domingo, 31 de maio de 2009

Will Steffen: The great challenges of the 21st century

Stockholm Seminar video from Prof. Will Steffen's seminar Surviving the Anthropocene: The Great Challenges of the 21st Century where he presents his personal reflections on the challenges human kind faces.

About the seminar
The recently reported surge in the emission of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere has raised concerns about the prospects of meeting the climate change challenge. But is this just the symptom of a much deeper malaise in contemporary society?

It is now 20 years since the publication of the Brundtland report on sustainable development, and nearly every signifi cant global sustainability indicator has stalled or gone backwards during the past two decades.

Despite some promising technological innovations and signs of change in some parts of the world, the business-as-usual approach to economic growth is still dominant and spreading across all continents. This presentation will explore some fundamental questions or tensions that permeate the debate on achieving a transition to sustainability.

Can technology alone solve the seemingly intractable global environmental and socio-economic problems we now face, or are more fundamental shifts in societal values required? What role can or should Western scientifi c approaches play in the sustainability challenge? Is the way we generate knowledge, largely based on disciplinary approaches, part of the problem itself?

The presentation will not attempt to answer these deep-seated questions, but will rather point the way towards to types of research and education needed to meet the great challenges of the 21st century.

About Will Steffen
Will Steffen is the director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society, working with transdisciplinary research and education on complex environment-society systems. He is also a science adviser to the Australian Greenhouse Offi ce and a visiting researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

From 1998 to 2004 he was executive director of International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). His work usually takes a synthesis/integration approach to complex questions about the evolution of the human-environment relationship.
SDU-Video: “Conserving biodiversity is all about understanding humans and their institutions”

“Biodiversity conservation requires an understanding of social systems and their interactions with ecological systems”, concludes Canadian Professor Fikret Berkes in a lecture on “Social-Ecological Systems and Conservation” . It was held in Stockholm March 23, 2009, and deals with the fact that most of the world’s biodiversity is not in protected areas but on lands used by people.

– In involving people in conservation, attention must be paid to political and social objectives, such as livelihoods, and creating a local stake for conservation. It also requires maintaining cultural connections to the land, and at times restoring and cultivating new connections, says Fikret Berkes.

In this lecture he explains how traditional conservation and management systems, such as sacred groves and agro-forestry systems in the Western Ghats biodiversity ‘hotspot´ in southern India, can become an integral part of modern conservation strategies. Experience with two new indigenous-led protected areas in subarctic Canada is also used to illustrate how local and indigenous knowledge can be combined with science. He emphasises that indigenous rights and local livelihoods must be integrated into national and international conservation planning.

Leading thinker connecting social and ecological systems
Professor Fikret Berkes is a Canadian scientist, whose research interests centre around common property resources and community-based management. His books "Common Property Resources" (1989) and "Linking Social and Ecological Systems" (1998) have greatly influenced thinking of both social and natural scientists about how humans interact with nature. He was until 1996 Director of the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba in Canada, where he remains as Professor. His recent publications include the books, "Sacred Ecology" (Routledge, 2008), "Adaptive Co-Management", with Armitage and Doubleday (University of British Columbia Press, 2007), and "Navigating Social-Ecological Systems", with Colding and Folke (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Guovdageaidnu TK Seminar 03/2008

The 2 day Seminar on Traditional Knowledge organised by the Sami University College (SUC) and the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (ICR) has just wrapped up in Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu (March 2-3, 2008). Entitled 'The Significance of Traditional Knowledge for the understanding of ecological linkages and management of biological and cultural diversity in a changing climate. Attended by over 80 participants including 25 students from the Reindeer Herding and Nature course.

Keynote speakers were ecologist Dr. Fikret Berkes, (University of Manitoba, Canada) who has written extensively on traditional knowledge and comanagement and Dr. Carsten Smith, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Norway(1991–2002) and a professor of law at the University of Oslo.

