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It is only a matter of time before the economic advantages of energy conservation will come to the forefront and it will be graduates from the Centre of Excellence and other forward thinking institutions around the world that will be providing the skilled workforce to lead this change.

Brian Hughes Timing Is Everything Ajahn Sona Birken Merle Kindred Green Building Jeannette C. Armstrong Indigeneity Stephen Joyce Breaking Down Brenda Martens A Brief History of Design Douglas MacLeod Buildings Save the Planet Robert Parlane Agent of Change Branko Kolarevic Performative Architecture Sunddip Panesar Nahal Learning Revolution Nikos Theodosakis Mattering

Robert MacDonald Be a Gardener

Published by the Okanagan Institute in association with Okanagan College www.okanaganinstitute.com Paperback ISBN 0-978-0-9868663-4-0 Ebook ISBN 0-978-0-9868663-5-7 ISBN 978-0-9868663-4-0

9 780986 866340

41000 >

Curated by Brian Hughes

Beyond Sustainability Curated by Brian Hughes

Beyond Sustainability Contributions to TEDxOkanaganCollege

Emily Chartrand Beyond Plastic

OKANAGAN INSTITUTE

This is why it is a blessing supreme to be a part of this important discussion looking “Beyond Sustainability” being held at the cutting edge Centre of Excellence. Through the auspices of TEDx, our presenter’s talks will be archived and become part of the mesh of innovation, which is created by Crowd Accelerated Innovation. The challenges facing our species are great but the power of many minds working together shall overcome.

Jim Hamilton Ideas Into Action

BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY

The investment made by Canadian taxpayers in creating a Centre of Excellence with a focus on sustainable building technologies took a great deal of foresight. Typically post secondary institutions in this country produce professionals who extract our resources or train MBA’s to maximize shareholder value no matter what the cost to the environment.

Contributions to TEDxOkanaganCollege

Beyond Sustainability was chosen as the theme of TEDxOkanaganCollege 2011 to capture what seems to be on the minds of many as we head into an uncertain future on this planet. We are focusing on the “Actions to be Taken” to maintain the combined integrity of the environment, social structure and economic health in the Okanagan Valley and the World. The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Building Technologies in Penticton, B.C. represents a manifestation of this complex balancing act in Canada. As Canada is a major provider of wood and iron ore used in building, it made sense to construct a training college to teach trades people how to build new green buildings of the future and to develop new green building policies that are relevant to Canada and other northern nations. In many ways, more sustainable building construction and design techniques offer a relatively fast return on investment.


It is only a matter of time before the economic advantages of energy conservation will come to the forefront and it will be graduates from the Centre of Excellence and other forward thinking institutions around the world that will be providing the skilled workforce to lead this change.

Brian Hughes Timing Is Everything Ajahn Sona Birken Merle Kindred Green Building Jeannette C. Armstrong Indigeneity Stephen Joyce Breaking Down Brenda Martens A Brief History of Design Douglas MacLeod Buildings Save the Planet Robert Parlane Agent of Change Branko Kolarevic Performative Architecture Sunddip Panesar Nahal Learning Revolution Nikos Theodosakis Mattering

Robert MacDonald Be a Gardener

Published by the Okanagan Institute in association with Okanagan College www.okanaganinstitute.com Paperback ISBN 0-978-0-9868663-4-0 Ebook ISBN 0-978-0-9868663-5-7 ISBN 978-0-9868663-4-0

9 780986 866340

41000 >

Curated by Brian Hughes

Beyond Sustainability Curated by Brian Hughes

Beyond Sustainability Contributions to TEDxOkanaganCollege

Emily Chartrand Beyond Plastic

OKANAGAN INSTITUTE

This is why it is a blessing supreme to be a part of this important discussion looking “Beyond Sustainability” being held at the cutting edge Centre of Excellence. Through the auspices of TEDx, our presenter’s talks will be archived and become part of the mesh of innovation, which is created by Crowd Accelerated Innovation. The challenges facing our species are great but the power of many minds working together shall overcome.

Jim Hamilton Ideas Into Action

BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY

The investment made by Canadian taxpayers in creating a Centre of Excellence with a focus on sustainable building technologies took a great deal of foresight. Typically post secondary institutions in this country produce professionals who extract our resources or train MBA’s to maximize shareholder value no matter what the cost to the environment.

Contributions to TEDxOkanaganCollege

Beyond Sustainability was chosen as the theme of TEDxOkanaganCollege 2011 to capture what seems to be on the minds of many as we head into an uncertain future on this planet. We are focusing on the “Actions to be Taken” to maintain the combined integrity of the environment, social structure and economic health in the Okanagan Valley and the World. The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Building Technologies in Penticton, B.C. represents a manifestation of this complex balancing act in Canada. As Canada is a major provider of wood and iron ore used in building, it made sense to construct a training college to teach trades people how to build new green buildings of the future and to develop new green building policies that are relevant to Canada and other northern nations. In many ways, more sustainable building construction and design techniques offer a relatively fast return on investment.


Beyond Sustainability

Beyond Sustainability

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Beyond Sustainability

Curated by Brian Hughes

Beyond Sustainability Contributions to TEDxOkanaganCollege

Published by the Okanagan Institute in association with Okanagan College june 2011

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Copyright Š 2011 the authors. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Produced and published by the Okanagan Institute 1473 Ethel Street, Kelowna BC V1Y 2X9 Canada www.okanaganinstitute.com C O L O P H O N

Cover and author photographs of Hamilton, Hughes, Armstrong, MacLeod, Parlane, Theodosakis, Chartrand and MacDonald: Matia Theodosakis Publisher and designer: Robert MacDonald EMGDC Printed at Aspire Media Works, Kelowna BC on paper made from 100% post-consumer waste. The type used in this publication is Fontin and Fontin Sans, designed in 2004 by Jos Buivenga at Exljbris, his one man type foundry based in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Fontin was specifically designed with a classical appearance for use in small sizes, and is intentionally dark on the page, the spacing loose and the x-height tall. Fontin Sans is a matching companion face.


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Contents

Introduction

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Jim Hamilton Ideas Into Action

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Brian Hughes Timing Is Everything

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Ajahn Sona Birken: The Tradition of the Green Forest Monastery

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Merle Kindred Green Building: Beyond Bricks and Mortar – the Challenge of Change

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Jeannette C. Armstrong Indigeneity: A Necessary Social Ethic to Take us Beyond Sustainability

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Stephen Joyce Breaking Down or Breaking Through?

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Brenda Martens A Brief History of Design

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Douglas MacLeod Our Buildings Can Save the Planet

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Robert Parlane Agent of Change: Okanagan College Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation

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Branko Kolarevic Performative Architecture: Sustainability and Much More

107

Sunddip Panesar Nahal Bring On the Learning Revolution: Bringing the Centre of Excellence to the Rest of the World

121

Nikos Theodosakis Mattering

133

Emily Chartrand Beyond Plastic

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Robert MacDonald Be a Gardener: The Season for Transformation

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TEDxOkanaganCollege 2011

Introduction TEDxOkanaganCollege presents Beyond Sustainability, a conference that looks at global challenges through the lenses of diverse perspectives. The context of TEDxOkanaganCollege is to examine sustainability and what lies beyond in economic, social and environmental terms. This book is compiled from the essays of many of these speakers as a way to preserve their ideas in permanent form for future contemplation. TEDxOkanaganCollege wishes to thank Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College, for making this publication possible and for his efforts to make TEDxOkanaganCollege a reality. His hard work and vision has made this college a leader in post secondary education in Canada and now, with the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies, the College will begin creating a skilled workforce able to take us Beyond Sustainability.


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ABOUT TEDX x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

ABOUT TED TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The


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TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED


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Ideas Into Action Jim Hamilton

Sometimes in life you meet those who are “idea” people. Sometimes you meet those who are “task” people. Rarely do you meet people capable of both vision and action. Brian Hughes is one of those people. His infectious love of ideas spurs him into action and draws others to his cause. “Beyond Sustainability” started as Brian’s dream, became a shared dream, and is now a reality that captures the imagination, motivates discussion and inspires creativity, not just in our local communities but in the community of the world at large. It is a great example of how we can, and should, take the Okanagan to the world and bring the world to the Okanagan.


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To me, “Beyond Sustainability� represents a timely convergence of place and topic in ways that are absolutely core to the mission of Okanagan College. Since their inception, post-secondary institutions have been crucibles of creative thought about issues and ideas that shape human destiny. At the College, sustainability in all its various nuances figures prominently in our vision of the future, not just of our region but also of the world. The thinkers whose works are featured in this publication offer a wide variety of perspectives on the need to be constantly, creatively examining and improving the way in which we can continue to inhabit this planet. It is difficult to think of a more timely discussion for our College to host. And what better place to host such a discussion than in our Centre of Excellence, a building which not only aims to set a new global standard for sustainable construction but also aspires to be a catalyst for world-wide inquiry, innovation and collaborative practice. One of the world’s most environmentally sustainable buildings, its story is one of many firsts for a structure of its type: how it is built, what it is made of, what it teaches, how it teaches and how it interacts globally with industry through applied research. In a very real sense, this building is what it teaches about sustainability, not just to our students but to all of those partners in the community and industry who care about the impact of the built environment on the world. Like the authors in this


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book, the Centre of Excellence goes well beyond the physical and environmental facts of construction; it too motivates consideration of the physical, moral, ethical and socio-economic aspects of sustainability. Thank you, Brian, for expanding our vision and taking us down this particular road, one that resonates so well with our mission statement. At Okanagan College, we transform lives and communities.

the author Jim Hamilton began his career with Okanagan College in 1980 teaching English in what then served as the Vernon Campus – the old Canadian Forces army barracks. Over the years he has also served as an Okanagan University College Board of Governors member, a faculty member, and as the Regional Principal of the North Okanagan Region. In 2004, Jim was appointed President of Okanagan College and his term was recently extended to 2010. Jim has also worked for School District 22 as an administrator and served a term as a school trustee. He hold a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Queen’s University and was a Graduate Research Fellow on that university’s Disraeli Project (1975-80), helping to publish the first two volumes of the correspondence of noted 19th century British novelist and Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. He has an extensive background as a consultant in media and public relations, strategic planning and market research and has worked with many community organizations in the North Okanagan.


