Why we need to think differently about sustainability

This is one of my favorite TEDx talks. I love the way Leyla Acaroglu communicates with the crowd and I am fan of her. At TEDxMelbourne, Leyla talked about Why we need to think differently about sustainability and why sustainability at all matters to us? What is the wrong approach in our present solutions or actions? Why we need to think beyond individualistic systems and starts considering interdependent systems? What is law of unintended consequences and how it is affecting us and mother nature? Let’s explore these questions in this “Exploring TED” blog post.

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In 1987, world leaders came together and they signed the Montreal Protocol. In 1989, it came into affect, CFCs are eradicated from production in 1995. In spite of these actions we are still damaging our mother nature and depleting natural resources. We need to be careful of “law of unintended consequences”. Whenever choices or decisions are made, there is a possibility-+ve, -ve or perverse unintended outcome will come. History is riddled with unintended consequences. Let’s see an example- Few years back Mexican government brought a law, according to which no car can be used more than 2 days in a week, so there is licence of only two days for a car. But people are intelligent than government, rather people sharing their vehicles as thought by government, people started buying 3-4 cars so that they can use their own car everyday. Hence exact opposite happened to what government speculated about people’s actions. Lets take another example- emerging economies like Africa experienced food crisis few years back when EU focused too much on biofuels that farmers started growing crops for biofuels rather than for food as that gives them more money.  So, EU actions affected Africa and other developing economies which were dependent on EU for food supply!

We also need to understand sometimes “Good intentions can result in far bigger problems”. It’s not just the intentions, that we can solve the world problems. This is very important when we are trying to solve world’s complex problems like poverty, climate change, etc. And this applies to politics also, intentions are not enough. So, we need to consider “Casualty Principle” or “Law of Unintended consequences” before taking any actions or creating any solution.

According to GAIA Theory “Everything in nature is inter connected”. And what system thinking tell us “World is made up of incredibly beautiful and complex systems. Systems are underline core to everything that exists on Earth.” and all these systems interrelate. Systems are not just big systems, it’s not just the industrial systems, it’s not just the systems, it’s about everything.

Sustainability is about

  • Self preservation
  • understanding the systems and our mother nature
  • Doing more with less ( i.e. providing solutions with limited resources)

Worst thing is “Only 2.7 % of all applications of technological patents are for environmental innovations or sustainability”- World Economic Forum.

That’s what we are doing we are constantly using short term approach to layer upon simple solutions to simple solutions on complex problems or we can say we are increasing the complexity of the systems. Let’s take an example to understand this phenomena. There is an OS on your mobile and your mobile is suffering from some glitches, rather than making changes in root code or vanilla OS code, we are developing an app on that OS, so in the end we are adding layers on problematic vanilla OS in a hope that it will solve our problem. But it won’t, it gonna increase complexity that’s all. So in the end we are sustaining the unsustainable,

Sustainability is an opportunity, all we have to do is we have to see it differently. We have to think differently, so that we can have positive consequences on the planet.

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Corporations, universities and the government are all starting to embrace and implement the concept of sustainability. Think differently!

I am taking a step forward to solve these problems by joining a social innovation fellowship program “IDEX-IDea and EXecution”. For that I need your help https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-sagar-lone-nut-to-join-idex-fellowship/x/7276871. Also I am taking two courses on sustainability “Introduction to sustainability” and “The Age of Sustainable Development” on coursera. Help me in my campaign!

The Earth is Full

It’s been long time I have not written anything. I really apologies that I am not able to regularly update my blog. This blog means to me a lot, and now I am thinking of extending this blog to a book “Exploring TED/x- Ideas Worth Spreading” which will be an informative non-fiction book about leaders, artists, storytellers, feminists, social activists, business leaders, scientists, etc who have shared their ideas and stories on TED/x. 

For a long time, I have been TED/x talks on sustainability, so today I will be discussing this topic using the TED 2012 Talk by Paul Gilding on “The Earth is Full”.

“Earth is full of us, it’s full of our stuff, full of our demands”, by saying this Paul Gilding is trying to mean that we have reached the saturation level, we are on the verge of destroying earth’s resources, we are doing things in unsustainable manner. So, he is warning us “Earth is full because of our unsustainable actions”.

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Humans are brilliant, creative and innovative species. But we have created a little too much stuff  so much stuff that our economy is bigger than its host, our planet. This is not a philosophical statement but this is just science. We are living beyond our means. We need approximately 1.5 Earths to sustain our present organisation. According to present need and growth rate of our ever increasing economy, we need 50% more earth than we have got. As we can’t borrow natural resources so we are burning through our capital or stealing our future. As described by Alex Steffen in his TED talk on Seeing a Sustainable Future that we are “Stealing our future, selling it in the present and call it GDP”. We are going to run out of future really fast. This means our economy is fairly unsustainable. Basically not just fairly, it is completely unsustainable. And more than that when things are not unsustainable according to laws of physics, they stopped working. But we are keeping ourselves blind and saying it is not even possible that our economy will stop growing because Earth is full.

