The Watson Family wish to make a difference in our world by sharing our financial resources and talents. We believe that in transforming and empowering individuals to believe in themselves and the collective human potential for good, it will result in a world that works for everyone.
There is usually a spiritual underpinning to the work we fund although we do not support any specific religious activity.
Ian is a co-founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board. He was Chairman of the Board since its inception in 2009 – 2020. Lucinda joined the Board in 2020. Partnership for Youth Empowerment (PYE Global) is a training and youth development organisation that partners with communities on five continents to help their youth to become empowered through creativity, and to lead more purposeful lives. PYE’s mission is to unleash the power, purpose and potential of young people worldwide. It also inspires teachers, youth workers and other leaders to build supportive Creative Communities that support people’s development. The programs are arts-based and bridge generations and cultures.
IndigenEYEZ partners with PYE Global to bring the Creative Community Model to the First Nations communities of Canada. IndigenEYEZ builds the confidence of indigenous youth through a creative land-based program that rests on traditional philosophy and values. Its unique transformational model offers a deep process of experiential learning and empowering self-exploration through creativity and the arts. IndigenEYEZ also provides training for people who work with youth, workshops and camps for youth, and adaptable programs to fit community needs. The Director Kelly Terbasket has done a remarkable job of developing the programs in First Nation communities.
Lucinda joined the Advisory Comitteee of Street Business School in 2020. SBS is an organisation on a mission to end generational poverty by empowering women as entrepreneurs. They are a global leader in entrepreneurship training, and equip women living in poverty with the knowledge they need to build sustainable businesses. 89% of graduates from their program have at least one business two years later, and there is a 211% average increase in income for women who graduate.
Stand was created to challenge corporations and governments to treat people and the environment with respect, because our lives depend on it. Born as Forest Ethics, they were founded nearly twenty years ago by a group of dedicated people who were working day in and day out to solve a big problem: What do you do when the health and foundation of communities and their environment are being undermined? Over the years, our work and their approach has evolved from a dedicated focus on forest protection to taking on some of the root causes of climate change and environmental injustice.
The Institute of Noetic Sciences
Ian, a Life Director, was Chairman of the board from 1999 to 2004 and a director from 1984 to 2004. The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) is a non-profit organisation located in Northern California that conducts and sponsors leading-edge research into the powers of consciousness, including perceptions, beliefs, attention, intention and intuition. The Institute maintains a commitment to scientific rigour while exploring phenomena that have been largely overlooked by mainstream science.
Dan Brown, author of the best-selling book, The Da Vinci Code, has written a book, The Lost Symbol, that features Noetic Sciences prominently. Dr Katherine Solomon, the fictional female protagonist, is described as a ‘noetic scientist’ and appears to be based on a composite of many of the leading figures in the real-life Noetic Sciences.
Ian was Chairman of the Global Board from 1987 to 1991.
The Hunger Project (THP) is a global, non-profit, strategic organisation committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. In Africa, South Asia and Latin America, THP seeks to end hunger and poverty by empowering people to lead lives of self-reliance, meet their own basic needs and build better futures for their children.
THP and its affiliated partner countries have a worldwide staff of more than 300 people and a global office located in New York. THP operates in Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda and with local organisations in Bolivia and Peru. The partner countries, which raise funds for programmes in the developing world, include: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Victoria, Ian’s wife, has been a member of the Board since 2010.
Hollyhock exists to inspire, nourish, and support people who are making the world better. It hosts meaningful experiences through programs and conferences, both online and in person on their Cortes Island campus, in Vancouver and elsewhere to inspire personal growth and social transformation.
The Search for Common Ground TV Series
Ian is the Executive Producer of the Common Ground Productions, a series of television programs made by The Search for Common Ground, a Washington based conflict resolution organization with over 600 employees. The programs, which started to appear on air in early 2015, include:
Madame President – 15 hours – produced in Amman, Jordan for broadcast across the entire Middle East by satellite TV, followed by secondary national broadcasts.
Singa Durbar – 13 half-hours – in production in Kathmandu, Nepal; a fictional series about Nepal’s first woman prime minister.
The Team (Sri Lanka) 13 half-hours – in production in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Ian Watson is Executive Producer of a documentary on Forgiveness (Forgiveness), a special two-night, three-hour presentation (90 minutes broadcast each night) at prime time on the PBS Television Network in the United States at 10.00PM EST on April 17th and April 24th 2011. The project also involved a 60 minute feature-length adaptation of the documentary for theatrical release and distribution on DVD plus supporting media such as a website, books and study guides.
This three hour documentary features compelling personal stories of individuals and groups of people who have made difficult personal journeys in search of forgiveness. These personal stories are supplemented with extended interviews with Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, spiritual leaders, writers, psychologists and academic researchers on the difficult process of forgiveness and whether it is always possible to forgive.
Helen Whitney, the Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning PBS Director, directed and produced the documentary. All of her work contains strong spiritual themes. The two most watched PBS programmes ever have both been Helen Whitney’s productions.
WETA, the Washington DC PBS Television affiliate and one of the three primary PBS producing stations was the sponsoring station and carried the programme on its prime time three hour slots through the PBS Television Network.
Global Media Ltd.
Ian co-founded and was chairman of Global Media Ltd. Global Media created global live telecasts, including a transmission in 1987 of Pope John Paul II reciting a rosary from Rome, broadcast to 90 countries, titled ‘A Prayer for World Peace’. At the time, utilising 22 satellites, this was the most complicated television event ever produced and was watched by over a billion people.
"It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy"
Brother David Steindl-Rast