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Beyond Sustainability

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Timing Is Everything Brian Hughes

THE RETURN OF THE CAMPFIRE There are few things that tantalize my mind more than a well-told story. Without a doubt, it goes back to my childhood of my mom reading endless stories to me. As well, I grew up listening to my dad doing CKNW radio interviews with people from all over the world as they passed through Vancouver on tour buses. They told stories of their homelands and as my dad had traveled extensively, he knew how to engage these visitors and got them to open up. I tried my hand at this a decade ago with the Penticton Philosopher’s CafÊ. Every few months, I would track an interesting person down and interview


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them for an hour in a Café, then turn them over to engage with the audience for an hour. Over the years I have interviewed over 50 people and have heard the most amazing stories. Often I would get just 1 or 2 questions in and the rest of the time would be listening. In one way the listening to storytellers goes back to early hominoids and we are probably hardwired for this in our primitive brain. I found in the Philosopher’s Cafés that often the audience and myself seemed to share a single consciousness while listening to a powerful talk. I would make audio recordings of the talks but I found when I played them back, they were devoid of that ethereal, “of one mind” feeling. Then a few years ago I discovered TEDTalks. I ride my bike to work and listen to lectures or music on the journey. Soon after discovering TEDTalks, I became an addict. At 18 minutes per talk I would listen to one on the way to work and a different one on the way home. The passion in these talks would give you the same sensation as though they were speaking right in front of you. Of course, soon there were the High Def videos that would bring the world’s cleverest persons to your living room! It was clear to me that Chris Anderson, the curator of TED, was creating an important phenomenon in the world of global information sharing and education. I discovered that listening to a TEDTalk by someone passionate about his or her interest would allow me to retain this information longer, often for


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years. For some reason, the story input genes seem to activate the long-term memory proteins. Chris Anderson’s TEDTalk on Crowd Accelerated Innovation was a major inspiration to delve into this expanded forum of TEDxOkanaganCollege. Anderson suggests that the ability of the Internet to handle large volumes of video data will lead to unprecedented levels of innovation. Instead of thousands of words to describe complex concepts and ideas, they can put out a video for the world to see. It is detailed, visual and in real time. Even though the movement of large amounts of video data takes amazing software and hardware sophistication to enable this to happen, the end result is something so basic, so fundamental; It is nothing more than a 21st century version of sitting around the campfire. Exposure to the global cacophony of ideas and stories also made me realize that many of the folks I had been interviewing at the Philosopher’s Café were just as wise, passionate and erudite as the one’s I would listen to on my ride. The concept of getting these minds together for a day and being able to share these thoughts globally through TEDx was irresistible. The timing was perfect.

BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY Beyond Sustainability was chosen as the theme of TEDxOkanaganCollege 2011 to capture what seems to


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be on the minds of many as we head into an uncertain future on this planet. We are focusing on the “Actions to be Taken” to maintain the combined integrity of the environment, social structure and economic health in the Okanagan Valley and the World. There can be little doubt that homo sapiens has had an impact on the earth and there are compelling arguments to suggest that there will be changes to the world’s climatic systems as a result of humans carbon dioxide emissions. The harsh reality of this is that there are no guarantees of species success when you look at geological time scales. In fact, in the relatively short period that life has existed on this planet, there have been five major extinctions and so the likelihood of a sixth is not beyond comprehension. Many researchers believe that the sixth extinction is a “fait accompli” unless bold thinking and actions take place soon. Of course, these views are not universally held. Many disregard the science and believe we should carry on as we are at the same rate of emissions and resource exploitation as we always have. They are convinced that if a problem should pop up then “technology” will fix it. Others acknowledge a problem but feel there is nothing we can do about it so we should just carry on. Besides, it's always someone else’s fault anyway. Even within the groups who acknowledge a problem with climate change and believe in the need


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for action, there are wide schisms about basic strategy. Some argue that in order to attain meaningful targets to make a real change, economic growth must be sacrificed and zero growth should be a target. Others are looking for new ways to approach old problems, utilize and apply new technologies and through these methodologies, keep the economy growing. The option of maintaining economic growth whilst improving environmental performance has been adopted by many western countries as the preferred option, as the other options of doing nothing or on the other hand stopping economic growth are political non-starters. There has been significant growth in taking “green tech� ideas to the marketplace as in many ways consumers are further out on the curve than their more cautious governments are. The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Building Technologies in Penticton, B.C. represents a manifestation of this complex balancing act in Canada. As Canada is a major provider of wood and iron ore used in building, it made sense to construct a training college to teach trades people how to build new green buildings of the future and to develop new green building policies that are relevant to Canada and other northern nations. In many ways, more sustainable building construction and design techniques offer a relatively


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fast return on investment. The best energy savings is the energy you don’t use as it stays in the ground and does not emit carbon dioxide. Creating energy from solar or geothermal are very interesting applications of technology but they are mere stopgaps when compared to the potential of energy conservation and energy recycling in building technology.

IF NOT US, THEN WHO ... The investment made by Canadian taxpayers in creating a Centre of Excellence with a focus on sustainable building technologies took a great deal of foresight. Typically post secondary institutions in this country produce professionals who extract our resources or train MBA’s to maximize shareholder value no matter what the cost to the environment. Our current economic model using GDP or Gross Domestic Product doesn’t measure assets not exploited. Carbon Taxes and Cap & Trade are amongst the first models to try to reward industry for reducing its exploitation of global resources. It is only a matter of time before the economic advantages of energy conservation will come to the forefront and it will be graduates from the Centre of Excellence and other forward thinking institutions around the world that will be providing the skilled workforce to lead this change. This is why it is a blessing supreme to be a part of this important discussion looking “Beyond


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Sustainability” being held at the cutting edge Centre of Excellence. Through the auspices of TEDx, our presenter’s talks will be archived and become part of the mesh of innovation, which is created by Crowd Accelerated Innovation. The challenges facing our species are great but the power of many minds working together shall overcome.

the author The TEDxOkanaganCollege project is the culmination several of Brian Hughes’s passions. As a Board Member of Okanagan College’s Board of Governors, he has had the opportunity first hand to watch a leading institution adapt to emerging educational needs on a practical basis. The construction the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies in Penticton was an especially satisfying development and it is an honour to be holding the first major conference in this cuttingedge building. The opportunity to bring together leading thinkers to ponder the future of human sustainability on this planet is particularly gratifying as it gets to the basic ethic and responsibility of living on this planet : How do we live the earth in better condition when we leave than when we came? For many years Brian has conducted Philosopher’s Café’s in which he has discussed important issues with guests in a café setting. It harkens back to the most basic interpersonal exercise of gathering around the campfire to listen to stories and the passing of wisdom through the generations.


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Birken THE TRADITION OF THE GREEN FOREST MONASTERY Ajahn Sona

My early interest in Buddhism arose from a perception that a great deal of the ethic of Buddhism concerned the environment. I was impressed with the preservation of nature around the ancient Chinese and Japanese monasteries. Not only did I appreciate their precept not to kill human beings but also their astonishing commitment to the non-killing, indeed non-harming, of animals. I had not come across it in any other society, contemporary or past. They had realized an ideal: they did not merely philosophize, nor was this limited to the occasional, eccentric hermit taking up a radical lifestyle of harmlessness. Rather, these were large, well-organized communities


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in which people lived their lives conscientiously adhering to this lofty aspiration. At the time, I must admit, I did not have much of a grasp of the higher spiritual motivation behind this behavioral ethic, but it was a fine gateway into understanding Buddhism. I think many of my generation – the boomers – may also have come to an interest in Buddhism through pacifism and environmentalism. I want to stay on the topic of applied environmentalism in our Buddhist communities in this chapter, but I think it is important to realize that Buddhism creates a context around environmentalism – an attitude that lightens the self-polluting emotions of frustration, anger, and despair, which often fuel well-meaning environmentalists in the West. Many of the best political and social organizations for the protection of the environment have arisen in the West, such as the Sierra Club, World Wildlife Federation, and Greenpeace. Equivalent organizations are difficult to find in Asia. These necessary reactions to the havoc wreaked by technology gone mad in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have arisen, perhaps unsurprisingly, in the very culture that created the problem in the first place. People who are thoroughly versed in science and technology, yet able to recognize how the inventions of these enterprises can be perverted, have been the movers and shakers behind the environmental movement. The critical leadership that these people offer, though, needs to be supplemented by a healthier, non-self-


