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Technology and the Intelligence of Nature

Technology and the Intelligence of Nature | The Next Edge | Scoop.it
Charles Eisenstein shares his concerns about how pervasive the 'technology will fix it' mentality has become, and proposes an entirely different approach to healing our current ecological and social crises.

 

"In the United States, we respond to the failure of metal detectors, lockdowns, and other forms of control in our schools by calling for even more control. European countries unable to pay their debts are lent even more money, with the proviso that they try even harder to pay their debts. Imperialist powers apply military violence to fight the terrorism that is a response to previous imperialism and violence. Doctors prescribe drugs to address the side-effects caused by other drugs. Urban planners address traffic congestion by building more roads (which leads to more development and more traffic). And millions of people manage the emptiness of a life of material acquisition by buying more material possessions."

...

"Technology in service to Earth includes things like regenerative agriculture and permaculture to heal the soil, replenish the aquifers, and sequester carbon. It includes green energy technologies, conservation technologies, bioremediation, wetlands restoration, zero-waste manufacturing, anything that contributes to the health of the planet and its ecosystems."

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Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems 2012

Leaders in the public and private sectors are facing unprecedented challenges as they operate and make decisions in a context of increasing complexity. Hyper-connectivity calls into question many traditional problem-solving approaches – regarding diverse matters, from urban population growth to global capital flows – and it limits our capacity to manage these problems. At the same time, opportunities for solutions – via which to deliver greater benefits for stakeholders, cutting across traditional silos and offering more sustainability – are growing.


The Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems examines how insights gleaned from complexity science and systems analysis can best be applied to improve the thoroughness and quality of decision-making and to deliver better results for larger numbers of beneficiaries worldwide.


Via Complexity Digest, Dibyendu De
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How to redesign business for a resource-constrained world

How to redesign business for a resource-constrained world | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

Business has historically operated a 'take-make-waste' philosophy, but a radical transformation is now needed... 


Via pdjmoo, David Hodgson
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Scorecard for the Sea: The Ocean Health Index

Scorecard for the Sea: The Ocean Health Index | The Next Edge | Scoop.it
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...


Via Lauren Moss
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Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable energy future

Access to clean, affordable and reliable energy has been a cornerstone of the world's increasing prosperity and economic growth since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Our use of energy in the twenty–first century must also be sustainable. Solar and water–based energy generation, and engineering of microbes to produce biofuels are a few examples of the alternatives. This Perspective puts these opportunities into a larger context by relating them to a number of aspects in the transportation and electricity generation sectors. It also provides a snapshot of the current energy landscape and discusses several research and development opportunities and pathways that could lead to a prosperous, sustainable and secure energy future for the world.

 

Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable energy future

Steven Chu & Arun Majumdar

Nature 488, 294–303 (16 August 2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11475


Via Complexity Digest
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About ‘Money and Sustainability’ | Money and Sustainability

About ‘Money and Sustainability’ | Money and Sustainability | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

We tend to assume that we must have a single, monopolistic currency, funded through bank debt, enforced by a central bank. But we don’t need any such thing! In fact, the present system is outdated, brittle and unfit for purpose (witness the eurozone crisis). Like any other monoculture, it’s profitable at first but ultimately a recipe for economic and environmental disaster. The alternative is a monetary ‘ecosystem’, with complementary currencies alongside the conventional one.

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George Monbiot – The Mendacity of Hope

George Monbiot – The Mendacity of Hope | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

This week’s earth summit in Rio de Janeiro is a ghost of the glad, confident meeting 20 years ago. By now, the leaders who gathered in the same city in 1992 told us, the world’s environmental problems were to have been solved. But all they have generated is more meetings, which will continue until the delegates, surrounded by rising waters, have eaten the last rare dove, exquisitely presented with an olive leaf roulade. The biosphere, that world leaders promised to protect, is in a far worse state than it was 20 years ago(1). Is it not time to recognise that they have failed?

 

These summits have failed for the same reason that the banks have failed. Political systems which were supposed to represent everyone now return governments of millionaires, financed by and acting on behalf of billionaires. The past 20 years have been a billionaires’ banquet. At the behest of corporations and the ultra-rich, governments have removed the constraining decencies – the laws and regulations – which prevent one person from destroying another. To expect governments funded and appointed by this class to protect the biosphere and defend the poor is like expecting a lion to live on gazpacho.

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Ecocide Youth Blast Video

This video is being presented at Youth Blast at the Rio Earth Summit on behalf of the Eradicating Ecocide campaign. The aim is to inspire and intrigue young people to help make ecocide an international crime.

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Societal Transformation: How Radical Does It Need to Be?

Societal Transformation: How Radical Does It Need to Be? | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

Global resource consumption has increased 10-fold since 1900, and Americans now use an estimated 88 kilograms of goods per day, with modern gadgets requiring some 60 different elements in their manufacturing. This has led to a boom in mining, especially for rare earth materials that are used in technology such as computers. Meanwhile, our gadget lust is forcing us to develop more unconventional and costly resources, which generate significant amounts of waste. To produce the same amount of ore as 100 years ago, for example, companies must now process three times as much total mining material.

