Mapping Transformation In international development we see it more and more the need for leaders to play a new game. It is ironic that our best whole systems thinkers are becoming ever more frustrated at the lack of visible ...
Transitioning from a carbon-intensive economy to a low-carbon future presents challenges and opportunities for developing countries. The Sustainable Energy Roadmaps help countries successfully navigate the change to an infrastructure capable of meeting the energy challenges of the 21st century.
The approach examines a country’s potential for renewable energy production such as wind, solar, small hydropower and biomass. Existing energy infrastructure is analyzed to identify the potential for, and hurdles to, increased efficiency and energy storage. At the same time, current socio-economic and policy environments are factored into the analysis to identify barriers to low-carbon development and determine international best practices to suggest how they can be overcome. Equally important, funding options that might be available from private, public, and multilateral institutions to help bring renewable energy projects into being are assessed.
The project strengthens government and civil society capacity, enhances stakeholder engagement, and advances policies that combat climate change...
Learn more about the program and sustainable energy roadmaps at the article link.
Rehan School.com uses low entry , low cost mobile phone systems as a education tool, by producing educational videos based on nursery to metric system curriculum. The project is free of charge. Spread the word.
I am pleased to share a clear set of guidelines for a rigorous design science to build a pathway to global sustainability... (via Joe Brewer)
1) Critically assess all assumptions with the standards of empirically responsible philosophy to ensure that interpretations of value-laden topics stand up to the rigors of the scientific method.
2) Look for convergence across disciplines of key findings that bolster confidence in the core elements of human systems and their causal relationships with the broader natural world.
3) Cultivate an appreciation for deep history as the appropriate lens for embedding historical trends within the larger networks of biological and geophysical evolution from which they arose.
4) Build a foundational knowledge of complex adaptive systems and the mathematics of networks to build diagnostic models for the global dynamics of interconnected systems.
5) Acknowledge the cognitive feedbacks of human comprehension that shape the formation of conceptual categories, tacit beliefs, and overarching worldviews as they interact with the scientific method — especially in the study of economics, politics, and culture.
6) Make use of iterative design methodologies such as rapid prototyping and user-centered design to empirically test and refine working models of social innovation in the real world.
7) Maintain a vigilant practice of questioning our theories of change to avoid falling into the trap of applying static conceptual models to an ever-evolving dynamic reality.
UN and USA technocrats must listen to the small-scale and indigenous farmers of the world! Large scale biotech industrial food production and destruction of our oceans, land and our forests (and all species within them) for PalmOil and pure profit is not the answer if we are to survive on this planet.
- Transition Times, Jennifer Brody:
"I am having trouble summoning any enthusiasm over the upcoming Rio+20 UN Conference, which will begin on June 20. When you go to the conference website, everything sounds so benign, forward-looking...
In an email sent out in early May, Adbusters urges recipients to “occupy the future;” that is, “to describe, build and sustain the post-capitalist future we want to live in.”
Dayaneni concurs with that sentiment. “People ask me what they can do to support. I say, take more land. Occupy a library, a clinic, whatever, plan it right and [re-launch] it appropriately and at scale. We need to prove that we have the ability to self govern. This is the new moment of occupy, not tit for tat, not cat-and-mouse games with cops, but full-scale intervention. Occupy the Farm is one of the first to-scale interventions.”
Frugal Innovation requires some hard questions to be answered. Is it affordable within the context of that economy? Or, is it accessible for everyone within everyday culture?
Frugal Innovation is the means by which everyday people find solutions to everyday problems, by using not much more than their ingenuity, and skills of observation. These entrepreneurs are also social innovators as they work for the collective good.
And the story that follows is very much about appreciative inquiry, A requirement for us to listen deeply and learn from all that which surrounds us. Even if it does not come from our normal sources of information and influence. For me this poses the question if we cannot afford business as usual where do we we need to look for inspiration and guidance? How do we minimize resources and maximize value? The answer is we need to look further afield.
You manifested more than 4 and a half billion years ago and life began to manifest on you less that one billion years later. Since then, you have gradually become the beautiful living planet that you are today. Life evolved from deep within the oceans, multiplying and prospering on your body, slowly improving the atmosphere so that countless species could manifest. After one billion years, there was enough free oxygen in the atmosphere to create the ozone layer, which then prevented harmful radiation from reaching your surface, thus allowing life to develop on land.
It is increasingly clear that the institutions of yesterday are inadequate for the challenges of tomorrow. Multinational corporations bent toward the myopia of quarterly returns are ill-fit for extended periods of volatility and turbulence. Centralized governments, with an opacity built in to ensure secrecy, cannot keep pace with the speed-of-light communications of 21st Century internet-based and mobile technologies. They must be opened up and redesigned with agility and integrity as guiding principles.
