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Fairmount Santrol Professor of Social Entrepreneurship David Cooperrider provides his insight on current articles relating to Business as an Agent of World Benefit.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

People don"t need to own products, but they do want the service and the experience the product provides. This idea is powering the collaborative economy, including cloths. How about making it possible for everyone to go luxury when they want and enable easy access, complete recycling, and radical price reductions? Girl Meets Dress is a disruptive e-commerce business with a mission to democratise luxury – believing that everybody deserves a Cinderella experience. We provide millions of women with the ability to rent designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the retail price.

How Girl Meets Dress is capitalising on the demise of ownership

How Girl Meets Dress is capitalising on the demise of ownership

Girl Meets Dress is a disruptive e-commerce business with a mission to democratise luxury – believing that everybody deserves a Cinderella experience. We provide millions of women with the ability to rent designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the retail price.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Imagine someday being able to scan a product and hear the story of the life cycle/sustainability of the product--from toxins to transportation fallout. And imagine if you could then see a "sustainability leadership badge" that helps you find sustainability leadership quickly in any category--for example the most sustainably designed TV on the shelf. Well this is soon going to be a reality and soon thousands and thousand of products, companies, and industries will be made more comparable, more transparent, and help make us all more intelligent about sustainable value. And Walmart has set it in motion, already in a big way, with its new "sustainability leaders badge." And I cant wait until it matures to the point where we can sweep our i-Phones over a code and hear the whole story narrated as part of our purchasing experience. It could be revolutionary. 

 

The Sustainability Leaders badge, at this stage of development, does not make representations about the environmental or social impact of an individual product, only that the manufacturer has scored well enough to earn a badge across all of the products they make in that category. For example, a television identified with a Sustainability Leaders badge indicates that the manufacturer has been identified as a Sustainability Leader among its peers in the television category for its sustainability management practices. But this is just the beginning of something that can be remarkable and exactly what all of us need to be more conscious, informed, and inspired about products getting better and better. 

Walmart Sustainability Index Goes Live With Over 100,000 Suppliers

Walmart Sustainability Index Goes Live With Over 100,000 Suppliers

The Sustainability Leaders badge does not make representations about the environmental or social impact of an individual product, only that the manufacturer has scored well enough to earn a badge across all of the products they make in that category. For example, a television identified with a Sustainability Leaders badge indicates that the manufacturer has been identified as a Sustainability Leader among its peers in the television category for its sustainability management practices.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura, CEO of Mirai Co., has partnered with GE Japan to make his dream of a water, space and energy efficient indoor farming system a reality, with amazing stats and nutrients: 100-fold increase in productivity per square foot;

Wasted produce down 50%; nutrient rich in 2.5 times faster than conventional outdoor farming. 


By controlling temperature, humidity and irrigation, the farm can also cut its water usage to just one percent of the amount needed by conventional outdoor farming. “What we need to do is not just setting up more days and nights. We want to achieve the best combination of photosynthesis during the day and breathing at night by controlling the lighting and the environment,” says Shimamura. The systems allows the farm to grow nutrient-rich lettuce two-and-a-half times faster than an outdoor farm. Wasted produce is also reduced from around 50 percentdown to just 10 percent of the crop. This means a 100-fold increase in productivity per square foot. The LEDs also last longer than fluorescent lights and consume 40 percent less power.


Read more: The World's Largest Indoor Farm Produces 10,000 Heads of Lettuce a Day in Japan | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building 

 

 

http://ecowatch.com/2015/01/28/worlds-largest-indoor-farm/

 

World's Largest 'Vegetable Factory' Revolutionizes Indoor Farming » EcoWatch

World's Largest 'Vegetable Factory' Revolutionizes Indoor Farming » EcoWatch

World’s Largest ‘Vegetable Factory’ Revolutionizes Indoor Farming
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

“The trajectory for sustainable investing continues to point upward.  What used to be a bifurcated decision – one between investing to make money and giving to do good – is increasingly becoming a blended conversation as investors look to harness the power of the capital markets as a force for positive impact,” said Audrey Choi, Managing Director and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Investing at Morgan Stanley.  “As sustainable business practices and investment options become more important to investors, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing is working to drive scalable investment solutions that seek to achieve market-returns that beat the market

Morgan Stanley Survey Finds Sustainable Investing Poised for Growth.

Morgan Stanley Survey Finds Sustainable Investing Poised for Growth.

Over seventy percent of active individual investors (71%) describe themselves as interested in sustainable investing, and nearly two in three (65%) believe sustainable investing will become more prevalent over the next five years, according to a new survey published today by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. 
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Citi has increasingly focused on environmental sustainability, with investments into such financing increasing over the past several years. Such financing swelled from $4.29 billion in 2008 to $8.78 billion in 2013, according to Citigroup’s global citizenship report. That report showed that the bank lends the most to solar projects, while wind and energy efficiency projects also receives sizable investments. In total, Citi's announcement of $100 billion for green initiatives represents a dramatic leap, even as the price of oil plummets. 

Citigroup sets aside $100 billion for green initiatives

Citigroup sets aside $100 billion for green initiatives

Bank sets target to finance green initiatives over the next decade
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Ray Kurzweil's exponential technology thesis is now being applied in the solar industry, and some of the analyst conclusions are stunning. They are being used to recommend stocks, such as Solar City. Here is just one conclusion: solar PV technology only needs to improve at its historical rate for only 16 more years to fulfill near 100% of the world's energy needs. There is absolutely no reason to think that an S curve inflection point will occur within this 16 year timeframe. Many individuals likely find it too absurd that solar will displace the massive fossil fuels generation industry within the next decade and a half, and so subconsciously assume that the S curve inflection point of solar PV growth should occur before such a thing happens. Besides purely emotional reasons, there is no logical reason to believe that such a thing should occur within the next 16 years.