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destructive attitude that Buddhist meditative techniques and philosophical attitudes can provide. We are at a crossroads with such problems as global warming, increasing cancer rates due to chemical saturation, psychological problems from urban overcrowding, and on, and on. All these signs point to a right-angle turn on the road of the rapidly accelerating population and related social revolutions of the last four hundred years. There is a radical alternative that we are actually being forced to undertake, and that, if ignored, threatens collapse and disaster on a scale without parallel in history. Therefore we need concrete, practical, idealistic communities in which it is proven that human nature can not only function but thrive. I do not expect the entire world population to suddenly become monks and nuns (!), but in the same way that Olympic athletes motivate kids from the back of cereal boxes, humans in general need idealists to motivate them. Humans need not only threats and depressing news reports about environmental degradation but also inspiring, positive alternatives: the possibility of finding (to borrow a Judeo-Christian image) a land of milk and honey. Buddhist monastic communities can provide an example of a twenty-five-hundred-year experiment in alternative communal living that has actually worked. I have lived in a number of Buddhist communities over the last thirty years in the West and the East, both as a lay participant and as a fully


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immersed monastic. This experience has taught me much about finding our way to simplicity and sufficiency, both in view of a community’s practical organization as well as teaching and transmitting useful attitudes for it to be psychologically in harmony with these lifestyle choices. In order for monks and nuns to present a relevant message to the ordinary, idealistic, non-ascetic layperson, our communities need to show viable ways for people to change their modes of living so as to be less damaging and more positive to the environment. Our present community is set in the forest about an hour from the nearest significant town, close enough to be available to people who cannot dwell in the forest all the time. It is a place where many come for restoration and where they can learn to make changes in their own urban and suburban environments. At times I have lived in extremely primitive monasteries, without electricity, without running water, with outhouses, and using wood gathered by hand. Such a life is entirely feasible for seasoned monastics, but people who are raised with electric lights, flush toilets, and faucets that produce warm water are unlikely to find that lifestyle applicable in their own. So our community at Birken has many of the modern conveniences but few of the modern inconveniences. We have demonstrated that this can be done, and done relatively easily. Doing so can create a sanctuary for the diverse flora and fauna around us, and an emotional sanctuary for humans


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that does not require an excessive, frivolous use of resources to accomplish. Although it would require a small book to do it justice, I shall now describe the specific technologies and practices of our monastery. We are “off-grid” that is, we are not connected to the state electricity grid. The nearest grid connection is four miles away. The cost of connecting to it would have been $175,000 – economically out of the question for us. Thus, our involuntary journey into off-grid modernity. We have evolved quickly from the raw use of an overpowered and desperately inefficient diesel generator to producing electricity through a hybrid diesel generator-battery bank. This hybrid model is what makes the Prius such a fuel efficient car; it is also what makes diesel locomotives efficient. There have been diesel-electrics for sixty years. This was news to us, so part of our journey has been to rediscover the ingenuity of previous generations. Moving off-grid stimulated a steep learning curve. We began examining each of the electrical appliances in the monastery – lights, pumps, and so forth – for their power consumption. By systematically reducing our consumption, we achieved an electrical usage per resident of the monastery that amounted to 10 percent of the average American! This astonished us because the sacrifices were virtually unnoticeable. As our efficiencies went up on a grand scale, our appetite for further efficiency was only further whetted. The psychology of this experience, I think,


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is going to be part of a general tendency in society: once you venture in the direction of simplicity and sufficiency, the game becomes enjoyable and even addictive! We have computers (five!), plentiful electric light, toasters, coffee makers, a washing machine and dryer (though we now seldom use the dryer, preferring “air dryers” of the indoor and outdoor type). The monastery has excellent well water, which we pump ourselves. To save water we switched to dual-flush toilets. A urine flush requires only three quarts, and a major flush, about a gallon and a half. This is a drastic reduction without any hardship over conventional five-gallon toilets. Remember, this also reduces the electrical demand needed to pump the water from three hundred feet down. Everything is connected. Our research has shown both that thoughtlessly purchased appliances are grossly inefficient and that this is neither accidental nor inevitable. To our initial surprise we realized that the same folks who make and sell electricity also make and sell the appliances. (They also give donations to political candidates.) This struck us as suspicious! With some in-depth reading we discovered an easily penetrated secret. After noticing that Europeans make far more efficient appliances, we discovered that inefficiency in North America has been a deliberate policy. With such outfits as General Electric woven into the fabric of modern-day America, “planned obsolescence” – a government-instituted


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policy after the Second World War to increase sales – is not so noticeable when you are on the grid. That is why off-grid living is as much an economic and political revelation as it is an environmental adventure. After reducing our electrical demands significantly, we began to concentrate on refining our electrical production. The scant wind resources and lack of significant falling water in our area mean that the only viable alternative to our diesel generator is the sun. Solar photovoltaic panels are a considerable investment. Although this fact initially sent us scurrying to our calculators, we have found that they are justified in the end, as the monastery quickly reduced its carbon footprint by fully 80 percent. This is the most expensive alternative energy at present, yet our tiny demand makes these electric costs quite reasonable. We are now in our final phase of refinement. The involvement of our resident community and supporters makes this a concrete learning experience for everyone connected to the monastery. In addition, we publish these initiatives on the Web, so those who simply peruse our Web site for interest’s sake can gain from our experience (this is why we have the computers). Phase 2 will consist of doubling our solar panels, using highly efficient water circulation pumps for heat, motion-sensor LED lights, and a highly efficient wood-fired water heater. We expect this to bring us close to our ultimate goal of 100 percent solar-generated electricity and 100 percent biofuel-


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generated heat. In our case, “biofuel” is a fancy word for wood, which we collect in the surrounding forests. As a pertinent aside, we live in British Columbia, which is larger than California, Oregon, and Washington combined. The BC forest is perhaps the largest pine forest in the world. It contains about 80 percent pine trees and, shockingly, most of them are dead. They have been killed in the last five years by an extraordinary infestation of pine beetles. The reason: global warming. Until recently severe winters kept pine beetle populations at moderate levels. This stopped occurring ten years ago and has created an ecological disaster of world-class proportions. The small consolation we have is unlimited firewood, which if left unburned will return to atmospheric carbon in twenty years anyway. We are still pondering all the implications of this unprecedented disaster. We still have not discussed transportation. It is perhaps strange to think of a Buddhist monk being fascinated with modern transportation. Not in the sense of enjoying cars or the “glamour” of air travel, but simply trying to apply the “simplicity and sufficiency” philosophy to the snarled and profoundly inefficient movement of humans and goods around the earth. We ourselves are condemned to transporting goods from the city to the country in a seven-passenger Toyota van. The monastery makes the best of the internal combustion engine, because at present there is no choice. We go to town as rarely as possible, as little as once a week; we pack the


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vehicle with people, groceries, and building supplies. And so we try to squeeze down our footprint. Ultimately, however, this will not do: the internal combustion engine must go. We eagerly follow the rapidly developing news of electric vehicles, which we will harness to our solar panels. We expect this to be the next significant step in our own low-impact journey. I often give talks about urban living, in which I advocate public transport, streetcars, electric trains, electric buses, good old bicycling – and, of course, walking. The more I discover about the chaotic and inefficient infrastructures of city transportation, the more I realize that the solutions are fairly simple but have been complicated by outright manipulation, greed, and corrupt politics. In summary, our community puts a great deal of thought and effort into efficient, adequate housing, food, and transportation. Most of all, though, the monastery is devoted to an ongoing spiritual education in inward simplicity and sufficiency, in order to supply this great paradigm shift with the necessary, non-toxic, inner fuel.

the author Born in Canada, Ven. Sona’s background as a layperson is in classical guitar performance. His encounter with Buddhist wisdom as a young man initiated a spiritual journey that led him to become a lay hermit for several years. He subsequently ordained as a Theravada monk under Ven.


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TEDxOkanaganCollege Gunaratana, at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia, where his first years of training took place. Ven. Sona further trained for over three years at monasteries following Ajahn Chah in northeast Thailand, especially Wat Pah Nanachat. Upon his return to Canada in 1994 he helped found Birken Forest Monastery near Pemberton, BC. As its spiritual guide, Ajahn (“teacher�) Sona has led the monastery through each stage of its growth. He established Birken (or, Stavana, "cool forest") in its final location south of Kamloops BC in 2001.


