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Sustainable Futures
Things to do, consider and act on to create a sustainable future for people and planet
Curated by Flora Moon
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On the Path Past 9 Billion, Little Crosstalk Between U.N. Sessions on Population and Global Warming

On the Path Past 9 Billion, Little Crosstalk Between U.N. Sessions on Population and Global Warming | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
As the United Nations convenes sessions on global warming and population growth, a new study foresees rising human numbers through 2100.
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Climate Realities

Climate Realities | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The world is now on track to more than double current greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere by the end of the century.
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His Camera Takes Us To The World 'We Must Preserve'

His Camera Takes Us To The World 'We Must Preserve' | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
In the new exhibit "Genesis," the noted photographer Sebastiao Salgado shares his vision of "a kind of state of humanity of the planet," from Amazon tribes to frozen Siberia.
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How a Houston Housing Project Earned a MacArthur Grant

How a Houston Housing Project Earned a MacArthur Grant | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Through Project Row Houses, artist Rick Lowe nurtures artists and residents alike with a project that pushes contemporary practice and engages the community.
Flora Moon's insight:

Thank you Rick Lowe and congratulations, Project Row Houses!

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To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees

To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Reforestation might seem like a simple solution to climate change, but the science shows it could make global warming worse.
Flora Moon's insight:

hmmm.......

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This Scottish Island Is Nearly Free of Fossil Fuels

This Scottish Island Is Nearly Free of Fossil Fuels | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Eigg's main grid is powered mostly by wind, water, and sun.
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Sierra Club Launches Bad Air Alert Text System

Sierra Club Launches Bad Air Alert Text System | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
In response to the EPA's recommendation for tightening smog pollution standards, the Sierra Club launches a Bad Air Alert Text System
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How to digitally communicate your sustainability story

How to digitally communicate your sustainability story | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Taz Burwaiss is Social Media and Community Coordinator at Lead International. In this blog post he highlights 5 key goals, which should help you structure how to communicate your impact story more effectively. This includes: Raising awareness, engaging your audience, educating your audience, inspiring your audience, and finally encouraging your audience to take action.
Each step contains top tips to utilizing both social media and storytelling tools that can help you communicate your sustainability campaign in a more sophisticated way.
Social media is a fantastic tool that gives you the opportunity to build a trustworthy brand to a targeted audience. It can help you build relationships with your stakeholders, become a 'thought leader' in your sector, identify new business leads, while also help you absorb better market and customer research.
Alongside this the power of storytelling can enhance your communication by presenting your content in a more human and emotional way, here by coming across as more engaging, 'user friendly' and inspiring.
So, how should you use these two digital tools in order to enhance your sustainability impact?
GOAL 1) Raising awareness
Social media and the power of branding are excellent tools for raising awareness. Here are some of my top tips to using these tools to achieve this first goal:

The first step is to identify what stakeholders/ decision makers you want to engage with. This may be your internal workforce, your customer's, the media publications within industry/ sector, your supply chain, the community your impact takes place within, or perhaps public authorities you plan to collaborate with. By segmenting your audience in this cross sectorial way you can begin to think about raising awareness in a smarter, more targeted way.
Focus on building PR relationships. Engaging with the media and turning them into media partners will help you multiply your reach, so that your content doesn't just reach your own audience, but reach's your partners audience too.
Branding. Branding is a complex topic, but the general rule of thumb is to ensure your brand speaks the same language as your audience. If you're communicating to individuals on the community level you may want to brand yourself in a more emotionally charged way that comes across as fun and quirky. While if your story is targeting potential funders you should communicate in a more corporate and slick style with an emphasis on graphs and statistics.

GOAL 2) Engaging your audience
My top tips:

