Monday, June 28, 2004

Bjorn Lomborg is skeptical about how unsustainable we are

Catch the interview with Bjorn Lombard in Wired magazine. "Things are getting better," he says in the article.

Says Wired " (with his book The Skeptical Environmentalist) he systematicaly demolished widely held ideas the the earth was, well, going to hell."

He also says things Inventing for the Sustainable Planet readers will have heard before:"..the problems most of the world still faces have very little to do with new technology - or to put it differently, they're about old technology".

We agree.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Anyone want to try running sustainability circles?

The last couple of inventing sessions produced an idea for running sustainability circles. Part of the methodology is to try ideas, so we need to try the sustainability circle invention.

The explanation of how to run the circle is via the link below.
You get some people togehter in a room for a couple of hours. One comes up with something they want ot change and off you go.

I'd be greatful if some of you 10 per week who read my blog would try this latest invetion out and let me know how it went. Or even pass the .pdf onto someone else who might want to try it out.

Results to

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Sustainability Circles the development sessions tapescript pt 2

Tapescript Supplementary Journey 1 part two

Back in the room they are serving water and some juice, some green spirogyra.

I have been doing these exercises a long time but I must say this is one of the most interesting and enjoyable exercises I have been on since starting with PORENA.

Back to the circle

A guy at the other end speaks: “we now have a proposal, but could we evaluate the proposal by looking back on what we have done so far?”

More group input. You evaluate what you have done against the purpose.

“Let’s evaluate the first part of circle.

The purpose is to take up something which is not sustainable and to find … to come up with ways to make it … more sustainable.

What went well?”

We agree that the framing the behaviour and setting clear goals was useful.
That everyone worked in a circle, and people were involved and genuinely engaged.
Documentation was not that important, but good as a one page reminder.

What could be improved?

Some offers:” we could talk about rules of interaction between us all. Clarity of rules would make it easier to act in the group.”

As an improvement suggestion we include a step where the group itself agrees on rules of interaction.

And agreement on purpose. We could have started with that.

Maybe questions are generated. We make a list and go away and find the answers.
Research. We add research to the method.

We have now tested the idea. What is next?

I ask. “How do big things get changed we are a group of individuals”

The answer is simple. Each large organization has a group member with a mandate. The group members go away with suggestions and questions to their organization.

I think I have this now.

They ask me if I have more questions.

“Have we evaluated the first session properly?”

We write the steps on a poster. (Are there twelve steps is that why I thought that earlier?)

My next question: “Do you use the PORENA visulations techniques?

“We use them to come up with proposals.”

Learning by doing. I actually learnt by doing. That is part of it.
I go back to twelve steps. If I remember correctly twelve steps are accompanied by twelve principles.

I start to read from the large poster on the wall.

• Each group formulates its own principles and rules.

• Each group is independent.

• Group members participate as individuals, mandated representatives of associations or organizations.

• Group members are responsible for their own behaviour

• We want to have fun and be creative

• We have a genuine desire to help each other.

• Each group is independently financed.

• Focus on change of behaviour.

• Learning by doing, the practical application of proposals.

Can’t read the rest.

I still doubt it can be done in just the few hours these people are suggesting.
However, this exercise has actually been an illustration of the method and it didn’t take that long.
We have succeeded in stating the issue, working out a solution and reviewing the proposals.
What we need to do now is test it again.

In our case we have a proposal. We could all go away and run similar groups to try it out.

I get an AHA feeling coming on. “In my case, I asked for a solution, have now got one and would need to go away and try it to follow the principle. Everyone takes responsibility for their own behaviour. Because I asked you for help I must now go try it out. Otherwise I would be wasting your time! And I will review it with you as you involved yourselves.”

“You got it,” says someone.

I thank everyone, get back into the lift and arrive back on the ground floor.
End of Tapescript Supplementary Journey 1

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Sustainability Circles - how does that work?
Tapescript Supplementary Journey 1
part two

I have just written up the script from the first part of the venture to gain insight into how people can regularly work with sustainability.

A group exercise has just produced a methodology where you we sit in a group, work out a suggestion and then report back how it has gone and what’s been learned.

I ask: “can anyone join?”

The moderator replies:” yes, we just sit down and get started.”

“Sounds good to me,” I say. “Can we follow the same process around my question about how to run these sustainability processes?”

The group nods silently in agreement.

I start: “Do you call the meeting without an agenda?”

“That’s right, that is to a take-up meeting. There, you take up anything you want. Then comes the report back meeting.”

I rephrase the task as succinctly as I can.

“What process do we use to involve people in sustainability?”

My group works to frame the task: that we should focus on behaviour change. The output would lead to more sustainable behaviour in individuals. These individuals are acting either as consumers, citizens or in their job. I would like the focus to be not on the process but the interaction with the world.

Now, in my case I am asking the group for help in bringing about a change in behaviour that has to do with engagement. That is to say that people spend more time involved in sustainability and sustainable behaviour development.

It should be fun and stimulating to do. And feel like you are doing something important. It should be productive and involve everyone.

So we have started and formulated our question.

I ask for more suggestions, I see a woman wants to say something.

“So what can we try? Sit down and talk to friends?”

“We suggest you look at behaviour. Say what behaviour leads to non-sustainability.”

Then we talk about behaviour.

At this point I realize that the proposal in front of us is to try what we are actually doing now. Non-sustainable behaviour is not to work with sustainability at all.

The group discusses what would be reasonable to aim for. We discuss once an hour, once a day, once a week, once a month.

They agree once a week for a couple of hours is reasonable to create momentum and focus.

Someone asks: “are we sure why the behaviour is damaging?”
“Well if we don’t do it nothing will happen. So we need an hour or two a week.”

The proposal is to try to define a way of working which would take us from no times a week working with sustainability to once a week for a few hours, that feels reasonable for everyone.

I am struck by how easy it is to work with the group as they all genuinely want to help. No politics.

Someone starts writing it all up, to go out on the web, available for everyone to engage as well.

I ask for suggestions and proposals to now test the proposal.

A member suggests each of us take the written description of the steps involved, grab friends and go away and try it. We then report back to this group how it went and share experiences.

I feel I still have not reached completion, and again plea for help. “Can we trial it now or is something missing - let’s review.”

The group reviews:
Bring together a group of people to meet once a week. In a circle, anyone takes up anything. Frame the issue by defining the sustainability – negative behaviour and what would be a reasonable change.
The group then works out suggestions how to reach a change and plan a trial.

“Good spot for a break”, someone suggests.

I go out and go to the loo. I joke with the guy standing next to me that I find myself thinking about the urine I am producing - is it being drained away in a sustainable way? Am I even urinating in a sustainable way? I muse that the method has really got me focused.

End of tapescript Supplementary Journey 1
part two
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