Club of Amsterdam Journal, June 2021, Issue 233

CONTENT

Lead Article

For the EU's 'Green Deal' to succeed, economic theory must take into account qualitative growth
By Sergio Focardi, Davide Mazza, and Manon Rivoire Pôle Léonard de Vinci - UGEI

Article 01

Water Memory
With Prof. Dr. Bernd Helmut Kröplin
and
Water, Ultimate Giver of Life, Points to Intelligent Design
By Discovery Science

The Future Now Show

Regenerative Thinking
With Claudia Rodriguez Ortiz

Article 02

Intelligence Without Brains
By World Science Festival

News about the Future

> Sustainable Agrivoltaics
> SMART breakthrough uses artificial neural networks to enhance travel behavior research

Article 03

Social impact bonds fund welfare projects: how South Africa's first two have done
By Zoheb Khan, Researcher, University of Johannesburg

Recommended Book

The Regenerative Life: Transform Any Organization, Our Society, and Your Destiny
By Carol Sanford

Article 04

Capital and Ideology
With Thomas Piketty

Climate Change Success Story

The Second Solution: Riparian Restoration
Northwest Biocarbon Initiative

Futurist Portrait

David Holmgren
Co-originator of permaculture


Tags: Biocarbon, Capital, Children, Circular Economy, Climate Change, Degrowth, Economic growth, Economic theories, ECONOMY, Emissions reductions, EU, Green Deal, Greenhouse gas emissions, Ideology, Macroeconomics, MOBILITY, Permaculture, Poverty, President Joe Biden, Regenerative Thinking, Social Impact Bonds, South Africa, Sustainability, URBAN DEVELOPMENT, Ursula von der Leyen, Water



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Welcome



Felix B Bopp

clubofamsterdam.com
Website statistics starting January 2021:
Visitors: 22,000
Visits: 108,000




Claudia Rodriguez Ortiz: Regenerative thinking is about:
healing ourselves, our place, our environment,
making decisions with a living systems view of life,
understanding the interconnectedness of ourselves, our society, our natural systems,
creating value for every player in a wider ecosystem,
questioning our cultural narratives and our actions,
a conscious choice to make a forward change, ...

Ursula von der Leyen: The European Green Deal is a broad roadmap: We care also about biodiversity and forests, agriculture and food, green cities and for example the circular economy.

David Holmgren: Traditional agriculture was labour intensive, industrial agriculture is energy intensive, and permaculture-designed systems are information and design intensive.

Lead Article

For the EU's 'Green Deal' to succeed, economic theory must take into account qualitative growth
By
Sergio Focardi, Pôle Léonard de Vinci - UGEI, Davide Mazza, Pôle Léonard de Vinci - UGEI, and Manon Rivoire, Pôle Léonard de Vinci - UGEI






The goal of the EU’s ambitious new “Green Deal” is to put Europe on a path toward zero emissions and sustainable growth decoupled from resource use.

The plan marks a sharp departure from traditional ecological approaches that have typically called for reduction of consumption and, therefore, de-growth. Despite abundant warnings from scientists about the danger of climate change, fear of de-growth is why many governments and much of the business community have long shunned ecological issues. There was a widespread belief that ecological constraints, however meritorious, would necessarily limit consumption and thus cut corporate pro?ts. At the same time, there was the widespread belief that technology would solve the problem of scarcity of natural resources.

Now, concern about climate change and other ecological issues have captured the attention of business and political leaders. There is a change of attitude of business and political leaders who look at mitigating climate change as a pro?table technology change and look at sustainable growth as a realistic alternative to de-growth.

Going green

At the end of 2019, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Union, presented the European Green Deal, an ambitious plan to make Europe an economy where:

  • there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050,

  • economic growth is decoupled from resource use,

  • no person and no place is left behind.

The EU has committed 1 trillion euros to the plan. In the United States, in a dramatic reversal from the previous administration, President Joe Biden has declared that climate change is a defining priority and has launched a $4 trillion plan for “Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice”.

Under the Green Deal, Europe’s economy would progressively reduce to zero emissions of greenhouse gases and grow without causing depletion of natural resources. But how can these goals be achieved?

