Introducing SEVeN: Accelerating sustainability experimentation and adaptation

As I’ve discussed briefly on my projects page, SEVeN is the brainchild of a number of long conversations my colleague Pradip Swarnakar and I held earlier this year during my six weeks in India as a Fulbright Specialist at the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management–Gwalior.

Today I am giving the first public talk about this very nascent project as part of UC Berkeley’s Landscape Architecture + Environmental Planning colloquium on “The Global South, Common Sustainability Challenges (Causes & Solutions).” (Wurster Hall, Room 315a, 1-2pm).  (more…)

Upcoming Talk: Sustainability Experimentation Venture Network (SEVeN)

I’ve been invited to give a talk in the UC Berkeley Landscape Architecture + Environmental Planning colloquium series on “The Global South, Common Sustainability Challenges (Causes & Solutions).” In case you happen to be in Berkeley, the talk is on Wednesday (10/1), from 1-2pm in 315A Wurster Hall. The following week, my USF colleague Chris Loparena will be giving a talk as part of the same colloquium on “Sustainable Tourism and its Discontents in Honduras.”

My talk, cryptically titled “Sustainability Experimentation Venture Network (SEVeN),” is going to be an interactive brainstorming with the Landscape Architecture students in which we’ll attempt to flesh out some of the criteria for a network designed to exchange knowledge rapidly among groups and individuals at the grassroots level working on sustainability experiments and climate change adaptation. I describe more about the idea behind SEVeN on my projects page here. My post on Fast Tracking Climate Adaptation–Tapping Our Natural Tendency to Experiment also provides some background to my thinking on this subject. The teaser for the talk follows:

Humans have been adapting to changing environments since inception. Environmental changes were generally slow on a geological time scale, making oral traditions sufficient for transferring knowledge about successful adaptation experiments. Anthropogenic climate change is occurring faster than the best predictions of even just three years ago. Adaptation, therefore, must be swift. Yet no formal, systematic mechanism exists for documenting and aggregating the results of both failed and successful adaptation experiments. Nor does a mechanism exist, for disseminating this knowledge. This talk will introduce the Sustainability Experimentation Venture Network (SEVeN), a concept for producing, aggregating and disseminating knowledge related to sustainability experimentation broadly and climate adaptation specifically. The talk will engage the audience in a collaborative process of identifying the ideal parameters for SEVeN. For example, what qualifies as a “sustainability experiment?” What is the ideal scale of the sustainability experiments that should be documented? What are the key variables for which data should be collected (e.g., cost, speed of implementation, level of technical knowledge required, etc.)?

Check out the colloquium’s blog here.