PLACE: Sweden. Municipal level
SITUATION: Swedish municipalities are facing several security and safety challenges at once. They have to provide shelter and care to the highest influx of refugees and migrants per capita in Europe whilst preparing for the ambitious government-led transition to fossil fuel independence and carbon neutrality by 2050. Food security is at risk too, as Swedish food provision field to plate is fossil-fuel dependent and food waste is high. Sweden is also dependent on food and fodder imports; farmers are struggling to compete with imports from countries that have lower food safety and animal welfare standards, better soil and growing seasons, and lower costs.
FRAMING QUESTION: How can municipalities work towards a de-fossilised food provision system that reduces waste, manages the influx of migrants and refugees whilst ensuring the farming community can live on what it produces? Read More…
SITUATION: Analysis of municipal risks by partner organisation reveal that preparedness for major disruptive events (like climate event or rapid economic decline) was in place to some extent. What was lacking however, was a mechanism to restore the local economy if access to the monetary system (often digitalised and reliant on internet) was restricted post-disaster.
FRAMING QUESTION: How can a community recover the local economy post-disaster in a situation where the digital monetary system is still not functional?
SOLUTION: Set up a temporary, non-digital currency system specifically designed to be provided by aid organisations in a limited geographic area.
SITUATION: A large international sporting event was planned.
The investment by the host city needed to lead to a more environmental city including reduced waste and emissions, a better carbon profile and more jobs created in the circular economy.
FRAMING QUESTION: How can a sporting event make best use of the investment in the arrangements around the event to spark off the sustainable circular economy in the city and at the same time increase the number of jobs available for city residents?
SOLUTION: Create a complete biomass waste stream handling infrastructure around the event, inviting the attendees to invest by carbon compensating their journey to the event. Then use this infrastructure to spread to the other parts of the city.
SITUATION: The local cultural center, with its youth theatre, music school and library is taking on a new challenge: to find creative ways to bring local citizens closer to sustainability.
Like charity, sustainability begins at home. Although for most people in a suburb, home functions as a place to sleep and be whilst away from work. Yet people need to engage as Stockholm is getting ready to embrace a fossil-free future. It intends to be fossil-independent already by 2020. Walking cities are surely in that vision.
FRAMING QUESTION: How can a suburb creatively engage residents in a way that fosters a sense of place, a sense of the challenges involved as the city moves away from fossil fuel dependence?
SOLUTION: Create a round suburb walk, publish a map and connect the map to a web-based discussion forum.
SITUATION: A group of successful entrepreneurs take up the challenge from NGOs working with hunger. These entrepreneurs have seen the power of human endeavor, innovation and inspiration. Can the power of entrepreneurship be harnessed to stop world hunger?
And yet hunger is like the elephant in the room: it is hard to talk about, hard to take in.
FRAMING QUESTION: How can entrepreneurs bring the water and food situation in the world to the attention of more in a way that stimulates entrepreneurial energy and engages corporations and the broader public?
SOLUTION: Create a Humanitarian Water and Food Award that celebrates initiatives that are bringing food security in sustainable, innovative ways. Use the inspiration of these initiatives to inspire corporations to focus their CSR and humanitarian programs on not just avoiding creating food insecurity (for example by stopping pollution) but by making it a central part of their mission.
Slowing growth, dwindling resources, changing environment, and increasing inequality. All these changes challenge corporations to get involved somehow. We need resilient communities. Resilient communities mean continued prosperity . But food security is central. Weakened by hunger, entrepreneurship fades and there is no prosperity. Nearly one in seven of the Earths’s inhabitants are longing for their chance to thrive, for their chance to be entrepreneurs. But they want to do it sustainably, without destroying forests, soils or the climate.
The Water and Food Award has been looking into the challenge of creating water and food security in a sustainable way since 2009, seeking out initiatives that give us hope.
Read more here: The Water and Food Award website
Learn more by joining the Water and Food Award’s webinar program. The first one is here.
SITUATION: Stockholm is a forward-thinking city when it comes to sustainability. Helene Mårtenson from the office of cultural development explains the challenge;
to inspire citizens to a sustainable life-style by communicating substantially in new, creative forms. Read More…
SITUATION: Growing awareness of the need to transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to a sustainable, resilient economy, is driving demand for education and training to enable local action groups to accelerate their activities. Read More…
SITUATION: The think tank AVBP took on the challenge of working with the narrative of the sustainable city. Instead of seeing how we live as being a burden on the Earth, and dire prospects of having to give up our comforts, AVBP explored how tell the story of how we can create great places to live sustainably.
FRAMING QUESTION: how can we create a narrative that gives us a positive, feasible view of a sustainable future in a city? Read More…
SITUATION: The think tank of AVBP was given an interesting challenge: how to develop tourism in areas of natural beauty that have easy access to cities? The need was to encourage visitors to be tourists closer to home. These tourists were looking for active holidays, with high interest and with a high degree of health involved.
FRAMING QUESTION: how can we develop our tourism business using our proximity to cities, areas of natural beauty and focus on health to develop a booming tourist industry, where people come back year after year.
SOLUTION: The Center of Well -being concept was proposed by the think tank. The basic idea is to create and market an area in a way to make it “sticky” offering so much and such a range that the visitor will be enticed back time and again. Read More…
PLACE: County of Uppland, Sweden
SITUATION: Despite best efforts, rural areas – even some close to large cities – are experiencing a decline in population, investment and or services. As unemployment is rising, and the production of services is moving away from the area, the ability of the area to handle challenges such as economic downturn, food shortages, freak climate, power failure etc. is decreasing.
When disaster strikes, the authorities and corporations cannot alone be relied upon, it is up to citizens to meet these challenges.
SECONDARY SITUATION: The above applies too, to the task forming the sustainable society. The challenges are similar but the time-frames differ. Firm public engagement, and collaboration between authorities and businesses is needed to meet the nation’s ambitious environmental goals.
FRAMING QUESTION: Are there tools available that can be used to encourage citizens to take part in developing the sustainable society, tools and approaches that can encourage them to contribute their time and skills to developing a local resilient capability? Is so, how can these tools be implemented? How can corporations and authorities be involved? Read More…