Today Jeff Buderer had these very good words about Sola Roof that he was sharing with people in his network of OneVillage and concerning our participation in the development of the UnityCenter for Santa Cruz. I am very interested to collaborate and I am suggesting that the Eco Sphere Project might be if use as an landmark structure that can focus interest and offer opportunities for learning and research. This is the summary that Jeff provided:
Thanks for responding. By the way, there was an pro and con editorial in the local newspaper here in Springfield Missouri about The Farm Bureau(FB). I know your work with the defenders of Wildlife has focused on how the Farm Bureau has sought to portray itself as for the small farmer while actually being a front group for large corporate agribusiness in the US. The editorial featured the head of the state FB going up against long-time Sierra Club Missouri activist/lobbyist Ken Midkiff.
In reading the Article I saw the battle was so predictable and worn. Is there some way we can transcend this? I believe so and this is the topic of this email.
I have cc'ed this email to several people in my network which I mentioned below. __________________________________________________________________
Joy Tang is the founder of oneVillage Foundation. Her work has been pivotal in my post-Arcosanti evolution. The network she has built and the growth that has resulted in oneVillage Foundation from this work to me represents one manifestation of a rising global consciousness. The proposal I sent you is an outline of how I want to do this starting with myself and the people I know - my network.
The investment/partnership approach I put forward in the Santa Cruz Unity Center Proposal PDF doc is a way to focus on our networks and transforming the lives of the people we know rather than those who are more distant from us and difficult to reach.
I have in my short life come across many amazing people who have much to offer in this world. However, I also feel that these tremendous talents and potentials are not even close to being fully utilized. This is particularly frustrating to me because I feel this demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the progressive/environmental/sustainability movements. As Gandhi said, we need to become the change that we want to see in the world. The primarily role of progressive orgs should not be to fight establishment organizations but to develop innovative ways to empower the grassroots.
Networked Improvement Communities
While I was in Silicon Valley Joy turned me one to the world of one of the people in her network - Doug Engelbart. He is one of the people who literally built Silicon Valley designing many of the computer technologies and systems that allow me to communicate with your now! I mention him for two reasons. His real reason for doing all those things is to develop Networked Improvement Communities or NI Cs? using information and communications technologies to augment human networks with the goal of improving collective IQ. While he has been recognized nationally for his inventions he has not gotten the support he has needed to develop these technologies to promote Networked Improvement Communities. We are now working with him to get his project going.
How similar his story is to Paolo Soleri who grinds on into this 80s continuing steadfast in his effort to make his dream (Arcosanti and Arcology) real even as he faces his and our inevitable mortality. The question to me is how can we energize our networks to make these visions and ones I mention below real.
Real in the sense that their visions and prototypes: -Become transformed into viable and practical economic alternatives to existing socially and ecologically destructive practices. -Have a tangible impact if not on the world then at least in our lives.
A Solutions Based Approach Driven by Socially Conscious Consumerism The premise is that as more consumers are turned on to the attributes of organic foods, they support the tremendous growth of organic farming and in so doing indirectly reduce the influence of the FB by not only increasing the diversity of the farming community but also by turning the existing farming community on to organics. Further developing organic food production technologies and approaches is key to make the organic farm not only more sustainable but more profitable so that it can become more competitive with conventional agriculture.
I see our ability to offer real solutions to small farmers not only here but all over the world as a key way in which we will reduce the influence of the FB on rural America. The political ramifications of this are obvious in terms of those simple electoral maps that showed the red and blue states in the 2004 presidential election. The solution is not ideology and political partisanship so much as in showing people real solutions that empower them economically.
Sola Roof www.solaroof.org
The idea of developing the business plan I sent you centers on the Sola Roof greenhouse and the Integrated Food and Waste Management System. This is not just any greenhouse mind you but one that is more efficient in its energy use - a sustainable greenhouse and is based on revolutionary design that is one of best examples of biomimicry that I have seen.
We (OVF) are now collaborating with Rick Nelson of Sola Roof. Rick is a rare breed he is not only a technology innovator but he is developing the social network tools and concepts that make this innovative approach (technology + socially conscious networking concept) unique .
Integrated Food and Waste Management Systems
I just received an email from Dr George Chan. When I first discovered his work, I realized it was my destiny to help promote his work. I see it as a manifestation on a practical level of the ecological consciousness that Paolo Soleri and other ecological pioneers have sought to put forward in their theoretical work.
Dr Chan has spent over ten years of his life doing research into indigenous agricultural practices in Vietnam and China. The result of this lifetime of work is the development of the Integrated Food and Waste Management System (IF&WMS). He and the group he works for - the Zero Emissions Research Initiative (www.zeri.org) - have made real grassroots progress in developing these systems for low income farmers in non-affluent countries particularly in Brazil, China and Africa.
However, I also believe this system has applications for small farmers here in the US, especially when coupled with Rick Nelson's Sola Roof Greenhouse.
The goal of the business proposal I sent you is to develop these technologies into viable businesses that can support the construction of a demo site ecovillage showcasing cutting edge sustainable technologies. This proposed research and development facility will prototype complementary technologies and approaches forwarding an integrated approach to sustainable development that goes beyond simply organic agriculture or even sustainable agriculture to embrace a fundamental redesign of the modern built environment and the means of production that supports it.
Possibly, some of these innovative sustainable technologies may be of interest to people in your network. I believe that once we can figure out how to commercialize them that they will hold significant promise not only to make agriculture more sustainable but also to make sustainable agriculture more competitive as compared with the existing ecologically and socially destructive approaches that are promoted by mainstream organizations like the Farm Bureau.
Thanks Scotty for taking the time to respond and to read the proposal.
Hope you are well.