East Beach

Douglas Gillies

Douglas Gillies was born in California and raised in Ontario, Canada. He participated in one of the largest lawsuits in U.S. history as a trial lawyer in San Francisco after receiving a B.A. in psychology and a Doctor of Jurisprudence at UCLA. A lawyer for 35 years, he now looks for solutions to complex problems that are appearing on the horizon.

Gillies has produced six documentaries. On the Edge features former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, Jane Goodall, Robert Muller, Ted Turner, Oren Lyons, Huston Smith, and Carl Sagan discussing the state of the world. Gillies started looking for solutions to global problems in 1994 when he produced "The Big Picture Summit" hosted by Tom Van Sant on behalf of La Casa de Maria in Santa Barbara CA. Tom's question: "How can we speed up the shift to holistic thinking from linear, reductionsist, compartmentalized thinking?" In other words, how can we get people to see the Big Picture?

One year later, he produced "A Matter of Life & Death" at La Casa, hosted by Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. In 1996, Jean Houston was the host of "The Grail," the third La Casa Invitational, where participants searched for elements of a new story, a grail that would lead us out of the wasteland and point the way towards a more positive future. Gillies wrote and published the biography of Robert Muller. Prophet--the Hatmaker's Son tells the dramatic story of a young man who escaped the Nazi draft during World War II and left home to become a peacemaker at the United Nations. Robert Muller is one of the world's first global citizen. This was followed by 101 Cool Ways to Die, a book that amuses two out of three people and annoys the rest.

Gillies serves on the board of the United Nations Association/Santa Barbara. He is writing a book about hope. He has conducted retreats and meetings for World Unity Flag, J.S. Bower Foundation, Hospice of Santa Barbara, Affinity Bank, Granada Theater (Center for Performing Arts), American Riviera Bank, and the National Institute for Urban Search & Rescue. He has produced a series of teleseminars. He enjoys rollerblading, skiing, biking, dancing, and backpacking. He has hiked all of the trails overlooking Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Mountains and climbed Mts. Whitney, Lassen, and Shasta.

During his first interview of Robert Muller, Gillies asked "How can I think like a global citizen?" Muller said, "It's easy--you just multiply everything you do by six billion." Now Gillies takes a cloth shopping bag to the grocery store, feeds kitchen scraps to earthworms in a composting bin, drinks water out of reusable glass bottles, sets his water heater to "vacation" and turns the shower to full hot, heats one cup of water at a time for tea instead of a full pot, drives 55 mph on the highway, and takes a reusable "doggie bag" to restaurants. That's 6 billion styrofoam boxes saved, not to mention two meals for the price of one.


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