Wednesday, February 27

UCLA 2008 Global Forum

A few members from Eco Council will be attending this ATHGO International Event at UCLA over the following days. We will take note of as much as we can and summarize interesting and key points back here.  In the mean time, here is a list of recommended reading material to prepare us for the event, I thought I'd share.

Global Warming

·         Basic facts:

This article is a brief on various keywords that might be used in regards to climate change. The meat of the work is at the end of the page, summarizing that although there can not be seen any global trend [possibly from lack of adequate information] local changes in the extremes and variability are seen.  At the very end, it is noted that are best way to consider the future is based upon climate models through computer simulation.

Scientist have reached a consensus, there is global warming, and "dealing with it is no simple task." A great aspect to this is addressing the issue that this affects our economy, and affects how we should consider the future global economy.

Global warming exists, and yes greenhouse exist. The biggest concern is that we are producing these gases in excess of the capacity to absorb and process what we are dishing out. Temperature change might be natural for the world, just not in the ways we're currently experiencing.

·         Causes:

This is a review of information for anyone who has taken Heidrun's Design for Sustainability class, a good review about the various green house gases. Some odd comparisons, maybe someone could make a cool graph of the relative pollution levels of various fuel options.

This is a great site with straight questions people sometimes have, and direct and concise answers. I highly recommend this one. It is a quick informative read, that would be a good jumping off point to issues mentioned in it.

There are two data maps here that might be interesting to anyone looking for support information to projects.

·         Basic Information

Carbon Offsets, don't get me started... Cheat Neutral. The heart is in the right place though, and thats a start.

Alternative Energy Sources

·         Types

The US Department of Energy, lists 14 means to harness energy, which makes it an interesting primer to jump off to other topics based upon reading brief synopsis's of those.

Similar list to US Department of Energy, a good addition is that of pro's and con's to the energy forms listed.

Monday, February 25

Week 6 Recap

Joe Rosebro had a very engaging and informative dialogue with students and faculty. He talked about the work he currently does for Perfect Sky, Inc. and Green Car Congress, much of it for public policy, city mobility, and energy issues. This is one of the larger points he brought across, that a lot of issues regarding sustainability lead back to energy use.

Interestingly enough, Joe graduated from Art Center in Fine Art. He lived in Sweden for a year to study the European point of view on mobility and energy. He has gone down a long road of trying to define sustainability, and has found a suitable framework in The Natural Step.
Joe had two other broad issues he covered. One, if Art Center does not shift its core beliefs and attitudes towards its curriculum, Art Center will no longer be relevant [note: this is a very big thing! We're paying a lot to be here at this school, and if they're not preparing us for the competitive future, we're not getting our money's worth]. 

The second broad issue talked about was the need for sustainability to come from a change in behavior. An example of this is the Prius, a person may buy a Prius to cut their gas usage in half. The problem is that there is a lot of materials that were harvested from the earth to create the Prius.  How could a person have altered their behavior to cut their gas usage in half? That's the difficult part. There are many technologists working on the issue of sustainability, now we need more sociologists.

Get unplugged!

One of my favorite tech writers, Alex Pham, had an article in the LA Times Business section, Sunday 2/24, titled "Shrink Your Energy Footprint" - an informative article that reveals how much energy is lost when you are not using your gadgets (phantom loads).  This helpful little chart comes from and tells you how many watts/hr. each of your electronic friends spends simply being plugged in.  Alex lists a bunch of really great resources for "taming your power beasts".  (SmartStrips. Solio, solar backpacks, etc.)
Consumer electronics left idle, or in stand-by mode, suck as much as 25% of their power when not in use.  Computers can draw up to 85% when left on.  "Phantom loads" add about $28 to the average annual household power bill. 
Check out her article - and for those green tech heads - read all of the articles by Alex Pham, she really does her homework on "green electronics".

Saturday, February 23

Farmer's Markets

Frank, at South Pasadena Farmer's Market, performs while making an awesome savory crepe.