Keep you communication style specific to the audience. Several studies have identified that individuals are more likely to accept information if delivered by messengers with whom they share a cultural affinity. For example, the former chief economist of the World Bank, Nicholas Stern, lent much credibility to the green growth message among the business community by volunteering to lead the analysis for the UK government of the economics of climate change.
Collaborate with celebrities or exciting talent within your sector. Not only the message, but also the messenger is important. Credible and trusted messengers are very much needed to make the case for deviating from business as usual. You may not be able to afford Angelina Jolie, William Hague and Leonardo Di Caprio to be the face of your campaign. But there should be plenty of highly sought after, industry specific experts worth teaming up with!
Identify a protagonist within your story. Psychological research shows that we interpret our experiences, and seek to understand the world, by creating stories of protagonists acting with intention to achieve a goal. These stories are called "meta-narratives," "paradigms" or sometimes "frames" because they provide frameworks through which we create meaning and make judgments.
Bring it down to earth. Demonstrate the complex benefits of your sustainability project in terms that can be understood and experienced in your target audience's daily lives. For example, how energy efficiency can reduce household costs, or how reducing air pollution can improve health. The most effective communication strategies demonstrate these benefits at the individual level.
Identify and use the hot 'keywords' in your sector. This will significantly improve your SEO and engagement with each segment you are targeting, as well as build trust with your audience.
Be transparent. By being full transparent and honest will also help you create trust with your customers.

GOAL 3) Educate your audience
Creating impact is about winning people's minds as well as their hearts. Your communication strategy will hereby also require an underlying fact-base that is robust to challenges from vested interests. Messages should therefore be balanced, with plenty of facts and figures to back up your claims, while also clearly stating both the winners and the losers in the transition to a greener economy.
GOAL 4) Inspire your audience

Be persistent and consistent. Creating one or two pieces of content isn't enough. Your sustainability battle will be long and hard, so you will have to expect this to be a long-term campaign in which consistency in how you communicate is of utmost importance. Essentially this is shaped by your brand identity and strategy.
Focus on the benefits. In the coming years the sustainability sector must prove that its triple bottom line model can deliver 'smarter' development results than the traditional economic model. This will involve an emphasis that clearly demonstrates the benefits of your project. Benefits can include reducing the likelihood and impact of climate change, improvements in attracting investment in innovation, creating green jobs and industries, conserving natural capital and advancing sustainable rural livelihoods. The basic premise of sustainable development is that future generations should not be any worse off than the current generation, and that there must be a balance between economic, environmental and social sustainability.

GOAL 5) Encouraging your audience to take action.

Call to action. Don't just leave you call to action until the end of the article. Find creative ways to weave your call to action into your story. Once the editorial is done, include a few ways people could get involved.
Empower your audience. Focus less on making people feel bad that they're not doing enough and instead empower them to feel as if they too can get involved. It's no longer about your organisation as the hero, but rather about giving the reader the opportunity to become the hero.
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Obama Urged to Plug Methane Leaks to Meet Climate Goal

Obama Urged to Plug Methane Leaks to Meet Climate Goal | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Environmental groups are asking the Obama administration to beef up its climate plan by targeting methane leaks in the web of valves, pipes and pumps drillers use to produce and deliver natural gas.
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Some See Garbage, Others See an Opportunity: Installing Solar on Landfills

Some See Garbage, Others See an Opportunity: Installing Solar on Landfills | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Green Mountain Power just broke ground on a 2-MW photovoltaic plant in Rutland, Vermont. While some other large PV systems planned for the area have met with strong opposition (some residents worry large, ground-mount solar arrays will be an eyesore on the state’s pastoral landscape), this pro
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Ban Enlisting Business on Climate Change May Win UN Pact

Ban Enlisting Business on Climate Change May Win UN Pact | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s strategy to forge a global climate agreement by 2015 will enter a new phase next week when more than 120 world leaders meet in New York to discuss greenhouse gas cuts.
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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The week in wildlife – in pictures | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Wild elephants of India, panther chameleons and raccoon dogs are among the pick of this week’s images from the natural world
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Metro Area Gross Domestic Product

Metro Area Gross Domestic Product | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Percent change in real per capita GDP, 2010-2013. The Bureau of Economic Analysis is out with the preliminary numbers for 2013 metro area GDP (see the press release). We've now got enough data that...
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Angry Bear » In Praise of Net Social Benefits

Angry Bear » In Praise of Net Social Benefits | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

When someone says, “if we raise the minimum wage, there will be more unemployment.” That may be true, but their fear of unemployment is not wise. It is better to say, “if we raise the minimum wage, will net social benefits be increased?”

