PLACE: Stockholm, Sweden, the office dealing with Cultural Affairs
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.
FRAMING QUESTION: How can cultural institutions like libraries and theatres engage citizens in sustainable development?
See the Video below of the follow-up at the end of this post.
SOLUTION: Engaging Stephen Hinton as environmental “creative consultant” the suburb of Farsta, Stockholm installed in the lobby outside the library and theatre a “sustainability kiosk” and embarked on filling the kiosk with ideas, events and other creative approaches.
A first sketch of the sustainability kiosk
Suggestions box for ideas and questions
Brochures from local organisations with environmental focus
A round Farsta environmental walk – get to know your suburb’s environmental assets and concerns first hand
A social network connected to the kiosk – sign in and join the debate
A environmental story telling corner for the younger ones
A set of “what’s its all about” cards – with environmental information relevant to the suburb for groups to use to get discussions going
Planned sessions and activities include
“Doctor Environment” who will sit and listen to symptoms and dish out “prescriptions”
A giant plastic foot that represents fossil emissions of C=2 from the city
A request for early retirement written in a letter from “Mr Oil”
A mini- lecture corner for local organisations to invite people in to present their environmental activities
The funnel concept, introduced by Karl-Henrik Robert Founder of the Swedish Natural Step, explains how increasing pressure on resources reduces the options of future generations to maintain a standard of living. Stress like that on populations radically increases conflict and undermines peaceful societies. In the diagram below, the width of the funnel represents the opportunities to continue society’s per capita resource usage. The depth of the funnel represents time. Continue reading “EXPLAINER: The funnel concept of reduced available resources”
PLACE: Sweden. Municipal level SITUATION: Swedish municipalities are facing several resilience 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? Continue reading “Case Study: Dealing with transition to fossil-free food provision and refugees at the same time”
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 2030. 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.
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.