Posts Tagged ‘TED’

Recovering plunderer

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Streaming TED talks is a dangerous habit. It’s so hard to watch just one. This morning, via the TED Blog, I discovered this great presentation by Ellen Gustafson, founder of something called The 30 Project that looks at how food systems have changed since 1980 and tries to undo some of the damage.

Maybe because it’s Ramadan—a time of year when many of us across the planet are extra attuned to issues of hunger and poverty—I found her talk to be extremely compelling. In particular, she makes great links between the underlying causes of hunger and obesity and pokes holes in oversimplified responses that aim to feed the hungry.

Anyway, with the exception of critiquing canned food and canned food drives, Gustafson doesn’t get much into issues of waste and recycling. So, of course, I had to go rooting through TED vaults where I came across this talk by legendary Ray “the green CEO” Anderson. I am always skeptical of businessmen hawking good causes. And Anderson, like any other CEO has an incentive to promote his company’s public image. But I am consistently absorbed when I see clips of this guy and his near-religious passion for treading lightly.

I’ll admit, I zoned out a bit when he got too into his own math equations, but tuned right back in when he defined affluence as a means to an end, rather than the goal in and of itself. Simple, but critical framing. We don’t amass stuff just to have stuff, we do it because we think it will make us happy. See what you think.

Creative houses from reclaimed stuff

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I love TED Talks. My friend Leah (thank you!) just sent me this one. It’s adorable and informative. I think you’ll dig it, too. It’s this guy, Dan Phillips, explaining how he makes neat houses from salvaged materials. He shows photos, but also gets high brow about it all, explaining that the real problem is our need for things to look the same.

TEDx Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The green blogs are abuzz. Did you virtually attend the TEDx Great Garbage Patch—an independently organized TED conference focused on plastic—this weekend? If not, here’s a link to everything that went down. And Beth Terry of FakePlasticFish has a great overview of Van Jones‘ presentation here. Knock yourself out, plasticheads. There’s a LOT of good stuff here. The video gallery alone could consume an afternoon. I’m still catching up, more to come.

Greening the ghetto

Friday, January 29, 2010

Watching Majora Carter‘s TEDTalk on the way to work today reminded me why I’m such a big fan of this local environmental revolutionary. She articulates better than anyone what it’s like to live in the “away” other people never picture when they throw things away, the lasting legacy of Robert Moses and the impact his reign over New York City planning and expansion had on her neighborhood and how she has led a community effort to fight back and “green the ghetto.”

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