The progressive reduction of greenhouse-gase emissions is an immense technology-change program, replacing fossil fuels with energy based on clean sources. However, growth de-coupled from resource use is a conceptually more complex problem. A partial answer, explicitly mentioned in the Green Deal, is provided by implementing a circular economy where human artifacts are continuously reused and redesigned. But only a fraction of a modern economy can become circular. Moreover, due to negative entropy flow, circularity requires large amounts of energy.

Quality, not quantity

Under the Green Deal’s ecological constraints, economic growth can be achieved by increasing the quality of products and services – but only if it’s taken into account. Qualitative growth is essentially a process of increasing information and complexity of an economy without use of natural resources.

What is the likely path to qualitative growth? Under the Green Deal, sources of energy based on fossil fuels will be replaced by a new generation of clean energy. We also need to reduce and possibly eliminate both biological and industrial pollution and avoid depletion of natural resources.

Under such constraints, firms will find it difficult to grow in the classical sense by manufacturing more products. They must therefore seek to innovate and create products of higher quality and, ultimately, complexity. Simply put, firrms will create information and complexity – for example, the aesthetic dimension of artifacts, including buildings and cities, art, culture, health care and medicine, food, intelligent travel. It will be the creative effort of firrms and governments that will produce qualitative growth.

An important consequence is that both economic theory and economic decision-making need to be able to measure and model qualitative growth and to recognize that qualitative growth is genuine growth. If economics does not understand and measure quality, the Green Deal risks to be perceived as de-growth.

Current macroeconomic models are not able to model qualitative changes. They attempt to model the quantity of output, with the very strong assumption that an economy produces only one final good or, equivalently, a composite good. But in reality, economies produce a large number of heterogeneous products and services subject to a process of innovation and change. All these cannot be aggregated by any physical measure and therefore one cannot measure the quantity of output. It would be tempting to create an index considering the rates of change of each variable, but indexing does not work in the presence of change and innovation.

The only possible aggregation is aggregation by price. This is what is done in practice in the political and economic discourse to measure economic output. All advanced economies compute their gross domestic product (GDP), which is the sum of the value of all domestic consumption transactions. But the GDP is subject to a fundamental issue : As prices are only relative prices, how do we compare GDP in different moments? How do we separate real growth from inflation?

Measuring economic complexity

We compare GDP in di?erent moments by computing the consumer price index (CPI), which is used to compute in?ation rates. The nominal GDP, which is the sum of all domestic consumption transactions at current prices, is de?ated by the CPI to yield the real GDP. The CPI is an index computed selecting a basket of goods and services and computing its price change over a given period. But this procedure completely misses changes of prices due to qualitative changes.

This is a well-known problem. The Boskin commission, created in 1995 by the US government to study possible improvement to the measurement of inflation, concluded that inflation is largely overstated because if does not consider qualitative changes. This opinion is shared by eminent economists such as the late Martin Feldstein.

The Belchatów Power Station in Poland is one of Europe’s largest coal-fired plants and highest emitters of CO2. Morgre/Wikimedia, CC BY

To measure sustainable economic growth, we need a generalized notion of inflation that takes into account both quality and quantity. There are several ways to achieve this goal. The simplest consists in stipulating that the most innovative segments of the economy have zero inflation. Other solutions include the adoption of measures of economic complexity.

These are not academic theoretical issues. If we continue to discount nominal GDP by CPI as it is currently computed, we risk that, under the Green Deal constraints, the European economy will appear to be in recession as its innovation efforts without using natural resources will be ignored. If economic theory fails to understand quality and to promote its measurement, then it will lose its role in supporting decision-making. Major efforts for arriving at a sustainable economy will be frustrated by naively, and falsely, concluding that an otherwise flourishing, highly qualitative economy be in recession.

If we want to achieve sustainable growth under the constraint that consumption is independent from the use of natural resources, we should move along the path of qualitative growth. This implies that quality improvement be considered genuine growth. If economics has to play a role in supporting decision-making, it must understand qualitative development and be able to measure qualitative growth.


