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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.

The investments going into our transition from a fossil fuel economy to a renewable energy future are growing exponentially. Right now there are (metaphorical) thick clouds of smoke billowing from the financial sector. Goldman Sachs is investing $40 billion in renewables by 2021. Citi has committed $100 billion to the facilitation of clean energy by 2025, and Berkshire Hathaway is investing $15 billion into solar and wind projects at Warren Buffet’s personal behest. Within investment banks, new groups have been created to focus on clean energy development and businesses, such as Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing and JPMorgan’s Environmental and Social Risk Management division.

 

These decisions weren’t made because they are the right things to do (although they are), but because they make economic sense. Renewables must deliver strong returns first, and the double bottom line impact of benefiting the environment second.

 

This may seem calculated but tapping capital markets is absolutely crucial to the health of the planet. Investing in clean energy is a smart decision — not just a personal passion — and that’s what will allow renewables to achieve global scale.

 

Goldman Sachs Might Be Our Best Bet Against Climate Change: Doing Good is Good Business

Goldman Sachs Might Be Our Best Bet Against Climate Change: Doing Good is Good Business

In its 2014 Annual Report, Goldman compares the potential of the renewables market to that of the Internet, “Mass market adoption of any new, disruptive industry often takes a path of early enthusiasm followed by market rejection, volatility and ultimately, acceptance. This was true of the Internet, and evidence suggests a similar course when it comes to clean technology and 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.

Design can inspire dairy farming, improve yields, and reverse deforestation. This is the concept of sustainable value creation at its best. Simon Wallace is a CEO creating massive innovation and all of his ideas are open to the world.  What's more, as this article shows, is that his work demonstrates the vast potentials of countries learning and accelerating stories of what works--in this case from New Zealand to Brazil. 

 

According to his company’s rough calculations, if all 32.1 billion liters per year of Brazilian milk were produced with Wallace’s methods, the industry could reduce its land use by 24.5 million hectares—an area the size of Italy. If that land were allowed to return to its native state, it could absorb between 6 billion and 10 billion metric tons of our carbon dioxide emissions. With all of humanity emitting about 40 billion tons per year, and about 15 percent of greenhouse gases worldwide coming from the meat and dairy industry, what happens on this dairy farm could affect all of us.

 

So far, observers are impressed. “If more people follow this model in tropical countries, it can reduce the dairy industry’s impact on the environment,” says Victor Cabrera, a Peruvian-born dairy scientist at the University of Wisconsin who has reviewed Leitíssimo’s numbers. “This is great work; there’s no doubt about it.”

How a Cow Can Help the Climate: Design Inspired Farming Good for Business and Better for the World

How a Cow Can Help the Climate: Design Inspired Farming Good for Business and Better for the World

Help has arrived in the unlikely form of a dairy farmer from New Zealand named Simon Wallace. Using a technique imported from his homeland, Wallace aims to reverse the process of deforestation and high-carbon cattle rearing that’s prevalent in Brazil and develop island farms amid a sea of wilderness. The technique leverages increased efficiency so that more dairy can be produced from significantly less pasture, reducing pressure to clear wilderness and allowing more native habitat to stand.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

The USB flash drive is one of the most simple, everyday pieces of technology that many people take for granted.

 

Now it's being eyed as a possible solution to bridging the digital divide, by two colourful entrepreneurs behind the start-up Keepod.

Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi aim to combat the lack of access to computers by providing what amounts to an operating-system-on-a-stick.

 

In schools in some of the poorest regions of the world the children are totally excited. The amazement at seeing these old laptops come to life was palpable inside the classroom. And the children stayed long after classes had ended to explore and set up their new devices.

 

In six weeks, their idea managed to raise more than $40,000 (£23,750) on fundraising site Indiegogo, providing the cash to begin a campaign to offer low-cost computing to the two-thirds of the globe's population that currently has little or no access.

Keepod: Can a $7 stick provide billions computer access?

Keepod: Can a $7 stick provide billions computer access?

But Mr Bahar and Mr Imbesi want to change that with their Keepod USB stick.


It will allow old, discarded and potentially non-functional PCs to be revived, while allowing each user to have ownership of their own "personal computer" experience - with their chosen desktop layout, programs and data - at a fraction of the cost of providing a unique laptop, tablet or other machine to each person.
In addition, the project avoids a problem experienced by some other recycled PC schemes that resulted in machines becoming "clogged up" and running at a snail's pace after multiple users had saved different things to a single hard drive.

