Grassroots responses to a changing climate

I was sitting in traffic while driving the family mini-van last week, contemplating the leap to a hybrid or electric car. Then I heard this story on “The Takeaway” with John Hockenberry….I need to get rid of this gas guzzler. Climate change is big and we are feeling the effects NOW. Good thing there are folks like Brad Redrick making things happen in their communities. Brad is collaborating with his neighbors to develop block based disaster preparedness plans.

Lt. Gen. Russel Honore oversaw the evacuation of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. That experience made him realize that the government won’t always get to people in time, which is why he’s now spending his time traveling around the country training people to be first responders for themselves and their neighbors.

“Only about 15 percent of Americans actually dedicate time to disaster preparedness,” says Honore. “If the predictions work over the next decade the way that scientists are talking, we’re going to face major disasters. Unfortunately, the people that are going to be most affected are the elderly, the disabled, and the poor.”

One person who heard the general’s message is Brad Redrick. Redrick lives on the south side of Chicago — an area that is predicted to face more intense rain events and floods in the next several years. He thinks his community is exactly the kind of place that might be left behind as climate change causes more natural disasters. So he’s been working to create a network of people in his neighborhood who can help support, or even save, each other.

“That’s what I’m learning now; just how to do this,” Redrick says. “It’s been very difficult. I’m surprised — it seems like people get bored and it’s hard to keep this exciting. Not being an official, I think they tend to listen to you even less.”

Rowland Unified School District off to a great start!

Staff from Rowland USD wrap up three days of training
Staff from Rowland USD wrap up three days of training…

Rowland Unified School District is wrapping up three days of hard work learning about a collaborative process to conduct upcoming negotiations between the CSEA (California School Employees Association) and management. In addition to the members of the bargaining teams, representatives from the teachers’ union, school principals and other community members participated. Two more days of training will follow in the future. We are so eager to see the elegant outcomes they discover together!

TEDxTelAviv – Hedy Schleifer – The Power of Connection

This is a powerful piece on the power of connectedness.

Check out this video on YouTube:

A principle of effective communication: Seek first to understand.

If you find yourself getting drawn into a pattern of communication with someone that leaves you feeling frustrated, confused, angry and demoralized, become a neutral observer of the situation, BEFORE you react. Take a deep breath and then offer this pivotal invitation: “Help me understand…..”

“Seek first to understand”, expresses a universal principle about positive relations with our fellow humans. Its source is often cited as Steven Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. It also shows up earlier in philosophical/spiritual texts. For example, the prayer of the 13th-century Saint, Francis of Assisi (patron Saint of animals and the environment):

” Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light;and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive,it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.”

Positive sum game theory applied to business practices.

on NPR
Trash to Treasure: From Toilets to Tiles

TEDTalks – Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from – Steven Johnson (2010)


Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education | Video on

Children working together, with access to technology, can teach themselves.

Paper towels and tp come from trees…..

Saw this sticker on the paper towel dispenser at the yoga studio….The sticker led me to this blog….I’m buying these stickers. You should to.

I love that a middle school saved $804 over a year on paper towels after affixing these stickers to all the paper towel dispensers in the restrooms and classrooms! That represents 18 trees saved! So simple.

The New Paradigm of Profit

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, talks with Kai Ryssdal about how corporations should start focusing on stakeholders, not just shareholders.

I’m particularly intrigued by the premise that to calculate real profit, we must subtract from revenue both the cost of goods sold AND costs to society. That certainly honors our economic and human interdependence more than the traditional model.

More about how cool Zappos is…

Steve Rosenbaum: Circuit City Goes Bust: Zappos Flies High — Why?
According to Rosenbaum it’s because they’re having fun. Imagine that…fun. Laissez les bonne tempes rouler! Having happy employees is good for business. Rocket science it is not, and yet still so hard for some recovering authoritarians to believe. Hopefully, this story will help.

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