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Put on your magical thinking caps, folks, and prepare for deep immersion this evening in the enlivening leitmotif of vibrant ecoadvocacy.

Tonight's EcoAdvocates edition profiles the work of two COP15 Klimaforum 09 veterans: James Hanusa, founder of Change Collective, a sustainability and social media consultancy, and Change SF, an online/offline citizen sustainability initiative designed to accelerate and amplify the sustainable transformation of San Francisco AND Ryan Fix, founder  of PURE , an organization championing innovation and creativity in supporting sustainable solutions which advance a common good in the world.  Tonight's editor, boatsie ,talks toasters and zettabytes and serves a sampling of eco-actions.

Graphic by Erik Adigard, M-AD

What the World Needs Now by James Hanusa

I have been engaged over the last couple of months with several online coalition campaigns with a focus on social and environmental engagement and impact. I am inspired to see the unprecedented collaboration coming out of the 10/10/10 campaign coalition by 10:10, 350, and Global Coalition on Climate Action.  My participation in the Four Years. Go  City Challenge on Facebook has bolstered my conviction that cities need to be a major point of engagement on climate leadership.

Following the failure in Copenhagen, the recent abandonment of the US climate bill by Congress and now with California’s pioneering AB32 climate legislation under attack with Proposition 23 and Gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman’s stance on postponing the implementation of AB32, it’s time for the global climate community to reassess it’s strategy and execution methods. What appears to be missing in many efforts is the ability to develop multi-sector dialogs and coalitions (cities, universities, businesses, investors and non-profit) to engage one another for solution building and impact at the local and global levels.

Community Organizing Resource Exchange

On September 23-25th, theCOREconference will be exploring several themes related to how communities can collaborate more effectively for resiliency. Some of the concepts to be explored include: dynamic governance, collective intelligence, crowdsourcing, online/offline engagement, and urban innovation. We have invited Transition US and several municipal leaders to explore multi-sector private/public/civic partnerships to address both economic growth and climate action in our urban environments.

At the conference, we will be exploring cutting edge projects such as San Francisco’s Hayes Valley Farm, Portland’s City Repair,  and the Mid-West’s ReAmp.  We will also be looking at how Universities can provide leadership and solutions, how technology can facilitate community, the role of corporations as partners in transition, innovations in resource sharing, and the role of volunteerism in community.

With technology partners like Social Approach and Pathable, we intend to start this conversation and connections long before the face-to-face event takes place. City solutions and social media case studies will be provided by our partners at Mashable, Shareable and Fast Company.

Meetings with Meaning

It is not enough anymore to meet at a conference and hear speakers talk from the stage and exchange some business cards. This gathering is designed for participant interaction and development of outcomes. TheCOREconference is designed to facilitate the connections necessary to foster collaborative projects with the power to impact real world solutions. One exciting possibility in discussion is the development of an open source software platform for climate solutions, as outlined by the Coalition of the Willing. (Check out this seven minute animated film developed as a collaborative project to inspire new online activism in the climate change fight.)

Get Involved

We invite and encourage the environmental community to attend and participate in this event, to be active in the preparation and devleopment of community at this critical time in California State, US National and the global climate change agenda. This is an open source event. Bring your ideas and energy to its creation.

"The future of social, cultural & economic life lies in the future of coherent communities and our ability to collaborate more effectively."

James' current projects include Aware Guide - film as an organizing platform, theCOREconference - Collaborative Organizing Conference, & 10/10/10 Global Work Party.

Let's Be UnReasonable by Ryan Fix

I’m a very lucky man!  Almost daily I am introduced to some of the most creative and innovative people that walk this planet looking for ways to promote a common good in the world.  And more exciting yet, I have the great fortune as my life’s work to support these individuals on their journeys.

In the summer of 2009, I had the pleasure of meeting one truly ‘unreasonable’ individual.  His name is Daniel Epstein and he was planning to launch an institute to support social entrepreneurs in the incubation of their ventures.  In his words, he wanted to ‘help give social entrepreneurs wings.’  We sat in the park, shared stories of inspiration, mapped out ideas, and essentially built the foundation for a lovely friendship!  I invited Dan to join me on a trip down to DC from NYC the following day to attend a special TED event at the State Department.  Mingling in the penthouse of State, it was clear that nothing was stopping Dan on his ‘unreasonable’ journey.  I was committed to doing whatever I could to support his inevitable success!

A year later, Unreasonable Institute is in full swing and the talk of the social innovation world.  In a nutshell, the Unreasonable Institute unites up to 25 high-impact social entrepreneurs from around the world to attend an intensive 10-week summer institute.  There, they will incubate their ventures with rigorous skill training and expert mentorship.  At the end of the ten weeks, the Unreasonable Institute connects its Fellows with the start-up capital and global network of support needed to give their ventures wings.

Dan and his equally inspiring partners that run the Unreasonable Institute often sight inspiration from the George Bernard Shaw quote, "the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man [and woman]."

Therefore, for Dan and his partners, this is all about ‘unreasonable’ people.  They believe in those who are just crazy enough to ignore the skeptics, who remain undeterred by persistent failure, and who, above all, are convinced they can change the world.  And this thinking defines their selection process.

Wonder what it takes to be an Unreasonable Entrepreneur & Venture?

