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@JR’s @insideoutproject meets @MargartMead off @MainStreet here in @Vancouver

@JR’s @insideoutproject meets @MargartMead off @MainStreet here in @Vancouver

If it seems far-fetched to imagine millions of Americans becoming mini energy producers, just look at Germany, where 51 percent of the country’s clean energy production is owned by individuals or farmers, while major utilities control just 6.5 percent of it.

A short paragraph from a recent New York Times article, ‘Crowdfunding Clean Energy’.

(Photo source: Inc.com)

Many people would say that climate change is one of the most important problems that we humans are facing and it’s a really big, complicated and hard problem: that’s reason for pessimism. I think there is at least one reason for optimism, which is that we now have a new way of approaching really big, complicated, hard and global problems that wasn’t possible even 15 years ago.

If you think of things like Wikipedia, Google or the Linux open-sourced operating system, these examples all show that it is now possible to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people all over the world to solve really big, complicated and hard problems at a scale and with a degree of collaboration that was never possible before. So our goal in this project is to use that approach applied to the problem about what to do about global climate change.

Thomas Malone, senior professor at MIT in the Globe & Mail article, Putting collective intelligence to work on a global threat’. He is one of the lead researchers behind the school’s innovative 'Climate Co-lab' project. You can check it out and get involved here.
Around Town: 'The St. George Sharing Library'
I was biking along the 10th Ave bikeway the other day and noticed this neat lil library hanging on the fence in front of a house. So I stopped and snapped a picture of it. The ironic thing was when I went online later in the day I turned up an article looking at community based pop up libraries here in Vancouver! It even had a section covering this one. Here’s an excerpt:

"The two-tiered structure on East 10th Avenue, near St. George Street, was assembled by George Rahi and his roommates. Previously an old shelf found discarded in an alley, it is now stacked with dozens of books, free for the taking – a little library made by, and for, the community. Recent offerings include textbooks, novels and children’s books; a notice board is covered in hand-written thank-you notes. (“I have found quite a few little gems at your library hot-spot, and for this, I am grateful,” reads one.)"
(Source: Globe & Mail)

I’ve got more photos here if you’re interested.
Related:
‘How to Create a Pop-Up Library’ (Shareable)
‘From Clothing Swaps to Tool Libraries, Sharing is Not Rocket Science’ (Treehugger)

Around Town: 'The St. George Sharing Library'

I was biking along the 10th Ave bikeway the other day and noticed this neat lil library hanging on the fence in front of a house. So I stopped and snapped a picture of it. The ironic thing was when I went online later in the day I turned up an article looking at community based pop up libraries here in Vancouver! It even had a section covering this one. Here’s an excerpt:

"The two-tiered structure on East 10th Avenue, near St. George Street, was assembled by George Rahi and his roommates. Previously an old shelf found discarded in an alley, it is now stacked with dozens of books, free for the taking – a little library made by, and for, the community. Recent offerings include textbooks, novels and children’s books; a notice board is covered in hand-written thank-you notes. (“I have found quite a few little gems at your library hot-spot, and for this, I am grateful,” reads one.)"

(Source: Globe & Mail)

I’ve got more photos here if you’re interested.

Related:

Grow your own: ‘How we can eat our landscapes’ (Video)

From TED Talks via YouTube:

What should a community do with its unused land? Plant food, of course. With energy and humor, Pam Warhurst tells at the TEDSalon the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.


Pam Warhurst cofounded Incredible Edible, an initiative in Todmorden, England dedicated to growing food locally by planting on unused land throughout the community.

(Photo source: Incredible Edible)

Resilient Communities: ‘Brixton in Transition’ (Video)

From Al Jazeera English:

In the last part of earthrise's economics special, Russell Beard travels to the inner-London neighbourhood of Brixton to meet a community trialling an alternative economic model - one that values people and planet, as well as profit. Brixton is part of the growing Transition Town movement - a worldwide network of people who are re-shaping their local economies to cut carbon emissions and build stronger communities.

Residents have started a local currency - the largest in the UK - to stimulate sustainable, local production and help make their economy more resilient to financial shocks. The Brixton Pound can only be spent with independent businesses in the area and is now accepted in around 200 outlets.

They have also begun to generate their own energy through the UK’s first inner-city renewable energy co-operative. So far Brixton Energy has installed 152 solar panels on the roof of a council estate, funded by over 100 local people. Profits from the electricity generation are shared between investors and a community energy efficiency fund for residents of the estate.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Related:

Tools for Change: ‘Collective Intelligence: Cities as Global Sustainability Platform’ (Video)

From TEDx via YouTube:

Social media and collaborative technologies—layered with smart systems combining geo-location data with human experience—will make cities the driving sustainability force in a dawning planetary era. Cities will anticipate new risks with rapid urban systems innovation based upon crowdsourcing, virtual and physical communities, and transparent markets sensitive to full carbon and resource costs. Creatively leveraging collective intelligence for clean energy, low carbon mobility and sustainable food and water, the new urban grid will enable high local quality of life, lifelong learning and vibrant green economies.

The speaker, Warren Karlenzig, is a leader in the movement to build globally sustainable and resilient cities and the president of Common Current, a consultancy that advises cities, governments, and businesses. He’s got a great, insightful blog here. His most recent post recounts his trip to Japan to engage communities about rebuilding post-Fukushima.

Every time I walk past this Margaret Mead quote it leaves me with a smile. If you want to check it out for yourself it’s on the wall of ‘The Foundation’ restaurant at 7th and Main.

Every time I walk past this Margaret Mead quote it leaves me with a smile. If you want to check it out for yourself it’s on the wall of ‘The Foundation’ restaurant at 7th and Main.