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A view of Singularity University’s 2017 Global Summit held in San Francisco, California. Photo by: Catherine Cheney / Devex

 

While large organizations are designed for efficiency and predictability, they would benefit from flexibility and adaptability, Salim Ismail, author of “Exponential Organizations,” said onstage on the final day of the summit. He pointed to the United Nations as one example of an old institution that lacks feedback loops and update mechanisms to keep up with current trends. Representatives of traditional donor agencies and nongovernmental organizations were few and far between at a summit that gathered leaders to explore how converging technologies are transforming every industry, including foreign aid, global health and humanitarian response.

But Devex was on the ground to gather key insights for the global development community on how this kind of thinking can support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Read the full article here about the idea to connect the dots between emerging technology, recycling and global poverty

 

By Catherine Cheney from Devex. 

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From New York’s High Line park to new affordable housing in Oakland, a debate over the accessibility of green design has taken root. Credit: Shutterstock/Stuart Monk

 

In East Oakland, a few blocks from the home of the champion Golden State Warriors basketball team, a series of geometric buildings and well-tended green spaces cut a striking contrast to the overgrown vacant lots, industrial equipment yards and aging corner stores that dot the neighborhood.

Tassafaronga Village, a six-year-old, $52.8 million LEED Gold housing redevelopment project, is also an example of the tradeoffs that can emerge in the push to make cities more sustainable — not just environmentally, but also socially and economically.

From Miami to New York, Houston to Oakland, the term “climate gentrification” is on the rise.

 

Learn about climate gentrification here:

 

By Lauren Hepler on GreenBiz

 

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First Venice and Barcelona: now anti-tourism marches spread across Europe

Categories: Europe, People and Places, Recommended Reading
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Cruise ship visitors on the streets of Dubrovnik, where cameras now monitor the numbers of people in the old town. Photograph: muckylucky/Guardian Witness

 

Demos in San Sebastián and crackdowns in Rome and Dubrovnik as locals vent frustration at city-breakers and cruise ships

With the continent sweltering under a heatwave nicknamed Lucifer, tempers have been boiling over, too, as a wave of anti-tourism protests take place in some of Europe’s most popular destinations. Yet, as “tourism-phobia” becomes a feature of the summer, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has defended the sector, calling on local authorities to do more to manage growth in a sustainable manner.

Read here about what caused the anti-tourism marches in Europe.

 

 

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This Panda Bear Is Actually a Solar Farm and It’s Saving China

Categories: Asia, Energy, Recommended Reading
Comments Off on This Panda Bear Is Actually a Solar Farm and It’s Saving China

Credit: Shutterstock

 

The adorable creature is the new face of the solar energy initiative.

 

As the country’s national animal, pandas are everywhere in China. They appear on fuzzy slippers, crackers, and coins.
And now, the beloved bear will make an appearance in a new field, quite literally: solar energy farms.

The Chinese energy company Panda Green Energy Group is building 100 panda-shaped solar energy farms across the country.

From above, the assortment of panels will look like a cartoon panda smiling up at the sky.

 

Read the full article here. 

 

By Tess Sohngen from Global Citizen.

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Credit: Shutterstock

Rising demand for Thai organic goods in both local and export markets has prompted the government to pursue a range of initiatives aimed at encouraging organic farming practices.

 

The state is launching a new programme to promote organic agriculture by encouraging a reduction in the amount of new rice planting, and a shift from commercial varieties to organic strains …

Read more here. 

 

By Oxford Business Group

 

 

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Over a year ago, the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which collectively represent millions of dreams and aspirations. GreenBiz, in partnership with the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, is publishing 17 letters by Yale University students that highlight the ideas of youth regarding the 2030 developmental agenda. This series seeks to drive forward the collective will to translate the SDGs into reality.

Dear Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),

A friend recently told me about Ko Tao, a scuba diver’s dream of an island in Thailand where scuba enthusiasts from all over the world converge to spend morning to night submerged in a vast underwater wonderland of coral and fish, and then fill their remaining waking hours discussing dive sites and marine sights. This went on my list of future vacation spots — an ever-growing list of (mostly) dive sites in Southeast Asia that I wonder if I ever actually will see.

 

Read the rest of the letter and the full article here. 

By Maki Tazawa from GreenBiz.

