Views from the Edge

Small is Beautiful

There were two books in the 1970s that greatly influenced my thinking and endured my commitment to the environment--Limits to Growth and Small is Beautiful. This video is a short documentary on Schumacher, who wrote Small is Beautiful. Schumacher, one of Britain's leading economists began to think about the nature of our growth and what it was doing to humanity, thus, the genesis of his book.


This poem makes me think about how important the reconciliation of the personal imperative with the ecological, social and economic is. My thanks to my colleague, Paul Gilbert.


The sharp edge
of anger
slices through
our ancestors.
We thought
we chose to
decide our fate.
The blackness of
such arrogance
is a scar,
a tear in
the universe.
Thinking to
move forward
we fly backwards
soaring madness.
Look in the

Saving the Environment and the Arts

I have been trying to experiment with how to communicate research through the use of the arts. We created a CRC Arts Committee but have yet to move forward on our ideas and any ideas or suggestions you have would be appreciated, funding will be important.

The idea is really simple, by engaging both the heart and the mind, you move to action faster. So, how to engage the heart through the senses, and particularly through beauty, what brings me to nature-inspired art.


Wow great insights from Steven in his talk Where good ideas come from!

As you may or may not know we hold electronic conversations or e-Dialogues (over 40 now) as a way to stimulate conversations around critical sustainable development issues and public policy development.

Planetary Boundaries and Sustainable Development

This video is a wonderful discussion of planetary boundaries, 9 key biospheric system limits and how to achieve sustainable development in our lifetimes.

Social Capital Research

When I started my social capital resarch about four years ago, focusing on network formation, the basic purpose was to try and understand if we could use network formation before a crisis to mobilize social action. This video on network formation shows visually what I was trying to achieve through this particular research project.

Environmentalist's Paradox

I don't know how many of you have read the recent report in the newspapers about the "Environmentalist's paradox gets global attention." A researcher at McGill University published a paper in BioScience about the paradox that although humans are having a negative impact on the environment (60% of the planet's ecosystem services are already heavily degraded), human well-being in terms of literacy, life expectancy, income and so forth has risen steadily since the mid-70s across the globe.

Could this be our new urban farm?

Imagine it, you walk into the grocery store go into the produce section and then you pick your veggies right from the plant. This idea may not be very far away. I stumbled upon a new grocery store concept called Agropolis: it combines hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic farming to grow vegetables without soil in an urban environment.

Harvest Produce at the Grocery Store