Nov 28, 15

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Help Promote the New Worldchanging Book

It's been seven years in the making, but the new Worldchanging book is finally here. Now we need your help this week getting this young book on its feet. Not only do initial sales often determine how other booksellers treat the book (spurring bookstores to put the book in more visible locations, for instance), but initial buzz about a book is vital to reaching the audience of people out there who would really love this book, but have never heard of it. Here are several things you can do...

Alex's Town Hall Seattle Talks

In 2009 Alex spoke at Town Hall Seattle over the course of two nights about how cities are the fulcrum point for leveraging a bright green future and how Seattle specifically could lead the way by targeting city-wide carbon neutrality by 2030. In the first video below, Alex shares a compelling story about Albania and Czechoslovakia and how each country approached change. The moral of the story: "Don't be Albania" (the story begins at 47:25 through 54:07): "Albania had to confront the...


Alex Steffen on Carbon Neutral Cities at Seattle Town Hall

In just a few weeks Alex Steffen will be returning to Seattle's Town Hall to give a talk on the "State of the Future," and present his new ideas about global sustainability and planetary futurism. In the coming week we will have more details about this event. In the meantime, we thought it would be worth re-posting Alex's two talks from last year's Town Hall engagement (see embedded videos below). Over the course of two nights Alex explored why the planetary crisis we now face demands a new...


Cooperation Law for a Sharing Economy

Editor's Note: This article from YES! Magazine, originally commissioned by Shareable Magazine, explores how a new sharing economy is emerging and asks: "how does it fit within our legal system?" Author Janelle Orsi says it's "time for a whole new field of cooperation law." This is a great piece and we wish we'd written it ourselves! Although it's longer than our usual blog posts, it's definitely worth reading. Please check it out below. The directory of the Cohousing Association, which...

Future City: Portland & Networked Urban Sustainability

In preparation for our Future City event this Friday, we're comparing progress towards urban sustainability in Portland and Seattle. When cities first stepped up as leaders in climate action, a few simple projects would get you noticed. For a good 15 years, just doing anything set you apart. But, almost without realizing it, we have walked into a new phase of urban sustainability – version 2.0 – where cities are being pushed to tackle the really tough issues. Retrofitting City Hall is...

The Most Important Political Battle of the Year: No on Proposition 23

It may be the most important political fight on the planet, this fall: the battle over California Proposition 23. Baldly put, Prop 23 is the epitome of anti-climate reactionary politics in America. An astroturf effort financed by oil companies and driven forward by climate denialist groups, it aims to block California's landmark climate action law, AB32. The Trojan horse it uses for this is a professed concern for workers ("professed" because many of the backer of the bill are staunchly...


Airplanes, VPVs, Faith and Latent Networks

Earlier this week, I met with Evan Paul, a smart urban planner just out of a master’s program at MIT. He’s working with colleagues on a new idea – “Global Planning Partners,” a nonprofit intended to help urban planners in the North work with planners in developing world megacities. And while I love and respect projects like Dx1W that point to the challenges of asking students in the developed world to “solve” developing world problems, I think projects that connect professionals...


Geo-Engineering = Futurological Greenwashing

Today, Alex Steffen tweeted "Dale Carrico writes one of the smartest things I've ever read on geoengineering" and linked to this article: "Geo-Engineering" As Futurological Greenwashing. Alex is currently on vacation, so this must be good to have brought him back to his laptop! Please click the link above to read the whole piece, or read on for a few highlights. Carrico on what's wrong with the term "geo-engineering" and the discourse that surrounds it: I personally believe that the reason...

Collaborative Democracy: Beth Noveck on Reengineering Civic Life

The following are remixed highlights of Beth Noveck's talk "Transparent Government" that she gave as part of the Long Now Foundation's Seminars about Long-Term Thinking. As with Noveck's original talk, these highlights, as remixed by Hassan Masum, are made available under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 2.5 license. We have been concentrating decision-making power in the hands of too few people - whether legislatures, or cabinet officials, or bureaucrats and agencies like the patent office. We...


Smarter City Rankings, the Science Commons, and Ad-Hoc Wireless Networks

Looking back one, two and five years ago today on Worldchanging: 2009 Smarter Cities and Flawed Rankings Alex Steffen critiques the current practice of ranking cities on sustainability with data that is "easily measured, but sort of pointless" and looks forwards to a time when city rankings judge a city "not by its neighbors, but by what's needed to save the planet"... 2008 The Complexity of Sharing Scientific Databases Ethan Zuckerman explores the complexities of applying the Creative...

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