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Green Building BEYOND BRICKS AND MORTAR – THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE Merle Kindred, PhD

I invite you to share a journey over the past century and view examples of built environments through the lens of my personal experience as both an academic and activist grappling with the challenges in transforming resource and energy conscious Green Building into expanded green thinking as a life perspective. We start in southwest India on the Arabian Sea in the state of Kerala that’s been modeling unprecedented gains in educational achievement, universal health care, and other features of an enlightened society over the past half century. After World War II, British-born architect Laurie Baker


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spent 60 years in India, primarily in Kerala, studying and creatively melding indigenous knowledge with appropriate Western technology and foreshadowing Green Building concepts by decades. Baker and other progressive Kerala leaders established the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD) a quarter of a century ago and it has since constructed thousands of cost effective, energy efficient buildings for residential, private enterprise, and institutional use. COSTFORD was the site of the Eastern portion of my doctoral dissertation on communication challenges relating to changing perception and use of energy in the built environment. What I taught myself with the exercise was that I needed to LIVE what I learned. Fabricating the built environment always makes demands on the biosphere. Using local


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materials, encouraging use of skilled manual labor, and minimizing use of subsurface minerals or fossil fuels requiring significant energy in extracting, transporting, fabricating, and eventual disposal provides energy conservation and less stress on the environment. Much of my time in Kerala is spent with young site engineers, architects, and interns as well as visitors from all parts of India and abroad who arrive at our Thiruvananthapuram Centre wanting to hear about and tour our construction sites and buildings. The essence of Green Building consciousness and communicating widely is the basis of all COSTFORD’s work. As part of this communication effort, three years ago I commissioned COSTFORD to design and build a 2,000 s.f. energy efficient house for me and the family of my logistics guide when I was starting field


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studies in Kerala five years ago and who died suddenly soon after we worked together. We completed this house on the edge of an agricultural valley two years ago and it has been toured by hundreds and received both national and international attention. It’s home to five of us spanning three generations and is doubtless the only bi-cultural COSTFORD residence in Kerala. We build with local high-quality, low-cost materials as much as possible. The foundation of our house is local granite and trenching is reinforced with construction-grade bamboo driven vertically and also laid horizontally sandwiched between layers of concrete. Local brick does need energy in extracting the soil, forming and firing the bricks, and transporting them to the site, but our bricklaying strategy of rattrap bond conserves materials. Masons set bricks on edge and alternate them at 90-degree angles for double walls with insulating space. This reduces brick by 25 percent and also deceases the amount of mortar. Joints are then carefully smoothed creating a pleasing finish and avoiding plastering and painting. This construction strategy is celebration of rusticity as opposed to often overworked, expensive, and environmentally destructive conventional modernity. Spacing of bricks in various COSTFORD-style jali wall arrangements provides natural light, ventilation, privacy, security, and aesthetic appeal in addition to standard glazed windows. The jali technique plus ceiling fans eliminates need for energy-


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devouring air conditioning. Use of the traditional Kerala central courtyard open to the heavens also increases natural ventilation and light. A filler slab roof of inexpensive earthen roofing tiles sandwiched in pairs placed into the poured concrete roof slab reduces weight by 25 percent, reinforcing rebar metal by 40 percent, and concrete by 35 percent. The space between the tiles also provides additional insulation in this subtropical climate. Floors are made of terracotta tiles or finequality cement with colored oxide finishes. In our house, skilled carpenters crafted window frames, doorframes, and doors from local anjali and jackwood. We also created some decorative window treatments updating the traditional open lattice Kerala window and handrail supports with more construction-grade bamboo. Water for household and agricultural use is provided by spring water flowing into the site and pumped from a concrete storage tank. There’s also a rainwater-harvesting tank built within part of the foundation. Instead of a solid compound wall, we have a biofence of local split stone granite columns with wire strung between supporting indigenous plants for organic boundary marking. A biogas system generating methane from toilets and kitchen scraps provides fuel each day to augment use of bottled gas. The house is designed for solar hot water, which will be installed when we


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have more rupees available. This house cost approximately 60 percent of a comparable conventional house in Kerala and 25 percent of the total cost of the same size house my late husband, an architect, and I built in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula over a decade ago. It’s to this house and houses designed for our local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International we now turn. Hancock, Michigan is a challenging site for energy efficient, passive solar construction. Located in the middle of the Keweenaw Peninsula, a finger of land jutting north into Lake Superior in the state’s Upper Peninsula, winters are long and have an average snowfall of 20 feet. We chose land in a wooded subdivision with southern exposure, few evergreens, and numerous deciduous trees for summer shading and winter sunshine. The house was relatively small by American standards — 1,920 s.f. – serving both as home and architectural studio. It was constructed as a wellinsulated package using 2”x 6” studs, thick fiberglass


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batts, and insulated sheathing on the outside. The foundation slab and ceiling were also heavily insulated, and taping and caulking all drywall seams and places of air leakage further created an extremely energy efficient house. The passive solar strategy was direct gain in the main living areas with south facing energy efficient windows. Thermal mass to hold solar heat consisted of a dyed concrete floor at the lower level, ceramic tile over cement board on the upper level, and a brick masonry wall surrounding the airtight fireplace on the upper level. Back-up heat was supplied by a 50-gallon domestic natural gas water heater (dual-warranted for space heating and domestic hot water), which was connected to baseboard radiation. An air-to-air heat recovery ventilation unit maintained indoor air quality.


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The combined natural gas and electricity bills for the house remained at roughly $100 per month with energy consumption 53 percent lower than comparable houses and 70 percent reduction of CO2 emissions. It cost 5 percent more to build than a similar house in the region, but we recouped the money in reduced energy bills in less than two years. Passive solar is Green Building at its best! My husband and I then volunteered with Copper Country Habitat for Humanity (CCHFH) assisting low-income families in constructing affordable homes in our region. Soon we were building award-winning, passive solar, super-insulated houses of just over 1,000 s.f. These were plain in design, but phenomenal in energy performance with 43 percent reduction in energy consumption, lower building cost, and reduced CO2 emissions. This Habitat affiliate continues as a dedicated Green Building organization. Let’s turn the clock back a bit further to life in post-World War II suburban Detroit where there’s more to contemplate about Green Building. I’m the vanguard of the post-war baby boom generation in the US. New homes averaged 800-900 s.f. – exactly the size home we had for our family of five. The house was a 1-1/2 story, two-bedroom, 2”x 4” frame dwelling. At the beginning of the 21st century (fifty years after my childhood home was built), the average size of a new home in the US was 2,400 s.f., which is nearly TRIPLE the size of my home. Green Building is not


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only about HOW, but how BIG we build. Moving back in time and reflecting on the first quarter of the 20th century, I have a photograph taken on the Saskatchewan prairies where my Finnish grandparents came as homesteaders just prior to World War I. My mother is standing with elderly relatives in front of a sod house hewn from the prairie earth stacked like bricks. Mother was born in just such a house in 1922. What’s the point of this bit of nostalgia? Certainly I’m not advocating we all move back into sod or wattle-and-daub, thatchroofed houses, but what does remembrance of such dwellings tell us about the challenge of change now and the impact of our current houses and buildings in relation to resource availability? A challenge to authentic Green Building practices originates with the cheap energy of the post-World War II era that helped America create and market a lifestyle based on what I call Manifest Entitlement to cheap energy for rapid modernization and industrialization. In our architectural practice, we found clients usually recoiled when issues of energy use or renewable energy were mentioned and would automatically ask how much it was going to cost and when they could expect payback. Payback? In the residential environment, nobody ever asks for payback figures on the hot tub they’re installing on the back deck or marble kitchen counters or the three-car garage, but design and construction strategies that encourage energy conservation or use


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of renewable energy often face the payback challenge. I titled this paper Green Building: Beyond Bricks and Mortar – the Challenge of Change in hopes of extending my own thinking on a topic I’ve been living, researching, and publishing and presenting about for over a decade. The challenge is how to creatively and captivatingly posit new ways – or resuscitate old ways – of countering overdevelopment and unsustainable habits of living on this finite planet. Green Building is part of the greening consciousness needing manifestation in all aspects of our lives. Thinking of green, two frogs come to mind. One is from purported late 19th century research. Put a frog into boiling water and it’ll leap out of the pot. Then put a frog into a pot of cool water and slowly turn up the heat. Supposedly the frog will adjust and you’ll end up with boiled frog. The second frog image is from the US children’s show Sesame Street that


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decades ago gave us the Muppet Kermit the Frog. I still remember the opening of his signature song, “It’s not easy being green ...” Let’s now turn the clock forward to the present for some local examples of greening of awareness and action. Green Building consciousness is being developed here in Penticton, BC in several ways. Okanagan College’s new Centre of Excellence is demonstrating the viability of an entire off-grid, self-sustaining building on campus and developing programs training in skills that foster more sustainable living practices. Habitat for Humanity South Okanagan is starting work this summer on a model Green Building home designed by a local architect for a low-income family here in the city. Soon local meetings will resume in Penticton about the 1970s Danish concept (called cohousing in North America) encouraging more sustainable living practices in close-knit communities of sharing. The city also has an Urban Agriculture initiative starting this spring, so not only Green building, but also green consciousness relating to a variety of sustainable living practices is well underway in this small community. In conclusion, each of us has talent and experience that can help effect needed change in some area of life. I leave you to decide if you want to be that boiled frog or adopt Kermit’s song as the


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anthem for not only Green Building, but also participating in green consciousness as an expanded, positive life perspective.