The seminar was opened by the Rector of the SUC and other speakers included EALAT project leaders Professors Ole HenrikMagga and Svein Mathiesen. Day Two saw a second presentation by Dr. Berkes which was followed by reindeer herder and Assn of World Reindeer Herders General Secretary JOhan Mathis Turi. Day Two also featured presentations by SUC Phd students Mikkal Nils Sara, Inger Marie Gaup Eira and Mathis Persen Bongo. Final presentations were made by Terje Pedersen and Arvid Holte.

The two days offered an excellent opportunity for EALAT researchers to learn from Berkes North American experience and hear more about the challenges and opportunities offered up by traditional knowledge and some background to its uneasy relationship with the academy, politicians and most particularly renewable resource management regimes. As Berkes pointed out, it is difficult to think of a top down expert driven renewable resource management system that has actually been a success and that Traditional Knowledge has consistently been the element been missing from those approaches. As a result, the North American experience has shown that attitudes to Traditional Knowledge systems have shifted dramatically over the last decade.

The presentations were as wide ranging as the field of traditional knowledge itself encompassing knowledge, ethics, science, politics, ecology, story telling, yoik, human-animal relationships and technology.

sábado, 30 de maio de 2009

Elinor Ostrom on resilient social-ecological systems

Professor Elinor Ostrom held on 29 May 2007 the seminar "Resilient Social-Ecological Systems: How Do We Achieve Them?"

Given rapid changes in large-scale human and biophysical processes — carbon emissions, population increase and migrations, over-harvesting and pollution leading to loss of species — many scientists are worried that many of the social-ecological systems existing today may collapse by the end of the 21st century. Is this an exaggerated worry?

The thesis Ostrom will present is that the negative prognosis will indeed occur in many parts of the world if we do not worry a great deal about these processes and their consequences.

More important than simply worrying, however, is the development of a strong diagnostic method for analyzing the diversity of processes and the multiplicity of potential social and bio-physical solutions that are needed to cope effectively with these varied processes.

Past efforts to impose simple solutions to these complex problems have frequently led to worse outcomes than the problems addressed. Our need today is building a strong inter-disciplinary science of complex, multi-level systems that will enable over-time a matching of potential solutions to a careful diagnosis of specifi c problems embedded in a social-ecological context.
Ostrom will take some small steps toward this goal in her presentation.

About Elinor Ostrom
Elinor Ostrom is Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science; Co-Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington; and Founding Director, Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University.

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and a recipient of a number of prestigious awards.

Her books include Governing the Commons (1990); Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources (1994); The Commons in the New Millennium: Challenges and Adaptations (2003); The Samaritan´s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid (2005); Understanding Institutional Diversity (2005); and Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice (2007).

Stockholm Resilience Centre

What is resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to deal with change and continue to develop.

Top video: Portrait of Buzz Holling, father of the resilience theory and winner of the 2008 Volvo Environment Prize.

Resilience refers to the capacity of a social-ecological system both to withstand perturbations from for instance climate or economic shocks and to rebuild and renew itself afterwards.

Loss of resilience can cause loss of valuable ecosystem services, and may even lead to rapid transitions or shifts into qualitatively different situations and configurations, evident in, for instance people, ecosystems, knowledge systems, or whole cultures.

The resilience lens provides a new framework for analyzing social—ecological systems in a changing world facing many uncertainties and challenges. It represents an area of explorative research under rapid development with major policy implications for sustainable development

Why resilience?
Sometimes change is gradual and things move forward in roughly continuous and predictable ways. At other times, change is sudden, disorganizing and turbulent reflected in climate impacts, earth system science challenges and vulnerable regions. Evidence points to a situation where periods of such abrupt change are likely to increase in frequency and magnitude. This challenges the adaptive capacity of societies.

The resilience approach focuses on the dynamic interplay between periods of gradual and sudden change and how to adapt to and shape change.

Research at the Stockholm Resilience Centre will address these challenges in order to generate a deeper understanding of interdependent social-ecological systems for improved governance and policy.

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Linkages: Ecosystems and climate systems

Carl Folke, Science director at Stockholm Resilience Centre, explains the interrelationships between the ecosystems and climate systems - complexity and tipping points.

