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02/08/2009

GOOD NEWS #21 - #25 -- Best Ever Start-UP, Bamboo Bridges, EcoRock, Natural Plastic, Improving Neighborboods

Hello again!

Five more good news ideas. They offer great promise for the future for organizations, sustainability, the environment, and our neighborhoods.

Remember: We have reversed the order of the posts so the newest post will be first. If this is your first time visiting my GOOD NEWS Blog, you may want to read my first two posts, An Epiphany and Joel Barker's New Ideas to Consider. They will introduce you to the good news ideas you'll find here.

Scroll down to see my good news ideas #21 through #25...

Joel Barker-- Joel

Joel Barker
futurist, filmmaker, author
www.innovationattheverge.com

 

ORGANIZATIONS
OOF-bookcover#21 - The Most Successful Start-up Organization in the World!
Mondragon is a cooperative in Spain that is employee owned, more than 50 years old. It has a track record of 80% of their start-ups being successful over the long term.  No other organization in the world is even close!  I believe we can learn many lessons from their paradigm.

Below is a link to an article about them. I wrote it for the Peter Drucker book series. Enjoy!

URL: www.globaldialoguecenter.com/Joel-Barker-Mondragon-article.pdf

 

MATERIALS
Bamboo-bridge #22 - Bambo--High Tech?
Why has this taken so long?  Yan Xiao, engineering professor at USC and born in China, has developed a process to transform bamboo strips into structural beams. "GluBam", as he calls it is a very sturdy material. He has built bridges with the material and sees it as a perfect material to cheaply reinforce homes against earthquakes. Because it grows so rapidly and in so many parts of the world, bamboo used this new way could trigger a sustainable industry that could replace much of the forest harvesting that is going on now.

Google: GluBam, Yan Xiao, bamboo bridge

URL: www.popsci.com  http://www.timesfirst.com/Product/203957/Glubam.html


MATERIALS
Ecorock22 #23 - Drywall Improvement

Drywall is not usually an exciting topic, but producing it creates enormous amounts of CO2, something we're trying not to do. A company named Serious Materials has invented "EcoRock", a drywall that doesn't require high temperatures to cure. Their formula uses materials that are industrial by-products combined under pressure instead of heat, so only 20% as much energy is used in creating it. It is also impervious to terminites and mold.  This is another example of getting what we need in a much greener way.

Google:  EcoRock, Serious Materials

URL: www.seriousmaterials.com


MATERIALS
Switchgrass
#24 - Natural Plastic
Switchgrass is a plant that is being seriously considered for a sustainable cellulose basee from which liquid fuel can be generated. But Metabolix, a Massachuetts company, has figured out a way to make it grow plastic inside its leaves. By splicing certain genes into the plant, it forms granules of plastic that can be harvested easily. The plastic known as PHB is very durable over a wide range of temperatures so it can be used for many purposes. The leftover switchgrass can be used to make biofuels. Commericialization looks about five years out.

Google:  Metabolix, switchgrass plastic, switchgrass PHB

URL: popsci.com

http://arewegreenyet.blogspot.com/2008/08/growing-plastic-in-switchgrass_15.html


HUMAN BEHAVIOR
Graffitti #25 - Graffiti-Free Neighborhoods
This doesn't sound like good news, but the conclusion is, trust me.  It turns out, from both old research (google: broken window theory) and new research in the Netherlands that when an environment is treated badly, other people coming into that environment think that they don't have to take care of it either. One of the reasons for the disrespect is that once the mess begins, it seems to give permission to others to do the same.  Now, here is the good news: if you keep the environment clean, other people tend to keep it clean, too.

A personal note: Three times a week, when we are in Minnesota, my wife and I walk down a street where there are no homes and where people throw things out of their cars. We pick it up--usually two bags of stuff every time. But over the years, as we have done this, we have seen less and less stuff littering the street. We are removing the "permission" to throw things out of the car and it makes us feel good because we are making a difference, too. Remember little things add up!

Google: broken window theory, Kee Keizer

URL:http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026845.400-graffiti-and-litter-lead-to-more-street-crime.html

JOEL BARKER RESOURCES...

Visit the Joel Barker COLLECTION at the Global Dialogue Center

Joel Barker's Good News Blog
and
Joel Barker's Innovation at the Verge Blog
at the Global Dialogue Center

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