« Social & Business Co-Creation: collaboration for impact »: Call for the most innovative Social & Business co-creation projects in Europe!
Ashoka, the Zermatt Summit Foundation, Fondation Guilé, DPD and Boehringer Ingelheim are launching an online collaborative competition, Social & Business Co-Creation: collaboration for impact to source, highlight and catalyze innovative Co-Creation projects in Europe led by social-mission organisations (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise), traditional businesses and public institutions. These projects will illustrate new forms of interaction between social and business to create shared social and economic value at scale. Competition entries can cover a wide range of solutions: from innovative job creation schemes, to the development of new products and services to address essential needs of underserved populations or “last mile” solutions to make these accessible to all. At the core of each project should be the potential to create a more inclusive and human economy, change organisational structures and enable professionals at all levels to become engaged changemakers who turn problems into opportunities.
All social-mission organisations, businesses and public institutions who work together to create change in Europe can apply. The competition deadline is April 10, 2014. The winners will receive coaching and €40,000 in prizes, and will be featured in prominent media. The prizes will be awarded at the Zermatt Summit on June 27th, 2014.
New York Daily News Damaged Nuclear Plant in Japan Leaks Toxic Water New York Times TOKYO — Tens of thousands of gallons of radioactive water leaked from a large underground storage pool at Japan's crippled nuclear plant, and thousands more gallons...
Imagine if one day the power goes out on a nationwide scale, the water stops running and becomes scarce. How will you survive? Start thinking about collecting water from the atmosphere, there is over three quadillions of it floating around the...
Elephants break into Kerala farm to drink clean water Deccan Herald Wild elephants have been breaking into a state government-owned livestock farm in Kerala's popular hill station Munnar to drink clean water as the water in the town's Mattupetty...
The benefits of organic farming are manifold. First, organic farming benefits people directly by producing safe, nutritious foods that are free from the potentially harmful chemicals used in synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Second, organic farming also benefits the environment by utilizing methods that help preserve biodiversity and conserve natural resources such as soil, water, and energy.
Given the relatively higher cost of operating organic farms and gardens, more and more people are still turning to the practice of organic farming. Incidentally, more and more people are also consuming organically grown products. Obviously, both are due in large part to the fact that the perceived benefits of producing and consuming organic products far outweigh the disadvantages.
So why do many farmers insist on practicing organic agriculture techniques when conventional methods and practices are currently more profitable?
By working in harmony with nature, organic farming delivers long-term benefits to people and the environment. Compared with conventional agriculture, it preserves soil fertility more effectively. Organic farming also uses methods for controlling pests and diseases that do not harm the environment. By not using synthetic chemicals, organic farming ensures that the local water supply remains safe and clean. By utilizing only readily available resources, organic farmers get to save the money that will otherwise be spent for additional farming inputs.
The benefits of organic farming are highlighted when considered in the context of conventional agriculture’s negative effects. In conventional agriculture, synthetic chemicals from pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides gets easily transported from the soil to the water system, polluting rivers, lakes, and other water courses. Prolonged exposure to synthetic fertilizers depletes the soil’s organic matter content, which in turn reduces the soil’s resistance to erosion. Prolonged use of synthetic fertilizers also makes soils too dependent on the chemicals such that more amounts of fertilizer are needed every year just to harvest the same yield level. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers destroy most microorganisms in the soil—even the beneficial ones—resulting to poor soil structure and deficient nutrient content. Synthetic and health-damaging chemicals tend to stay in the soil, eventually entering the food chain to be consumed by humans.
To effectively deliver the potential benefits of organic farming, farmers rely heavily on sustainable agricultural techniques such as green manure, composting, crop rotation, and natural methods of weed, pest, and fungus control. While employing these techniques, organic farmers also strictly restrict the use of genetically-modified organisms (GMO’s) and synthetic chemicals, thereby ensuring the harvesting of healthy, nutritious produce.
To conserve and enhance soil quality, organic farmers use recycled and composted crop wastes and manure. Organic farmers also practice crop rotation. To control pests, diseases and weeds, organic farmers plan crop sequence and use resistant varieties. Farmers also allow natural predators to control plant pests first before seriously using organic pesticides.
Given these benefits, there are also downsides to organic farming, however. For one thing, organic produce costs considerably more than their commercial counterparts simply because organic farming is costlier to operate. Nonetheless, given the consistently demonstrated environmental benefits of organic crops, at least trying them out is good choice, especially for people who can afford them or who care deeply for the environment and biodiversity.
There is understandable outrage over the United Nation’s reaction to its role in first creating and then denying responsibility for Haiti’s cholera outbreak in 2010 that killed 8,000 people. But last week another UN cholera denial story garnered less attention, this time in Zimbabwe following a UN tribunal ruling in Nairobi. (Al-Jazeera is the only major news outlet I found that covered the story.)
Jacqui Manini-Hills's insight:
This could be avoided with water purification systems
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