PAST, the Palaeontological Scientific Trust, has mounted a global public awareness campaign that uses the shared origins of humankind and of all living things to promote tolerance of diversity and foster collaboration in building a sustainable and prosperous future.
The campaign is the newest element of PAST’s mission to promote the science of our origins by raising funds for world-class scientific research, postgraduate training, school-level education and public outreach. Founded in 1994 and based in South Africa, PAST is a non-profit organization that uses a scientific understanding of our past to benefit humankind’s future.
Fossil and genetic evidence validate the ideals of All from One. Africa is humankind’s birthplace, and the wellspring of our technological prowess, intellect and artistry. Ancient changes in environments shaped life’s development over the eons, but humankind’s recent activities are endangering the natural systems upon which our prosperity depends. And, our species’ population of the world from Africa has left people from all places differing by far less than is commonly assumed. In fact, the molecular sequences comprising the genomes of any two people are 99.9% alike.
PAST’s All from One campaign is reaching a global audience through mass-market digital media platforms that espouse the science underlying our common humanity. Individuals are asked to commit to tolerance, unity, collaboration and conservation and to digitally share their experiences in applying these ideals in their lives and communities. The campaign also features a tour of the All from One exhibition that is funded by the South African Department of Science and Technology and the National Arts Council. The exhibition describes our shared African roots and our place in nature. PAST’s acclaimed Walking Tall Educational Theatre Project, which teaches mainly disadvantaged learners about the 3.6 billion year history of life and humankind, is touring with the exhibition. Campaign initiatives also include diversity workshops, fossil site tours and lectures.
PAST launched the All from One campaign in November 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the headquarters of the Standard Bank, the campaign’s principal corporate sponsor in Africa. The campaign has thus far focused on South Africa, with the exhibition and Walking Tall touring Johannesburg, Soweto and Cape Town. Minister Pandor of the Department of Science and Technology is the South African Patron for the campaign. By 2017, the campaign will expand into other parts of Africa as well as the U.A.E., the latter in partnership with the campaign’s first International Patron, Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan. PAST is exploring subsequent campaign launches in Europe, the U.K. and U.S., and is actively seeking corporate, government and individual sponsors and partners for these legs of the campaign.
Donations from All from One sponsors support the campaign and PAST’s core research and education programmes. The campaign is steered by the CEO and Chief Scientist of PAST, and is overseen by the PBO’s trustees, advisors and patrons. The positive scientific, educational and social impacts of its programmes have allowed PAST to develop long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with multi-national corporations, government agencies, and individual donors. PAST has produced unqualified audits since its inception.