Here is a list of farmer's markets around the Pasadena area:

Alhambra CFM
Sunday 8:30am - 1pm

Eagle Rock Farmer's Market
Friday 5pm - 8:30pm

Glendale CFM
Thursday 9:30am - 1pm

La Canada Flintridge CFM
Saturday 8am - Noon

Pasadena Victory Park CFM
Saturday 8:30am - 1pm

Pasadena Villa Park CFM
Tuesday 9am - 1pm

Thursday 4pm - 8pm

Find a Market near you here.
For a full list of Farmer's Markets around the greater Los Angeles Area check out these websites:

Saturday, February 16

Fields of Fuel

Our friend gave us a "Fields of Fuel, Make fuel not war" badge. The film won the Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival. The rumor says that the team is going to take a road trip to cities in America (of course with their biodiesel vehicle) to share the film.
By the way... we also ordered DVD for "Manufactured Landscape" yesterday.

Original post: toybox

Friday, February 15

Resource List

The goal of this list is a comprehensive list of resources for Art Center Students and Faculty who are trying to be more sustainable [like all the other lists, it will grow, so please check back].

Online Los Angeles Area Lists:

Movie List

Similar to the book list, the movies here are wonderful sources of information to learn about the issues concerning Sustainability [this list will grow and change over time, so please check back].

Please leave recommendations/reviews in the comment section.

Burning the Future []

A Really Inconvient Truth [Joel Kovel]

Radiant City

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

Our Synthetic Sea

What Would Jesus Buy

The End of Suburbia

Darwin's Nightmare (2004)

Extreme Oil: The Oil Cuse

Crude Awakening

Manufactured Landscapes

What A Way to Go: Life At the End of Empire

11th Hour


King Corn




Entertainment w/ Message

Erin Brockovich

The China Syndrome (1979)

Chinatown (1974)

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Dr. Seuss The Lorax (1972)

Gorilla's in the Mist (1988)

Syriana (2005)

Over the Hedge (2006)

Princess Mononoke

Fern Gully

Medicine Man

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind


The Man Who Planted Trees (1987) [animated]

[details under construction]

Week 5 Recap

This was a productive meeting with great attendance and participation by all [It was so productive I wanted to cry]. The Ecocouncil T-shirts are done! Too bad they were misprinted and the logo is in orange instead of the chosen green. We're going to make this work though, and are not going to throw away the shirts. We are already came up with a few options and are going to test them out.

There was a large group discussion on Greening the Cafeteria. We are now organizing to find out as much information as we can about where things stand. The main question is, what is the incremental cost difference? And how do we finance that [who pays]? Looking further at possible options, can we get a sponsor to green the cafeteria? What options have been looked at by Sodexho and Art Center? As we keep repeating, Greening the cafeteria is the best way to send a message to students and faculty alike that the school has listened to our requests.

The idea of a Sustainable Dialogue Series was discussed. We will look into asking Jeanie Mitsunaga about requesting more speakers in the Business Dialogue Series who have experience in this. On our part this means starting a list [with reasons] about who we might ask to come and speak. The Sustainable Dialogue Series issue spun off to also having movie screenings as well. Again, it will be upon us to start carving out this list. Some films already mentioned were The 11th Hour, The Future of Food, King Corn, and Battle in Seattle. These may be screened in the Ahmanson and/or out in the Sculpture Garden [Cinespia style]. On a lighter note, we might even have an Apocalyptic Series Marathon [think along the lines Soylent Green, Twelve Monkeys, Mad Max and dare I say, Waterworld]. And if all that isn't enough, there might even be free refreshments!

Issues that had briefer conversations include the Book List. The CMTEL will try and have as many of these available for interested students to come and browse/borrow. The Model Shop Recycling Bins have been designed, and should be implemented when Clark gets back, barring minor approval issues. Speaking of the shop, Clark is going to a green materials show, that we hope he will come and speak to Eco Council about post-show.

Upcoming Events:
February 22, 1pm, there will be a speaker coming in to talk to Ecocouncil.
February 22, 4pm - 8pm block party/street fair on Mission St. in South Pasadena.
March 7, tour to American Apparel in Downtown LA.