In a February 17 webinar organized by the Taylor Institute of the Franklin University, Lugano, Switzerland and by the CFA society, Milan, Italy, one of the authors of this article, Sergio Focardi, outlined how future growth respectful of ecological constraints will be qualitative growth. Focardi also discusses how qualitative growth requires economic theory to gain the ability to understand and model qualitative growth. The Conversation

Sergio Focardi, Professor of Finance at l’ESILV et à l'EMLV, member of De Vinci Research Center, Pôle Léonard de Vinci – UGEI; Davide Mazza, Professor of Finance, Pôle Léonard de Vinci – UGEI, and Manon Rivoire, PhD student at Polytechnique School (CMAP) and ESILV (DVRC) in mathematics for finance and data sciences, Pôle Léonard de Vinci – UGEI



This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

CONTENT

Article 01

Water Memory
With Prof. Dr. Bernd Helmut Kröplin





“Water is a medium that is largely not understood by physics and chemistry. Its material nature is tested, studied and understood by physics. However, beyond its physical and chemical qualities also memory and information play a significant role in water, and these build a bridge from the immaterial to the material world. These subtle phenomena are the ground of misunderstanding, and they can neither be studied nor detected by traditional experimental methods.

Hence, we use a different approach: we investigate the patterns that appear in a water drop after evaporation of the water and photograph them under a dark field microscope with a magnification between 40 and 400. We can prove that the patterns correlate with information exposed to the water. For one experiment, the patterns are in the most cases so similar that we can speak of reproducibility of the test.

Typical patterns appear for each kind of water itself, depending on the ingredients and history of the water. External effects may overrule these patterns, e.g. things, which are laid in the water or electromagnetic frequencies or acoustic waves that oppose to the water. By the observed patterns, we realize that water has a particular kind of memorizing and storing information of things that it has experienced. From experiments, we can also see that living organisms, like plants, can “read” this information and act with a unique behavior to the information stored in the water.

Our findings prove the memory of water and also the communication between separate units of water. Both seem to be essential for the understanding of mechanisms in living cells -these consist for approximately 70% of water- as well as for the communication of water in the world. This knowledge constitutes a reason to talk about a new dimension of quality and health of our planet earth.” - Prof. Dr. Bernd Helmut Kröplin

The World in a Drop
The Ability of Water Functioning as Memory and Mirror

Could you imagine

  • that water has memorising capacity. In this case the oceans would know something about the water sources up in the mountains and vice versa
  • that water allows for inter-communication and transfer of information
  • that differing thoughts could be visualised in pictures
  • that water is like a mirror in various ways

Which low dose-effects of radiations are astronauts exposed? Could these low effects acting on human organisms – up to now unverifiable - been detected? Based on these questions discovered Prof. Dr. Bernd Helmut Kröplin and his team a sensitive and on divers vibrations reacting element: the water.




Water, Ultimate Giver of Life, Points to Intelligent Design
By Discovery Science

 



CONTENT

The Future Now Show


Regenerative Thinking
With Claudia Rodriguez Ortiz


There's a buzz around the term "sustainability", but what does it really mean and what is the type of thinking that is required to make a fundamental shift outside the existing paradigm? What kind of mindset is required to solve the ever-growing societal challenges and to make a meaningful contribution to the world? Claudia explains what "regenerative thinking" means and provides a few examples of practices and concepts that support this mindset.







Credits

Claudia Rodriguez Ortiz
Founder and Director at Terragon Nature Lab, the Netherlands

https://terragon.nl

The Future Now Show
https://clubofamsterdam.com/the-future-now-show



You can find The Future Now Show also at

LinkedIn: The Future Now Show Group
YouTube: The Future Now Show Channel

Producer of The Future Now Show: Felix B Bopp

CONTENT

Article 02

Intelligence Without Brains
By World Science Festival


How much brain do you need to be smart? Bees and ants perform marvels as colonies, though each insect has barely any brain. And plants — with no brain at all — exhibit behaviors that, by any definition, count as intelligent. Brace yourself for a mind-bending exploration of plants that learn new behaviors and warn their brainless fellows of danger; vines that compete with each other; molds that solve puzzles; and trees that communicate and cooperate through a ‘wood-wide web’ of microscopic mycological fibers. Perhaps the real question is, are we smart enough to appreciate the vast range of intelligence that surrounds us?