This paper is dedicated to the memory of my friend Dr. Elizabeth Baker (1915-March 11, 2011), a Kerala-born physician and widow of Master Architect Laurie Baker (1917-2007). the author I’m a Canadian with a patchwork quilt of lived experience in Canada, the US, the Caribbean, and India in the fields of education, theatre, business, heavy industry, and architecture. I’m defining retirement as refirement and sharing a journey of a life between North America and India tackling issues of energy use in the built environment and thoughts about the challenge of change taking us beyond sustainability of resource-sensitive Green Building to green consciousness as an expanded life perspective. Merle Kindred, PhD Friend of COSTFORD Kerala, India and Penticton, BC, Canada


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Indigeneity A NECESSARY SOCIAL ETHIC TO TAKE US BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY Jeannette C. Armstrong

David Suzuki writes “... in the last century, Homo sapiens has undergone a radical transformation into a new kind of force ... For the first time in the 3.8 billion years that life has existed on Earth, one species – humanity – is altering the biological, physical and chemical features of the planet on a geological scale.” (Suzuki, 11) Unbridled development in every form has unleashed escalating and compounding problems cumulatively producing environmental damage as global social crisis. Maurice Strong, Secretary-General of UNCED (UN Conference on Environment and Development), provided the grim snapshot, that while scientists argue about global warming, “the insurance


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industry doubles, triples, quadruples its payouts to victims of hurricanes. News of typhoons and tornadoes is heard from unfamiliar places. Towns are flooded or flattened by gales. Water Tables shrink and aquifers dry up. Careless irrigations turn soil saline. The deserts spread. On the oceans, red tides bloom, and the fish retreat to the deep seas. Politicians despair whether the hole in the ozone means anything, but melanomas increase the cancer wards … ecological tragedies, nuclear accidents, the poisoning of rivers, the runoff of radioactive waters into the Bering Sea.” (Strong, 24) The reality confronting all peoples in the scale of environmental degradation experienced in Strong’s images is in actuality a macrocosm of the reality that has been confronting Indigenous peoples in the loss of their lived experiences of “Indigeneity”, in that those losses have been directly accompanied by the massive global loss of living nature. To all of our good fortune, a tremendous amount of on-going and historical resistance on the part of Indigenous peoples is a legacy of struggle for the “protection” of environment through protecting the right to continue cultural practices maintaining ethics beyond sustainability. Deep ecologist Jerry Mander succinctly points out, “Indigenous nations of the world sit on much of the planet’s remaining natural resource wealth. In itself, this is a testament to the long-term viability of their traditional values, and practices of stewardship, reciprocity, and integration with nature.


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It also confirms a highly advanced knowledge of how to be in the world; the rules, limits and practices of sustainability.” (Mander, 193) In understanding that Haida unemployment was extremely high and logging would have generated jobs, Suzuki wanted to know why they so strongly opposed it. He decided to interview Guudjaaw, a Haida artist who had led the Haida in a highly public opposition to the clear-cut logging of their homelands, and asked him why they opposed the logging. Guudjaaw answered, “Our people have determined that Windy Bay and other areas must be left in their natural condition so that we keep our identity and pass it on to following generations. The forests, those oceans, are what keep us Haida people today.” (Suzuki, 16) Today the Haida are praised for one of the most innovative models in the world which they have fashioned as significant partners in the Gwaii Hannas Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site which provides protection over much of their homeland, as well as, better long-term economic benefits in its maintenance than in its destruction. Indigenous peoples increasingly are “rejecting the interventions of economic globalization while demanding basic and universal rights: self-determination, land preservation, cultural integrity, and respect for the earth.” (Mander, 77) In spite of the reluctance and resistance of governments in enacting appropriate legal and political measures, good dialogue is taking place


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providing valuable guiding frameworks in the form of research by Indigenous scholars. Indigenous scholars Battiste and Henderson provide a frame to situate Indigenous knowledge research in that “most Indigenous scholars choose to view life from two different but complementary perspectives: First as a manifestation of human knowledge, heritage, and consciousness, and second as a mode of ecological order” (Battiste, 34) Indigenous peoples are achieving positive advances through convincing research situating the necessity, strength and importance of Indigenous perspectives and practices. The Akwekon Journal collection of essays, Indigenous Economics Toward a Natural World Order, provides many examples of “how to continue to incorporate and validate traditional knowledge systems in the ongoing endeavor to sustain and prosper as peoples and communities of the 21st century.” (Barriero, 5) Henderson emphasizes that “Survival for Indigenous peoples is more than a question of physical existence; it is an issue of preserving Indigenous knowledge systems in the face of cognitive imperialism. It is a global issue of maintaining Indigenous worldviews, languages, and environments.” (Henderson, 12) As Anne Waters comments in American Indian Thought: Philosophical Essays, “The philosophical doors are cracked open, and like reviving nations, American Indian philosophers will continue to walk in two worlds, alongside our ancestors and elders, and on the


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paths of cultural struggle that articulate our Indigenous being.” (Waters, xxxviii) An outcome of struggle in the face of the most insurmountable odds has been to generate an international solidarity of support that has pushed forward dialogue in international, national and local policy change. In Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples Resistance to Globalization, Mander comments “In more ways than one, indigenous issues are the frontier issues of our time. They deal with geographic frontier struggles where the larger, destructive globalization process attempts to suck up the last living domains on the planet – its life forms, its basic resources, its peoples – in the empty cause of short-term wealth accumulation.” (Mander, 2005) The reality is becoming increasingly clear to local communities the world over, that although Indigenous peoples living in sustainable land-based cultures worldwide remain the most vulnerable to all forms of corporate globalization, all communities and all peoples are affected by the global competition swallowing up living ecosystems through development interests. As the frenzy of corporate globalization continues to provoke blatant injustices and human rights issues, what has become intensely clarified in the growing disparities between the wealthy and the impoverished in all sectors is that the same protections needed by Indigenous Peoples are necessary for all peoples, as all local economies and cultures stand directly in the line of assault in exactly the same way.


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Green Economist, Herman Daly, argues that an economy based in the idea of "wealth” as manmade capital, which must continually be generated to maintain society’s requirements, creates the serious environmental and social consequences we are witnessing in this century. He contends that it is a flawed model of development and growth as it is dependent upon and sourced solely by the continual depletions of "natural capital" through socially structured dependencies on production and consumption of renewable and non-renewable resources. The spiral into economic chaos is a predictable outcome as the inevitable happens in that as more and more ‘natural capital’ is expended and depleted, eventually severe scarcity occurs and it is no longer economic to meet consumption demands set by structural dependencies in society. “The economy grows in physical scale, but the ecosystem does not. Therefore, as the economy grows it becomes larger in relation to the ecosystem” (Daly, 181). He makes the point that in steady-state economic models "capital" is to be protected and kept intact at all costs so that it continues to generate benefits at a stable and continuous rate and therefore "natural capital" must be protected by renewals or off-set renewals when utilized. He theorizes a model in which “sustainability” is defined as way to sustain human consumption alone and thus causes and grave imbalances in that selective destruction and eradications of living nature is economically "valued"


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rather than value in the cumulative life force which makes up an ecology as a living regenerative system. Daly calls for change “The human adaption needed is primarily a change of heart followed by an economy that does not depend so much on continuous growth.” (Daly, 12) It is clear a paradigm shift is needed in which human beings embed values consistent with an intelligent recognition of the necessity for conforming human institutions to the requirements of behavior wherein the local ecology they occupy sustains its full regenerative capacity. The “shift” that is required would be tantamount to a pronouncement of justice for all peoples. As the late John Mohawk, a Seneca scholar said, “when we talk about re-indigenization, we need a much larger, bigger umbrella to understand it. It’s not necessarily about the Indigenous People’s of a specific place; it’s about re-indigenizing the peoples of the planet. It’s about us looking at the whole thing in the broadest of possible ways.” (Nelson, 259.) Mander suggests a further dimension, “It is increasingly clear to me that Indigenous peoples of the earth have the answers to many of these questions, if we would listen. Our job is to work to dismantle the institutions that now lead the world in the opposite direction, and to join forces in all efforts to replace that with a hierarchy of values and standards that serve the earth and the communities who simply want to live their lives in peace and stability, in a traditional manner, on their own ancestral lands


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with control of their livelihoods and resources.” (Mander, 7) In the essay “Indigenous Ecological Knowledge”, Daryl Posey wrote “To reverse the devastating cycle which industrialized society has imposed on the planet, we will have to relearn ecological knowledge and earnestly deal with the question: Can sustainable practices harmonize with trade and increased consumption? ... These undertakings may be daunting, but the wisdom of traditional and indigenous peoples continues to guide us.” (Mander, 27) Mander emphasizes that Indigenous peoples bring something new to the table in the discussions of how we should live now and its importance because “many environmentalists today – as well as activists of other stripes – remain hesitant to mention that such prevailing paradigms as economic growth, corporatism, capitalism, and the ideologies of the global market and consumerism are all by varying degrees the root causes of the grave environmental and social crises of our time.” (Mander, 197) The human shift in consciousness to a “global environmental ethic” that is required, hinges on coming to terms with what John Mohawk called the tremendous reality of what we think of as globalization. He goes on to say that it is the calledupon spiritual call of “the re-indigenization of the world.” (Nelson, 260)


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Increasing “Indigeneity” in all peoples is the way that environmental damage can be altered. Indigeneity describes a state of living within an environmental ethic based on the knowledge of what the local ecology requires of human behavior to maintain its full regenerative capacity in perpetuity. Knowledge of what local ecologies require in terms of human reciprocity within it as a natural system is fundamental to constructing the way people and environment can intersect to constantly restore its capacity for regeneration. A vital direction is to continue to progress beyond the current limitation of “sustainability” of resources for human utility to the re-construction of the concepts toward fostering and developing a social paradigm of environmental ethics and practice of restoration, regeneration, reciprocity and renewal. Finding ways to support and facilitate that re-construction has meant vigilance in maintaining Indigenous knowledge systems which can influence and assist change. Innovative approaches utilizing Indigenous thought are developing theoretical structures to sustain and build on the healthy inter-relationships of people to land within viable contemporary contexts. The contemporary context requires “collaborations” between Indigenous peoples currently living their Indigeneity and those “indigenizing” themselves into local ecologies shaping old knowledge into new practices. Collaborations


