“THE ‘DATASPHERE:’ WILL IT HELP US IMPROVE OUR SUSTAINABILITY?"
Technology or not technology is that the question? Today we are with Pippa Malmgren, an American policy analyst. She served as Special Assistant to the President of the United States, George W Bush, for Economic Policy on the National Economic Council and is a former member of the U.S. President's Working Group on Financial Markets. She is also a tech-entrepreneur, founder of H Robotics, which make aerial robotics (industrial drones). We discussed on the economic scenario, its emerging ‘signals, and the role Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to play in our future: will it help us to overcome some of the most important ecological, economic and social crisis we are facing today?
“THE FOREST CITY: HOW TO MAKE THE CITIES OF THE FUTURE EFFICIENT, SUSTAINABLE AND IN HARMONY WITH NATURE"
The current environmental crisis is a challenge that concerns us much more closely than we think. When we talk about environmental sustainability, our thinking travels very far away from us: erosion of forests, melting glaciers, desertification, pollution of the seas ... In fact, the cities in which we live are mainly responsible for all this because they produce 70% of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere. To be more precise, responsibility is in the way they work and have been conceived. As currently structured, our cities are completely unable to respond to the current environmental crisis and in the future are destined to become increasingly unsustainable and uninhabitable. To avoid this, a profound rethinking of our cities and their architecture is necessary. Stefano Boeri, architect and Professor of Urban Planning at the Polytechnic of Milan, has tried to solve this problem by Urban Forestry and Vertical Foresting.
According to Stefano Boeri, cities must be able to absorb the carbon dioxide they produce and can do so through urban forestation, where trees and vegetation become a fundamental element of city architecture, not just an urban decoration.
What is the main fault of our current cities? What is a Forest City? What is the difference compared to the 'smart city'? Are Valuing the environment and ensuring high levels of efficiency of our activities in urban contexts incompatible objectives? Stefano Boeri, founder of the Stefano Boeri Architetti Studio, answered to these and other questions.
“CLIMATE CHANGE, A SYMPTOM OF DEEPER SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND POLITICAL PROBLEMS"
We know that ecological sustainability alone is not effective and will not achieve its aims as long as we do not take into account economic and social matters. But we also know that the most important factor in a long term view is ‘Nature:’ without it Human survival is perhaps impossible (or at least not so much enjoyable). So how can ecological, societal and economic sustainability be realized? How to revitalize the local economy, eliminate carbon emissions, restore local agriculture, food supply and forestry, and create a new, sustainable base for economic and community development? David Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics has great experience on this matter. His full-spectrum sustainability theory has been the inspiration of the Oberlin College, an all-encompassing joint venture by the town and College to create a thriving, sustainable and environmentally friendly community. Colleges and campus are very important in David’s vision. In an influential article in the Chronicle of Higher Education 2000, Orr proposed the goal of carbon neutrality for colleges and universities.
What is exactly the Oberlin project about? Does sustainability depend on young communities and in education? How can this project be applied to Italy and other countries? Is sustainability a goal we can still pursue? What’s the role of economy? Prof. David Orr answered to these and other questions.
“GGA: WHAT WE NEED IS A CIVILIESED WORLD SOCIETY"
Living in peace and creating a global stable society is not very simple in a world with different cultures and growing inequality in economics terms and in terms of access to natural resources. Richard DiPilla, expert in strategy, communication and social media, has been trying to give a solution to this problem by creating an initiative (using the LinkedIn social media forum) called Global Goodwill Ambassadors (GGA). According to Richard, living in peace can only be attained through “understanding and acceptance of a diversified world.” The GGA initiative has a simple mission: to recognize people from every nation, race, color, and socio-economic caste, who do goodwill toward others. The only thing Global Goodwill Ambassadors looks at is the volunteering, charitable, or humanitarian works of any individual. From an initiative, founded four years ago a large structured group has emerged, with volunteers from every country and all walks of life.
Can the Global Goodwill Ambassadors initiative help to create a sustainable society? How? What does a Global Goodwill Ambassador do? How to become a GGA? Richard DiPilla, founder of the GGA, answered to these and other questions
“IT’S TIME FOR THE STEADY STATE ECONOMY"
When we watch the news on TV or read it on newspapers, we often meet headlines like the following: USA’s economy is growing at a rate of…; China’s growth for the year was….Simply we are trapped in the growth paradigm. Growth has become the top priority. But that is a serious mistake. Development is different from growth; they can support each other, at least in the first phases of development, but growth cannot last forever. Even the fathers of modern economics stated that growth should not and (finally) could not last forever and must tend towards a stationary economy: Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and even John Maynard Keynes. Conceived in the 1970s by Herman Daly, the concept of the Steady State Economy has become increasingly important with the advancement of the ecological crisis.
Why is a Steady State Economy necessary? What are today’s most important obstacles to the achievement of a Steady State Economy? Is a Steady State Economy compatible with wellness and development? Why should nations now abandon the growth paradigm? Which countries face more obstacles in this perspective? Brian Czech, President of CASSE – Center for the Advancement of Steady – has answered these and other questions.