Planned, but still unscheduled events:
Bike Tune-Up (looking at 9-ish week)
Art Center Bike Ride (post Bike Tune-Up maybe)
Nature Conservancy Volunteer Weekend
Arroyo River Hike
Sustainable Movie Screenings

Wednesday, February 13

Nokia remade

2085059868_d35a78ee0c_oConcept sustainable phone from Nokia. It looks quite sleek.

"We will be compelled to reuse and celebrate what is essentially “above ground”. Thus we explored the use of reclaimed and upcycled materials that could ultimately change the way we make things.

In remade, recycled materials from metal cans, plastic bottles, and car tyres are used beautifully; whilst helping reduce landfill and preserving natural resources. The concept also addresses cleaner engine technologies, and energy efficiency through power saving graphics."

original post: toybox

Tuesday, February 12

Pasadena ARTS Bus Information

Fare is 50 cents. EZ Transit Passes, Metrolink Passes, Pasadena Dial-A-Ride, and Access Services ID are also accepted. The 51/52 Route [Blue] is the one that goes between Hillside and Southcampus. 

How to use the Bike Rack.

Monday, February 11

Week 4 Recap

The meeting was small and intimate. We got a bearing on where various student projects are at. The main point of discussion were gathering a list of ideas to propose to Nate Young, post-Sustainability Summit. We also started brainstorming on a possible Green Standards Guideline for Art Center student groups.

Key Issues we want to bring to Nate Young:
Greening the Cafeteria - this is an issue that is right in front of our faces everyday. Moving towards a more sustainable cafeteria would be a tangible change for the better to students and faculty alike. 
Sustainable Education - we feel that if Art Center wants to continue to be a school that is leading in Design, there needs to be a deeper integration of sustainability into the curriculum. This ranges from the possibility of adding new courses to integrating the ideas and spirit of sustainability into existing classes. Some faculty are doing this already, and their efforts should be taken note.
Sustainable Dialogue Series - we feel this would be an extension of the business dialogue series and Eco Council's own efforts to bring speakers on campus. It is also an extension of the broadening of Sustainability Education on campus.
Recycling - there is a level of confusion as to what is happening post Waste-Stream Analysis. In addition to being updated with the latest information, we would really like to see recycling bins now. What would it take on the student's side to make this a reality? This might include a lecture to incoming students to make this engrained in everyone's mindset.
Transportation - we would like there to be more incentive to carpooling and using the Arts Bus, so it is seen as a more beneficial option to students.

Green Student Organization Standards [Resource Guide]
What are the student events? What do students buy? Even as students, when put to the spot, we realized we don't know enough about ourselves or each other. We will reflect upon the various supplies and items we buy over the coming weeks, to start to compile a list of sustainable alternatives for students to choose from. 
We also hope to make this list as part of a packet to present to incoming students.

Sunday, February 10

Book List

This list is for people interested in learning about Sustainability, and needing a place to start. These books are wonderful resources. [This list will expand over time, so please check back]

Cradle to Cradle: Remake the Way We Make Things
by William McDonough and Michael Braungart
ISBN-10: 0-86547-587-3

Mid-Course Correction
by Ray C. Anderson
ISBN 0-9645953-5-4
Chairman and CEO of Interface Inc., Ray C. Anderson reflects upon how he came to believe in sustainability and implemented in his corporation with the goal of becoming a restorative company. This is a fantastic case study of sustainability in the real world. 

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired By Nature 
by Janine M. Benyus
ISBN 0-06-053322-6
Janine takes us through a series of interesting applications that look to nature for solutions to the problem of human survival. Think of trying to harness the sun's power like a leaf, or being able to weave materials ten times strong than steel, like a spider.  All without the harsh effects of mining and processing. These are the kinds of inspiring topics in this book.

The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability
by Paul Hawken
ISBN-13: 978-08877307041
In this book, Paul Hawken proposes a culture that is mutually inclusive of business and the natural world.

