SOS #12    J. Morris Hicks    (7-3-19)  
Urgent Appeal to my Engineering Alma Mater
And an appeal to you to reach out to your own alma mater, using my letter below as a template if you wish. Just cut & paste into an email and modify as appropriate.

As an  Industrial Engineering alumni of Auburn University, I reached out to the leadership there last week to try to stir up support for a "Gratola-like" vision of totally reinventing, or re-engineering, the grossly unsustainable way that we humans are living in the developed world. 

My letter was dated 6-25-19 and was emailed directly to the Dean of Engineering and to the department heads of three engineering disciplines that I thought might be most-relevant to the GRATOLA vision. I also copied the office of the university president and the entire board of trustees.

I got an immediate reply from the Assistant to the President, writing:  Yes sir, I will distribute the copies  as requested.  Thank you. Regards, Janie

As of today, I have heard nothing from any of the fourteen primary recipients. It's now been eight days.

My letter as a template.  As I alluded to earlier, since I may never get a meaningful response from any of those Auburn professors, I am now proposing that you consider using my letter below as somewhat of a template for letters that you might wish to send to the administration of your own alma maters.

So I urge you to  copy, personalize and send this letter that follows to as many academic  leaders  as you can. And I would encourage you to visibly copy me on those letters.

June 25, 2019
Subject: "Big Picture" Systems Thinking at Auburn 

TO: Auburn University Engineering Leadership
Dr. Christopher Roberts, Dean, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering
Dr. Jerry Davis (Industrial and Systems Engineering)
Dr. Oladira Fasina (Biosystems Engineering)
Dr. Andrzej Nowak (Civil Engineering)
Copies: The Auburn President and the Board of Trustees
Greetings & War Eagle,

When I picked up my copy of the Auburn Engineering magazine last week, I decided to reach out to you regarding a matter of the greatest importance - the future of the human species. 

As a vehicle for introducing the content of this letter, I submit the following idea for a possible addition of a   9th  belief to  Petrie's Auburn Creed:

I believe that all human activity must be continually reengineered and optimized such that we may survive and thrive indefinitely in harmony with nature.

Today, I am writing to offer my services in partnering with Auburn to become the first engineering school in the world to undertake a deep and continuous examination of the overall "system" of humanity's interaction with the natural world. 
Background.  Having graduated from Auburn 51 years ago, a 1968 IE grad (
Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Pi Mu
I earned an MBA three years later from the University of Hawaii while serving as a junior officer at USCG Base Honolulu. 

For the past decade, after a 40-year business career, I have been focusing on a process that I define in my tagline as:  promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth My one-page bio:  J. Morris Hicks
Along the way, I have drawn heavily on my "big picture" industrial engineering training at Auburn as I "imagineer" a sustainable human habitat that will enable us to live in harmony with nature.  Dr. W. Edwards Deming, who I met in 1992, has informed much of my thinking on this most important topic.

It was he who pioneered the idea of optimizing complete systems instead of trying to fix random problems associated with flawed systems. Our human interaction with nature is a complete "system" that must be optimized if we are to survive.

But we're not even "having the conversation" about getting it done. 

This paper, that I posted on the scientistswarning  website in  August of 2018, documents some very disturbing conclusions from eight creditable scientists to whom we should be listening.

My conclusion.   We must urgently and totally "reinvent or re-engineer"  our entire way of living on this planet. In so doing, I feel strongly that we must look at the "big picture" and design for the future accordingly. Sadly, that is not happening - as I described recently in an SOS (Save Our Species) Memo entitled:  Willy-Nilly Planet Stewardship
I have been researching this topic for about five years but only last September did I finally publish an idea for how we in the USA might create an exceptionally sustainable way of living that the rest of the world could emulate. In an attempt to generate more thinking on the necessity of a sustainable global "living" plan for humanity, I launched my GRATOLA series of blogs.

In  a nutshell, GRATOLA is an acronym for "Green Region Atlanta to L.A." and would be the first of four envisioned living corridors in the USA and they would ultimately house up to 300 million people. Occupying a total area about the size of Oregon - the entire area would be governed by AGRA (American Green Region Authority). Here is a link to that first blog, published on 9-21-18. 

As for the actual adoption and execution of that  creative idea, I am not so naive as to think that it could be implemented as written. My primary goal in the piece was to spark the conversation. And if it so chooses, Auburn University could expand that much needed  conversation to the entire world.
What next? It would be my great pleasure to meet with leaders at my engineering alma mater to discuss the next steps. It's time for one of the world's top engineering schools to fully embrace, pursue and publicize this most important of all topics. 
Sincerely, best regards and War Eagle, Jim

J. Morris Hicks, CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC
********END of LETTER*********
As always, I will continue to focus on this crucial topic - in my research, my writing and my speaking.   

As for speaking, I continue to search for mainstream audiences who may have an interest in learning more about a realistically hopeful vision for our future - and their role in making that vision come true.

As such, I will travel anywhere for an opportunity to speak to one or more groups in each city that I visit. I only ask for travel expense reimbursement and a modest honorarium.

Recently scheduled: An event with Dr. Joel Fuhrman at his   Golden Gate Summer Health Getaway  in California on July 18 and at a VegFest in Sedona, Arizona in January.

As for the specifics of my topic, I invite you to  contact me directly  about how I might tailor my presentation to best suit an audience you may have in mind: 

Universities,  churches,  think-tanks, legislative bodies, environmental  organizations, alumni associations, leadership clubs,  and/or civic groups who may appreciate a message of reality and hope for our future. 

Please let me hear from you directly regarding any ideas or questions you may have.

What else can you do to help? Three things:

1. Live as greenly as possible while doing all that you can to raise the awareness of "big picture" solutions that are crucially necessary for saving our civilization.

2. Share this BSB and my  "Mama Ain't Happy" BSB with prominent journalists, thought leaders and/or elected officials whom you respect. They need to learn a lot more about the many reasons why  Mama ain't happy.

3. Here are a few more GRATOLA-related blogs that you can share with your most powerful friends, leaders, journalists and movie producers.

Click here for links  to all blogs and SOS Memos since 2016

Until next time, just remember...

Humanity is on a collision course with Nature.
A damaged Nature will survive. We may not.
We must change course to avert an ecological disaster.

Be well,

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks 
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC

I welcome your feedback and/or questions at:

In the past 12 months, I have spoken at a  VegFest in
Fort Myers, at  in Honolulu and Kahului, Maui, the   College of the Holy Cross  in Worcester, MA, a  Plant Powered Manhattan  event in New York, and at a lakeside health conference in  South Haven, Michigan and most recently in Buffalo, NY, and at the University of Scranton.

To schedule a presentation at a venue near you, please contact me at

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

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