How SolarCity Sees The Future Playing Out And the Exponential Opportunity in Motion

How SolarCity Sees The Future Playing Out And the Exponential Opportunity in Motion

To summarize, solar PV technology only needs to improve at its historical rate for only 16 more years to fulfill near 100% of the world's energy needs (as was stated before, corner cases will likely stick around for longer). There is absolutely no reason to think that an S curve inflection point will occur within this 16 year timeframe. Many individuals likely find it too absurd that solar will displace the massive fossil fuels generation industry within the next decade and a half, and so subconsciously assume that the S curve inflection point of solar PV growth should occur before such a thing happens. Besides purely emotional reasons, there is no logical reason to believe that such a thing should occur within the next 16 years.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

One of the "problems" with reductionist problem solving is that the deficit-based theory of change narrows our attention, and often smuggles in a machine-metaphor of "fixing" parts that don't work, and then we are surprised: we are saddled with a problematizing process that digs us into a black hole.  So how about the talk of spraying a substance into the atmosphere to bring down Co2 emissions? A University of Chicago geophysicist addresses studies advocating the idea of geoengineering and calls it more than mad. He says: ""The nearly two years' worth of reading and animated discussions that went into this study have convinced me more than ever that the idea of 'fixing' the climate by hacking the Earth's reflection of sunlight is wildly, utterly, howlingly barking mad," panel member Raymond Pierrehumbert, a University of Chicago geophysicist, wrote in Slate."   

Oil will flow like milk and honey--and so does that leave us with geo-engineering climate change?

Oil will flow like milk and honey--and so does that leave us with geo-engineering climate change?

"The nearly two years' worth of reading and animated discussions that went into this study have convinced me more than ever that the idea of 'fixing' the climate by hacking the Earth's reflection of sunlight is wildly, utterly, howlingly barking mad," panel member Raymond Pierrehumbert, a University of Chicago geophysicist, wrote in Slate.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

CEO Tim Cook knows that renewable energy is a huge business value, yet he is arguing that Apple's commitment to it is for ecological reasons. The fact is it's both: good for the world and good for business. And the end game is clear: the largest company in the world is becoming 100% powered by renewable energy. 


Apple’s California solar farm, called the First Solar California Flats Solar Project, is the largest solar procurement deal by a company that’s not a utility. It is also the first wholesale commercial and industrial power-purchase (PPA) agreement for First Solar, which signed a 25-year PPA with Pacific Gas and Electric.

“Over time, the renewable energy from California Flats will provide cost savings over alternative sources of energy as well as substantially lower environmental impact,” said Joe Kishkill, Chief Commercial Officer for First Solar, in a statement. “Apple is leading the way in addressing climate change by showing how large companies can serve their operations with 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

Apple’s New Headquarters Will Be Powered Entirely By The Sun

Apple’s New Headquarters Will Be Powered Entirely By The Sun

Apple’s California solar farm, called the First Solar California Flats Solar Project, is the largest solar procurement deal by a company that’s not a utility. It is also the first wholesale commercial and industrial power-purchase (PPA) agreement for First Solar, which signed a 25-year PPA with Pacific Gas and Electric.
“Over time, the renewable energy from California Flats will provide cost savings over alternative sources of energy as well as substantially lower environmental impact,” said Joe Kishkill, Chief Commercial Officer for First Solar, in a statement. “Apple is leading the way in addressing climate change by showing how large companies can serve their operations with 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.
Does cheap oil spell doom and setback for renewables. This answer says NO. Why? Because even at cheap prices, now, renewables will eventually be almost free. As Bloomberg's Michael Liebreich recently said, "The story should not be how falling oil prices will impact the shift to clean energy, it should be how the shift to clean energy is impacting the oil price." Ultimately, the next economy can only thrive on power that is nearly free, inexhaustible, that does not contribute to systemic risks such as climate change and a toxic atmosphere, and that can be sourced nearly anywhere with a relative minimum of effort. Only solar PV, and to a slightly lesser extent wind, can reach this extraordinary level of economic efficiency. The writing is indeed on the wall, and the days of high market correlation between tech power and fossil power will soon be behind us.

Cheap Oil and the Next Economy

“Next economics posits that for the global economy and earth's tolerances/carrying capacities to run in a mutually tolerable equilibrium, we must continue to make rapid advances in economic efficiencies in all sectors.”
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.
Emulating life's genius requires a humility that reverses--instead of learning about nature the design mind wants to learn from nature. It's a bit like sitting at the feet of a master. For example: Life Creates Conditions Conducive to life- Life wholistically cleans nourishes and sustains the environment while preserving its own species and the systems around it for thousands of generations in the future. - See more at: http://www.thinkinghumanity.com/2014/12/12-sustainable-design-ideas-from-nature.html#sthash.YudtRhJA.dpuf
12 Sustainable Design Ideas From Nature

12 Sustainable Design Ideas From Nature

““In this inspiring talk about recent developments in biomimicry, Janine Benyus provides heartening examples of ways in which nature is already influencing the products and systems we build.”-TEDx”