Categories
development music

Sustainability of Are are music

Sean Linton talks us through his PhD research “The Music of ‘Are’are: acoustemology, environmental influences and sustainability”.

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Images from Sean of the Manawai harbour and the weekly/fortnightly supply boat Dragon:

Sean’s ‘Are’are recordings: SoundCloud

Categories
agriculture food

Sustainable growing

Alex Huffadine heads the Natural Resources Group (horticulture, viticulture and pest management) at Otago Polytechnic. We talk about how sustainability is changing the practice and profession of growing.

Categories
design

Smart Cornwall

Dr David Hawkins is Associate Dean (research & innovation), School of Art and Design at University College Falmouth. David talks to Sustainable Lens about the Smart Cornwall initiative.

Categories
art

Ecological artist

Lloyd Godman is an ecological artist. A successful photographer for many years, Lloyd is currently working with plants. This is not as big a transformation as it may seem – much of Lloyd’s photographic work explored plants as a form of photography – indeed he describes the planet as large scale photographic membrane. Lloyd says that he is an activist – in that art is an action for positive social change. Art itself though, he says is largely unsustainable.

Lloyd is based at Melbourne’s Baldessin Press. He describes his work as super-sustainable: artworks with a positive effect. They both question – what we are doing to the planet is a giant uncontrolled scientific experiment and we don’t know what is going to happen – and provide positive benefits. Working with bromeliads, particularly the Tillandsia family, Lloyd creates aerial gardens that are being increasingly recognised for their contribution to architecture.  His Rotating Gardens are now being installed in prominent locations in Melbourne.

Here’s Lloyd with a rotating garden.

Lloyd’s work discussed in the show:

Other links:

Categories
government labour politics

Historic precedents for active government

Megan Woods is the Member for Wigram. She is the Labour Party spokesperson for Youth Affairs, Spokesperson for Christchurch Transport Issues, and Associate Spokesperson for Science & Innovation. Megan talks with Sustainable Lens about how the reinvention of progressive politics is based upon historic precedents for active government. She describes economy and the environment as a bundled loop you can’t pick apart. We talk about industrial farming and working smarter to combine the primary and IT sectors.

(Note: interview recorded on 3rd December 2012).

Categories
labour politics

Dr David Clark MP

When Sustainable Lens first talked with David Clark he was an aspiring politician. Now just over a year into his first term, the Labour MP for Dunedin North comes back to tell of his “interesting year”. We talk social justice, environment, debating, and values. We ask him for the best, the worst and the most difficult of 2012.

Categories
design policy

Science meet policy. Policy meet science.

Life at the intersection of science and policy.

During her career in management and governance, Dr Maggie Lawton has help lead New Zealand’s organisations down the road of a sustainable future. She describes her work as “Strategic Sustainable Design”. Not considering herself an activist but as a change agent, Maggie sees her role as “staying inside the room” – helping guide policy and decisions. Amongst other roles, Maggie now leads Otago Polytechnics Centre for Research Expertise in Sustainable Practice.

Shane’s number of the week: 9. Nine of the ten hottest years on record have been since 2001. 2012 is on track to being the ninth hottest year on record.

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: This week a new report into consumer attitudes was released. The Regeneration Consumer Study is an in-depth online survey of consumer attitudes, motivations and behaviours relating to sustainable consumption among 6,224 respondents across six major international markets.

Categories
communication media

Storyteller challenging ideas


Allan Baddock describes himself as a storyteller. He tells us the story of identifying audiences and tailoring messages in film and print since the 1970s. Sometimes this means bring unpalatable ideas into mainstream thinking. Our discussion ranges from Lenin to milk, from iconic landscapes to marketing, and from stolen revolutions to reality TV.

Shane’s number of the week: 21 is the number of opportunities for Green Growth identified in the recent Pure Advantage report.

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: Today the Otago Energy Research Centre held its annual symposium. Sam went along and cam back excited by some of the research. We’ll be hearing more from these people over the next few weeks.

Categories
climate change politics

Positive enthusiasm and participation

Smart, young and the right mix of serious fun. Alec Dawson talks with us about Generation Zero‘s incredibly successful first year. He says that climate change is the challenge of the generation, and responding to it is a matter of inter-generational justice. Despite – or perhaps because of – the seriousness of the threat, Generation Zero is resolutely positive with enthusiasm and participation at the core.

Shane’s number of the week: 21 is the number of opportunities for Green Growth identified in the recent Pure Advantage report.

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: It’s the end of the academic year and that means showcases of student work. Sam talks about three successful capstone projects from the Bachelor of Information Technology: ExoExplore – a citizen science app framework, FarmBase – an integrated system for agribusiness and environmental data, and Panda Island – a game to support the Peace Foundation’s Cool Schools programme.

Categories
environmental entrepreneur food organics

Local food systems

After experience in business creating and running an organic mushroom farm, Bart Acres undertook an Masters in Planning to explore local sustainable food systems. Concerned with how a city can feed ourselves with nutritious food he established Otepoti Urban Organics – a local collective that aims for a healthy city. Now Bart aims to scale this up to his new community venture. Foodweb aims to make local farming worthwhile by facilitating the growth of local food production.