The lecture was part of the 100th Stockholm Seminars which took place in Stockholm April 30, 2009. Entitled Climate, Ecosystems and Development, this Stockholm Seminars discussed how the global challenges of climate change, ecosystem management and human welfare are interlinked.

In the end human development is dependent on services from healthy ecosystems, which are being eroded by climate change. The interaction between climate and ecosystems are complex, yet the climate issue in itself may be more complex then the IPCC has been able to cope with.

Glaciers are one area where complexity issues like tipping points, risk assessment, and risk management is studied and evaluated. Given this complexity of ecosystems and climate: can we understand enough to allow for development, like achieving end of hunger and malnutrition? And what are the possibilities that these complex issues will be addressed at the climate change world summit in Copenhagen (COP 15) in December?

This seminar is the 100th in the series of Stockholm Seminars. Through collaboration between Stockholm-based research-institutes focused on sustainability, and Albaeco, visiting researcers are invited to give an open lecture at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Since the first Stockholm Seminar with Jill Jäger in August 2000 there has been a great range of distinguished researchers passing through the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. This day we will celebrate the 100th seminar linking the three great challenges our societies´ face.

The Real News Network

Thoroughly modern Marx Pt.1

Marx was a realist; the real romantics think you can have capitalism without great crisis

Leo Panitch, economist and Professor at York University, talks to Paul Jay about the relevance of Marxist theories in studying today’s global economy. Panitch discusses the ideological crisis of the free market theory and notes that at this time “Marx would not be offering policy advice to governments about what is to be done in the face of this crisis; he would tell people to overcome their social isolation, form new collective organizations and identities, and make a social revolution.”

By Michael Stenberg, Johan Soderberg and Linus Torell.

The Planet is a highly acclaimed, public education campaign, a unique collaboration between a film-production company, a science portal and Swedish public-service television. Through successful cooperation we achieved an enormous breakthrough in Swedish media and among a broad Swedish public. Our aim is to enhance public awareness about the planet and our future; to show the limits, threats, and possibilities we are facing today. During the campaign global change issues headlined the news, and was a subject much discussed among Swedes.

The campaign consisted of four separate components; a movie, a TV series, an online game and a multimedia website the Planet Infact.

The Planet... Documentary Part 1

The Planet... Documentary Part 2

The Planet... Documentary Part 3

The Planet... Documentary Part 4

The Planet... Documentary Part 5

The Planet... Documentary Part 6

The Planet... Documentary Part 7

The Planet... Documentary Part 8

The Planet... Documentary Part 9

sexta-feira, 29 de maio de 2009

Deep Agriculture

Michael Pollan on

Farming has become an occupation and cultural force of the past. Michael Pollan's talk promoted the premise -- and hope -- that farming can become an occupation and force of the future. In the past century American farmers were given the assignment to produce lots of calories cheaply, and they did. They became the most productive humans on earth. A single farmer in Iowa could feed 150 of his neighbors. That is a true modern miracle.

"American farmers are incredibly inventive, innovative, and accomplished. They can do whatever we ask them, we just need to give them a new set of requirements."

The Case Against Shell

The video Shell doesn't want you to see…

This 8 1/2-minute mini-documentary is an excellent introduction to what is at stake in the upcoming Wiwa v. Shell trial. It was produced by Rikshaw Films for EarthRights International (ERI) & the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the plaintiffs’ co-counsel in the case.

Business as usual: Shell trying to suppress the truth. The video was a highlight of the website run by ERI & CCR to educate the public about the trial but it was recently removed. Investigation of public legal documents reveal that the video was removed under order from the trial judge after legal motions by Shell. Read the story about it on Huffington Post.

On the page where this video is was presented, they offered “special thanks to filmmaker Glenn Ellis, for extensive footage from two important documentaries made by Catma Films, The Drilling Fields (1994) & Delta Force (1995), and to photographer Ed Kashi, for use of his photographs.”

After watching, SIGN UP for updates & action alerts, and TAKE ACTION to support our campaign.