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intent on the development of approaches for “whole system” change can create new institutions which support and induce shifts in academia and social applications at local levels. Collaborations with Indigenous peoples to that end will produce transformative shifts away from domination frameworks and institute new ways of intercultural interaction. Such cooperation is a starting point in bringing all peoples back to a local community consciousness through the forging of new relationships representing “coexistence” in regenerative land use practices while structuring new economies in the process of “restoring” land and people. The imagined “dialogical educational future” presented by editors Semali and Kincheloe in their collection What is Indigenous Knowledge? Voices From the Academy provides an exciting path in that they propose “a synergistic dialogue that pedagogically works to create conditions where both intra- and inter-cultural knowledge traditions can inform one another.” (Semali, 53) Society transforms only when feasible opportunities for transformative experiences are made available. Change hinges not so much on what must be stopped, but on actualizing into the lives of people and community through work, recreation and other benefits, concrete new ways that supplant what must be stopped. Storm Cunningham, author of The Restoration Economy stated “We’re reaching a “tipping point.” We are on the verge of the inevitable


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transition from an economy based on new development to one based on restorative development.” (Cunningham, 6) In conclusion, the basis for an ethic of Indigeneity to emerge in the great paradigm shift that the earth requires is to understand that human intelligence must move beyond sustainability as an ethic and therefore a practice of human benefitgrasping to learning to become a regenerative part of nature through the attainment of the wisdom that our unique ability of reasoning has the capacity for. As the late John Mohawk, in speaking about Earth Grasper, said, “Humans exist in a context of nature, and not vise versa. Everything we have ever had, everything we have, everything we will ever have – our health, our good looks, our intelligence, everything—is a product not of our merit but of all that which created our world. That which created our world is not society, but the power of the universe. Nature, which is the context of our existence, is sacred” (Mohawk, iii)

bibliography Barreiro, Jose. Indigenous Economics Toward a Natural World Order: Akwe:kon Journal. Vol. IX, Number 2, Summer 1992. Ithica, New York: Akwe:Kon Press. 1992. Battiste, Marie and James (Sa’ke’j) Youngblood Henderson. Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge. Saskatoon, SASK: Purich Publishing Ltd. 2004


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Waters, Anne. Ed. American Indian Thought. Philosophical Essays. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. 2004 the author An Indigenous author and activist, Jeannette C. Armstrong's published works include literary titles and academic writing on a wide variety of Indigenous issues. Awarded the 2003 EcoTrust Buffett Award for Indigenous Leadership, she is distinguished with Honorary Doctorate’s from U of St. Thomas, U of British Columbia Okanagan and the University of Queens. She holds the Okanagan College Lifetime Fellow award. She is the Executive Director of En’owkin Centre, the cultural research and education facility of the Okanagan Nation as well as being on faculty in Indigenous Studies at UBC Okanagan. She has a PhD from the University of Greifswald, Interdisciplinary in Environmental Ethics and Syilx Indigenous Literatures. She is an Okanagan Syilx culture and language specialist and traditional knowledge keeper. She currently serves on Environment Canada’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) subcommittee of the Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).


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BreakingDown OR BREAKING THROUGH? Stephen Joyce

The Necker tube is one of the best known visual illusions. But it also acts as a metaphor for how we operate as human beings. It highlights our ability to look at the same information and see two quite different things. Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over – it became a butterfly and just when we thought our civilisation was breaking down, it may be in fact, breaking through.


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Our ability to collaborate has made it possible for our species to achieve incredible things. Our coordinated efforts have built cathedrals, civilizations and put an international space station into orbit. When we don’t collaborate the consequences can be similarly impressive, but not in a good way. When we look at what we are doing to our planet the question is not "can we change our behaviours?" Rather it is "do we have the willingness to cooperate to make it possible?" The chips are down, so to speak, for our civilisation. If ever there was a time for us to actively consider how we can collaborate to save ourselves, and potential future generations, it is now. When I think of collaboration and our collaborative capacity, three photos come to mind. The first shows a group of African tribes people engaged in a ceremonial dance. It shows them all hopping high into the air, in a circle. The photographer captured a moment when all twenty of them were in the air at the same time. It’s as if the entire group is suspended in mid air, bound together in the act of celebrating their interdependence. In modern cultures we still enjoy some of this kind of collaborative behaviour – celebrating rituals such as Christmas, Honokaa , and Dewali. Doing roughly the same thing at roughly the same time, together. The second photo dates back to the 1920‘s and shows a large group of people who have just completed the structural phase of a ‘barn raise‘. The skeleton of


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a multi-storied building, people standing and sitting on the beams at all levels of the building. There are probably a hundred of them or more, it demonstrates the collective power of the group. They have built something so complex and so large that it would have been impossible for any one individual to achieve this. The third photo, and for the me the most fascinating, is an electron micrograph of a colony of bacteria, a very specific kind of bacteria, Methicillinresistant (or multi-drug resistant) Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It is better known as the "super bug" and it has health systems across the globe in a state of thinly disguised panic. It is practically unstoppable. As much as bacteriologists and Pharma labs, their intelligence is breath-taking, literally. Once one colony of these bacteria manage to "hack" any part of the antibiotic arsenal designed to destroy it, MRSA doesn’t keep it a secret. Instead the bacteria shares the discovery freely. Bacteria colonies clearly play by a different set of rules than we humans do. When we discover something that works, we patent it and then monetize it. Within a MRSA colony there are no patent lawyers. MRSA is simply out-collaborating us. The act of collaborating with others is an admission that we are interdependent. This doesn’t come easy to most of us. And yet when you think about the journey we make from birth to death it involves three distinct stages. The first is a state of


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total dependence. When we are born we are dependent upon our parents for food, protection and so forth. With good parenting we will gradually move toward independence, which is the second state. However, the complexity of life and the challenges it brings soon demonstrates that moving to interdependence (the third stage) brings significant advantages. This is as it should be. We have come full circle and discovered that we still rely upon others, and they upon us. The era we live in is a very special one; an era of transition. A collective species transition is called for. Moving us from "adolescence" to "maturity" as a species. But we have grown before, we can grow to stay asleep through this one. An anthill provides a useful metaphor. It can survive and feed itself in some of the most hostile environments. No single ant knows how it all works, nor does it need to. Individually ants are pretty dumb, collectively they are very smart. Possibly they have already made that transition to species maturity? Conversely we human beings are individually very smart but collectively ... well? The culture of individualism, driven by an increasingly hungry consumerist society, attempts to push us backwards toward the phase of independence. At every turn, advertisers attempt to tell us (and sell us) that we shouldn’t "need" other people. We should have our own individual means of transportation, our own everything, our own singleserving portions of reality. Community and


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interdependence are unnecessary and unwelcome intrusions into the ideal life. We are told in every advertisement that unbounded pursuit of happiness is a basic human right. They swiftly tie this pursuit to material consumption. However, in a study quoted in the paper "Beyond Money" by Deiner and Seligman, it has been demonstrated that happiness is not highly dependent upon material wealth. In their study of a sampling of Forbes magazine’s richest Americans, they demonstrated that the happiness scores were equivalent to those of the Pennsylvanian Amish and very close to Masai tribesmen. The three largest threats to a human civilization are peak oil, climate change and economic inequality. In order for us to move beyond sustainability we are going to have to become radically more collaborative. A practical response to these challenges and a wonderful example of collaborative intelligence in action is the Transition Town Initiative. The core focus of the Transition Town Initiative is the creation of a community-based energy descent plan. An Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP), is a community-created plan to wean ourselves off ‘cheap plentiful oil‘. However the Transition Town Initiative goes well beyond the issue of energy supply. It explores creative adaptation in the areas of health, education, economy and food production. Founded in 2005 by Rob Hopkins the model has been adopted by over 360 cities and towns across the world. Over


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1000 other cities around the globe are exploring how to bring the Transition Town Initiative into their communities. The model relies almost entirely upon grassroots activity and community engagement. It is a response to the lack of much needed national and worldwide leadership on a planet facing huge resource challenges. Because it depends upon community process, activities like town-hall meetings and local action are extremely important as the community slowly becomes like an anthill mobilized in preparation for a harsh winter. Each geographical region and community faces different challenges as they adapt to the effects of peak oil. So the shape of their initiatives are equally different. There are no hard and fast rules about what form an energy-descent plan should take. That is for the community to decide. The initiative enables everyone to take part at a local level and have a meaningful effect on challenges that are global in nature. The model has been heavily influenced by the permaculture movement. Some of the principles* from permaculture that influence the Transition Town Initiative are: Observe and interact: finding out what is already happening in the community before starting any new project. Obtain a yield: harvest ideas from the


