Tuesday, February 5

Pre-Summit Post-Lunch

Lunch was cookies, salad and a mozzarella, tomato and eggplant sandwich.

After that, David Hammond talked about biomimicry, systems and "Swarm Intelligence." He gave some examples of the three basic kinds of biomimicry; form by means of an innovative propeller, process by means of mimicking glue from oysters, and systems by means of waste water treatment. He showed us an amazing video of birds swarming in the air, and talked about how this has applications to traffic control. Humans are apparently have less than average swarm intelligence [while ants have great swarm intellingence].

Geoff Wardle gave an inspiring speech, with slides only of blue skys. He couldn't show any slides of what sustainable mobility looks like, because nobody knows yet. Ideas touched upon the idea that the entire idea of sustainable mobility is like an increasingly complex onion, each peeled back layer revealing more complexity. Overall, we need to look beyond just Design Think, and start considering Systems Thinking. He offered to email a copy of his speech to anyone who is interested, I will post at soon as I get it.

Claude Willey [a guy who bikes to work 2.5 hours, one way, 3 times a week from Pasadena to Northridge] spoke about the problems of mobility. He provided background into the history of where these problems stem from. He spoke about the Urban Renewal Program and Robert Moses. Claude strongly stated that mobility is defined by race, class, and access. Another citation to give background to this statement was the story of Cynthia Wiggins. This relates to the idea of Spatial Justice. In closing, the overall theme of this lecture was habitat and mobility for everyone, equally [even wildlife].

Jane Pointer, a former participant of Biosphere 2, talked to the audience about the new economy, and in detail, that of carbon sequestration, taxation, cap'n'trade and the confusing 'additionality' [which she'll explain in person if you didn't understand, which I didn't comprehend enough to pass along to you the reader]. This lecture was an overview of many of the current talk about how to deal with carbon.

John Paul Kusz spoke about counting the truth and the consequences. This amounts to the unintended and unconsidered consequences of our actions. He said to google the Jules Verne Effect, so I did [that result was on the 7th page, I think it's what John was talking about though]. John gave a wonderful list of policy making organizations from around the world [linked here when information is received]. He concluded that we need to Lead Change, citing Patagonia as a prime example. His final remark was gold though, "start a small green business, run it for 5 years, then sell it to a larger company that wants to green itself for millions."

Lorrie Vogel was the final speaker of the day. She is the head designer in charge of Nike's Considered Program. Lorrie explained that Considered is not a single product line, but an ethos at Nike. The ultimate goal of Considered to inform people of the impact of their choices [designers and consumers alike]. And that Considered works not by designing a single line of shoes, but by providing the framework for Nike to reduce its footprint throughout all its products. This includes waste reduction, environmentally preferred materials, solvent reduction and being a change agent [inspiring by example]. Being Green isn't about being granola, its about changing your process.

There was a panel discussion at the end of all this, with Joel Makower moderating between Stuart Cowan, Gordon Feller, and Stewart Reed. The biggest take away from this panel was the need for visibility in business and design. People need to see how to change, and we need to reward innovators. There needs to be an execution of policy, and attention to what is necessary for specific regions.

Karen Hofmann closed out the Pre-Summit by talking about the CMTEL lab and the various projects it has going on. This includes a sister CMTEL Lab opening in Tama University, designs storms, and sponsored projects that take advantage of access to the wide selection of materials available. 

I'm reminded of something Tinker Hatfield told me, "a person needs to work on how they can effect their sphere of influence." As a student, this might mean recycling, carpooling to school and signing a petition to have bioplastics in place of styrofoam in your cafeteria. As a professional this might be implementing natural air conditioning for a building. Finally as a political leader, this might mean changing the way a city is planned, or endorsing policy's towards a greener one. 

[In two weeks, the powerpoints from these presenters will be available, except for Geoff Wardle's which is already available, Sunday to Saturday, sunrise to sunset, weather permitting, consult your local almanac for specific times]

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