Michael Gazzaniga on the Arts and the Brain

The DANA Foundation

Michael Gazzaniga, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, organizer of the Dana Foundation Learning, Arts, and the Brain Consortium was interviewed on film for the Learning, Arts, and the Brain Summit. Gazzaniga discusses the research involved in the Consortium, findings, the importance of attention research, and what helps motivate people to the arts. This film was created for the Learning, Arts, and Brain Summit by Mind in the Making: a Project of Families and Work Institute and New Screen Concepts.
Read an excerpt from The Ethical Brain

quarta-feira, 27 de maio de 2009

Ecology and Economics

Dr. David Suzuki on Education for a Changing Biosphere

Dr. David Suzuki's keynote address at Simon Fraser University's "First Year in Focus: Engaging Students in their First Year and Beyond" conference on Wednesday May 13, 2009.

Human beings have exploded in numbers, technological prowess and consumptive demand with a consequent ecological footprint that is undermining the very life support systems of the planet.

As we have moved to an urban environment, the economy has become our highest priority predicated on the notion that a healthy economy is constantly growing in order to afford to do everything that matters.

We have come to see the twin crises of economic meltdown and ecological degradation as mutually exclusive so we tackle one or the other. Yet ecology, the study of survival and well being of species, informs us that without clean air, water, soil and energy and biodiversity, like any other species, we suffer and die.

Environmentalism recognizes that we also have social and spiritual needs that are just as essential for the full development of our potential.

The economy, like the market and currency, are not forces of nature like gravity or the laws of thermodynamics. It is a human invention and since it is deeply flawed, it is a mistake to do all we can to perpetuate it, we have to fix it.

Two fundamentals flaws are the dismissal of natures "services" (pollination, cleansing water, exchange of CO2 for O2, etc) as externalities and the belief that the economy can and must grow indefinitely.

Dr. Suzuki explores some of our misconceptions, fundamental truths and reconciliation of ecology and economics.

sábado, 23 de maio de 2009

El orden criminal del mundo

El suizo Jean Ziegler -ensayista y relator de la ONU- junto al uruguayo Eduardo Galeano -escritor- desnudan el actual asesino de masas, el Nuevo Orden Mundial.


The Joukowsky Institute Workplace is a dynamic collection of wiki web pages, used by the Institute's faculty and students for collaborative research and investigation. The JIAAW Workplace includes information on fieldwork and workshops led by students and faculty, students' individual web pages, and galleries of images and videos produced by the Institute -- among many other projects that use the flexible wiki space for communication, connection, and information preservation.

sexta-feira, 22 de maio de 2009

A documentary film by Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein
In suburban Buenos Aires, thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats, and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start the silent machines.

But what shines through in the film is the simple drama of workers' lives and their struggle: the demand for dignity and the searing injustice of dignity denied.
“El mundo de hoy

El tercer capítulo plantea si es posible que una sola potencia pueda dominar el mundo, cómo influye la industria del miedo en los ciudadanos, en manos de quién están los grandes medios de comunicación y cuál es su papel o los esfuerzos por un mundo mejor.

El nuevo panorama laboral en el mundo.

“La estrategia de Simbad”

En el segundo capítulo, se muestra el nuevo panorama laboral en el mundo: las deslocalizaciones de empresas, las grandes áreas de producción mundial (China e India), la inmigración, la perdida de la sociedad del bienestar en Europa, las privatizaciones, la perdida de los derechos laborales, la victoria de la economía especulativa sobre la economía productiva y la política económica neoliberal.
Este primer capítulo, Los amos del mundo, analiza el poder real de los políticos y la posibilidad de otro mundo más justo. En esta entrega se ha utilizado material gráfico de los documentales “La Toma”, de Avi Lewis, que retrata el movimiento de fábricas recuperadas y autogestinonadas por sus trabajadores en Argentina, y “Memorias del saqueo”, de “Pino” Solanas, sobre las diferentes etapas de Argentina desde 1976 a 2001, en el que se muestra la decadencia económica, social, política y cultural del país.

Voces contra la Globalización

¿Otro mundo es posible?

Para elaborar esta serie documental, su director, Carlos Estévez, ha hablado con cincuenta y cuatro personalidades de todo el mundo que han dado su opinión y valoración sobre diferentes temas de actualidad.