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community about what it needs, wants and feels so strongly about. Produce no waste: making ‘zero-waste’ a organizing principle of the community. Design from patterns to details: work with existing currents, trends and projects when possible. Integrate rather than segregate: create partnerships among groups throughout the community. These are just a few of a much larger group of ideas underpinning the TT Initiative. Beyond the creation of an energy descent plan the prime objective is to enable communities to re-discover their inherent resilience. So it is not a process of invention but rather a re-discovery of the resilience that enabled us to reach this point as a species. Besides all our flaws we have been extremely resilient in the past. All we need to do is to tap back into that resilience. Community-based initiatives are a central part of an energy descent plan. Examples include organizing community-wide events such as Earth Hour ; supporting school programs; waste reduction projects; local currency and community-supported agriculture. It is heart-warming to know that right now as you read this, hundreds of thousands of people are being impacted by Transition Town in countries like the UK, Germany, Australia, South Africa, USA, and here in Canada. It will eventually lead to hundreds of millions of individuals, all taking


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small enlightened steps that are mutually reinforcing. A wave that changes the world. As communities explore how they can make the Transition Town model work within their community one of the side effects is a growing awareness of the need for "delocalization" but not for "relocalization". Relocalization within a community can involve initiatives like forming food cooperatives, car-sharing programs, re-skilling workshops (cross-generational learning helps build relationships ) and barn-raising projects (they can be used for more than building barns.). The other side of peak oil doesn’t have to be a gloomy, cold, and lonely world. The very changes that will enable us to adapt to the descent of fossil fuels, will also create communities richer in relationship, social engagement and individual wellbeing. We are being called upon to rediscover our humanity so let us bless this challenge so that it may bless us back. Despair is one of the options we have as we face the "large system" challenges that we hear and see evidence of daily. Viktor Frankle stated over half a century ago, that we are the meaning makers. We decide what the events in our lives mean or signify. In other words we decide which configuration of the Necker tube we see. Perceptual flexibility, the ability to change the way we perceive things has become not just a


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philosophical luxury, but a social and psychological necessity for our survival. Jonas Salk‘s (the inventor of the polio vaccine) once said “Our law of two feet dictates that we vote with our feet for which future we wish to manifest. So are we witnessing a break down or a break through? We decide that with where we point our feet."

* with thanks to “Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability" by David Holmgren the author Growing up during turbulent times in Northern Ireland, Stephen learned early on that personal resilience was vitally important. An accomplished speaker and business consultant, for over ten years he has been consulting within the following sectors: corporate, health sciences, non-profit, professional associations, education, and government.


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A Brief History of Design Brenda Martens

How the last 100 years of design and construction have contributed to environmental degradation and what we can do about it.

Many of us have seen the statistics related to buildings and their contribution to the environmental dilemma in which we currently find ourselves building operations account for thirty-five percent of our green house gas emissions; over forty percent of material consumption goes towards construction1 and over twenty five percent of landfill is comprised of construction waste2 ... How did we come to this? It is easy, after a few generations, to think that the way we currently do things, is the only or best way. The building industry is extremely slow to


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change, building owners are incredibly risk adverse, which is not a surprise since a building will stand for 50 to 100 years3, any mistakes made last a very long time. Although there is a great deal of inertia behind current building practices, much of what we take for granted has only been around for the last 50 to 100 years. Air conditioning and fluorescent lighting were both introduced in the early to mid twentieth century, and had a profound impact on architecture. The ability to inexpensively and artificially light a space eliminated our dependency on natural daylight, and artificial cooling removed the need for cross ventilation and operable windows. As a result, buildings became a collection of separate systems – the envelope, heating/cooling, and lighting were now all dealt with independently. The form of our buildings, driven by land and construction costs, became deep, square, and with the introduction of cable borne electric elevators, tall. What wasn’t diminished was our psychological need for natural light, fresh air and a connection to the outdoors. The “corner office” became a status symbol because of it’s access to views and light. In the developed world, we quickly forgot how to design and build naturally ventilated, naturally lit buildings that worked in the context of their environment. One of the results of this was the “International Style”, an architectural genre that produced buildings constructed of concrete, steel and glass that could be found anywhere in the world,


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regardless of the climate, culture and history of its location. “Vernacular Architecture”4, the architecture of ‘place’, was ‘displaced’ in this movement, and as building design and materials became universal, market efficiency and global sourcing drove the supply industry to specialization and mass production. At the same time, we saw a change in architectural practice itself. Today, the vast majority of architects are graduates of universities with degrees in the discipline, whereas up until the end of the 1800’s, architects apprenticed on the job after, at most one or two years of rudimentary study. Canada’s first degree granting School of Architecture was established at the University of Toronto in 1890. Partly due to this change in architectural education, there was a departure from the view of architecture as a trade, to a profession, and finally to the architect as “visionary” and “artist” (Ayn Rand captured this view of “architect as visionary” best in her book The Fountainhead). A few architects would rise to worldwide fame, and with educational content becoming globalized, movements such as the “International Style” could become universal. When the movement went too far, when these structures, although successful as “icons”, failed as buildings, either culturally, functionally or both, there was a partial return to some of the fundamentals of designing appropriately for both people and place. We have been left however, with a few legacies from the last century, and before we can


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achieve sustainability in buildings, these remnants of the twentieth century must be overcome: • The view of a building as a collection of systems, • a single discipline as the sole determiner of either form or building system • and the sourcing of building materials from across the continent, and in many cases, from around the world. There are processes recently introduced to design and construction that can counter these issues. The first of these is the “Integrated Design Process” or IDP. IDP departs from the traditional linear design path, where the building form and materials are determined by the architect, the heating, cooling and ventilation by the mechanical engineer, the lighting and power by the electrical engineer and so forth. This linear process is “coordinated” so that the systems don’t conflict with one another, but is not “integrated” and as a result, the whole is not optimized. It’s this approach that leads to the view of the building as a collection of systems, rather than a single system, and while it is possible to optimize an individual system, the building as a whole is not. IDP is the nebulous and often changing process of involvement of all stakeholders (owner, designers, builders, occupants, operators, and in some cases the community) in the building design, from the initial conceptual stages, through to operations. IDP does not need to be limited to the building industry, but


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can be applied to anything that is “designed�, from a human resources policy to an appliance. Participants contribute within their areas of expertise, but because professionals can sometimes be tethered by years of training and practice that make it difficult to think outside of the proverbial box that encases their discipline (ie. the standard practices that represent the greatest comfort levels and least risk), the real brilliance of this process occurs when the contributions are outside of one’s area of expertise, and when improvising on the ideas generated by the group. Regardless of how improbably an initial idea may be, lateral applications and variations can provide the innovation we need to apply to the design of the built environment. As an example, on one building project, the electrical engineer suggested using defective curtain wall5 (at the time, there was a warehouse full of this product being stored locally) as interior glazing in the offices. The defect was in the weatherproofing and although this caused the curtain wall to be unsuitable for its intended use, its function in an interior application would not be compromised, as well the acoustic performance would be an improvement over standard side lites5, the cost would be less, and the product itself would not go to waste. The important point to note, is that this suggestion came from an electrical consultant, whose discipline would not normally be involved in the selection of an interior wall system. In IDP, designers have to redefine their role from visionary to facilitator,


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and become creators of a shared vision based on collaboration. The second development in design is “Systems Thinking”, seeing the building as a single system, within the larger system of the community. A departure Principal of a light from the traditional linear process shelf - credit Alcoa is necessary to allow systems thinking to occur. Here is one small example to illustrate this concept. The Centre for Continuous Learning at Mount Royal University in Calgary employs a number of ‘green building’ strategies. One of which, light shelves (horizontal ledges, either exterior or interior, located at the window), were used as a means of bringing daylight further into the space and of controlling glare. Sunlight strikes the top surface of the shelf at an angle and bounces upwards and inwards to strike the ceiling and then reflect downwards, allowing sunlight to penetrate further into the room. The difference at Mount Royal University was that the perimeter radiant heating and cooling panels, which would typically be located in the ceiling, were used as the interior light shelves. Had the radiant panels been located in the ceiling, installing a light shelf would have interfered with their function, blocking the heating or cooling. By having the radiant panels act as light shelves, the designers saved the owner money (separate architectural light shelves did not need to be


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constructed), and created a better functioning heating and cooling system by lowering the panels and bringing them closer to the objects in the room they were intended to heat and cool. In this way the mechanical system acted as part of the form, or architecture of the building and contributed to lighting the space, supplementing (and tying into with daylight sensors) the electrical lighting... This is systems thinking. While IDP and Systems Thinking are rapidly gaining acceptance in design and construction, there is another process that has been slower to take hold, that process is first sourcing materials locally and then designing based on those materials. With our globalized economy, many building products that we consider ubiquitous actually originate from only one or two sources - over 70% of all carpet in Canada is manufactured in Georgia7; there is only one foundry on the continent that manufactures man hole covers, and only one manufacturer of theatre seating in North America8. It has become common practice to first design, and then source the materials to meet the design criteria. If the process occurs in this order, it becomes exponentially more difficult to find local materials to fulfil the requirements. However, if you are already designing based on the performance characteristics of the local material then this is trivial9. One very successful example of this is the Okanagan College Centre of Excellence in Penticton, the location where these TEDx talks are taking place.


