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Straight Talk on the Circular Economy

Straight Talk on the Circular Economy | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The circular economy offers a path to economic growth and environmental sustainability in a world of shrinking resources.
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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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Symbolic regression of generative network models

Symbolic regression of generative network models | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Networks are a powerful abstraction with applicability to a variety of scientific fields. Models explaining their morphology and growth processes permit a wide range of phenomena to be more systematically analysed and understood. At the same time, creating such models is often challenging and requires insights that may be counter-intuitive. Yet there currently exists no general method to arrive at better models. We have developed an approach to automatically detect realistic decentralised network growth models from empirical data, employing a machine learning technique inspired by natural selection and defining a unified formalism to describe such models as computer programs. As the proposed method is completely general and does not assume any pre-existing models, it can be applied “out of the box” to any given network. To validate our approach empirically, we systematically rediscover pre-defined growth laws underlying several canonical network generation models and credible laws for diverse real-world networks. We were able to find programs that are simple enough to lead to an actual understanding of the mechanisms proposed, namely for a simple brain and a social network.


Symbolic regression of generative network models
• Telmo Menezes & Camille Roth

Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 6284 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep06284

See Also: https://github.com/telmomenezes/synthetic


Via Complexity Digest
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Big data meets systems and can potentially shines a light on system dynamics....

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New York City's Protected Bike Lanes Have Actually Sped Up Its Car Traffic

New York City's Protected Bike Lanes Have Actually Sped Up Its Car Traffic | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Don't listen to the angry drivers shouting at you. By reducing pedestrian and cyclist injuries and easing car congestion, protected bike lanes are...
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The Rise of Urban Riverfronts | Newgeography.com

The Rise of Urban Riverfronts | Newgeography.com | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

In the '80s, downtown Providence was a much less vibrant and destination-worthy place than it is now. Its urban rivers were buried beneath cement, rail-lines, and acres of concrete until a public-private revitalization effort gained enough traction. Today, in its place, the 11-acre Waterplace Park hosts numerous attractions, including the well-loved Waterfire events, and is a long, winding string of paths and bridges that sprawls through Providence’s downtown.

What's best about its place-making design is its versatility. The riverfront offers commutable routes between destinations, areas to picnic or socialize during lunch breaks, and event space throughout the seasons. Gondola rides, kayaking, and even viral pop-up installations all thrive here, making it multi-functional and inviting to a range of citizens.

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Houston is in the process of "parkification" of the bayous that run through the city center and the result is magnificent. 

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Michelle Holliday's TED Talk VIDEO on Thrivability + The Future of Humanity

Michelle Holliday's TED Talk VIDEO on Thrivability + The Future of Humanity | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
4/4/2011  I'm posting this again with the Video of Michelle's talk as well as the text version I sent in late February.  Walt Significant changes often are underpinned by a significantly different ...

Via Anne Caspari
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Anne Caspari's curator insight, September 11, 11:44 AM

It's an older video (2011) but still neat!  It is always worth while looking how  Living systems do it... 

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Who's Willing to Pay for Renewable Energy?

Who's Willing to Pay for Renewable Energy? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Reuters It's easy for people to say they support renewable energy. But if their eagerness to be green meant spending more money, would they really?
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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, September 12, 5:04 PM

"Younger adults across the board were more likely to agree that paying more for renewable energy is worth it: 60 percent of people aged 18 to 34 responded affirmatively. Older generations found that commitment more distasteful, with roughly 44 percent of those 50 and above agreeing. (People older than 65 said they "didn't know" almost three times more often as youngsters). And college graduates were more likely to open their wallets for renewable energy than people with a high-school education or less."

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Urban wastelands worth millions for what they give us - environment - 12 September 2014 - New Scientist

Urban wastelands worth millions for what they give us - environment - 12 September 2014 - New Scientist | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Abandoned lots in cities may seem like a waste of space, but the ecosystem services they provide can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars
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The notion of aggregating abandoned land for their ecosystem services into urban planning makes a lot of sense!

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Eben Lenderking's curator insight, September 13, 6:36 PM

This will make Detroit the greenest city in the world!

