Week 7 – Gabor Mate: Toxic Culture

Gabor Mate began the message that more kids and adults in America are suffering from an illness. In Canada and America, both are rising in rates of prescriptions for ADHD and other disorders. He found that children, with parents with more stress, are more likely to suffer from asthma. The psychological emotional state of the parents affect the physiological child. He continues to state that the emotional stress have a much greater effect on the person’s body because the cortisol, stress hormone, gets released into the body which lowers the body’s immune system. Couples that have been living together for a very long time, when one would get hospitalized, the other one is more likely to follow. Mate reiterates that the people are connected, relates back to our culture and connectivity.  He states that the people in poor areas are more likely to be exposed to bad air, bad quality to life which makes them more prone to complications in life. Today’s culture values more for materialistic items matter more to people than human connection and love.  Social-economical issues in today’ life also get problematic because everyone is in competition with one another. More and more people in the world are depressed and this comes from person to person reactions, not from within a person’s mind. Much of this is considering that the parents of the child will follow their parents actions on how they cope with stress. The high stress environment in the parents lives get passed to the children’s lives. For example divorce is one highly stressful experience that leave a person with higher chance of stroke. The high obesity rate in the youth is more caused by stress than other factors because people cope their stress with eating foods to soothe their stress. Economically speaking the people also feel stress because the people in charge of influencing the economy are so far away from the people that they are also caused stress by these factors.

Stress have much effects to individuals on the psychological and emotional states of a person which then impact the people on the physical state. The consumer mindset have large impacts on the person’s lives in the long term. The sense of reality get altered by the environmental influence that alienates people from their sense of connection to themselves. We need to change this to find better outcomes for people’s lives for the better.


Week 7 – The Case Against Shell

Royal Dutch Shell is one of the worlds largest oil company, and the corporation is on trial against the country of Nigeria, who is fighting for human rights. Shell started production in Nigeria more than 50 years ago, this has resulted in oil filled lakes and other devastations to the people of Nigeria. The dead trees, polluted rivers, and poisoned air are some of the results of the big oil company. The dictatorship played a huge role in allowing this to continue because of their lack of care for people, compared to profits.  Ken Saro-Wiwa was an activist, writer and leader in attempts to preserving the land of the Ogoni people. In 1993, the 300,000 Ogoni people started a march to raise awareness to preserving the environment. That number is an incredible 3/5 of the entire population. In response, Shell partnered with Nigerian government to suppress the people from the protests. Shell paid the brutally known government on different occasions to violently stop/kill the people who attempted to stand up for themselves. In those years, the Nigerian military killed hundreds of people and pushed out thousands from their home lands. The leader of the Ogoni activists, Saro-Wiwa, was later captured and tortured for over 8 months before getting a trial. Shell was later found to pay for the court officials, lawyers and other witnesses for the fight against the people of Ogoni. Ken Saro-Wiwa was later sentenced to death by the court without appeal.

Shell corporation was responsible for the military abuse, anti-human rights and environmental damage to the people of Ogoni. They used money to pay the brutal government to partner with them in an effort to continue to make profits at the cost of the people of Ogoni. Not only was that not enough they funded the military and legal courts to act on the leader, Saro-Wiwa. This just shows the unjust behavior of American companies in other countries.

Week 6 – RIP! A Remix Manifesto

This video begins explaining the new generation of a culture manifesto. They include the first step, culture builds on the past. Copyright was originally made to encourage creativity, but the government and corporations have control to turn those down. They try to control the distributions of music because programs like Napster got in between the profits pf the big corporations. Step two, the powers of past will try to control the industry in the future. The technology made it easier to allow continued new areas of music to develop such as the remix. The corporations complained about copyright infringements. Copyright laws changed to allow the authors the keep their copyright for more than 70 years and corporations over 90 years. Disney was one corporation that pushed this to keep their ideas protected. Step three, our future is becoming less free. The continued copyright laws do not allow the freedom to have continued artistic freedom. The media used its power to take over the media outlets to show its power. This does not give the people proper freedom. Today’s artists are struggling with making music and other forms of art without the worry of getting sued. Step four is to build free societies, you must limit the control of the past.

This development of a new society can allow the further innovations in art and push the current norms to new levels. To lead the artistic movement to in a sustainable form is by breaking loose of the constraints that the big corporations have control over now. Art should be let loose to give the people opportunities to showcase their abilities and the only way to get this done is by uprooting the social norms out of the grasp of big corporations. This video gave me a new insight on what is happening the world that is so close us, in music, and the disabilities the laws give to newer and different developments in art/music provided by the people. In this day in age, the platform for music should be an even playing field.

W. Edwards Deming Videos

Deming is a international consultant. He began working for the US government and used his background in statistics to cut costs and increase production during WWII. Then he went to Japan to present his teachings to the managers of Japan on how to produce, develop and manufacture to get their economy back to healthy shape. Demings believed that the people did not have the right tools in good leadership to win WWII and he wanted to put that on display with his leadership methods. In production, he taught them quality control and human capital. Japan, through Demings teachings, was surprisingly more profitable than the US. US habits in production for quality control was “good enough,” while Japan was striven for continuous improvements. Deming taught that there was no “quick fix” in quality control. These methods further extend to waste and reducing waste. This can definitely be implemented in sustainable communities practices. Deming believes its never the people fault but its the lack of good equipment, and continuous improvements that allow the move forward. Competition is not what took us forward, but cooperation was the driving force. Multiple times Deming claims that the US has failed to change their ways to comply toward these methods. His view on Economics were hope rather than fear and intrinsic motivation rather than external motivation as well as cooperation rather than competition. Dr. Ackoff includes teachings of systems in education. Data is not the answer, how data is conceived is closer to solving a problem. Education should enable people to learn how to use data rather than memorize or just know this data. Education is driven through curiosity. They studied children reactions when they saw something they hadn’t seen before. They do three things: they take it apart, they try to understand those parts individually, then use that to understand the thing as a whole. That is analysis, it tells you how. Then synthesis tells you why.