Participants: Monica Gagliano, Simon Garnier, Thomas Horton, Naomi Leonard, Mark Moffett




CONTENT

News about the Future


> Sustainable Agrivoltaics
> SMART breakthrough uses artificial neural networks to enhance travel behavior research

Sustainable Agrivoltaics

Agrivoltaic is a combination of solar energy and agriculture that can promote the decarbonization of the energy system, but also the sustainability of the agricultural sector and the long-term profitability of small and medium-sized enterprises.

These are the objectives of the first national platform for Sustainable Agrivoltaic promoted by ENEA with the aim of bringing together companies, institutions, universities and trade associations around a single working table. In support of the network, ENEA and ETA - Florence Renewable Energies are launching the Sustainable Agrivoltaic Platform, which aims to promote the exchange of information between all stakeholders involved and to fuel activities that will help identify guidelines, methodologies and technological and innovative solutions for the construction of agrivoltaic plants in Italy.

ETA - Florence will be responsible for the development of the dedicated website, the platform management, the communication together with the organization of events and webinars.


SMART breakthrough uses artificial neural networks to enhance travel behavior research

Theory-based residual neural network combines discrete choice models and deep neural networks, long viewed as conflicting methods.

Researchers at the
Future Urban Mobility (FM) interdisciplinary research group at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, have created a synthetic framework known as theory-based residual neural network (TB-ResNet), which combines discrete choice models (DCMs) and deep neural networks (DNNs), also known as deep learning, to improve individual decision-making analysis used in travel behavior research.

In their paper, "Theory-based residual neural networks: A synergy of discrete choice models and deep neural networks," recently published in the journal Transportation Research: Part B, SMART researchers explain their developed TB-ResNet framework and demonstrate the strength of combining the DCMs and DNNs methods, proving that they are highly complementary.

As machine learning is increasingly used in the field of transportation, the two disparate research concepts, DCMs and DNNs, have long been viewed as conflicting methods of research.

By synergizing these two important research paradigms, TB-ResNet takes advantage of DCMs’ simplicity and DNNs’ expressive power to generate richer findings and more accurate predictions for individual decision-making analysis, which is important for improved travel behavior research. The developed TB-ResNet framework is more predictive, interpretable, and robust than DCMs or DNNs, with findings consistent over a wide range of datasets.

Accurate and efficient analysis of individual decision-making in the everyday context is critical for mobility companies, governments, and policymakers seeking to optimize transport networks and tackle transport challenges, especially in cities. TB-ResNet will eliminate existing difficulties faced in DCMs and DNNs and allow stakeholders to take a holistic, unified view toward transport planning.

Urban Mobility Lab at MIT postdoc and lead author Shenhao Wang says, “Improved insights to how travelers make decisions about travel mode, destination, departure time, and planning of activities are crucial to urban transport planning for governments and transport companies worldwide. I look forward to further developing TB-ResNet and its applications for transport planning now that it has been acknowledged by the transport research community.”

SMART FM lead principal investigator and MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning Associate Professor Jinhua Zhao says, “Our Future Urban Mobility research team focuses on developing new paradigms and innovating future urban mobility systems in and beyond Singapore. This new TB-ResNet framework is an important milestone that could enrich our investigations for impacts of decision-making models for urban development.”

The TB-ResNet can also be widely applied to understand individual decision-making cases as illustrated in this research, whether it is about travel, consumption, or voting, among many others.

The TB-ResNet framework was tested in three instances in this study. First, researchers used it to predict travel mode decisions between transit, driving, autonomous vehicles, walking, and cycling, which are major travel modes in an urban setting. Secondly, they evaluated risk alternatives and preferences when monetary payoffs with uncertainty are involved. Examples of such situations include insurance, financial investment, and voting decisions.

Finally, they examined temporal alternatives, measuring the tradeoff between current and future money payoffs. A typical example of when such decisions are made would be in transport development, where shareholders analyze infrastructure investment with large down payments and long-term benefits.



CONTENT

Article 03


Social impact bonds fund welfare projects: how South Africa's first two have done
By Zoheb Khan, Researcher, University of Johannesburg




Delft after protests against the local government. One of South Africa’s first
social impact bonds funded a project in the town. Jaco Marais/Gallo Images via Getty Images


Social impact bonds are a financing model for social welfare services based on “payment by results”. They are relatively new: the first was launched in the UK in 2010, and the first in a developing country in Colombia in 2017. Nearly 140 have been launched in the last 10 years. About 70 are being developed.