A modo de caleidoscopio, Voces contra la Globalización afronta diferentes temas, cada mes, desde múltiples puntos de vista, mezclando, durante los 55 minutos de cada capítulo, documentos y voces para explicar la actualidad más compleja reflejando las inquietudes y opiniones más críticas de los participantes.

A lo largo de los capítulos, se abordan cuestiones como la Política económica neoliberal, el funcionamiento de los grandes organismos internacionales, la pérdida de poder político en beneficio de las grandes corporaciones económicas mundiales, la debilidad de la llamada Sociedad del Bienestar en Europa, la explotación laboral y la inmigración. Pero también se examinan las privatizaciones, el papel de las industrias farmacéuticas y las grandes pandemias, el nuevo rol latinoamericano o los movimientos indigenistas.

Todas estas voces que han participado en esta serie documental han coincidido en que no están en contra de la globalización, pero sí de cómo se está llevando a cabo.

Voces que han participado

Una reflexión global sobre el funcionamiento del mundo

¿Otro mundo es posible?

El movimiento antiglobalización
Republicans Debate "Socialist" Resolution

By Harry Hanbury

The Republican National Committee will conclude a special session with a much-anticipated vote on a resolution to re-brand the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Socialist Party."

ANP senior producer Harry Hanbury roamed the RNC meeting with a camera and spoke with committeemen and state chairs to hear their thoughts on the vote and their ideas about both parties. He returned with this portrait of party leaders working on their message.

quinta-feira, 21 de maio de 2009

"Que dificil es hacer que un hombre entienda algo cuando su suelo depende de que no lo entienda"

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."
Upton Sinclair
© Liniers

Documental "Voces Contra la Globalización.

¿Otro mundo es posible?"
Emitidos por Televisión Española (TV2).

Primero: Los amos del mundo.

Segundo: La estrategia de Simbad.

Tercero: El mundo de hoy.

Cuarto: Un mundo desigual.

Quinto: Camino de la extinción.

Sexto: La larga noche de los 500 años.

Séptimo: El siglo de la gente.

“Estamos hundidos en la mierda del mundo y no se puede ser optimista; el que es optimista es estúpido o millonario, y le importa un pepino lo que ocurre a su alrededor” La Jornada
José Saramago
A história das coisas

Este vídeo mostra os problemas sociais e ambientais criados como consequência do nosso hábito consumista, apresenta os problemas deste sistema e mostra como podemos revertê-lo, porque não foi sempre assim.


¿Quién gobise plantea en el primer capítulo Con el título “Los amos del mundo”, el primer capítulo de la serie formula preguntas como ¿Cuál es el poder real de los políticos? ¿Sabe usted que el volumen de negocios de una sola multinacional es superior al producto interior bruto de muchos países, incluidos Austria o Dinamarca? ¿Cuál es el papel de los paraísos fiscales que dan cobijo al dinero del crimen o al de la corrupción? ¿Por qué se permiten la existencia de estos territorios sin ley? ¿Cuál es el papel real de organismos como el Fondo Monetario Internacional, el Banco Mundial o la Organización Mundial del Comercio? ¿Qué pasó realmente en Argentina para que su economía se viniera abajo? Estas y otras cuestiones tendrán respuesta a través de las voces de José Saramago, Pérez Esquivel, Carlos Taibo, Eduardo Galeano, Jean Ziegler, José Vidal Beneyto, Sami Nair, Ignacio Ramonet, José Bové, María José Fariñas, Francoise Houtart, Manu Chao, Giovanni Sartori, Casaldaliga, Toni Negri, Avi Lewis, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Fatema Mernissi, Vitorio Angolletto y David Held. Este primer capítulo, “Los amos del mundo”, analiza el poder real de los políticos y la posibilidad de otro mundo más justo. En esta entrega se ha utilizado material gráfico de los documentales “La Toma”, de Avi Lewis, que retrata el movimiento de fábricas recuperadas y autogestinonadas por sus trabajadores en Argentina, y “Memorias del saqueo”, de “Pino” Solanas, sobre las diferentes etapas de Argentina desde 1976 a 2001, en el que se muestra la decadencia económica, social, política y cultural del país.