David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

I loved the Appreciative Inquiry Summit we did with the entire dairy industry a few years ago. We had 500 farms, universities, food chains and story, and stakeholders of every kind. Shortly after the summit some 15 major initiatives were born and $258 million dollars in support for those initiatives happened. Farms all across the US soon learned that when done with innovation and design thinking, sustainability could create not just less harm for the planet but also new sources of business value. This is when sustainability becomes embedded and when a whole industry participates big shifts are possible. The project was singled out by the White House as one of the most positive industry shifts.  One outcome was the creation of an awards program as spotlighted in this article.  The awards program is part of the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Commitment, an industrywide effort to measure and improve the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the dairy industry. To learn more about the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, the winners and the best practices in place at their operations, visit DairyGood.org.

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Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® is a forum for the dairy industry to work together pre-competitively to address barriers and opportunities to foster innovation and increase sales. The Innovation Center aligns the collective resources of the industry to offer consumers nutritious dairy products and ingredients, and promote the health of people, communities, the planet and the industry. The Board of Directors for the Innovation Center includes dairy industry leaders representing key farmer organizations, dairy cooperatives, companies, manufacturers and brands. The Innovation Center is staffed by Dairy Management Incâ„¢. VisitUSDairy.com for more information about the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

Dairy changing the equation for sustainable business practices: how one industry is getting it right

Dairy changing the equation for sustainable business practices: how one industry is getting it right

The dairy industry’s efforts to implement sustainable business practices – from the farm to the table – were showcased during presentation of the fourth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, May 7, in Washington, D.C.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Hawaii's state legislature just sent a bill to the governor’s desk this week that moves the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) up to 100 percent by 2045 — which means that all electricity provided by the electric companies will have to come from renewable sources like solar and wind. Nationwide, electricity generation makes up about a third of all carbon emissions. Imagine the opportunity. Well Tesla, Solar City, and NextEra are companies approaching this both as a massive business opportunity but also moral opportunity. Thats what moral imagination does: it figures out how to do good and do well at the same time. Moral imagination is to sustainable value creation what design thinking is to any design opportunity: its about intention. And we can intend both/and. See for example, Stanford's  Mark Jacobsen's well engineered totally positive win-win scenario for all 50 states:


http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/february/fifty-states-renewables-022414.html



Hawaii Will Soon Get 100% of Its Electricity From Renewable Sources: So Can We

Hawaii Will Soon Get 100% of Its Electricity From Renewable Sources: So Can We

“We’ll now be the most populated set of islands in the world with an independent grid to establish a 100 percent renewable electricity goal,” State Senator Mike Gabbard (D) told ThinkProgress in an email. “Through this process of transformation we can be the model that other states and even nations follow. And we’ll achieve the biggest energy turnaround in the country, going from 90 percent dependence on fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy.”
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

People are ready. They want to participate--right from their homes--in the renewable energy transformation. Tesla is getting ready for next year's roll-out of their $30K all electric car--one that will sell like the Toyota Camry. With the model S the majority of new owners also purchase solar panels or other renewable sources--they love putting sunshine in their cars. Zero emissions and economic value to boot. With the powerwall they will also be able to go off grid, if they wish. The excitement is palpable and during Tesla's recent earnings call, CEO Elon Musk just announced that the company has so far taken 38,000 reservations for its Powerwall home battery.


"The response has been overwhelming. Like, crazy," Musk said.


He went on to describe the reception to Tesla Energy's introduction as "crazy off the hook." Tesla has also tallied 2,500 reservations for the PowerPack. Musk said this actually equates to more like 25,000 since reservations averaged around 10 Powerpacks each. "The volume of demand here has just been staggering," he said. "It really feels like, man, the stationary storage demand is just nutty. Like, worldwide, it’s just crazy."


A market analyst recently did an analysis of Tesla's soaring stock value. And his conclusion: Tesla is selling "hope in our future." 


He writes:


"Elon Musk is selling hope.

 

To the vast majority of people today, the future of the world seems bleak. Climate change is real, yet atmospheric carbon levels continue to rise.

 

There are two ways to deal with this without giving into despair. One way is to deny it. Climate change denialism is increasing in intensity even as the crisis deepens. Politicians seem incapable of taking decisive action against this well-funded opposition.

 

The other way to deal with the crisis is to hope for solutions. And that is what Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is offering, hope in the form of electric cars powered by solar energy, energy that can be stored for use at night, creating a more stable electric grid in the process.

 

To skeptics, it seems inconceivable. But people are buying it, with real dollars. That's the lesson of Tesla's first quarter report. People are buying it."