Views from the Edge

People do Care

Get out and vote now in the next Canadian election. Why, watch this TedTalks now, the antidote to apathy, peole do care, but they are actively discouraged from engaging, through a process of 'intentional exclusion'.

Scaling up Innovation

Convenient and affordable within the science and economics we have today and the power of the consumer up. Regardless of which technology you think is preferable for the personal automobile, this video has lessons for innovation, scaling up and creating new infrastructure.

Commodification of Life

I am increasingly concerned about something I have been thinking about a lot lately--the wholesale commodification of life itself. And so, we are now working on gathering a bunch of statistics which we will share widely when they are ready, comparing expenditures between 1950 and 2010. What is the wage gap between the CEO and the floor worker, I heard in a conversation the other day, it is 450 to 1? What is the difference between expenditures on health care per capita, but also taking into account the expenditures on pharma care?

Yin and Yang

I write a lot about the need for reconciliation in my work, of the three imperatives, between the built and the non-built environment, and with other species. But I have never thought about the dynamics of the relationship between light and dark, how good lighting also needs darkness. This video shows how light is a default solution for improving the quality of our built environment. Three elements are essential--focal glow, ambient luminescence and play of brilliants.

Play is a Shape Shifter

Play is the glue that binds us together, it allows us to explore the boundaries of our inner and outer world and rediscoer unexpected connections, a hotbed of creativity. Play is an adaptive wild card, will we make the most of our playfulness?

Patterns of Potential Human Progress

The report from the Pardee Centre for International Futures, entitled Improving Global Health: Forecasting the Next 50 Years, is very interesting.  I am most grateful for the diverse and wide network of friends and colleagues that make such a meaningful contribution to my own work. This Executive Summary focuses on health, and I was particularly interested in their use of distal and proximal drivers. It makes me think that are we concentrating on the 'right' drivers in our research work, in policy development?

Ecological and Social Innovation

This is what the future is, it is young people like this who give me such hope. This is one of the most innovative projects I have discovered on TedTalks. It is a real application of reconciliation, integration and connectivity.

Changing the World One Purchase at a Time

The Worldwatch Institute's website just talked about setting Millenium Consumption Goals, similar to the Millenium Development Goals. The author, Erik Assadourian, suggested 5 millenium goals, and asked people to come up with three others.

1. Halve obesity and overweight rates by 2020.
2. Halve the current work week from 40+ hours to 20 hours a week.

Design will Save the World

Besides the urban gardening and urban farming movements, there are some wonderful artistic creations being developed, using existing walls of buildings. It is about design with nature, rather than over nature. Others refer to biomimcry. For me, these living walls bring beauty back into out lives, a manufactured nature in some ways (Newman and Dale, forthcoming), but more importantly, they call to our tactile senses, and that, I believe, is critical to the implementation of sustainable development.

Gender Gaps

In my last conversation, I talked about generational gaps, well, this video is one of the most informative, strategic and innovative conversations on where we stand with respect to gender gaps, also brilliant communications by the COO of Facebook. What are the messages we tell ourselves, what are the messages we want to tell our daughters, about work/life balance. What are the messages--1. sit at the table, 2. make your partner a real partner, and 3.