 

 

 

 

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Credit: Shutterstock

The Unreasonable Goals program is connecting 16 startups (that each work in the one of the areas of the SDGs) with governments and NGOs, to give them the support to scale their solutions.

The Unreasonable Group, an accelerator for socially-minded startups, was founded on the idea that entrepreneurs can change the world. Its name comes from a famous George Bernard Shaw quote: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.”

But unreasonableness only gets you so far, says Daniel Epstein, Unreasonable’s founder and CEO. To truly exact change, entrepreneurs need to be able to co-operate, including with corporations, governments, and the social sector.

 

Read the full article here and find out more about The Unreasonable Group here

 

By: Ben Schiller from The Fast Company

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Credit: Shutterstock

Practicing Leave No Trace is a collective effort, meaning that its success or failure at minimizing impacts to nature depends on millions of individuals making responsible choices each time they recreate outdoors. Each of us is ultimately responsible for our own actions outdoors, and hopefully we will each take it upon ourselves to become properly educated in Leave No Trace. However, what do we do when we inevitably encounter those who are engaged in “Less than Leave No Trace” practices in the outdoors? To begin with, perhaps the worst thing we can do is start an angry confrontation. Once someone is angry, the chances of them listening and changing behavior becomes next to nothing.

Read more about Leave No Trace here:

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Credit: Travindy

 

As part of our recent interview series with the National Geographic World Legacy Awards 2017 winners and finalists, we asked them:

How do you communicate with guests about responsible practices?

This post gathers the key lessons learned from the winners: Cayuga Collection from Costa Rica, Slovenia Tourist Board, The North Island Seychelles, The City of Santa Fe and The Lodge at Chaa Creek.

 

Hans Pfister, Cayuga Collection: The most successful way is to invite them to our “back of the house” tour. We hide nothing. We show them everything. They go on a 2 hour tour of hotel and see the kitchen, laundry, staff areas, storage facilities, treatment plants, etc. We teach them what it means to be a sustainable hotel or lodge. They are usually blown away by this as they never have a chance to see the back of the house of a hotel, nor do they imagine the efforts that go into being sustainable. If they don’t have time for that, we also do evening presentations or they can read about our efforts in our guest book or online.

 

Lucy Flemming, Chaa Creek: More than just communicate to guests, we have always endeavoured to actively involve visitors in our approach to responsible tourism. For example, during tours of onsite attractions like our Belize Natural History Centre, Butterfly Farm, Maya Organic Farm, Medicinal Plant Trail, and guided nature walks, cultural tours, village visits and other nature-based activities, we both explain our efforts, and encourage feedback.

We have found that by involving guests, they are eager to provide their own ideas and experiences, and over the years they have contributed to our efforts in this area. Also, though initiatives such as “Pack-a-Pound”, where guests are encouraged to add a pound or more of school supplies for disadvantaged students to their luggage, or post when they return home, they create an interaction that enhances their travel experience and builds bridges between overseas visitors and local schools and communities.

In short, we strongly believe that, to be effective, sustainable tourism involves a partnership between guests, local communities, and ourselves.

Read more statements from the National Geographic World Legacy Awards 2017 winners and finalists here.

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Photocredit: The Drum

 

Last month, the region of Navarre in Spain welcomed senior members of the travel and tourism sector from across the globe to the eighth International Congress on Rural Tourism. The conference brought thought leaders and specialists together to discuss and debate key themes including sustainability, digitalisation and technology, innovation in service offering and the value of partnerships.

Over two days in Pamplona, delegates heard from a range of keynote speakers and panelists from over six countries, including the managing director of Glasgow-born agency After Digital, David Johnstone. We caught up with David to find out more…

For the past eight years, this international gathering has supported the development of stronger international business links and knowledge share, ensuring the sector firmly focuses on what lies ahead. María Ángeles Ezquer, president of the Navarre Federation for Rural Tourism, stated: “Long-term sustainability is all about sharing resources both natural and other (people, financial, etc) and sharing the wealth. This goes beyond eco-tourism to also incorporate education and communication.”

With travel more affordable and accessible than ever, rural tourism brands are faced with the challenge of competing with the major cities and being heard in a very noisy marketplace. These, often small in resource and headcount, businesses are having to evolve rapidly, adopting new marketing channels and skills, and being innovative to make budgets go further.

Read the full article here.

By Andy Black from The Drum

 

 

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