In social impact bonds, investors provide working capital upfront to nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) to deliver services. If the NGO successfully meets predefined targets – like placing a certain number of work-seekers in jobs – outcome funders repay investors with interest. If NGOs miss the outcome targets, outcome funders reduce their payments to investors in proportion to the performance gap, thus diminishing their returns.

If targets are missed by a wide margin, the investors could also lose their capital.

In most cases, it is philanthropists (typically charitable or corporate foundations) that provide all the investment capital. Rather than providing grants, the investments give these philanthropists the chance to earn returns and recycle social expenditure, ensuring that the money goes a little further.

The performance against the outcome targets is confirmed by an independent outcome auditor, with the financial management audited by a financial auditor. An intermediary typically solicits investments and outcome funding, manages the relationships between the different participants, and assists the service providers in developing results-based systems.

This capacity building – along with the promise of larger pools of funding – is a drawcard for NGOs. Another is that it opens an alternative funding door in an environment that has seen a decline in funding from traditional donors.

The first two social impact bonds were initiated in South Africa in 2018. They concluded last year. Both pioneered new solutions to stubbornly persistent social problems. They also increased the money available to social expenditure by soliciting private investment capital.

I was involved in compiling a series of reports for the research firm Intellidex about their financial and social performance.

The reports concluded that social impact bonds showed innovation in areas that desperately needed it. And with minor adjustments, they should be applied more widely.

The projects

The first social impact bond in South Africa – Bonds4Jobs – had a single performance target: the placement of economically excluded young people into well-paying, higher-complexity jobs. Meeting the target was the responsibility of NGOs that provide training and job-matching services to young people and employers. The project was led by the non-profit Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Two additional providers were brought in after the successful first year.

Matching is an approach to youth training that designs training in consultation with employers. It combines additional services with training for work-seekers. This involves the profiling of job-seekers so that they are trained for specific jobs that fit their competences and abilities.

Research has demonstrated that many employability programmes for young people aren’t developed on a matching basis. This reduces their effectiveness and means that substantial spending – by the state, private sector and civil society – is inefficient. In turn, this contributes to the unending catastrophe that is youth unemployment in South Africa. At the end of 2020, 63% of 15-24 year olds, and 41% of 25-34 year olds, were unemployed.

The service providers were successful, meeting the social impact bond’s job target of 600 medium complexity jobs in the first year and missing it by only a small margin in the second year (1,209 placements against a 1,400 jobs target). This was due to the COVID-19 related national lockdown.

The social impact bond was terminated by the intermediaries two years earlier than anticipated and with full repayment of capital and returns (ranging from 7% to 11% per year) to investors. The decision to terminate was taken due to the extraordinarily negative economic environment.

The second social impact bond – the Impact Bond Innovation Fund (IBIF) – ended on schedule in November 2020 after an investment term of three years. Here, the Western Cape Foundation for Community Work provided home-based early learning services to preschool-aged children in two impoverished communities in the Cape metro area: Delft and Atlantis. For most South Africans, early learning services delivered in preschool-like environments are very expensive. Where services are accessible, they are typically bad.

The performance targets were:

  • the recruitment and retention of 2,000 children in the programme over the three assessment years,

  • attendance of a set number of sessions, and

  • improvements relative to a group of similar children in the Early Learning Outcomes Measure – a test that assesses programme impacts on early learning.

The project significantly over-achieved on the first target. However, though improvements were achieved, the early learning outcome measure targets were missed. This was largely due to the fact that the IBIF was the first time the test had been applied to a home visiting (rather than centre-based) model. This made setting targets difficult.

Rich learnings

In both social impact bonds, the priority of the NGOs was meeting the performance targets. This results orientation – along with the provision of working capital by investors to cover service delivery costs upfront – allowed service providers to try new things to ensure that targets were met.

The service providers’ efforts were supported by the intermediaries. They built the capacity of NGOs to improve service delivery, especially in the area of monitoring and evaluation. These systems allowed for a better understanding of performance, the needs of staff and beneficiaries, and what needed to be changed to ensure targets were met.

