“There goes another million dollar idea”

In times of great change, the opportunities are endless. Maybe Confucius said it hundreds of years ago.  Definitely, I said it 20 seconds ago.

My friend Margo was telling me about her experience hanging out with a friend of hers.  Through the course of the conversation, seemingly ever half an hour, her friend would remark. “there goes another million dollar idea!” 

“The guy just sees opportunity everywhere!” Margo shared with me. ”and ya know what’s weird, when I did a survey of business incubators around the state, several directors mentioned this phenomenon. About half of the people who came in, wanted to do something, be a part of something, but didn’t know what!”

As Margo is telling me this story the proverbial light bulb went off…. “Those people need each other!!”  Well, duh!!

This is the kind of connections a Think and Do Tank can create. As we jump into creating sustainable lifestyles, everybody can be an essential participant!

Today you’re clueless…”just give me something to do”, but to the person who is spewing out ideas, you are gold.  … READ MORE >>

A Think and Do Tank

From where I stand, Innovation is the name of the game.

How can we create an atmosphere conducive to innovation to better support the emerging sustainable economy in …emerging??

I’m envisioning an affordable, interdisciplinary Think and Do Tank, an innovation lab. As I contemplate this “Center for Innovation’, I can see there are several ways it could be configured to serve each region’s needs. This Think and Do Tank could well have an online presence that facilitates innovation.  Today, I’m going to focus on “real world” applications.

Some businesses, such as Google, pay their employees every week to spend 20% of their time on endeavors outside their “normal” jobs. These pursuits end up generating something like 80% of the innovative products Google develops.

The Think and Do Tank could be this kind of an asset for our community;… READ MORE >>

Impending Bummers-Is Your Favorite on the List?

We might as well have some fun while we deal with the Paradigm Shift. I’ve been kind of anxious as long as I can remember, biting my fingernails, a perfectionist, worried if I’m enough, if I’m doing it right.  Things usually turn out really well, and yet before that, I can find myself worrying, apprehensive about how the future event is going to turn out.  I call this low level anxiety my “fear of the Impending Bummer”. 

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy, Global Warming, Nuke Meltdowns and other Impending Bummers


Scientists and other observant citizens have been drawing our attention to accumulating social, economic, and ecological “unintended” consequences and I call these our Impending Bummers. In a world of sticks and carrots, the Impending Bummers are the sticks.
Beyond Suburbia is about making better choices; choices which have way more carrots and way fewer sticks;  A world without major bummers of our own making. I call it the emerging sustainable economy.
As we go forward, learning how to make these better choices, we need to keep our eyes open for Bummers. Join in, add yours to the list! Together we can make sustainable real!… READ MORE >>

Banking on Sustainability

My wife is a HGTV addict.  I get hysterical and start frothing at the mouth at the “flip this house” kind of mentality I see on shows…I’ve learned to not watch, and make her put on the headphones.

In the Post Flip this House Bubble era, I see an entire industry, from builders and realtors to investors and interior decorations wringing their hands and wondering if they will ever have an industry again.  I say to them, “Cheer up Bucko! you will if you all get innovative in every part of the industry and cater to the unmet demand!”

Post Bubble

Post Bubble Bummers

The Unmet Demand lies in the third of the Boomers who want a simpler walkable lifestyle, and their children, the Millenniels, of whom 88% want a more urban vibrant, alive lifestyle.

There is market. The question is, do you, the industry, have the chops to capture it?? Can you get creative, and do whatever it takes to innovate your piece of the industry into the emerging sustainable economy?

Here’s an amazing opportunity;  Publicly owned Banks funded with property taxes. … READ MORE >>

BioChar-Carbon Sequestration and Soil Fertility

Black Soil, biochar, a special kind of charcoal, has been discovered in the Amazon jungles, as well as in Japan.  Tierra Preta,  as it is also called in Brazil, has amazing properties.  In the midst of large amounts of rainfall, where large quantities of biochar have been introduced into the soil, the soil’s fertility has lasted for centuries. This special kind of charcoal retains nutrients for plants and creates a most hospitable environment for microorganisms and has provided fertile soils for large populations in the Brazilian jungles for several thousand years.

As the “charcoal” withstands being broken down for long periods of time, modern soil scientists and farmers have realized Biochar could be the most effective way to sequester carbon out of the atmosphere, while adding to a soil’s fertility.  Most any material that contains carbon can be “cooked” to not only create a charcoal like product, but also the gases released during cooking process, pyrolysis, can be used as a substitute for fossil fuel. These two together have raised the specter that creating biochar out of waste carbonaceous material (agricultural wastes, etc) could be a major part of a long term solution to global warming, while adding to a soil’s fertility… READ MORE >>

WANTED: Killer Modeling Tool to Sell Sustainable Urban Villages! Part 1

1/3 of the Boomers want to move in.  88% of the Millennials want to move in. The problem is, Sustainable Urban Villages don’t exist!

Village scene

Building Your Neighborhood Sustainable

Well they do, between my ears and in my heart, but we need a great modeling tool so all the future residents, landowners, finance people, city planners, designers, the school district, and neighbors can see what there are signing up for/signing off on. Then the resuscitation of the construction industry can begin in earnest, the emerging sustainable economy can…emerge!

As this is the ultimate sales tool, we are building the neighborhood on paper, so the future residents can say, “Yes, if you build that, I’ll move in!”. And of course, the numbers have to work for everyone involved. Let me give you a walk thru of “the Killer Modeling Tool” as I conceive it…. READ MORE >>

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