Beyond Bartering-tapping into human ingenuity

Volunteers earn these Time Dollars by doing things for others, such as making them jewelry or baking them pound cake.

Edgar Cahn was lying in a hospital bed recovering from a heart attack, when the inspiration came through. He created timebank usa, and a tool for honoring everyone’s contribution has been established. Check out audio file how teen offenders recidivism has been reduced to 10%!! That is incredible.

I’m telling ya America, Together we can make sustainable real! … READ MORE >>

We are the ones we’re looking for

The Great American Quest, ” life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” has led us to the mountain top, the shopping mall. We sat there in rapture, beaming and gleaming in the sunlight streaming into the food court, all the abundance of our bags full of awesome stuff. We filled our homes up with the awesome stuff, and then we filled up our storage units.

And we find ourselves still waiting for the rapture. We set up ingenious manufacturing supply systems, global supply routes of mining, processing and sculpting our planet’s resources to fill the shelves of the malls, as if we lived in infinite abundance.

Somehow, I was blessed with eyes to see, and ears to listen, “the emperor has no clothes”, well at most he’s wearing a Speedo. I chose a path less followed, a path I once judged as kind of spineless, “a weed in the wind”, a wandering around, trying to find my own pursuit of happiness…. READ MORE >>

Social and economic safety nets

AARP’s July-August 2011 issue highlights a newly constructed attached units community within a program called Soldier On. With solar panels on the roof, and economic and social support systems, 39 veterans are experiencing their lives transformed.

This is a great example of  the kinds of qualities found in what I call a Sustainable Urban Village-social, economic, and ecological sustainability in action.  Enjoy.

once homeless, these veterans now own homes in their own Pittsfield, Mass. community

Formerly homeless with many years self medicating, they now have their own apartments, a share of the ownership, and a voice in how the place is run. The rents, from $580 tp $682 are partically subsidizied by HUD and the Dept of Veterans Affairs.

Each resident had to pay $2500 to buy a limited-equity ownership in the development. Local banks have offered to lend them the downpayment money interest free, if  necessary. If money is left over at the end of the year after all the bills are paid, each resident/owner gets his share of the rebate.  This year each got a $2100 rebate, after paying approximately $7000 in rent.

A substance abuse counselor, as well as job-training and medical services are available and often are delivered to their apartment, or the transitional shelter building next door.  A Local bank sponsors one-on-one money management sessions. Rides are available to go job interviews, and to a support service, as only 17%of the men have driver’s licences… READ MORE >>

Having compassion for our inner terrorist

Jan 1 2006….I’m talking to my sister about how her weekend was, she and her hubby and two daughters went down to Albq for the weekend, stayed in the Embassy Suites and had a good time…but last night, New Years Eve, “these young (white) kids were trashing the place. What’s the deal with kids these days,  screaming until 3 in the morning, throwing toilet paper rolls into the indoor planting, into the swimming pool, making a big mess for the staff, mostly Hispanic and Native American kids, to clean up the next day (this morning)…I felt so bad, what is with these kids….we never did those kind of things….”

In response I found myself sharing the conversation I’d had last night, at a New Years Eve party.  At this gathering, I struck up a conversation with a guy who’s a “teacher of teachers”, a guy who consults on the brain’s development and the corresponding age-appropriate ways to teach kids (K- Graduate work). At one point he was sharing about watching a 2 ½ year old boy and his dad, a Bali stone carver… “the boy was using tools the same size as his Dad, and had the dexterity of a 12 year old”.  I shared I’ve read about kids in Reggio Emilia, in Italy, and how the towns’ people consider kids as these gifted artists from the get go, and they’re art is incredibly beautiful and “sophisticated” at 5 to 7 years old… READ MORE >>

Inner and Outer Support to Make Sustainable Real!

As we work together to build, test and deploy rapid social, economic, and ecological prototype scenarios for sustainability, we can kick the ball farther down the road sooner, if we build in support.

My experience is the creative process pushes my buttons. My expectations of perfection cripples me.  How can I ask for help if my ideas are “halfbaked”?… READ MORE >>

If it ain’t FUN, it ain’t sustainable!

I think that says it all!  “If it ain’t Fun, it ain’t sustainable!”

I can get overwhelmed by the immensity of it all; the Impending Bummers, the complexity of all these systems within  systems, trying to figure out how we are gonna learn to collaborate on such large scales, when we’re so busy it’s hard to get three people together at any one time.

As a visionary wannabe facilitator of sustainable neighborhoods, who’s  been going for “What else can we do beside suburbia?” for 30 + years, I’ve learned some useful tools along the way. A major learning is working with the inspiration within. At times I call it “Letting go, and letting God”.  Now I know we have deep convictions about separating church and state, and I don’t want to use language that might create separation between us, so please just consider this concept, and substitute the words that work for you…. READ MORE >>

Health and Healing- Inner work in a supportive environment!

the light body

Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual levels of health

Whoa, this is a huge component to a sustainable lifestyle.  In many ways, health is  an indicator of  sustainability. There’s inner health, coming to grips with emotional, mental, and spiritual issues. And of course, there are the elements of physical  and outer health.

A newborn’s health begins in the womb. Diet and food quality, toxicity in the environment, stress in our lives, how loving our environment, and what kinds of options we have available as we age and transition from this plane are just a few of the profound components that come into play…. READ MORE >>

Life Long Learning+Innovation= Reinventing Ourselves Sustainable

To me, waiting our car-dependent, sprawl suburbia economy to rebound is like waiting for the Easter Bunny to show up. Wisely renovating,  retrofitting,  redeveloping our neighborhoods and communities is the base of our future prosperous economy.

two chocolate bunnies

Easter Bunny Waiting for the Suburbia Economy to Recover

In other words, we are going to be studying  and applying what works for the rest of our lives.  Learning isn’t just for kids any more, learning is a way of life.

I’m reading Creating Learning Communities-Models, Resources, and New Ways of Thinking About Teaching and Learning, edited by Ron Miller.

24 years (as of 2000) of innovation has created a learning atmosphere that is “systemic or comprehensive” rather than piecemeal change, “transformational learning outcomes,” “real world linkages” for learning through experience, “learning experiences…that are child-centered, life-centered and brain-based,” Personal Learning Plans,” “elevating the position of teacher to ‘facilitators of learning,” “students viewed as powerful resources and participant in decision making, vigorously involved parents,” partnerships with other entities in the community, CLCs as “headquarters for learning for the community” and programs based on needs that are “family centered and family supportive.”… READ MORE >>

Legal Information. By using this site you agree to the sites Terms and Conditions. Privacy Policy. Copyright © 2017 VIDA -All Rights Reserved.