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City issues are environmental issues. Here's why. | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

City issues are environmental issues. Here's why. | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
   Cities need nature, as I wrote in an earlier essay.  But what is not so well understood is that nature also needs cities.  There is simply no way we can protect and maintain a beautiful, thriving, natural and rural...
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Aquifer Is No Quick Fix for Central Texas Thirst

Aquifer Is No Quick Fix for Central Texas Thirst | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Experts disagree how much water the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer holds and how long it would be able to sustain Central Texas’s growing population.
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How is a Warming Climate Impacting Coral Reefs? - CleanTechies

How is a Warming Climate Impacting Coral Reefs? - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
How is a warming climate impacting life in the oceans? Fish can move to cooler areas, but coral reefs are anchored in place. Late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys were warmer by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the last several decades compared to a century earlier, according to a new study by the U.S.Read More
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The

The | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
We changed our name to emphasize that critical environmental solutions to reducing environmental impacts of products – manufactured goods and food – lie “upstream” of consumers, before purchase.
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A Renewable Energy Future

If we assume that human civilization will continue for at least another 1000 years, then we will eventually arrive at a 100 percent renewable energy system. Whatever you believe about the existing reserves and undiscovered sources of fossil fuels and...

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New York’s proactive plan to face climate change

New York’s proactive plan to face climate change | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Legislators and The Nature Conservancy works on plan to make New York more resilient and protected from climate change impacts, such as extreme weather and rising seas levels.
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A Major Accounting Firm Just Ran the Numbers on Climate Change

A Major Accounting Firm Just Ran the Numbers on Climate Change | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
We're 20 years away from catastrophe, says PricewaterhouseCoopers.
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How Are Millennial Employees Changing Companies

How Are Millennial Employees Changing Companies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
With an influx of young people raise in a different era, are corporate landscapes responding--or just reshaping young idealists?
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Infrastructure in U.S. Cities: New Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Infrastructure in U.S. Cities: New Urban Bikeway Design Guide | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

In 2000, the District of Columbia had three miles of bike lanes. Today, the district has roughly 80 miles of bike infrastructure, and many other U.S. cities have made similar investments. Bicycling Magazine’s top 50 bike friendly cities includes some unsurprising places at the top – Minneapolis, Portland, Boulder, Seattle – but also shows how cities such as Cleveland, Miami, and Baltimore have made important strides in the last several years to improve their bike systems. Several are members of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), which has put out its best-selling Urban Bikeway Design Guide, first released in 2011, now with an updated second edition this year.

NACTO’s updated second edition is part of their “sustained commitment to making city streets safer for everyone using them.” Reformatted with improved structure, it features photos, diagrams, and 3-D renderings of wide-ranging best practices in design for bike infrastructure...


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Scientists reset human stem cells to earliest developmental state equivalent to 7-9 days old embryo

Scientists reset human stem cells to earliest developmental state equivalent to 7-9 days old embryo | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Scientists have successfully ‘reset’ human pluripotent stem cells to the earliest developmental state – equivalent to cells found in an embryo before it implants in the womb (7-9 days old). These ‘pristine’ stem cells may mark the true starting point for human development, but have until now been impossible to replicate in the lab. fThe discovery, published in Cell, will lead to a better understanding of human development and could in future allow the production of safe and more reproducible starting materials for a wide range of applications including cell therapies.

Human pluripotent stem cells, which have the potential to become any of the cells and tissues in the body, can be made in the lab either from cells extracted from a very early stage embryo or from adult cells that have been induced into a pluripotent state.

However, scientists have struggled to generate human pluripotent stem cells that are truly pristine (also known as naïve). Instead, researchers have only been able to derive cells which have advanced slightly further down the developmental pathway. These bear some of the early hallmarks of differentiation into distinct cell types – they’re not a truly ‘blank slate’. This may explain why existing human pluripotent stem cell lines often exhibit a bias towards producing certain tissue types in the laboratory.

Now researchers led by the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council (MRC) Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge, have managed to induce a ground state by rewiring the genetic circuitry in human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Their ‘reset cells’ share many of the characteristics of authentic naïve embryonic stem cells isolated from mice, suggesting that they represent the earliest stage of development.

