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Jessica Lin and three other female Harvard University students—Jessica Matthews, Julia Silverman, and Hemali Thakkar—created sOccket to produce a soccer ball that generates cheap, clean, off-grid electricity when rolled. The sOccket ball captures the energy from impact that is normally lost to the environment when the soccer ball is kicked, dribbled, or thrown and stores this energy for later use.
New Jersey is pop culture’s current obsession, but it is also at the center of a very different kind of cultural movement. The Garden State is leading the nation’s sustainability movement as the first state to successfully adopt a comprehensive sustainability program for local communities.
When Joshua Arnold was preparing to lead his community group, Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.), in restoring a grange hall to create a community space for Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, he learned about barn raising, an event in which an entire community gathers to help build one household’s barn. “I had heard about it before—it’s always been in my cultural memory—but as I read more, I really became fascinated by how barn raising built a way of life centered on reciprocity,” Arnold said.
“While barns were essential to rural living, they were physically impossible to erect alone.”
Clothing shoppers are rethinking things these days: Can I be fashionable without being frivolous? Is it possible to buy chic clothing that's also eco-friendly? Do my consumer choices make a difference? Among the retailers answering yes to these questions is an online store billed as "Patagonia-meets-Prada."
Building a home takes more than a simple set of tools. These organizations show what's possible when communities come together to raise their consciousness, their voices, and some well-designed buildings.
The Inter-American Development Bank's Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) joined forces with the National Geographic Society and Ashoka to build partnerships for sustainable tourism between tourism organizations and businesses at a follow-up meeting to the Changemakers Geotourism Summit 2010. The goal was for these partnerships is to capture regional creativity and demand.
In this video, Santiago Soler, Sustainable Tourism Area Coordinator for FOMIN, describes how this meeting built bridges between the business sector and organizations that support sustainable tourism. The meeting was held at the National Geographic Society Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on February 3, 2010.
“To be the owner of a house is part of people’s identity, and it gives them a place of belonging within society. We practice an ecological approach to housing that taps the enthusiasm of its owners.” - Francesco Piazzesi