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New Video for Network for Business Innovation & Sustainability, a Seattle nonprofit is live

Posted by Leonard on April, 29, 2010

I was happy to recently roll out this new video for the By-Product Synergy Northwest group, a project of the Seattle nonprofit Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability. Through my work with Cedar Grove Composting, their education coordinator had connecting me with a workshop that the group was putting on at Seattle City Hall that was attended by about 70 local participants, an interesting mix of people from government (The Washington Department of Ecology, Seattle Public Utilities and King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Solid Waste Division), the nonprofit environmental sector (Pollution Prevention Resource Center), and regional green business leaders from major industrial manufacturers (LaFarge Cement, Shell Puget Sound Refinery, & Sellen Construction Company) to other local businesses (Canyon Creek Cabinet Company, Cascade Designs, Grays Harbor Paper Company).  The focus on the meeting and the group in general is on turning waste into profit, and through the group and the larger networks of the organization creating the connections through forums and events that help to facilitate that. A handful of companies presented on how they’ve managed it within their own businesses. There was even a presentation from the Washington State Department of Corrections and how they’re turning waste into profit not just through programs that do things like recycling mattresses by extracting the reusable wood and metal in the frames and other materials, but through gardening and other employment training programs aimed at reducing recidivism.

Other businesses and organizations in the group include US Business Council for Sustainable Development, King County Department of Public Health, Impact Washington (formerly Washington Manufacturing Services) and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

I was excited to show how a video like this can make an event come to life online, in a way that still pictures and words simply can’t. With a video, folks who have an interest in the event but wonder whether it’ll be worth their time or not can get a real sense of what’s going on here, and see and hear the testimonials of the participants. Plus, I’ve been helping to educate the group about how to share the file with their members on their blogs and website to give the piece further exposure in attracting more members to the community. Based on what’s being said here, it’s clear this group is an effective place for networking and connecting both for learning around these issues and for business. It’s my hope to make some new connections with this community so that they can begin using video as a tool to share with their customers and community the green choices that they’re making in their businesses.

Networking for Business Innovation & Sustainability presents By-Products Synergy Northwest from Pangeality Productions on Vimeo.

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TED conference comes to Seattle with TEDxSEA, and excellent it was

Posted by Leonard on April, 16, 2010

Today I had the pleasure of participating in the Seattle satellite version of the TED conference.  Hosted in the IMAX theater at the Pacific Science Center by the MCDM (Masters in Communication and Digital Media) at UW, the day included 13, 18 minute presentations on a variety of incredible topics from The Evolution of Storytelling to Harnessing the Global Power of the Mobile Phone for good, not just marketing and advertising. From Why More Women Don’t Become Computer Scientists to donating One Day’s Wages.  I loved the inspiration, the variety, the networking, the creativity, the globality, the technology, and the intellectual and community engagement.

Some of my favorite parts included:

An analysis of how much is to much? in reference to the saturation of information.  One of the metaphors that Greg Bear, a science fiction writer who gave the talk used was the bee community metaphor of bees going out into the field on their own and doing their thing,  then coming back to the hive to share, but how in the current mediasphere there is too much resorting to only doing the sharing, and that there’s less and less of the going out into the world part. Today people are posting every breath they take and thought they have.  As a science fiction writer much of his analysis had a hyperbolic techno society vision vibe in which basically the inside of your eyelids if not just the inside of your eyeglasses will eventually be screens, but I appreciated the general comparison.

The ‘Everyone Needs a Safe Place to Save‘ talk was also very impressive, about the lack of access to banking in the poorer parts of the world.  The Gates Foundation is working to harness the power of mobile phones globally, since even many poor people have phones,and their problem is nowhere to put their money, if not in animals, hidden, loaned out, or elsewhere, and that if a mechanism existed for depositing and saving even cents daily, that that savings would lead to actual wealth accrual.  So now people can walk into a rural market or business, give their money to the business, and the business immediately uses the phone #, acct # and pin to deposit the money in their acct and the store takes a small percentage.  Apparently over 40 million mobile phone users have begun using the technology in Kenya only 3 years into the technology existing there. Very cool. There were actually 2 talks about the power of cell phones. The other was with David Edelstein and Fiona Lee, and they argued the mobile phone as a great playing field leveler and tool of overcoming information poverty, as the cell phone transforms as something you use with your ear to something you use equally with your eyes, with applications in health, agriculture, and beyond as online information becomes available to folks based on very elementary search terms.

In Sapna Cheryan’s talk about ‘Stereotypes as Gatekeepers’, where certain professions like computer sciences repel women from entering the field because of the images of who those people are, one of the more powerful points involved the google image results for  ‘nurse’  in pointing out these gender identifications and who we perceive to be capable of or likely to fill a certain role.

Eugene Cho challenged us to consider how we love the ideas of community, compassion, and justice, but where that love goes when that love requires us to act and sacrifices to be made.  His young ngo One Day’s Wages invited people to consider what 1 day of their wages really is and to donate that to the organization in support of the ‘many many small NGOs doing great work out there that you’ve never ever heard of before’.

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