What is needed now is nothing less than the wholesale redesign of civilization. Our banking institutions must be reconnected to the thriving of human communities. Our schools and universities must cultivate a creative resilience that enables massive-scale innovation. Our businesses must produce positive social impacts alongside healthy revenues. And our governments must successfully provide the supports through which well-being is sustained and spread across the entirety of nations, cities, and villages.
Overview of the 400-page report World in Transition: A Social Contract for Sustainability from the German Advisory Council on Climate Change (WGBU), the heavyweight scientific body that advises the German Federal Government on ‘Earth System Megatrends'.
"A key conclusion here is that ‘individual actors and change agents play a far larger role as drivers of transformation’ than they’ve been given credit for in the past.
The most effective change agents, states the report, ‘stimulate the latent willingness to act by questioning business as usual policies’. They also put open questions and challenges on the agenda, and embody alternative practices in the ways they work.
Change agents, the think tank finds, ‘tend to frequent the margins of society where unorthodox thinkers and outsiders are to be found’."
It is this profound vulnerability that I would like to address in calling for a new metric to characterize the health and stability of our economic system — that of Global Resilience.
Resilience is the capacity for a system to absorb disruptions without losing key functionality. The human body, as one example, is resilient against parasitic viruses like influenza when it bolsters a strong immune response and preserves the vital functions of circulation, digestion, mobility, and consciousness. By contrast, it is not resilient against a physical blow to the brain stem that quickly produces a vegetative state or death. Resilience is the dynamic repose of the system that enables it to mitigate disruptions or adapt to them in a timely manner.
To feed, employ, and sustain the world, our oceans must first be in good health. It is becoming increasingly clear that humans have a substantial impact on these marine ecosystems, and that these impacts are not just threatening the high-seas, but also the humans that depend on them for their livelihoods and well-being.
The health of our oceans is, therefore, primarily a human concern. But how do we measure the health of something as vast and bewildering as an entire ocean?
For many years, scientists have struggled to find a way to make the concept of ocean health meaningful and measureable. There have been a few breakthroughs but no real solution to allow us to concretely measure if things are getting better or worse and by how much? That is, until now.
Published in last week’s issue of the journal Nature The Ocean Health Index is a groundbreaking tool that allows us to take a look at how we as humans benefit from the big blue. The Index examines social, economic, and ecological factors, scaling both globally and locally to give us an accurate assessment. It finally gives us the baseline we need to measure progress...
The UN Global Pulse is out to make the UN more data-driven. UNGP acts as an intermediary for all of the data needs of groups within the United Nations. Currently we are collecting projects to partner on with the UN, but previous DataDive projects together entailed studying low-altitude imagery of African crops to determine fertilizer effectiveness and analyzing the results of a global cellphone survey on happiness and wellbeing around the world.
About The United Nations Global Pulse Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of the UN Secretary-General, harnessing today’s new world of digital data and real-time analytics to gain a better understanding of changes in human well-being. Global Pulse hopes to contribute a future in which access to better information sooner makes it possible to keep international development on track, protect the world’s most vulnerable populations, and strengthen resilience to global shocks.
There is growing global sentiment that the era of grand multilateral treaty-making is over. Recurrent disputes over burden-sharing, and the specter of national vetoes, tends to tie negotiators into knots. Rather than seeking common ground–and often bland consensus—among 193 diverse countries, progress at major UN conferences will increasingly depend on individual countries coming to the table to declare what they are prepared to do, at a national level, to advance internationally-agreed goals. To this end, the United States is pressing all governments coming to Rio to arrive with a list of concrete commitments on the Rio agenda’s seven critical issues: decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans, and disaster readiness. The idea is to compile all of these national commitments in an online compendium.
As a species we are stumbling blindly due to a model of separation based on nationality with no coherent system of monitoring or design. We are engaged in economic and political power-play, a fight for unsustainable resources, a religious war rearing its head between Islam and Christianity and to top it all off have done more damage to the biosphere in the last 10 years than in the whole history of humanity. We are waging wars on the trivial and sometimes I wonder if it is a self protection mechanism to prevent us from seeing the truth that is staring us right in the face at this moment of human history.
The facts are clear, we as a species have created a situation where we have to stop, stop to think, stop to address the major issues that can and are potentially affecting us as a species. This is a very small planet indeed, we as individuals tent to look at it from our personal perspective that stretch about as far as we can see, and for the ones being a little more engaged as far as our national interest lies. This small perspective of a “large planet” can and might be the undoing of a sustainable abundant planet for our future generation.
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