I’m currently in the middle of the book Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. They discuss the increasing popularity and need for collaborative effort to create value and content in this economy. Examples range from the music industry to server software.
“By definition, a truly global economy has no physical or regional boundaries. It builds planetary ecosystems for designing, sourcing, assembling and distributing products on a global basis.”
“The difference today is that the organizational values, skills, tools, processes and architectures of the ebbing command and control economy are not simply outdated; they are handicaps on the value creation process.”
Etsy.com is a great example of a place where people from all over can come together to create an ecosystem for growth. When you purchase handmade goods on the website, you are buying directly from the maker/seller, cutting most of the middlemen and transaction costs. I recently purchased a case for my camera on the site from a person in Dallas, TX. Without this marketplace for people to gather at, I may have gone to buy a product from a big name company.
There are tons of examples of how the Internet has spread knowledge, goods, and connected people to create value. It really is amazing how much can be accomplished nowadays! I’ll post more when I have read more of the book.
According to EarthPortal.org, 2009 is the “Year of Science.”
May is the month of Sustainability and the Environment!
In the introduction of this e-book, they authors introduce a term, “sustainomics,” which they define as “a transdisciplinary, integrative, comprehensive, balanced, heuristic and practical framework for making development more sustainable.”
In particular, I’m interested in how development has been affecting mangroves. These habitats are some of the least appreciated in the world, even though they are extremely important as storm buffers. Mangroves often get converted into shrimp farms, or other economic activities. It would be interesting to see if the authors of the blog on this website have an opinion on whether “sustainomics” is feasible in the case of mangroves.
I am skeptical whether the creation of a new term will have any real meaning or results. Some may say that “sustainable development” is somewhat of an oxymoron. I might agree to some extent, but only because it may not be possible with the state of the world as it is.
Interdependence and the role of cultural attitudes (in the context of the global economic crisis)
(This piece was written Fall 2008.)
Much of the literature on conflict has focused on determining drivers and predictors of
conflict. While most have not come to any decisive conclusions, we may still gain insight as to
what are the underlying factors involved. The goal for this type of investigation is to find ways to
build peace where conflict has done damage or to determine states that are at immediate high risk
for conflict. In this short piece, I will examine a few ideas that may explain some aspects of
conflict, but may yet be proven drivers. These are concepts that seem to come up in literature
from across disciplines. I will focus specifically on two: interdependence on a global scale, and
the role of cultural attitudes.
It may be true that we may never fully understand the nature of conflict or be able to
explain the causes for its occurrence in all of its forms. However, these two ideas are also
extremely relevant in discussion of events other than outright conflict, such as the ongoing global
economic crisis. The crisis is not an outright conflict, but the implications are important to
consider for conflict prevention and peacekeeping. It has already increased tensions between the
United States and the world, as many leaders of other nations have blames the lack of regulation
on the banking system in the US. As I will discuss later, the interdependent nature of the world
society will increase the reaches of any crisis. Analysis of these concepts may bring much
needed insight for economic recovery, which I will address in the last section after I have made
arguments for why and how these concepts are applicable to the economic situation.
Continue reading →
On March 5th, 2009, at the top of the International Affairs Building at Columbia University gathered a diverse group of experts as part of the Earth Institute’s Seminars on Sustainable Development. Though their specialties ranged from Civil Engineering to environmental non-profit organizations, they spoke on a panel together on “Greening the Urban Economy.”
“What does this mean?” and “how can we make it happen?” were the questions buzzing around in the minds of audience members as they entered the room and enjoyed some of the refreshments and cookies in the back.
The audio equipment was tested and the projector flashed bits of presentations. People trickled in, curiously looking around the room while waiting for the guest speakers to make their appearance. Late afternoon light streamed in from both sides of the room. Finally, the equipment was all ready, the guest speakers arrived and the audience settled to quietly in their seats, but the anticipation still ran high.
With the economy in its current state, this topic is hotter than ever. During his part of the session, Jack McGourty put up this intriguing quote from Van Jones, author of The Green Collar Economy, and who was also recently named one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Agents of Change:
The twin crises of economic collapse and ecological devastation have proven that the old, pollution based economy has failed both the people and the planet the green money in the stimulus package is a down payment on a clean green economy that will serve both the people and the planet.