Thursday, September 30, 2004

Collaboration Café

People generally agree that for the developed world to wholeheartedly face up to the challenge of climate change we need across the board collaboration.Collaboration cafés show that it is actually, given the right structure to proceedings, easy, effective and enjoyable. Collaboration cafés are definitely one of the best inventions for a sustainable planet.

Check in and information gathering about participants.

Issues at the top of delegates´agenda are captured and categorized for handling later.

After several subject matter presentations, instructions how this 50 delegate large operation is going to work.

People who have never met each other before are thrown into the work even at the lunch table!

Most work is done at carefully prepared tables.

A few minutes instruction is all that is needed.Groups work, change members, get new questions.

Results are presented and debated with the expert panel.

Thelink below goes to Sustainable Leadership, a company collaboring with our company (A Very Beautiful Place) offering facilitation and design of these cafés.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Natural History Museum takes up climate communication challenge

The 28th of September the Natural History Museum in Stockholm, Sweden opened its climate exhibition to the public. The day before, researchers, corporate representatives, politicians and Non-Government Agencies gathered to spend the day focusing on how best to meet the challenge of climate change. The researchers are in agreement: man-made emissions are seriously affecting climate, and the changes will be mostly negative for all – yet it is difficult to get this over to people in general. If we do nothing the consequences could be disastrous.

Picture: outside museum display of bus shelter in sub-artic conditions

Researchers are in agreement that the 84% increase in consumption of energy and materials between 1970 and 1997 explains the rapid increase in Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. Since the beginning of time, the level of CO2 has never risen past 270ppmV. Today it is at 360ppmV and rising. To contribute this increase, man has depleted 40% of all oil reserves on the planet – in just 150 years.

This increase, resulting in Global Warming, will bring more rainfall in most places except those dry areas which will become hotter and dryer. This in turn will produce extreme weather – storms, floods, hot spells etc.

The increase in the harshness of conditions will drive people from their homes, drive up insurance costs for floods, hurricane damage etc. and fuel negative effects of climate on health. This includes Malaria in Europe, heatstroke in Spain and France, spoiled food and crops and spread of other tropical diseases in Europe.

We cannot find a thermostat in the Earth’s climate system that can counteract man’s activity. Either we turn the heat down or suffer the consequences. Looking for ballpark figures to aim for? Reduce all consumption in the developed world to a quarter of what it is today. For fairness, underdeveloped countries can double theirs.

See the next post to get a view of the exercise to create solutions.

Method Notes: How Much do You Edit?

I got the following question from a reader:
I'm curious to know how much or little editing you do. How close is what you have transcribed to what you recorded yourself saying? Your web posts seem very polished and I wondered if it just comes out that way on the tape.

The amount of editing I do is very little really.
I make proper sentences where the voice trails off, say who said something where a dialogue occurs, and sometimes, when I have got an impression of
something but not said it on the tape I add it.

Occasionally I change the order slightly to make it more logical.

End of Method notes: Editing

Monday, September 20, 2004

Comments on POT-IN-POT from Ulrike Haupte

As I live in Namibia, where hot spells last longer than cold spells, during the times before electricity was available nationwide, all kinds of devices were created and used for keeping food from spoiling.

a) coal coolers: Often big enough to walk into. The inner wall is continuous. In the outer wall the bricks are put on top of each other leaving a gap between. Otften a chicken-wire mesh is also put in. Thencleaned charcoal is packed between the two walls. The charcoal is watered daily. The inside room is cooled through the evaporation from the coals.

b) For travelling and camping. Use two cardboard boxes - from sturdy material - into each other. the gap should be at lest 2 inches all around. Between the boxes pack moistened newspaper - very tight. Keeps cold food atl ow temperature for a couple of days.

c) Canvas Waterbottle. Keeps drinking water cool through the slow evaporation process of water that oozes through the canvas.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Read this if you are new to the Blog

The Blog features the tapescripts (mostly) of groups` s sessions to invent sustainable technology. (We also feature examples of sustainable inventing - we are searching for a sustainable inventing methodology.)
The tapescripts are followed by notes to verify the method, the findings and to reflect on what is being learned.

The creativity techniques they use are a kind of visualisation, where they "visit" a place or country which has solved the problem they are dealing with.
They describe their experiences as they go.

For sustainability, groups have discovered that no new technology is needed, it is the way old technology is used that is the issue.

That is to say sustainability promoting inventions are social inventions.

Inventions so far:
Radiality (city planning to radically reduce transport needs)

Sustainability circles (like study circles but leading to sustainable behaviour)
Inventing for the sustainable planet: Porena ( journeys in short novel form)
Centres of well-being (on-going)

New social order" the go along society" Interview with Porena City Manager (borrowed Genius)

Friday, September 17, 2004

How Lost World poses sustainability question

Michael Crichton’s ”Lost World” carries important sustainability messages.
The book describes how scientists interest themselves in the island where dinosaurs have been living freely for some time. Skeletons and even DNA do not give the full picture: they want to study dinosaur behaviour.

More importantly, to see if their behaviour gave a clue to how they became extinct.

What they found was strange behaviour in the dinosaurs. When you hatch an egg artificially there is no mother to teach the young, so they do not learn what they need to survive.

But it opens a question related to humans: can we as a species develop behaviour so inappropriate to our environment that our species becomes extinct?

In this case the human behaviour is using DNA from fossils to give birth to extinct reptiles.