A major consequence of the monitoring and evaluation was that the evidence base about effective programming in youth employability and early learning has grown. Bonds4Jobs showed that it is possible to use a matching approach to deliver decent jobs to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. This has already led to a change in the way the state designs some employment programming. Similarly, the IBIF showed the usefulness of home-based services in improving access to quality early learning and improving child-carer interaction.

The hope is that future social impact bonds will build in rigorous impact evaluation – rather than simple outcome verification. This would allow for a more nuanced understanding of the various effects of social programming, and how they might differ for different groups of beneficiaries.

Secondly, to really begin to make a dent in youth unemployment and inadequate early learning, performance targets will need to be more ambitious.

This could be achieved by intermediaries building capacities of smaller, less well-resourced NGOs to deliver services differently and in more areas.

Scale could also be achieved by the state adopting models that have been proven with the social impact bonds.

Next frontier

The next frontier in social impact bonds is attracting larger volumes of commercial investment. For this to happen, bigger transactions serving more beneficiaries are needed. In addition, a blended capital stack, as employed in Bonds4Jobs – where philanthropists take losses first, and commercial investors are the first to be paid out – is a promising feature that lowers the risk profile for investors.

Finally, more market development is required. As social impact bonds and similar instruments proliferate, and as benchmarks are developed, investing in them will seem less niche. But the need to make investment profiles attractive for commercial investors must be balanced against the needs of outcome funders who also require a good deal. It makes little sense for governments to pay investors returns unless they are shouldering significant risk in financing innovative programmes to vulnerable populations. The Conversation

 




This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.



CONTENT

Recommended Book


The Regenerative Life: Transform Any Organization, Our Society, and Your Destiny
By Carol Sanford





The world often falls short of the way we'd like it to be, and our power to make even just a little difference can seem limited. Sometimes it feels like you need to be a super-hero to work toward achieving anything meaningful. But what if by re-conceiving what you do, you could change the world for the better?

In this guide, business and leadership coach Carol Sanford shows you how to fundamentally change the roles you play in society, enabling you to master more than you ever believed possible; grow yourself and other people with purpose and meaning, provide astounding innovations for your clients, children and students, create extraordinary social returns, rebuild your creativity, and bring new life and success to everything around you.

THE REGENERATIVE LIFE will teach you to see your personal and career roles differently: stripping away all preconceptions of how it should be done, understanding what your role is at its core, and building yourself back up to become something new; an innovation so grounded, inspiring, and resilient, it can change the world.




Carol Sanford is a consistently recognized thought leader working side by side with Fortune 500 and new economy executives in designing and leading systemic business change and design. Through her university and in-house educational offerings, global speaking platforms, multi-award-winning books, and human development work, Carol works with executive leaders who see the possibility to change the nature of work through developing people and work systems that ignite motivation everywhere. For four decades, Carol has worked with great leaders of successful businesses such as Google, DuPont, Intel, P&G, and Seventh Generation, educating them to develop their people and ensure a continuous stream of innovation that continually deliver extraordinary results.

Carol is a founder and leader of The Regenerative Business Development Community, with lifetime members of almost 500 members, meeting in locations around the world and now online with leaders from multiple companies learning together in bi-quarterly events as well as an Annual Regenerative Business Summit, Carol is also a founder and leader of The Regenerative Change Agent Development community, with member and events in three regions- Americas, EMEA, Deep Pacific with over 50 events a year in person and online with regenerative change agents learning about and creating change together.



CONTENT

Article 04


Capital and Ideology
With Thomas Piketty




French economist Thomas Piketty has fundamentally changed the way we understand inequality.

His global bestseller 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century' brought the phenomenon of rising inequality to our attention and highlighted its economic basis. Piketty’s latest book, 'Capital and Ideology', takes the discussion even further to examine inequality as a political phenomenon, shaped by ideology and social institutions.

What are the ideologies that have created our current age of inequality, and what are the risks this age poses? What would need to happen for change to occur?

Join Thomas Piketty in conversation with UNSW’s Richard Holden, as they explore the political basis of inequality in our hypercapitalist age.






