Views from the Edge

We Need a New Educational Model Now

Solutions to climate change lie in understanding the dynamics of complex living systems and social systems. Any solutions by necessity have to be collaborative, involve multi-level governance, and be ongoing.Artificial intelligence, accelerating automation, technological change, the internet and the loss of a 35-year career trajectory are turning employment upside down.

Paint it Black

Anirudh Sharma, a former co-leader at MIT Media Lab India Initiative, recently invented a device to turn soot from car exhaust into black ink and paint.

Canadian Hospitals are Looking a Little Green

The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care has won Gold in Climate Leadership for 2016, for its development of the Health Care Climate Change Resiliency Toolkit.

Reaching 'unlikely suspects'

Never has community engagement been more important in the post-truth era, and yet, with all the 'noise' on the internet, what works? My colleagues and I talk about always reaching the converted, but never getting to ‘unlikely suspects’. Although this video by my colleague, Dave Biggs, from MetroQuest, is about engaging vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, all of these lessons are invaluable to anyone concerned with community engagement and increasing literacy through smart design.

Ikea is Walking the Walk

Ikea is certainly walking the walk when it comes to reaching Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From reducing food waste to sourcing sustainable and ethical materials, the household retail giant has launched an ambitious action plan that seems to be working. According to their 2016 sustainability report (needs a minute to load), they have invested €2.1 billion in solar and wind power since 2009.

Cities on the Front Line

Municipalities ought to be at the forefront of transformative climate action, argues this piece from The National Observer. Communities have the tools and the ideas—such as harnessing local energy and reducing emissions from transportation and buildings—but not the resources.

Rising from the Ashes

Two engineers in Gaza have found an innovative use for the rubble and ash that are, unfortunately, in no short supply where they are living. Majd Mashharawi and Rawan Abddllaht, or the “Gaza Girls,” have created “GreenCake” blocks, which are cheaper, eco-friendly, and lightweight building materials.

Art Helps Us See

Art is a catalyst for bringing social issues to the public. It can raise awareness, instigate dialogue, encourage personal growth, and even motivate action and change. Nineteenth-century French Realism, for example, provided a glimpse into the challenging daily lives of the working class.

Governing with Collective Intelligence

Collective intelligence refers to the ability of large groups—a community, region, city or nation—to think and act intelligently in a way that amounts to more than the sum of their parts. In a post-truth world and the aftermath of Brexit, an informed and engaged citizenry is even more critical to democracy and governing. Nesta has just released a new report, Governing with Collective Intelligence, which brings together dozens of examples from around the world.

Transformative Change

Our research in climate change adaptation and mitigation is exploring how to measure change in current development paths, and the nature of change. For change is contested, what some may consider transformative, others see as incremental or business as usual. We think it is important to begin the conversation on the nature and degree of nature necessary to move to a carbon neutral economy by 2050.