“Capturing embryonic stem cells is like stopping the developmental clock at the precise moment before they begin to turn into distinct cells and tissues,” explains Professor Austin Smith, Director of the Stem Cell Institute, who co-authored the paper. “Scientists have perfected a reliable way of doing this with mouse cells, but human cells have proved more difficult to arrest and show subtle differences between the individual cells. It’s as if the developmental clock has not stopped at the same time and some cells are a few minutes ahead of others.”

The process of generating stem cells in the lab is much easier to control in mouse cells, which can be frozen in a state of naïve pluripotency using a protein called LIF. Human cells are not as responsive to LIF, so they must be controlled in a different way that involves switching key genes on and off. For this reason scientists have been unable to generate human pluripotent cells that are as primitive or as consistent as mouse embryonic stem cells.

The researchers overcame this problem by introducing two genes – NANOG and KLF2 – causing the network of genes that control the cell to reboot and induce the naïve pluripotent state. Importantly, the introduced genes only need to be present for a short time. Then, like other stem cells, reset cells can self-renew indefinitely to produce large numbers, are stable and can differentiate into other cell types, including nerve and heart cells.

By studying the reset cells, scientists will be able to learn more about how normal embryo development progresses and also how it can go wrong, leading to miscarriage and developmental disorders. The naïve state of the reset stem cells may also make it easier and more reliable to grow and manipulate them in the laboratory and may allow them to serve as a blank canvas for creating specialised cells and tissues for use in regenerative medicine.

Professor Smith adds: “Our findings suggest that it is possible to rewind the clock to achieve true ground state pluripotency in human cells. These cells may represent the real starting point for formation of tissues in the human embryo. We hope that in time they will allow us to unlock the fundamental biology of early development, which is impossible to study directly in people.” - See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/scientists-reset-human-stem-cells-to-earliest-developmental-state#sthash.4gxh2MI9.dpuf


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Concluding the Future of Knowledge Work | Hinesight....for Foresight

Concluding the Future of Knowledge Work | Hinesight....for Foresight | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Concludes the series on the future of knowledge work with some key implications
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Bobonline.org - YouTube

Freedom starts with a choice. Bobonline.org - Your global access to ballots on political and social issues and a direct, participatory democracy. The new NGO...
Flora Moon's insight:

This organization seems to be organizing for "crowd-truthing" an  interesting use of #crowdfunding.

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Why Isn't Food a Public Good?

Why Isn't Food a Public Good? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
What would the world look like if we were to treat food as a public good or commons and not merely as a commodity?
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Transportation For America – T4America statement in response to passenger rail reauthorization bill

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today released a long-awaited update to the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, the law that funds passenger rail.

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Structuring our Beloved Communities?

Structuring our Beloved Communities? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
In the early days of the US civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. used the phrase “Beloved Community” to describe the kind of change he was working towards.
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Urban wildlife – in pictures

Urban wildlife – in pictures | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Bristol-based photographer Sam Hobson portrays wildlife in British cities, from lapwings on a Manchester roof to fallow deer feeding by a London bus stop
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California’s Water-Starved Farmers Stymied by Fish Protections

California’s Water-Starved Farmers Stymied by Fish Protections | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Environmental protections for endangered salmon in California’s rivers and streams are drawing complaints from drought-stricken farmers who say water that could be pumped to them is allowed to empty into the ocean.
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Social Impact Partnerships: A New Model for Funding Social Change - SocialEarth

Social Impact Partnerships: A New Model for Funding Social Change - SocialEarth | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Partners in a first-of-its-kind, pay-for-success program will discuss a new, scalable, replicable model for financing social change. On the heels of introducing a social impact partnership to reduce recidivism and [...]
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Dr Lendy Spires's curator insight, September 11, 7:15 AM

Partners in a first-of-its-kind, pay-for-success program will discuss a new, scalable, replicable model for financing social change. On the heels of introducing a social impact partnership to reduce recidivism and increase employment in New York State, the panel will discuss the new model for social impact partnerships as an example of how public, private and nonprofit sectors can work together to achieve positive social oucomes.

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8 Best Practices for Creating a Peer-to-Peer Marketplace

8 Best Practices for Creating a Peer-to-Peer Marketplace | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
At Near Me, we've learned that peer-to-peer marketplaces can be a great way for nonprofits, businesses, and communities to support their members in a fun and mutually beneficial way, if done right. 
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