It will stop because of two factors

  • End of trade resources
  • growing demands of us on all the resources, which is now having economic damage.

But we are ignorant, we think and say “This is not possible” because economic growth is so essential to our society that is rarely questioned. Actually we have a damn crazy idea that ” we can have infinite growth on a finite planet”. Also we all know technology is amazing, people are innovative, there are so many ways we can improve the way we do things with amazing creativity. We can smoothly transition to a highly efficient solar powered, knowledge based economy transformed by Science and Technology so that 9 billion people can live in 2050. When you operate a system past its limits and then keep on going at an an ever accelerating rate is that the system stop working and breaks down.

We need to come out of denial mode and recognize that we are not acting, we are not close to acting and we are not going to act until this crisis hits the economy. The biggest problem why we are not able to solve some highly complex social problems is that “we tend to look at the world not as an integrated system but as a series of individual issues”. We see debt crisis, we see growing inequality, we see corruption in politics and business, we see resource constraints, etc and we see them as individual problems to be solved but we also know “everything in nature is inter connected and interrelated”.

The only thing we need to change is how we think, how we feel and how we act. Every entrepreneur , every artist, every scientist, every communicator, every mother, every father, every child need to come forward and save our planet.

Of-course we can’t know what will happen in future. The future is inherently uncertain, what we can do is we can act in a sustainable manner. Let’s hope we can stop stealing the future.

 

I am taking a step forward to solve these problems by joining a social innovation fellowship program “IDEX-IDea and EXecution”. For that I need your help https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-sagar-lone-nut-to-join-idex-fellowship/x/7276871. Also I am taking two courses on sustainability “Introduction to sustainability” and “The Age of Sustainable Development” on coursera. Help me in my campaign!

What you are upto? Share your ways how you are going to solve these complex problems-it can be technical, social, literary, philosophical, etc it can be any way. But taking a step forward is very important.

Opinion: Feminism, Abortion, and being Sex Positive

tandonsagar:

Being a male and feminist. I feel this blog is enlightening and empowering to men and women both, it gives the deep understanding of the issue of feminism with pornography and abortion(where pornography and abortion can’t be compared)

Originally posted on The Things She Thinks :

There seems to be a lot of talk lately about feminism. It’s bad, it’s good, it’s sexist, it’s *insert misunderstood, wrong interpretations here*

I don’t know about you, but I feel there is an awakening on the horizon within the female human community around the world.

Not only are more and more women speaking out on a global scale of the everyday sexism and abuse they endure, they are actually having more frequent conversations about positively uplifting themselves, and their communities (not just other women). Women, and men, are taking ACTION.

This is very promising to me. I am tired of all the competition and comparisons. All the hate, disgust, contempt, abuse, and sexism that not only men inflict upon women, but women inflict upon women. It has to change and even stop at some point and to me, it starts with myself and other fellow females to not allow…

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a conversation about men (don’t get it twisted)

tandonsagar:

title says everything “a conversation about men” . This girl deserves to give a TED or TEDx talk

Originally posted on The Things She Thinks :

First let me clear the air: I do NOT hate men.

Sure, as many female feminists feel, I have my days where I wouldn’t mind gathering the male population and collectively slap all of them across the face. Sure, I might want to kick a man in the balls from time to time ;) but that should not suggest a hatred of men.

Neither should my fight against patriarchy, and here’s why. This lovely analogy sums it up nicely:

mariokart

Let’s face it. Men don’t realize their privilege. And when you point it out or try to even the score (hence, take away their privilege) they often times become angry or pull out the same stops almost the whole male gender packs in their arsenal: Quit your bitching! You’re a fucking feminist, aren’t you? *makes disgusted face*, shouldn’t you be making a sandwich?, Why don’t you shut up and suck my…

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He.

tandonsagar:

this is an amazing story of a UNIQUE and WORTHY woman who deserve respect, but has suffered from a 7 years of beautiful but detrimental abusive relationship. Beautiful in the sense that both loved each other, but slowly slowly it took a wrong turn and destroys her innocence and kindness. It seriously killed her from inside, she wants to move ahead.
I love this girl so much. Every word is so deep and contains pain that she want true love and be strong.
I hope everyone will like this one. I thought she is ,my mirror but she is too intellectual and beautiful than me.

Originally posted on The Things She Thinks :

It wasn’t physical abuse that shattered me. It was all verbal and emotional. There were times that I wished it had been physical because having experiences with both types of abuse, it is my belief that verbal, emotional/mental abuse is much more scarring. I’d rather be hit than torn down by words. How pathetic is that?

I don’t know if that makes me demented, but it is what it is.

We started out loving and carefree; innocent. We enjoyed many activities together and were happy to be with each other. It took me awhile to let my guard down because of a previous experience that left me with trust issues pertaining to men. Eventually, however, he became not only my partner but my best friend.

We shared interests such as watching documentaries, sci-fi films, eating foreign food, playing video games, and being good people. These are the qualities that made…

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