All of these methods can be used towards systematic thinking and sustainable communities to move forward in a continuously improving environment in all aspects of life. It is important to make improvements in the right things and not the wrong things.

Week 5 – The Next Industrial Revolution

McDonough and Braungart did a fantastic job in promoting the sustainable lifestyle to the public. They begin the video mentioning that we need to increase our solar income. We should be able to produce more than consume. A great example is a self sustaining building. A building is able to grow, produce and be self sustainable by producing more energy than it uses. “Less bad is not good.”

The next video is the Herman Miller company which is known for the beautiful building. People from outside always come to relish the buildings greatness. Herman Miller co wanted to increase profits and they did so by investing in the company. They designed the building to have a main part of it covered in glass to show the incredible scenario. It provided light to the building, and employees stated that it felt great to see the outside, thus feel the outside. This main part of the building was called “The Street” and most destinations pass through The Street. The plant covered pathway is a place of interaction and integration that connects people from different departments with multiple activities and places to eat.

A great way of thinking is the subject of regulation. Regulation is the outcome of design failure. The video states that laws do not stop pollution, they just slows it down. McDonough continues to say that waste is not the waste we think, because waste is actually food for another system.

The McDonough Braungart Design Protocol is something that is adopted by a Fortune 500 companies including Nike. Nike began to change practices of on recycling the rubbers from the shoe to make new track for fields. Then, Nike introduced a rubber sole free of harmful ingredients. A regenerative way of thinking about shoes can be a leasing/subscription plan for shoes. Recycle the shoes, especially for kids growing out of their shoes. An idea, to change the current system it must come through the people, the customers. Finally, this can be truly sustainable if this is generational.

Week 5 – Massimo Banzi: How Arduino is open-sourcing imagination

Banzi begins the talk with such a new and wonderful idea that can be used to your imagination. The product of Arduino allows others to use the hardware on a wide range of projects. This is an open-source piece of hardware that can be used to solve problems to daily functions. One example, Arduino is used in part of a product which makes a Twitter account for a plant and it tweets when it is too hot, needs water, etc. Another example, it is used in part of a project for a person with a disability and the product allows the person to play a game on the PlayStation 4 without the physical capabilities of being able to use the traditional controller. A 15 year old kid also used Arduino to make a Earthquake detector that has constant updates provided to people through Twitter. This type of new technology can push the boundaries of the limits in today’s lives. Once the next generation comes around it will continue to push the use of robotics and new technology at a earlier stage in their lives. Imagine a world where apart of the curriculum there was software/hardware class children take to learn and be more familiarized. We can solve the minuscule problems so we can focus on bigger issues in the world. The idea of Arduino is also a key driver into the future because it is a regenerative form of new education/technology that can be used open-source. It is fair game to use their technology and develop products used everyday. Banzi and his team do not charge the public to the information they have provided. This creates an environment in the technology community to continue to make things open-source to pave the way to new technology and development.

I believe that this eliminates the idea of monetizing every product, every process to develop for personal gain. The continued effort to keep the ideas of technology open- source and available could allow an equal play ground to develop, thus empowering the people to make necessities in a sustainable form. Once the simple things are taken care of, we the people can take of bigger issues on regenerative practices.

Week 4 – Janine Benyus at the Circular Economy 100 Annual Summit

Janine Benyus begins the video to state that world we live is already a sustainable world without the interference of us in nature. She compared the King Fisher Bird to a train. There are much similarities with them both in the sculpturing of itself because the can induce less drawback during movement more efficiently. An issue with manufacturing is the added waste that gets produced when making this products. New technology is introduced to the world such as 3-D printing and this is something that have materials put into it to manufacture the products in a more efficient way regarding waste. The printing industry is coming up and the movement is something we should join and be apart of. This is something that will be less labor intensive and quicker to produce. She goes into stated that we can take one material,  it will add function and performance if we add structure to it. Having material with more functions instead of less functions and more material. 3-D printing is great because the materials do not need to be warehoused. This will also lessen the supply chain thus more efficient and less possible waste.

Chemistry, in regards to our life, do not make matter form through heating and melting. This is a harmful way to produce. Benyus continues to reinstate that we need to be apart of this movement. I see this as an opportunity to be essentially apart of the forefathers in sculpting the future in the world of manufacturing. The forefathers lay the foundation for what will be followed into the future. If we join this movement, with all the knowledge we have know, we can provide the 3D-printing revolution to be done in the right manner. If we can mimic the biology of the life around us we can print objects light, strong and biodegradable by making material with multiple layers and functions.

This was a great read because it does not down talk to use and development of technology but encourages to collaborate with the development process that will produce positives in our future lives. I believe that acceptance of technology will allow us to lay the foundations of the future.