CONTENT

Climate Change Success Story


The Second Solution: Riparian Restoration
Northwest Biocarbon Initiative





This video illustrates how one community developed and implemented a sustainable solution to help keep stream water cool enough for healthy fish. Their solution has the added benefit of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Climate Solutions’ mission is to accelerate practical and profitable solutions to global warming by galvanizing leadership, growing investment, and bridging divides. Since 1998, Climate Solutions has pioneered the vision and cultivated political leadership in the Northwest for the proposition that clean energy and broadly-shared economic prosperity can go hand-in-hand. Through our programs such as Business Leaders for Climate Solutions, New Energy Cities, Sustainable Aviation Fuels, and Northwest Biocarbon Initiative, Climate Solutions builds a powerful constituency for local, regional, and national action on climate and clean energy. Climate Solutions has offices in Seattle, Olympia, and Portland.

The Northwest Biocarbon Initiative (NBI) program is dedicated to establishing the Northwest as a leading laboratory and incubator for biocarbon solutions. In addition to rapidly transitioning off of fossil fuels (the first climate solution), we must also restore safe levels of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere by developing scalable strategies to pull carbon from the air and store it in soils, trees, and other plants (the second climate solution).NBI is building the movement to protect and increase carbon stored in forests, farms, communities, wetlands, coasts, and other ecosystems, in ways that are economically attractive and deliver multiple public benefits.

BIOCARBON
Trees, plants, and soils absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to reduce CO2 pollution that is destabilizing our climate.


The Second Solution: Riparian Restoration
from Climate Solutions on Vimeo.




 



CONTENT

Futurist Portrait


David Holmgren
Co-originator of permaculture





David Holmgren (born 1955) is an Australian environmental designer, futurist, ecological educator and writer. He is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. Since then he has developed three properties, consulted and supervised in urban and rural projects and presented lectures, workshops and courses at a wide variety of events and venues in Australia and around the world. His writings over those three decades span a diversity of subjects and issues but always illuminating another aspect of permaculture thinking.

At home (Melliodora in Hepburn, Central Victoria), David is the vegetable gardener, silviculturalist and builder. Within the international and growing permaculture movement, David is respected for his commitment to presenting permaculture ideas through practical projects and teaching by personal example, that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependent consumerism.

As well as constant involvement in the practical side of permaculture, David is passionate about the philosophical and conceptual foundations for sustainability, the focus of his seminal book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. This book has been significant influences on the development of Transition Initiatives around the world. More recently his Future Scenarios work has seen him recognised as a significant thinker about the “Energy Descent future.” After a decade of significant international travel, David is no longer flying but continues to do some international presentations by skype and pre-recorded video including receipt of the recent award by Italian environmental organisation.


What is permaculture?

Popularly seen as a ‘cool’ form of organic gardening, permaculture could be better described as a design system for resilient living and land use based on universal ethics and ecological design principles. Although the primary focus of permaculture has been the redesign of gardening, farming, animal husbandry and forestry, the same ethics and principles apply to design of buildings, tools and technology. Applying permaculture ethics and principles in our gardens and homes inevitably leads us towards redesigning our ways of living so as to be more in tune with local surpluses and limits.

Permaculture is also a global movement of individuals, groups and networks working to create the world we want, by providing for our needs and organising our lives in harmony with nature. The movement is active in the most privileged and the most destitute communities and countries. Permaculture may be Australia’s most significant export for humanity facing a world of limits.

from David Holmgren’s latest book RetroSuburbia

The Movement

Permaculture is also a world wide network and movement of individuals and groups working in both rich and poor countries on all continents. Largely unsupported by government or business, these people are contributing to a sustainable future by reorganising their lives and work around permaculture design principles. In this way they are creating small local changes but ones which are directly and indirectly influencing action in the wider environment, organic agriculture, appropriate technology, communities and other movements for a sustainable world.



David Holmgren’s Future Scenarios

This page
explores the work of Permaculture’s cofounder David Holmgren and what he sees for the possible directions that civilization can take.







Extended interview with David Holmgren: Co-originator of permaculture




Legendary Australian Permaculture Garden Tour – David Holmgren & Su Dennett's Melliodora





CONTENT

 

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