World Changing: A User's Guide to the 21st Century
by Alex Steffen
ISBN-13: 978-0810930957
This book is packed with information on the 
environment, sustainability and possible futures. It introduces a number of issues and concepts, and is wonderful reference book.

The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses are Beating the Global Competition.
by Michael H. Shuman
ISBN 978-1-57675-466-5
This is the reason I list ISBN numbers over providing Amazon links, you should be going to your local bookstore, and they should be carrying this book. Being sustainable is as much about local community development as it is buying organic and recycling. 

Thursday, February 7

Sustainability Summit Day 2

V. Sumantran started the day off by talking about the issues concerning a low-cost car, with particular attention to its application in India. He noted that there are a number of solutions available, it is the balance of numbers that go into affordability for the population of India. There is also the consideration of an urban car [IE the Smart Car] versus a low cost car [like the Nano]. In the interim the needs will be met by people mobilizing private capital. In the long term, mass mobility will demand newer systems.

Geoff Wardle introduced a twenty minute clip from his hour long interview with Gordon Murray. The full interview is available on the Summit website.

Mark Goodstein moderated a panel of Christer Lindstrom, Dan Sturges and V. Sumantran. They talked about the need for a paradigm shift in terms of technology and its application. There also needs to be intelligent multi-modal mobility options. There is a currently a serious gap in efficiency that needs to be addressed [driving around with 1 of 5 seats filled doesn't cut it]. What to do though? Consider this, the best trip is the one you don't have to make [think Netflix, mentioned earlier in the conference by Alex Steffen]. All this things that are talked about are possible, we simply have to just do it. In World War II the US shifted from manufacturing cars to war goods in a matter of weeks. Will power and determination make anything possible. People need to feel the urgency and need more.

Katherine Bennett introduced Jan Chipchase from Nokia, who gave a wonderful presentation about observation, trends and designing in context. People find solutions for what they need, and he had many citations of this happening around the world [particularly in Asia]. There are also amazing examples of simple solutions, distilling a gas station down to the absolute simplest form, a single brick and bottle of petrol in Thailand. He also gave a wonderful list of upcoming trends, such as status casting using AIM and Twitter, and translated this into the concept of doing the same for products. Consider a service that lows people know exactly when the product they want is in the store, or the exact location a bus, so you know how much time you have the magazine stand.

Lloyd Walker talked about the mVIP Future Scenario Application again, and prepared the attendees for a Texas Hold'em Style game situation. This second go at it was easier for people to grasp than the first day. There is a learning curve to these cards, I think people were better abled to deal with them this time around. There were many interesting ideas that came out of it, that the organizers of the Summit are now sifting through. Overall though, I feel it was a success, and heard some inspiring projects with a lot of potential.

Post-Lunch was a fantastic webcast lecture by Hazel Henderson, who did so because she is done with jetting around and flying. I was visualizing again, and the only note I have jotted down is this, she believes we are up to the design challenge ahead of us. I have to say, there was something inspiring and comforting about hearing her speak. She was very impressed by a question from an attendee and offered up her personal contact information to follow up with this person about the specific trials she was facing.

Jayne Poynter moderated a panel with Peter Bishop, Axel Friedrich and Freeman Thomas. It was a passionate panel that talked about how do we change our behaviors towards energy. There was an interesting point about the fact that most of the United States infrastructure for mobility was built in a post-petrol world. In comparison to Europe, where there are many options and structures in place that are easier to adapt to alternate mobility options from pre-industrial days. The physical layout begins to influence our mental construction of the thing, and starts to shape our thoughts.

Geoff Warlde and David Muyres concluded the Summit, by thanking everyone for coming. They also spoke of the immense task ahead for them to synthesize all this information for future reference. They hinted at a timeframe and location for future Sustainability Summits, and openly stated their desire for collaboration on it at all levels, university, corporate and governmental. I believe it was Geoff who called for truth and honesty in design [adding that these two facets are not impediments to industry]. I couldn't agree more.