I leave you to read what Michael Crichton’ s scientists conclude. Click on the image to see more about the book.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Footprint being followed by many institutions


Research into the last tapescript reveals many actualy are following the footprint.

Click on the link below to see a full report. That the situation is serious no-one should doubt.

The world's ecological footprint is 14% above what it is believed the world can cope with.
And rising.

Maybe footprint IS the way to focus on sustainability.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Tapescript Focus on Sustainability

Next question. You are in a community that is not acting in a sustainable way and you want to focus people onto sustainability do you do that?

I want to talk to someone and go somewhere to find the answer to this. How do you bring people together from diverse areas and focus on sustainability. And how do you formulate a sustainability challenge? I believe that advanced problem-solving techniques could be used if only we could formulate the assignment succinctly.

I see a nice polished bench in a gigantic mall, familiar from last time. A large door, like an airport entrance is in front of me. To the sides are other lifts, exits and shops.

Which way shall I go?

Which lift?

Bright light shines through the entrance in front of me so I exit through that.

An escalator takes me up a flight to a covered walkway. I see gardens underneath, connecting out to green areas beyond. The semicircular roof, made of glass lets in a lot of light. In itself a good invention.

Round the next corner and down an escalator I descend into a garden. A fountain coming from a Roman-urn like sculpture sends water into the pond around it. Goldfish swim under Lilly leaves floating on its surface. Look down at the small bushes surrounding the pond and out of the corner of my eye I see a park bench. I go over and sit down.

A guy turns up, wearing a red shirt, sandals, he is bearded and looks a bit bohemian.

“You wanted to know about something?”
“Yes I did, I need to know how to focus on sustainability.”

“Come with me.”

I follow after him into a grey lift, which descends not vertically, but at angles downwards. It opens onto a corridor.

I follow him down another corridor into a large underground area that looks like a control room of some kind. He invites me into a meeting room at the side.

We sit down opposite each other. I check the room out: white board, flip charts, simple chairs, nothing out of the ordinary.

How do you focus on sustainability, how do you get people together to work on sustainability? He looks down at his paper.

“I don’t know”

“Why not?” I ask.

“You asked how you focus on sustainability,” he replies.

I ask him laconically “And what is that outside then?)

The room monitors footprint, collects data and makes it available.

The data is updated hourly.

A large screen shows weather patterns, another, ozone layer status. A guy sitting at a terminal is collecting data via the Internet. Indicators as such are collected and collated.

Another operator is compiling a table of fuel use, carbon dioxide release.
Another population figures, and other water quality. In real time monitoring. A direct feed is available for TV stations and other media.

“Why did you bring me here, my question was about focus?” I exclaim.

He replies “This is one way at least, it is very easy to do, and use the data for more studies.”

The Ecological Footprint is a tool for measuring and analyzing human natural resource consumption and waste output within the context of nature’s renewable and regenerative
capacity (or biocapacity). It represents a quantitative assessment of the biologically
productive area (the amount of nature) required to produce the resources (food, energy, and materials) and to absorb the wastes of an individual, city, region, or country.

As you can see the footprint of the population of the world exceeded the world’s capacity in the 70s. It is that serious.

I work it out;” But OK my question was how do you focus on sustainability and the answer is focus on footprint. I did not ask how you focus on solving sustainability issues.”

“You didn’t ask that and therefore did not get an answer.”

“Anything else?” I ask.

He draws the diagram of the four circles of sustainability. Enterprises, Communities, Individuals and the environment itself.

He explains how all four circles affect the footprint and all need monitoring.

I have at least some answers. I thank him and take my leave.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

New sustainable invention for health


Latest Medical Invention

This product is a sensation

  • Clinically proven to reduce coronaries and other heart-lung diseases.
  • Clinically proven blood pressure reducing
  • Clinically proven to prevent diabetes 2
  • Clinically proven to help resist colon cancer
  • Combined with appropriate diet, regular doses over longer period will bring about weight loss permanently
  • Preventative effect on osteoporosis. Clinically proven.
  • Reduces pain in joints and other complaints of locomotor system
  • Clinically proven to suppress worry and tension, mild depression and sleep disorders.

Dosage: once a day

Extra dose 3-5 times a week for weight loss

What IS it, you ask?

Where can I get it? What does it cost?

How much are you willing to pay for a month’s dose?




What if I could give it to you FREE!


It is

30 minutes a day brisk walking

Add 3-5 times a week walking 50 minutes at hearty tempo to increase fitness and loose weight.


Tuesday, September 07, 2004

How BIG is your footprint


This site calculates your own personal footprint and the positive effects of any changes in BEHAVIOUR you might want to make. Recommended. Click on the link below.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Pot-in-pot refrigeration without electricity

As IFTSP has maintained, going forward to a sustainable future requires applicaition of what we know, and sustainability promoting inventions are often simple and quickly taken up. Take the ROLEX-award winning pot-in-pot invention by Mohammed Bah Abba. Separated by a layer of constantly wet sand, the evaporating effect cools the inner pot.

Food spoilage is radically reduced, farmers can now sell their wares over longer periods, eppplants lasts for 27 days, and African spinach for 12. Based on simple technology and local materials, the invention helps bolster the local economy of rural areas.

New to this blog? Check out the link on the right "Read this if you are new".

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Sustainability Circles revisited

Method notes

I reviewed the script from the circle exercise and realised the instructions were far richer in detail than I had first realised. (See below.)

Conclusion. Always review tapescripts and document the invention in pictures and other ways (reports etc).

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