Shane’s number of the week: 97% The Greenland Ice Sheet is melting at an unprecedented rate says NASA – with 97% of it thawing during July.

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: The role of entrepreneurship and enterprise in education has been exercising Sam this week. He tells us why.

Categories
computing design

Stefan Kreitmayer

Stefan Kreitmayer is from both the Open University’s Centre for Research in Computing and University College London’s Interaction Centre. Stefan has a varied background developing interactive and reactive computer graphics for live performances and installations in collaboration with composers, directors, designers, and choreographers. Earlier activities included film music and sound design. Stefan tells us how this background led to the development of the 4decades simulation game. 4Decades is a game developed to enable large groups to explore and critique scientific models of global climate economics. It is based on a real-time dynamic simulation that teams interact with via distributed tablets and public displays.

Categories
computing

Dr Bill Tomlinson

Professor Bill Tomlinson is Director of the Social Code Group at the University of California Irvine. Author of
Greening through IT, Bill is the lead author on Collapse Informatics which recently won the CCC Sustainability Award.

Categories
education

Empowering to make a difference

Linus Turner proudly describes himself as a teacher. His twitter one line bio states “Preparing children for their world …preparing their world for them …you wouldn’t want to do anything else!”.

We are the ancestors

In a packed hour we discover how Linus is teaching independence and interdependence by empowering his students to make a difference. HoD of Computing at Kavanagh College, Linus argues that the future is digital – our digital world is flat and seamless – we can contact anyone. So when his students are working on Equador’s Yasuní National Park they write to Gareth, Rafael and Helen (he uses christian names to emphasise the social connectedness, these are people too who respond to communication). This gives a reason for learning IT skills – writing to all MPs needs a database, and a brochure on a long term strategy for Dunedin trees needs desktop publishing, and so on.

Inspire hope: engender action

Linus carefully manages to run a line of empowering students, but without dumping upon them all the responsibility to fix the world: “we are the adults, it is up to us to model right thinking and action”. It’s important for kids to see progress, sometimes if the students take on something too large he has to say “Ok, we’ll take it from here, we’re the grown ups”. As adults it is our job to be creating a safe world.

Shane’s number of the week: 77. The age of the Athens retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas who shot himself in the Greek capital’s Syntagma Square. In a note he said the government had made it impossible for him to survive on the pension he had paid into for 35 years. “I find no other solution than a dignified end before I start searching through the trash for food,” read the note.

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: Google glasses could be the future of how we see sustainably (read on>>>).

Trainspotting: In case you’re not on first name basis: Green MP Gareth Hughes,President of Equador Rafael Correa, and UNDP chief Helen Clark.

Categories
management marketing

Dr Nicola Mutch

Why would a successful humanitarian organisation want to sell their soul to a corporation? Why would a successful business give up their profit motive and waste time hugging tress?

Actually it turns out that the partnership in a corporate social responsibility relationship has considerable benefit for both parties. For both there is brand building, capacity building and engagement in a broader community. Dr Nicola Mutch is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Otago Polytechnic. She recently completed her PhD in the area of power relationships in corporate/non-profit partnerships. We talk about what each side hopes to get out of a partnership and how that changes as the relationship develops. She describes the potential for that relationship to go wrong – through abuse of the power relationship – and what can be done to avoid it. Perhaps surprisingly (well to me anyway) that power relationship can go both ways.

We talk about thoughtful organisations, about shared value sets, and consider what it is that gives a partnership credibility.

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: Extending a guidelines for design of a showcase building Sam thinks about the design of sustainable experiences.

Trainspotting: Anton forgets what show he is on and deviates via Mars.

Categories
food permaculture planning transition towns

James Samuel

James Samuel

In the show that started out being about frogs and metamorphosed into a show about transition, James Samuel talks about Transition Towns in New Zealand. James says that he aims to spend no more than 20% of his time talking about what needs to change, and instead focuses on demonstrating a more vibrant future. This is an inspiring story.

Shane’s number of the week: 2788 is the number of species that are endangered in New Zealand.

Sam’s joined up thinking: How can we work together to think about what our places might look like in years to come? And how might we get there? Sam talks with Dr Olaf Schroth who mixes community involvement, modelling and visualisations of future scenarios. The full interview is on Sustainablelens.org.

(Our advertised guest Dr Phil Bishop was unable to join us. He has been rescheduled for August. Our apologies – but we know you’ll enjoy James Samuel instead).

Categories
education food organics permaculture

Michelle Ritchie

Michelle Ritchie is an organics and permaculture edcuator with a background in resource management (she holds a Masters in Regional and Resource Planning).  Michelle is responsible for the ongoing development of Otago Polytechnic’s LivingCampus.    Michelle describes the transformation of Otago Polytechnic’s campus into an integration of community garden and focus of sustainability education.  People come to the garden, ask questions “how do I plant a bean?” but quickly move on to realising “something bigger is going on here”.  The LivingCampus then becomes a prompt for questions like “how did I get here today?”, “what is it I’m eating?” and “how do I make changes to my life?”.

Shane’s number of the week: 120 is the number of kakapo left.

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: How could we promote not-buying stuff?  Sam explores three options: trying to be impervious to marketing; removing all marketing; and recognising the value of marketing (full text here).