Craft and the Trans Eurasia economy meet retro markets in Mexico

A fascinating series of photos in the NY Times led me to this story of an epic train line just being developed, The New China-Europe line.  With all the attention given to global trade it would be easy to miss the movement back to local and hand made products, a trend toward simplicity in the developed world. The desire to feel connected to life and process is still very strong for people who have grown up in the first world. Read Robin Wood talking about “What is real craft” and be inspired by those who choose to keep these traditions alive. I can imagine the rejection of heavy industry and energy intensive consumption that might connect when Western Europe connects by rail with the small hand craft industries of Eurasia. Maybe a return to the simple and hand made as part of supply chain awareness? In Mexico City a new food market rejects all the plastic glossy trappings of a new mega store for the venerable open Market style.

What if the inter connected world began to work together toward a craft based, resource lean economy? Could renewables, local food and the value of hand made non disposable objects inspire a change in how we use the planet?


Imagination and Change

November 27, 2014

I liked the title of this blog post because I think our ability to create a better world depends on bringing wisdom and creativity into the mix with the compassion of having enough for others besides ourselves. There has been some bad news this year, not everything is going as well as we might like, but in the Boston area an amazing group of change agents are trying everything to improve the world, and making success a part of the story. Bioengineering, Robotics, Local Agriculture and, least we forget, studying the Humanities. Poetry and Art? I’m feeling greatful for my opportunity to be part of these things.

Responsible Consumption movement ?

Environmental News Bits

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Hybrid cars. Energy-efficient lightbulbs. Fair trade coffee. There are all sorts of products nowadays that promise to solve environmental and social problems. We’re in an era of “responsible consumption” where companies sell us goods that do better by the planet and make us feel better about our place on it. But do they make any meaningful difference?

Not according to a new paper by Markus Giesler and Ela Veresiu, two researchers at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in Canada. They argue that responsible consumption subtly shifts responsibility for big problems to consumers, leaving corporations free to continue as usual. Meanwhile, the people who should be changing the game–government and regulators–are left to one side.

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The news is out today that AASHRAE 189.1, the USGBC, the International Green Building Code and the AIA will work together to merge aspects of green building and high performance standards.

One Code to Rule them all!!



August 3, 2014 For Immediate Release:
Contact: Dan Whittet, 702 755 0240 Dan@ADPSR.ORG or Franziska Amacher
Three organizations to be honored with ADPSR 2014 Lewis Mumford Awards
New England social activists to be recognized nationally for innovative work, Awards to be presented at Boston Green Fest Aug 16, 2014
“Designing a better world involves more than bricks and mortar”

Architects/ Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) has announced the winners of its 20th annual Lewis Mumford Awards for outstanding contributions in areas that embrace ADPSR’s mission of world peace, protection of the environment, and socially responsible development: The awards this year will go to;
Peace: Ethan Zuckerman and the MIT Center for Civic Media
Environment: Bonnie Rukin and Slow Money
Development: Ken Smith and Youth Build

The interesting Spanish company ABEGNOA has, apparently, a research department doing investigations into the use of Nanoparticles in new materials.
There are of course difficulties working on the nano scale and also following the effects and changes, but the rewards are incredible. In Spanish.

Invasion of the MassDots

A little Starwars related satire on highway expansion near Boston