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Push for New Pact on Climate Change Is Plagued by Old Divide of Wealth

Push for New Pact on Climate Change Is Plagued by Old Divide of Wealth | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
At a United Nations gathering on Tuesday, leaders will face a divide between the rich countries responsible for extensive carbon emissions and the poor countries that stand to suffer most as a result.
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The Future of Vertical Farming - CleanTechies

The Future of Vertical Farming - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
From big company agricultural farming, to communal farming or even personal agronomy, the business of growing crops for an expanding global population will be crucial in the near future. The two most important resources needed to run these farms are one, water, and two, land. But these resources often come at a premium, especially withRead More
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Finalists for Renewable Energy World Projects of the Year 2014 Revealed

Finalists for Renewable Energy World Projects of the Year 2014 Revealed | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The editors of Renewable Energy World and Power Engineering magazines and their respective websites have announced eleven finalists for the annual Projects of the Year Awards program.
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A Global Gathering Reveals the Untapped Potential of Mayors

A Global Gathering Reveals the Untapped Potential of Mayors | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A committed Global Parliament of Mayors could mean magic for cities and nations alike.
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Massachusetts City Leads by Example with 1.8-MW Brownfield Solar Project

Massachusetts City Leads by Example with 1.8-MW Brownfield Solar Project | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Today government officials commissioned a 1.8-MW solar project on what is classified as a “superfund” site — an abandoned plot of land that harbored hazardous waste affecting the environment and population — in New Bedford, an economically depressed coastal city in southeaste
Flora Moon's insight:

There are a couple of superfund sites in Houston that, if connected to a microgrid, could serve the adjacent community, if managed as a community "utility."  I wonder if city government officials have this on their radar....

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US will not commit to climate change aid for poor nations at UN summit

US will not commit to climate change aid for poor nations at UN summit | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Rich countries pledged to find $100bn a year by 2020, but so far only Germany has made a significant contribution
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Rescooped by Flora Moon from 21st Century Innovative Technologies and Developments as also discoveries, curiosity ( insolite)...
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Incredibly Small 3D Printed Middle Ear Prosthesis is Achieved on a 3D Systems Printer

Incredibly Small 3D Printed Middle Ear Prosthesis is Achieved on a 3D Systems Printer | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
3D printing has been providing various forms of prosthetic devices such as fingers, hands, arms and legs  for a short time now, mostly due to the fact that it is affordable, easy to use, faster than traditional manufacturing, and provides for total customization. Companies are also really beginning to see the potential of 3D printing in the rapid prototyping of medical products.


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http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-innovative-technologies-and-developments/?tag=3D



Via Gust MEES
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Shift to Mass Transit Could Have Major Economic and Climate Benefits - CleanTechies

Shift to Mass Transit Could Have Major Economic and Climate Benefits - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Expanding public transportation and infrastructure that promotes walking and biking throughout the world’s cities could save $100 trillion and cut transportation-related carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2050, according to an analysis by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. Urban transportation accounted for roughly one-quarter ofRead More
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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, Today, 4:05 PM

100% electric vehicles would also help, even if the electricity doesn't come from renewable sources, because burning anything wastes about half the energy.  But by 2050, we should have a 100% renewable energy system. 

 

Mass transit systems that use large vehicles actually waste energy in off-hours when there are fewer passengers, so small vehicle mass transit systems like Personal Rapid Transit should be encouraged instead.

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Ecuador Shows Why Communities and the Climate Need Strong Forest Rights | World Resources Institute

Ecuador Shows Why Communities and the Climate Need Strong Forest Rights | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Recent research from WRI and the Rights and Resources Initiative found that the world’s 513 million hectares of legally recognized community forests store 37 billion tonnes of carbon—29 times the annual carbon footprint of the world’s passenger vehicles.

However, it’s not enough to just legally recognize Indigenous Peoples’ forest rights—governments must also protect these rights from industries and other interests. The impacts of oil extraction in Ecuador illustrate why secure community forest rights are necessary to protect both livelihoods and the environment.
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Surging Gas Supply Masks Risk of Winter Price Shock

Surging Gas Supply Masks Risk of Winter Price Shock | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Gas traders betting that ample supply will limit price gains risk a repeat of last winter’s rally as forecasts for another frigid season raise the specter of supply constraints.
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Beyond divestment: climate-concerned philanthropists pledge to move billions to wind and solar

Beyond divestment: climate-concerned philanthropists pledge to move billions to wind and solar | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Groups have been divesting money from oil, coal, and gas for years. Now they’re hoping to get more climate-healing bang for their buck.
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