Naomi Klein speaking at the Coral Gables Congregational Church in Maimi, Florida

Naomi Klein: US is so damaged, even tiny steps are seen as progress


Obama's Wall Street bailout is the greatest heist in monetary history, believes Naomi Klein an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, and international bestselling author.

segunda-feira, 18 de maio de 2009

Science, Society and The Merchants of Light

A conversation between Roger Bingham and Richard Dawkins, AC Grayling, Brian Greene, Lawrence Krauss and Steven Pinker

"Terrorism, Torture and Human Rights"

A lecture by Professor Jonathan Glover

The British Humanist Association is pleased to share with you to the 2008 Bentham Lecture, held jointly with the Humanist Philosophers' Group and University College London. 2008 was the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which gave us the theme for this year's Bentham Lecture - the fifth to be held.


A Talk With AC Grayling, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford.

Science is the greatest achievement of human history so far. I say that as a huge admirer of the Renaissance and Renaissance art, music and literature, but the world-transforming power of science and the tremendous insights that we've gained show that this is an enterprise, a wonderful collective enterprise, that is a great achievement of humanity. How are we going to make more people party to that? That's a pressing question for our century.

sábado, 16 de maio de 2009

World on 3

Listen Featuring session with Portuguese singer Sara Tavares

Sara Tavares was only 16 years old when she won two of Portugal’s most prestigious TV music contests. Born out second generation Cape Verdian immigrants, Sara grew up between two cultures. Initially known as a singer and composer of Gospel, Funk and Soul, she gradually incorporated more of her African music in her compositions. Her second album ‘Mi Ma Bô, produced by Parisian Lokua Kanza, reached gold in her native Portugal and was a mix of African rhythms and melodic pop songs. After a long wait of five years, finally her new album ‘Balancé’ is due in February 2006. In this record produced by Sara herself, she wrote and composed all the songs and played many of the instruments. Balancé is a beautiful record in which Sara shows to be a very talented contemporary singer/song writer, that has managed to combine in a subtle and honest way contemporary music with her African roots.
Is Disaster Capitalism Here to Stay?

The Nation's Naomi Klein and William Greider returned to Charlie Rose on Monday, May 11th. The award winning journalists discussed the financial crisis and economic bailout. On the bailout, Greider remarks in the interview, "The moral question is, do we try to fill the balance sheets of those institutions that led this public debacle with public money, and my answer is no." Klein adds, "The choice is not between doing nothing and this model, the choice is what are the range of options and we should still be debating because all of the money hasn't been handed out yet." Greider, The Nation's National Affairs Correspondent is author of Come Home, America. Long time Nation columnist Klein is author of The Shock Doctrine.

Check out more great Nation videos on our YouTube channel.

sexta-feira, 15 de maio de 2009

Water: a common good, public management, and alternatives

TNI, Reclaiming Public Water Network, RED vida

This video was produced during this meeting and it carries water activists visionary voices.

From the 23rd to the 25th of August, 2008, water justice activists from across the Americas met in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the same city where some of the first open battles against water privatization were launched and won eight years ago. The gathering, called 'Agua, Bien Común, Gestión Pública y Alternativas,' (Water, a Common Good, Public Management, and Alternatives) brought together more than 60 organizations from 15 countries to envision just and sustainable models of water stewardship and to build alliances that will bring these visions to fruition. Over three days, a diverse group of participants analyzed current trends in the privatization and commercialization of water, and shared experiences in the construction of public and community-controlled water management systems as alternatives to the dominant logic of privatization and commodification of water.

There is also a report that was published after the meeting:
Beverly Bell, Jeff Conant, Marcela Olivera, Crossley Pinkstaff, Philipp Terhorst

segunda-feira, 11 de maio de 2009

A Bold Challenge to Modern Capitalism

The Bridge at the Edge of the World
  • We must change the very nature of corporations so they become legally accountable to society at large, not just to themselves and their shareholders.