More to come: the RSVP Dinner from after the Pre-Summit, details from Paul Hawken's Keynote, and photos from the closing Party [which was sadly not on the rooftop as advertised]!!!

Kudos to EcoCouncil

Thanks to ALL of the Art Center students who worked so hard this week to help the Summit be a success.  Thanks to our fearless sustainability guru, Heidrun Mumper-Drumm, for your endless passion.  Thanks to Dave Muyres, Geoff Wardle, Ellen Starr, JoJo Tardino, Megan Webster and the entire crew for working so hard to make sure this Summit continues to be a killer educational event for all.  
Special thanks to chef Nathan for making this blog happen and for doing an incredible, multi-tasking job of capturing the Summit, being a visualizer, networking for EcoCouncil...and I think getting you project work done all at the same time.  And I'm stoked to be jumping in on this blog.
Now to fun walk the talk.   I need a couple of days to digest the last 3 days.  I look forward to everyone's thoughts and impressions.

Wednesday, February 6

Sustainability Summit Keynote

The keynote on the Hillside campus was not to be missed. Nate Young opened up by talking about Art Center's commitment to Sustainability and again about the visualization of the future student. A designer who interprets the world, develops projects in a relevant context, considers human usability, steps into the gap [and stands for something] and applies the creative process to any application.

There was a highlight reel of the past two days by Art Center Graduate Film Students. Then a special address by John Mizroch, from the US Department of Energy. He spoke of the problem of energy, and the need to diversify in its resources. His final thoughts were on the need to embed sustainability in our lives, don't compromise [especially as designers], think big and reminded us that there is a large opportunity in developing this future.

Stuart Townsend [who just finished he directorial debut on a film about the Seattle Protests] gave an honest introduction to the keynote speaker, Paul Hawken. I need to review the tape I took of Paul's address. There were many good points, the key take away for now, follows. If you look at the data [about the climate, environment, the state of the world, etc] and are still optimistic, look again. It is the people you should look at and be optimistic. We don't need any more heroes, now we just need more human beings. We are doing amazing things that should inspire and motivate. Our imagination is an amazing resource we need to take advantage of.

Summit Day One

The Sustainability Summit is packed full of information, way too much for one day.

Nate Young started the day off, and introduced other speakers throughout the day. Of interest was his talk of the three portfolios student's of the future will need. One of talent [traditional portfolio], one of character [to relate to people and be human] and one of process [thinking, particularly about the topic at hand, sustainability].

Alex Steffen [of World Changing] spoke about the need for a new view of prosperity. The current one of an endless consumption of resources as desirable just isn't working out. Now we are faced with rising developing nations who grew up on Baywatch, and see that as a standard to strive for. We're in no position to preach, and they're in no mood to listen. He did speak positively, leaving us with the advice that we need to tell stories, have compelling examples, be playful, be reminded of who we want to be, and most of all, we need to speak to people's hearts. We can't build what we can't imagine.

Gary Lawrence [of ARUP] talked about Dongtan Eco-City, giving many interesting facts. Of interest and inspiration was his statement that a sustainable life choice is dependent upon nostalgia, fear and aspiration. These concerns have to be considered when taking on a project such as Dongtan. We can achieve sustainability gracefully or through a systems collapse [an idea noted by other speakers throughout the day as well].

There was a funny future scenario skit, of the 231st Tournament of Roses, with old car parts as petals, and envisioned a future where football teams were renamed because wildcats are a distant memory and some catastrophic imagined event that forced UCLA and USC to combine and form the Brujans.

Henrik Fisker talked about the Designer's Challenge. I was doing some drawings for a presentation during the keynote, so I didn't catch all the details of this lecture. Fisker mainly talked about seeing the need to design a super efficient muscle car, and changing his original business idea to fit this. Biggest take away, Designers need to create the desire for these more efficient vehicles and alternate lifestyles that sustainable mobility requires. It shouldn't just be legislation doing so, and this is a great business opportunity. 

