotten out of Landmark

Like a lot of Landmark graduates, I can genuinely say that I’ve gotten much of my life from my participation in the programs. I was introduced to the programs by the woman I am now married to, after having walked out of an introduction session because I considered it to be total hype and completely implausible. This was in 1985, shortly after the transformation of the est training into the Forum (now called the Landmark Forum), in Canada.

My first course was actually the Communication Workshop (now retired), which had a profound and immediate effect on me. I was 41 years old, and had already done an enormous amount in my life, including living in several countries, earning a Commonwealth Scholarship in New Zealand, moving to Toronto and then to Ottawa to work for the Canadian federal government, spending a year in Paris and visiting Israel and Gaza, and returning to Ottawa and starting a passive solar design and construction business, building houses, and moving into real estate development. I had refused to attend the Forum, but I was willing to consider that I might learn something from a course on communication, since I was having trouble keeping my thirty-five employees on track in the construction business. After four years in business I was already a half-million dollars in the hole. That the course was being led by a Montreal real estate developer also appealed to me. But I was still skeptical that this might be some kind of Scientology scam, which I’d already encountered though not fallen prey to.

Unless you’ve done some kind of transformational program such as est, Landmark, Actualizations, LifeSpring, etc. I can pretty much guarantee that you have no idea of what’s possible. In the course of as little as a weekend, your entire world view is exposed as a fabrication, a fabrication you put together in response to whatever incidents happened to occur in your childhood, and how you chose to interpret them at the time. The experience is shattering, but also enormously freeing: you see who you have become, and have the opportunity to choose newly.
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Greening the Center

November 15th, 2014

Along with many other graduates, I believe it’s important for all of us to be aware of our ecological footprint on the Earth, and set an example of social responsibility. I am interested in exploring the possibility of a project to “green” Landmark’s South Plainfield center, find out whether other centers are having similar conversations, and discuss this question with the organization.

Some of the possibilities are:

  • Developing an effective recycling program
  • Analyzing the ecological footprint of the operation
  • Conserving energy
  • Minimizing waste
  • Engaging staff and volunteers in designing ecological ways of conducting Landmark’s programs
  • Creating an ongoing “customer feedback group” for the Center
  • Exploring opportunities with the owner and facilities manager for the building and the complex, such solar canopies and/or rooftop arrays, motion sensor lighting in bathrooms, etc.)

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Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

November 15th, 2014

Biodiversity for a Livable Climate was founded in 2013 by Jim Laurie, Karl Thidemann, Helen D. Silver, Jane Hammer and Adam Sacks.  We saw an urgent need to expand the climate conversation to include the seriously underestimated positive impacts of the biosphere on the climate and physical world.  We see how appropriate human approaches to nature may be able to reverse the effects of global warming despite our inability to date to reduce emissions in a timely manner.  Our goal is to contribute to planetary regeneration through research, education, collaboration and action to restore essential global biodiversity.

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Yet Another…

November 14th, 2014

Attempt to classify, display, and keep track of everything I write or make notes on…

Crowdfunding for PACE in New Jersey

August 7th, 2014

JCloudStorerSmThe challenges we face in New Jersey as a result of climate change are significant, and so therefore are the opportunities. The experience of Superstorm Sandy showed us just how ill-prepared we are for the more frequent recurrence of extreme weather; and how important it is that we set an example for taking action to mitigate our own greenhouse gas emissions, as other states are doing around us. And there’s also no doubt about the urgency of it — as you can see from this remarkable video:
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Launching Our Crowdfunding Campaign Today

August 5th, 2014

See it live at

NJPACEOrg-logoDG-MakeaDonationDeveloping our crowdfunding campaign is giving us an extraordinary opportunity to explore using PACE to revitalize New Jersey communities. By itself, PACE is an innovative business model that creates jobs and economic development while providing the ultimate tool to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on private properties. But leveraging PACE for community development is where the real payoff is, that is to say, for the benefit of the community as a whole.
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Victoria and Ilana in California (Summer 2014)

“A World that Works for No One”

February 23rd, 2014

Diary of the Future — February 23, 2014


Unless people of good will join in common cause to build a truly democratic world that works for all, we will find ourselves living in a world that works for no one. —David Korten (2000)

There is a sense in which we already find ourselves living in “a world that works for no one”: not the rich, and certainly not the poor; not the believer or the agnostic, not the Ph.D. or the high school drop-out, not the pop celebrity or the homeless veteran still suffering from PTSD. It’s not just that the rich are as depressed, confused, and cynical as the rest of us, which is certainly true in many cases; or that the world we live in seems to be unravelling in a dozen different ways, which has certainly been the case during all of our lifetimes. It’s that the world cannot work for anyone unless it at least begins to work for everyone.

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