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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Carbon Dioxide update

Posted by steve on August 25, 2010

Still rising straight up since WWII

At last, a course in setting up an eco-unit is available

Posted by steve on August 19, 2010

Eco Unit

Many people dream of living in a way that burdens neither nature nor their personal finances. They seek a sense of closeness to and connection with nature. We have developed a course to help.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Join the Imagestreaming Workshops in Stockholm

Posted by steve on August 16, 2010

The evenings of Thursday 2 and 9 September, Open World Café , Stockholm hosts an exclusive Imagestreaming training with Stephen Hinton.

(The book Inventing for the Sustainable Planet was written using Imagestreaming)

The workshop is designed to give you the latest ” behind the eyes” techniques to access your hidden creativity to apply to problem solving and inventing.

You will leave with a tool-box of ways to come up with and implement innovations. And, depending on what you choose to work on during the workshop, maybe a whole new innovation.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

How to run a financial permaculture session

Posted by steve on August 12, 2010

This is a method for using the cafe method with financial permaculture. It can be used to plan a start up sustainable community or to develop a more resilient local business.

It has one major element: The object worksheet

For the first use, start by asking participants, in an open space setting, to identify which objects they think would be included in their sustainable community. Each object then gets one large paper with the worksheet printed on it, and participants group up to work on the object of their choice.

(examples of objects: housing, boiler rooms, community farms, ponds, greenhouses, shops)

For each object, they need to identify its function and output. Then they need to estimate inputs and outputs as well as costs. One way to do this is to ask yourself

1. What is the lowest it could be?

2. What is the highest it could be?

This gives you an estimating range. The next question

3. Is it most likely to be in the lower, middle or higher end of my range?

Provides the answer to where to estimate costs. This of course works better as group discussion.

They then need to think about where income and capital can come from, how to reward output and where to find capital.

Before all of this is given over to a group to collate to create a summary budget, groups need to put together each sheet so input and output match. One “waste” might be another’s input!

The final posting of all sheets might give you something like this:

Finally, with all the sheets up and connected you need to regroup to go through the permaculture questions for the whole system:

• Can you use more renewable energy in the steps?

• What waste is produced. Can one object’s waste be another’s raw materials?

• Where nature can do the job, can we let it?

•  Can we make solutions smaller and slower?

•  Can we produce a wider variety of solutions/products for resilience

•   How can we ensure the network of objects survives scenarios we expect like financial stress, higher energy prices, impact of new technology?

The next step is to suggest projects to realise the opportunities identified in the first part of this session.

In order to ensure continuity you will need to ensure that you as facilitator do not get the job of following up. So for each suggested project you will ask for one organisation/individual to act as project owner and ask workshops delegates to sign up to participate in each project.

This voting with the feet will most likely result in some projects continuing and others just fading away.

The next step could be to present the opportunities at the Green Expo. See my post about that.

Differences between this and traditional financial approaches

There are some subtle differences, just as the permaculture way of producing vegetables and plain old gardening have commonalities and differences.

1) One of the aims of FP is to retain money as long as possible in the local community (See all written on “slow money“)
2) The aim of financial permaculture is to obtain a yield of “money’s worth” rather than money itself
3) The idea of interest does not fit FP in fact, one of the aims of financial permaculture is to find alternative sources of capital to bank loans.
4) FP seeks to get nature to do as much of the work as possible. Traditional financial approaches do not encompass this, in fact they try to get fossil fuels to do as much of the work as possible.
5) FP puts a value on waste and pollution. Traditional finance sees the cost of getting rid of them. That gasoline was early on conceived as a fuel in automobiles was something Rockefeller was interested in as gasoline was a messy by-product of his cooking and lighting oil business.
6) FP is more about asset based investment, valuing labour and nature whereas most traditional accounting models treat these as commodities
7) FP looks at an ecology of functions. This would be more like looking at how a supply chain worked rather than focussing on a specific business.
8) Financial permaculture (permanent culture) seeks to create infrastructure that will produce a standard of living over time with minimum impact on nature. Again similar to business modelling but within another context.

I joined the Earth Charter today

Posted by steve on

The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire in all people a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. It is a vision of hope and a call to action.

The Earth Charter is centrally concerned with the transition to sustainable ways of living and sustainable human development. Ecological integrity is one major theme. However, the Earth Charter recognizes that the goals of ecological protection, the eradication of poverty, equitable economic development, respect for human rights, democracy, and peace are interdependent and indivisible. It provides, therefore, a new, inclusive, integrated ethical framework to guide the transition to a sustainable future.

The Earth Charter is a product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross cultural dialogue on common goals and shared values. The Earth Charter project began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed by a global civil society initiative. The Earth Charter was finalized and then launched as a people’s charter in 2000 by the Earth Charter Commission, an independent international entity.