 

Written by Antonia Sohns » Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity

 

(photo: People on Black Friday in Seattle via Flickr, Michael Holden)

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Mariana Soffer's comment, June 2, 2012 6:55 AM
cool dude, BTW, how r you?
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Maybe Just Maybe | Imagine Rural Development Initiative

Maybe Just Maybe | Imagine Rural Development Initiative | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

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.

 

by @stevenputter

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The DP Interview w/Liz McLellan of hyperlocavore.com

The DP Interview w/Liz McLellan of hyperlocavore.com | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

I recently had the good fortune to interview Liz McLellan. Liz runs hyperlocavore.com, a site that matches "people up in yardsharing groups and neighborhood produce exchanges." Here's our discussion...

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Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy

"There's a world of opportunity to re-think and re-design the way we make stuff. 'Re-Thinking Progress' explores how through a change in perspective we can redesign the way our economy works"

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The Blue Economy® Community

The Blue Economy® Community | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

"The Blue Economy permits to respond to the basic needs of all with what we have. As such, it stands for a new way of designing business: using the resources available in cascading systems, where the waste of one product becomes the input to create a new cash flow.

 

We can evolve from an economy where the good is expensive, and the bad is cheap, to a system where the good and innovative is affordable – consumption for the better.

 

100 such innovations were presented as a Report to the Club of Rome, now published as a series of books."

 

ht @SteveBrant

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Sustainable Energy Roadmaps | Worldwatch Institute

Sustainable Energy Roadmaps | Worldwatch Institute | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

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.


Via Lauren Moss
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Michelle Coe's curator insight, October 10, 2013 1:27 PM

Some US states need to follow this roadmap!

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The Sustainable Development Solutions Network

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network | The Next Edge | Scoop.it
The new UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network aims to mobilize global knowledge and action to identify and demonstrate cutting-edge approaches for saving the planet.

Via Flora Moon, David Hodgson
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Happy Planet Index

nef's Happy Planet Index is an innovative measure that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is created around the world.


It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives.


visit neweconomics.org for more.

also see video re: 21 hr work week.

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Future Money: Breakdown or Breakthrough?

Future Money: Breakdown or Breakthrough? | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

James Robertson has been described as the ‘grandfather of green economics’; he might equally be called the father of Renegade Economics: over the last three decades nobody has been more eloquent or straightforward in their advocacy of a new economic order.

 

Robertson's main focus has been the money system. Many years ago he identified the means by which money is created as the principal culprit in our failure to create a more just and sustainable society. In his new book, Future Money: Breakdown or Breakthrough? he summarises the problems with current monetary arrangements and offers an alternative which could set civilization on a much happier, healthier and long-lived course.


Via David Hodgson, Elle D'Coda
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Introducing the Ocean Health Index

Introducing the Ocean Health Index | The Next Edge | Scoop.it
Comparing different parts of the world's oceans, the index weighs whether the human activity there is sustainable or in need of better management.

Via Flora Moon, David Hodgson
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The Weave: Participatory Process Design Guide

The Weave: Participatory Process Design Guide | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

What would the ideal strategic planning engagement look like?


The Weave provides guidance for sustainability practitioners wishing to more deeply engage people in creating their sustainable future

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An Integrated Approach to Global Change

An Integrated Approach to Global Change | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

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.


Via Anne Caspari
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Edible City

Edible City | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

Edible City is a 72 minute documentary film that asks a few burning questions…

 

“How can we live in cities and still eat local, healthy, sustainable food?”
“How can we create jobs, build local economies, and increase food security all at the same time?”
“How can we create food systems that are economically, socially, and environmentally just?”

 

Edible City follows ten extraordinary stories exploring what’s going on in the food movement today, from the grassroots growth to the politics in Washington, D.C., from Occupy Oakland to creating community resiliency and local economic infrastructure.

 

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The Lexicon of Sustainability

Our earliest descendants were hunter/gatherers who foraged for their food, were in tune with their surroundings, and ate with the seasons. After foraging was essentially replaced by agriculture, people became increasingly detached from where their food came from. Foraging offers people a way to reconnect with nature and shows that food is all around us.

 

@OzarkHerbs offers foraging workshops.


Via Elle D'Coda
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Women And Collective Intelligence Will Solve Our Planetary Crises

Women And Collective Intelligence Will Solve Our Planetary Crises | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

The folks in charge don’t seem to be making much of a dent. Could the way women approach problems be better suited for the complicated and interconnected problems we face?

 

History and evidence shows us that in spite of the cult of heroic individualism and the lone-ranger innovator, all great innovation happens within groups. When it comes to wicked problems and implementing complex system shifts, you must bring collective intelligence to bear.

 

what make groups smarter and therefore better at innovation?

 

Three consistent factors:

 

The average social perceptiveness of the group members

 

The evenness of conversational participation


The proportion of women in the group

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Booming bamboo: The next super-material?

Booming bamboo: The next super-material? | The Next Edge | Scoop.it
Bamboo is now used for construction, textiles and energy production - could this humble grass become a 21st Century super-material?

Via Wildcat2030
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The Problem of Growth

The Problem of Growth | The Next Edge | Scoop.it

"Stuart Staniford proposed a “way forward” for humanity in his article Powering Civilization to 2050. This article proposes an alternative vision: instead of trying to create continual, technological stop-gaps to the demands of growth, we must address the problem of growth head on."

 

via The Oil Drum

shared by @OnlyWhatICan

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