Unreasonable Idea: Social ventures incubated at the Unreasonable Institute (Unreasonable Ventures) must provide effective solutions to social and environmental challenges.
Sustainable: 1 year after launch, an Unreasonable Venture’s internal revenue must cover its costs, allowing the venture to sustain itself without reliance on grants and philanthropy.
Scalable: Unreasonable Ventures design models that can be replicated by others or scaled internally beyond their country of origin within 3 years after launch. For instance, replication may occur through franchising or copylefting (opening the idea for unrestricted replication by other social entrepreneurs), to meet the size of global challenges.
1 million: Unreasonable Ventures won’t stop until they’ve met the needs of at least at least 1 million people. Then, they keep going.

Make sense?  This example sums things up nicely:

Unreasonable Fellows don’t give a hungry man a fish nor do they teach him to fish. Unreasonable Fellows sell him a fishing pole at a price he can afford. Once effective, they scale and copyleft their fishing pole to meet the universal need of all hungry people. At the Unreasonable Institute, we incubate and invest in fishing pole makers.

Here are two examples of environmentally-focused Unreasonable Ventures:

Mosaic Ventures:
Despite Native American lands housing enough renewable energy to power the US several times over, the estimated 2.1 million Native Americans are the poorest of any ethnic group in the United States. Mosaic Ventures is working to form a fund for tribes to vertically integrate investments into clean technologies, manufacturing projects, and developments, enabling tribes to drive economic growth while providing the United States a path to a post-carbon economy.  Watch & learn more here!

Daniel Rosen, Mosaic Ventures from Unreasonable Institute on Vimeo.


re:char has developed a carbon-negative process to convert agricultural waste into a source of renewable energy and fertile topsoil. Through a high-pressure kiln using "pyrolysis", which burns waste using carbon from the atmosphere instead of oxygen, agricultural waste is transformed into biochar. Biochar can be burnt as a source of heat or fuel and used as a soil conditioner that can improve crop yield by 200%. This affordable device enables farmers to acquire a source of energy while improving their outputs and increasing their income while not only eliminating carbon emissions, but pulling them out of the atmosphere. No big deal.

Wonder how it all goes down?

Inspired yet?  Want to learn more about the Unreasonable Institute and it’s Fellows, please check out the most show know to man.  Want to follow other stories like this, check out PureTimes.  And to learn more about other ‘pure projects’ promoting a common good in the world, please visit  

And that's a what byte? by boatsie

Copyright: Grimm Bros - Zettabyte 2 by Annough Lykin

Are emails really as energy efficient as we think?  Matthew Yeager poses the question about "Sustainability and New Media" in an interview with the BBC about the growth of data storage reaching 35 zettabytes by 2020.

So what's a zettabyte?

According to Techterms, a zettabyte is 2 to the 70th power, or 1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424 bytes.

"It can be estimated as 10 to the 21st power, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. A zettabyte is 1,024 exabytes and precedes the yottabyte unit of measurement. Because of the enormous size of a zettabyte, this unit is almost never used. The prefix zetta comes from "Zeta," which is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet."

"You would have to boil your kettle 17 ½ times to generate as many greenhouse gases as you would by sending one 3-mail attachment of 4.7MB," says Yeager.

Every man, woman and child on the planet using micro-blogging site Twitter for a century. For many people that may sound like a vision of hell, but for watchers of the tremendous growth of digital communications it is a neat way of presenting the sheer scale of the so-called digital universe. The explosion of social networking, online video services and digital photography, plus the continued popularity of mobile phones, email and web browsing, coupled with the growing desire of corporations and governments to know and store ever more data about everyone has created an unprecedented amount of digital information and introduced a new word to the nerd lexicon: a zettabyte. It is estimated that the amount of digital data stored in the world grew by 60% last year. Link

According to Yeager, who oversees data storage for Computacenter, Europe's largest IT infrastructure company, a zettabyte is equivalent to 1 million times the contents of the world’s largest library!

Act now

A second call out to watch Coalition of the willing, an animated film about an online war against global warming in a post-Copenhagen world.

Share and play The carbon game.

Get with it! Is your twitter account climate savvy? How many of the top 50 Climate Accounts on Twitter do you follow AND how many follow you? Ecoadvocate guest bloggers Kevin Grandia and Bill McKibben (along with 10:10, 350 and tcktcktck) made the list, as did the recently launched climate journalists collaboration Climate Desk. Needless to say,  MoJo Blue Marble's Kate Sheppard, NYT's dotearth's Andy Revkin and the irreplaceable
Polly Higgins made the list. Don't want to take the time to add all 50 to your own twitter account? No problem, just follow my greenme list!

Finally, stay tuned as Laughing Planet takes the helm at the Earthship later this evening ...

EcoAdvocates is a new series initiated by Meteor Blades and Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, who are contributing editors. This series focuses on providing more effective political pressure and taking action on environmental issues.

Contributing writers provide a diversity of perspectives including wind/energy/climate change; water; agriculture/food; mountaintop removal mining/coal; wildlife; environmental justice; and indigenous/human rights/civil rights. Contributing writers include: Bill McKibben, Jerome a Paris, mogmaar, boatsie, Aji, rb137, Ellinorianne, faithfull, Oke, Jill Richardson, Patric Juillet, Josh Nelson, beach babe in fl, Ojibwa, Muskegon Critic, Desmogblog, A Siegel, gmoke, DWG, citisven, mahakali overdrive and FishOutofWater.

Get the eKos widget embed code!

Originally posted to boatsie on Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 06:04 PM PDT.

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