  • We must challenge the current obsession with GDP growth and focus on growth in the areas that truly enhance human well-being: growth in good jobs, in the availability of health care, in education, in the deployment of green technologies, in the incomes of the poor, in security against illness and disability, in infrastructure, and more.

  • We must challenge materialism and consumerism as the source of happiness and seek new values about quality of life, social solidarity, and connectedness to nature.

  • We must transform the market through government action so that it works for the environment, rather than against it.

  • We must transform democracy through deep political reforms that reassert popular control, encouraging locally strong, deliberative democracy and limiting corporate influence.

  • We must forge a new environmental politics that recognizes links among environmentalism, social liberalism, human and civil rights, the fight against poverty, and other issues.

domingo, 10 de maio de 2009

The Carbon Age: From Crisis to Stability

Eric Roston Duke University, The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Author of The Carbon Age: How Life’s Core Element Has Become Civilization’s Greatest Threat

James Gustave Speth Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Author of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

Science has never carried greater promise for our lives than it does today. Yet some technologies that power prosperity now show a perilous side. A distinguished science journalist and an environmentalvisionary grapple with these conflicting realities.
Capital Science Lectures

sexta-feira, 8 de maio de 2009

Social Innovation

Social innovation is an initiative, product or process or program that profoundly changes the basic routines, resource and authority flows or beliefs of any social system. Successful social innovations have durability and broad impact. While social innovation has recognizable stages and phases, achieving durability and scale is a dynamic process that requires both emergence of opportunity and deliberate agency, and a connection between the two. The capacity of any society to create a steady flow of social innovations, particularly those which re-engage vulnerable populations, is an important contributor to the overall social and ecological resilience.

The concept is founded on the following assumptions:
  • The need for social innovation is obvious and compelling. The opportunity for social innovation is less obvious, but, equally compelling.

  • Social problems are, by nature, complex problems- social innovators work in complex systems.

  • Social innovation requires collaborative enterprise; the social sector, public sector and private sector must work together to create transformative change.

  • Social innovation requires new forms of knowledge production, combining knowledge from multiple disciplines and from both theory and practice to reframe and solve problems.

Waterloo Applied Complexity and Innovation Seminars

The focus of the WICI Seminar Series is to bring together students and researchers from across the University of Waterloo who are interested in understanding the complex processes that will be central to human well being in the 21st century.

sexta-feira, 1 de maio de 2009

Peak Moment Conversations

Peak Moment is a weekly series showcasing perspectives and initiatives for local self-reliant living. Programs feature host Janaia Donaldson's conversations and on-site tours with guests preparing for accelerating energy decline, climate chaos, and economic uncertainty.

Sample topics include: local food production; renewable energy; transportation alternatives; sustainable building; personal, economic, business, and governmental responses.

We are planning a North American taping trip in 2009, and welcome suggestions for new programs.
On Thin Ice

Seventy-five percent of the world's fresh water is stored in glaciers, but scientists predict climate change will cause some of the world's largest glaciers to completely melt by 2030. What effect will this have on our daily lives? With global warming falling low on a national list of American concerns, it's time to take a deeper look at what could be a global calamity in the making.

This week, in a special one-hour NOW on PBS, David Brancaccio and environmentalist Conrad Anker—one of the world's leading high altitude climbers—trek to the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayan Mountains, the source of the Ganges River, to witness the great melt and its dire consequences first-hand. The two also visit Montana's Glacier National Park to see the striking effects of global warming closer to home and learn how melting glaciers across the globe can have a direct impact on food prices in the U.S.

Along the way, Brancaccio and Anker talk to both scientists and swamis, bathe in the River Ganges, view a water shortage calamity in India, and come as close as any human can to seeing the tangible costs of climate change.

"We can't take climate change and put it on the back burner," warns Anker. "If we don't address climate change, we won't be around as humans."
Simon A. Levin, Moffett Professor of Biology, Princeton University, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

"Learning to Live in a Global Commons: Socioeconomic Challenges for a Sustainable Environment"

"The Evolution of Ecosystem Patterns"

Storer Lecture Series