Lloyd Walker talked about Mobility VIP [vision integration project] as an introduction to the break-out session that followed. It's part of system he and others at Art Center are trying develop along with the Sustainability Summit to accelerate the dialogue of future mobility. He spoke of Futurama [referencing Alex Steffen's old vision of prosperity], and the need for disruptive change as an emerging opportunity.

The break out sessions that followed were interesting. Attendees formed smaller groups which were dealt a set of cards that defined a future they needed to design for [in only 15 minutes!]. It was difficult to say the least. The challenges on the cards were vast [and sometimes unrelated]. That is part of the lesson of the exercise though, we cannot always solve every problem with the tools we have. We have to be selective, prioritize and focus our attention to what we can do, with the time that we have. It is also about the creative possibilities of working inside parameters, they confine us as well as guide us.

Post-Lunch, Martin Tillman talked about visualizing future cities, speaking to the importance of services that encourage and embrace positive social actions. This is best illustrated by a number of websites he worked on, a few are Journey On, Walk Score, and Walk 2 Go. He also emphasized the need to visualize these alternatives to people and developers so that they can see the possibilities and alternatives out there.

Gordon Feller moderated a panel with Scott Bernstein, William Browning and Martin Wachs. At this point I was very caught up in visualizing from the break-out sessions, and cannot adequately summarize the conversation that went on.

There were then Five-Minute Pitch Sessions of sustainable mobility ideas from the feasible to strategic. A lot of bicycle sharing going on here. Raul-David V. Poblano talked about Robo-Scooter [click on mobility, then scooter]. Lindsay Smith talked about Rubber Sidewalks. Nathan Mills talked about Johnson Control projects at Art Center. Peter Treadway gave us a wheeled foot update [along with some fantastic footage of various prototypes]. Finally, Andrea White talked about Bikestation.

Hannah Jones, of Nike Corporate Responsibility talked about Sustainability driving the new economy. She likened the challenge of sustainability to JFKs 1961 address and declaration that the US should put a man on the moon before the decade was out [and we did]. Hannah talked of the need for collaboration, sharing and open source in the design field, and cited Nike's precedence in just that.

There were closing remarks by David Muyres and Andy Ogden.

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]

Pre-Summit Pre-Lunch

Opened with an intro from Dave Muyers. Then Heidrun talked about sustainability and gave an overall introduction to the speakers of the day.  There has been a lot of talk in the past year, and while this has been good, it has resulted in a lot of noise. The speakers today are meant provide relevant information from credible sources.

Joel Makower talked about business and sustainability, comparing it to teenage sex. Everyone says they're doing it, and only a few are.  He ended by saying that there is a dysfunctional conversation going on out there. Environment has a different meaning to different people and we have to work on defining meanings.

Stuart Cowan talked about systems large and small. It provided an interesting perspective on how to view sustainability. There was something intangible and inspiring about how he spoke though. I will sum it up by his comment that "the biosphere is a thin shell upon this iron ball" we call earth.

Rob Thompson spoke about the economics of energy. The most poignant part of his lecture was the invisible effects our actions have, such as energy efficient cars leading to more energy consumption.

Scott Bernstein talked about the pursuit of sustainable cities. He provided an interesting anecdote to the humble start of Lloyds of London, and inverse relationship of buying cars and personal savings. The end of his lecture had great information on the concept of Local Efficiency.

Erin McConahey talked about the mini, micro and macro. She used a case study from a past project, a San Francisco Federal Building. She also showed work from a current project, Dontang Eco-City.

Sunday, February 3


Was a blast. Thank you to those who could attend. There was buying, selling, singing, signing and at the end of it all, donating. The sun was out, and it didn't rain! I'm going to gage people's reactions to it over the next few weeks, and might try and do another TRUNKsale towards the end of the term. There seemed to be a number of people who would've liked to attended, and were unable to for one reason or another.

More photos of TRUNKsale.

Saturday, February 2

Earth Hour 2008

March 29, 2008 at 8pm, switch off your lights for an hour.
More details at the website