10 Common Sense Principles for the New Economy

Posted by steve on August 11, 2010

David Korten is co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine, co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, president of the People-Centered Development Forum, and a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies(BALLE).

Following the publication of his book,
Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, he has formulated these ten common sense principles for the new economy.

As David puts it; ” I find hope in the fact that millions of people the world over are seeing through the moral and practical fallacies underlying the Wall Street economy and—by contributing to the creation of a New Economy—are taking charge of their economic lives”.
Read the full article here.

  1. The proper purpose of an economy is to secure just, sustainable, and joyful livelihoods for all.
  2. GDP is a measure of the economic cost of producing a given level of human well-being and happiness. In the economy, as in any well-run business, the goal should be to minimize cost, not maximize it.
  3. A rational reallocation of real resources can reduce the human burden on the Earth’s biosphere and simultaneously improve the health and happiness of all. The Wall Street economy wastes enormous resources on things that actually reduce the quality of our lives—war, automobile dependence, suburban sprawl, energy-inefficient buildings, financial speculation, advertising, incarceration for minor, victimless crimes. The most important step toward bringing ourselves into balance with the biosphere is to eliminate the things that are bad for our health and happiness.
  4. Markets allocate efficiently only within a framework of appropriate rules to maintain competition, cost internalization, balanced trade, domestic investment, and equality.
  5. A proper money system roots the power to create and allocate money in people and communities in order to facilitate the creation of livelihoods and ecologically balanced community wealth. Money properly serves life, not the reverse.
  6. Money, which is easily created with a simple accounting entry, should never be the deciding constraint in making public resource allocation decisions. This is particularly obvious in the case of economic recessions or depressions, which occur when money fails to flow to where it is needed to put people to work producing essential goods and services. If money is the only lack, then make the accounting entry and get on with it.
  7. Speculation, the inflation of financial bubbles, risk externalization, the extraction of usury, and the use of creative accounting to create money from nothing, unrelated to the creation of anything of real value, serve no valid social purpose.
  8. Greed is not a virtue; sharing is not a sin. If your primary business purpose is not to serve the community, you have no business being in business.
  9. The only legitimate reason for government to issue a corporate charter extending special privileges favoring a particular enterprise is to serve a clearly defined public purpose. That purpose should be clearly stated in the corporate charter and be subject to periodic review.
  10. Public policy properly favors local investors and businesses dedicated to creating community wealth over investors and businesses that come only to extract it. The former are most likely to be investors and businesses with strong roots in the communities in which they do business. We properly favor them.

ECO Units: a definition document

Posted by steve on August 8, 2010

This document provides a broad definition of an  Eco-Unit to act as a starting point for people wanting to develop their own eco-village. I believe it can help development of eco-villages if the owners and administrators can agree at an early stage what it is they are aiming for. A document like this sets up the basic framework for an eco-village. Your group can add, change or amend to make it your own.

pdficonDownload document:

Description ecounits A2B

UN’s Global Compact report reveals corporations ready to embrace sustainability

Posted by steve on August 6, 2010

Accenture report A New Era of Sustainability

Corporations are poised to enter a new era where  environmental, social and corporate governance issues are embedded throughout operations, the supply chain and subsidiaries.

This according to a  new report from the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture, based on a global survey of more than 750 CEOs and in-depth interviews with 50 of the world’s foremost CEOs in a range of industries and geographies.

Some highlights:

  • 86% of CEOs believe that companies should invest in enhanced training of managers to integrate sustainability into strategy and operations
  • A large number of the CEOs responding believe that “business that is both sustainable and profitable requires efforts by people at all levels of the corporation; thus engaging employees in the sustainability agenda is vital to success.”
  • Within the decade, a tipping point will be reached that brings sustainability from the periphery to the core.

Training for sustainability is vital. We from AVBP offer our sustainability briefings to get your organisation quickly up to speed.

Download UN Global Compact–Accenture CEO Study 2010 [PDF, 2.7MB]

Visual representation of growing US unemployment

Posted by steve on August 1, 2010

Posted recently on Thomas Greco’s site BEYOND MONEY this revealing animation of the growing unemployment in the US. It reminds me once again that we are living in a system that neither gainfully occupies us or encourages stewardship of our natural and mineral resources.

Beta site for teachers launched

Posted by steve on

A new site, in beta format, has just launched to support maths and science teachers who want to convey a deeper understanding for sustainability to their students. The  site just now offers a few open-ended  problems for sutdents to practice their calculation and estimation skills on with problems around:

  1. How much land is available to each person?
  2. How much land is needed?
  3. How long can we use oil for?

The site welcomes more problems and model answers as well as advice from teachers on how to use the problems in the classroom.