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The building structure and finishes are based on systems using “Pine Beetle Kill” wood. The Pine Beetle population, once controlled by the cold temperatures, has exploded in British Columbia due to the warmer winters over the last decades. Pine Beetle infestations weaken trees, that are then attacked by a fungus which will kill the tree. These dead or dying trees stand in the forest, until they are either burned in wildfires, or harvested and typically used as fuel. One of the highest and best uses of this wood is for construction, where the carbon will be sequestered for generations, rather than released into the atmosphere by either man or nature on a large scale. The Centre of Excellence was designed around the use of Pine Beetle Kill wood, a local material that had to be harvested within a critical time period. This decision supported local forestry, mills, and manufacturers all within a 500km radius of the project. We have the means to achieve sustainability in building. Integrated Design Processes, systems thinking, and local sourcing all facilitate the innovative approach needed with respect to the design of our built environment. All of the examples given here further demonstrate that we should be targeting optimization of the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profit. Each saved the project money, avoided waste and GHGs, and contributed to better performing, more comfortable buildings. The designers on these projects did not settle for a


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“balance” or compromise between these three. If you target compromise when you begin the design, you can be assured that that is what you’ll achieve. Imagine what we could accomplish if we refused compromise, and committed instead to reach that optimal solution. notes 1. Measured as Direct Material Consumption, which does not include residuals such as mining waste. Source Eurostat 2002 Indicator Fact Sheet Direct Material Consumption (DMC) 1980 to 2000. 2. Statistics from the Canada Green Building Council, based on Canadian or North American data. Additional statistics: The average North American uses 105.7 gallons of water per day, in Europe 52.8 gallons per day, in developing countries such as Mozambique the average person uses 1.3 gallons of water per day. 3. 50 to 100 years is a short time frame for buildings when compared to elsewhere in the world. 4. “Vernacular architecture is a term used to categorize methods of construction which use locally available resources and traditions to address local needs and circumstances. Vernacular architecture tends to evolve over time to reflect the environmental, cultural and historical context in which it exists.” – Wikipedia. 5. A curtain wall is an outer covering of a building in which the outer walls are non-structural, but merely keep out the weather, typically designed with extruded aluminum members infilled with glass. 6. A side lite or “Borrowed Lite” is an interior frame which is glazed, thereby permitting light from one space to fall in another.


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TEDxOkanaganCollege 7. Statistic from Industry Canada Trade Data www.ic.gc.ca 8. The manufacturer is American Seating in Michigan, Source: Michael Driedger, Busby Perkins + Will 9. The same holds true for salvaged material that doesn’t come in standardized sizes or forms. the author Recollective is a green building and community consulting firm, with service offerings based on our experience and sustainability values. We pride ourselves on our integrity and walking the talk. This includes our continued effort in achieving sustainability in our own operations with an environment


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Our Buildings Can Save the Planet Douglas MacLeod

Our buildings can save the planet because green buildings are best means of addressing global warming, reducing energy usage and creating a healthier and safer environment.

THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM The heating and cooling of buildings accounts for about a third of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. When the carbon emitted in the manufacture of building materials and the transportation of those materials is included, this


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figure rises to almost one half. The manufacture of concrete alone produces some 7% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. When all of the energy costs of a building are combined, buildings have the dubious distinction of being both the largest consumers of energy and the largest emitters of greenhouse gases of any sector.

RESOURCE POSITIVE ARCHITECTURE We can now produce net zero buildings that produce as much energy as they consume, but the next generation of green buildings must do more than that. As architect William McDonough asserts, being less bad is not good enough – particularly when architects and engineers now have the means to remediate and repair the damage we have done to the environment. This is the promise of regenerative or resource positive architecture. Resource positive buildings generate more energy than they consume; sequester more carbon than they emit; purify more water than they contaminate; and recycle more than the waste they make. Regenerative or Resource Positive Design is the most effective, fastest, most equitable and least expensive means of combating global warming Resource positive architecture, however, demands a sea change in the way we think about our buildings and our communities. In essence each


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home, each building and each neighbourhood will manage its own resources and live within those resources. At the same time the inhabitants of those homes, buildings and neighbourhoods will own those resources and be free to share or sell them. In this approach, all of the things you do become part of your "architecture." Your electric car, for example, becomes part of your house – recharging its batteries when the house is generating energy and storing that energy for the house when it is not generating energy. In this approach rainwater is stored for irrigation and grey water is filtered and reused. In this approach green roofs and walls grow food for their inhabitants and cash crops for the market. In this approach there is no such thing as garbage. Everything is re-used or re-cycled.

ACHIEVING RESOURCE POSITIVE All of the components for moving beyond net zero into a resource positive state already exist and some of them are dead simple. André Potvin of l’Université Laval has estimated that the performance of a building depends on its architecture (25%), its systems (50%) and a remaining 25% that is essentially due to the behaviour of the occupants. Occupants interact constantly with both the architecture (opening and closing shades, windows and doors) and its systems (changing thermostats and turning lights on and off) and their impact has always been


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underestimated. In fact, behavioural studies have shown that consumers will reduce their energy consumption by as much as 12% when provided with monitoring and metering systems that clearly and effectively communicate energy usage.

7 PILLARS OF POSITIVE Including metering and monitoring, there are seven ways to incrementally tip the balance from resource negative to resource positive. As the table below suggests, each of them can be used to make a modest reduction of from 10 to 20% of our energy consumption but taken together they could move our buildings into energy production. Approach 1. Metering and Monitoring 2. Passive Solar Design 3. Change our Behaviours 4. Energy Efficient Lighting 5. Energy Smart Appliances 6. Better Insulation 7. Alternative Energy Systems Total Savings

Savings 10% 15% 15% 10% 20% 15% 20% 105%

With a total savings of 105%, a building would be able to feed its excess energy into the grid. Each of these approaches is described in more detail below.


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1. Metering and Monitoring While the benefits of metering and monitoring were referenced above, it must be noted that reliable performance data on green buildings is sadly lacking. The actual performance of a green building is often less than half of its predicted performance. We desperately need an ongoing stream of data collected in a consistent manner that will allow researchers to analyse and compare what works and what doesn’t work.

2. Passive Solar Design Significant savings can also be attained simply by orientating a building in accordance with the sun, and providing it with shade through overhangs or trees. If this is done during the design phase then it needn’t add any costs to the overall construction of the building. Moreover, new technologies, like light guides, can capture and concentrate natural light and bounce it 100 feet inside a building – with a 25% saving in lighting power bills.

3. Change our Behaviours Still More In addition to metering and monitoring, changing our behaviours by a further 15% is both feasible and an ongoing cost savings to the consumer. Adjusting the thermostat, using a clothesline, unplugging appliances when not in use, and keeping the air conditioner off would all make a difference.


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4. Energy Efficient Lighting While compact fluorescent bulbs are a good substitute for incandescent ones, LED bulbs provide the next level of energy efficiency in lighting. With a very short payback time, using these new types of bulbs saves consumers money.

5. Energy Smart Appliances Our appliances are energy hogs and they’re getting worse. Office equipment and home electronics are being designed with no concern for their energy usage. What we need are appliances and electronic devices designed for low energy usage with unambiguous rating systems that clearly identify products which are energy efficient.

6. Better Insulation Well-insulated buildings can dramatically reduce the need for mechanical heating and cooling. Taking this approach to extremes, the German Passiv Haus has neither an air conditioner nor a furnace, instead it uses the mass of the building to moderate its interior temperature.

7. Alternative Energy Sources Once all of these other measures are in place, the rest of a building’s energy needs can easily be met (and surpassed) with solar, wind and geothermal energy sources installed on the building or in the community. Excess energy can be stored for future


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use or sold to the grid, thereby generating income for the building’s inhabitants.

DUMB IS BETTER THAN SMART These seven steps to resource positive emphasize that simple measures have a far greater impact than complicated ones. Again and again, over the last few decades, proponents have advanced the idea of smart buildings, smart homes and smart appliances, and again and again, these ideas have failed. Instead we need to allow people to act intelligently. We don’t need elaborate sensors to turn off lights based on motion, or to adjust the temperature based on identity badges, we simply need to ensure that the windows are easy to open, that anyone can change the thermostat, and that the light switches are located where people can turn them on and off.

BEYOND ENERGY EFFICIENCY Energy efficiency in the operation of buildings is only part of the challenge of resource positive design. We have not addressed the whole problem if we only make net zero buildings. The careful choice of materials, for example, can not only reduce the overall carbon footprint of a building, but make it safer at the same time.


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In this context, it is difficult to understand how a building made largely of concrete can be described as green when the manufacture of that concrete generates so much carbon dioxide. Wood, on the other hand, sequesters carbon and is one of the only building materials that absorbs greenhouse gases as it is "manufactured." A large wooden building sequesters enough carbon that its carbon credits could be sold under existing "cap and trade" systems. More serious is the fact that we are in daily contact with the toxic chemicals embedded in our building materials. An older house may contain up to 225 kilograms of lead. In many ways, it is extraordinary that we have allowed such a dangerous situation to persist for so long when there are alternatives. Not only must we eliminate toxic materials from our buildings, but we can also use natural and native vegetation to draw toxins from the surrounding soil and water. The real potential of regenerative design lies in creating and selecting materials that make us healthier.

ANCILLARY BENEFITS There are other benefits as well. In 2011, construction is expected to be a $7.5 US trillion industry or roughly 13.4% of the world’s economy. Nations which demonstrate leadership in regenerative design will have a global competitive advantage in that market. Construction costs, however, are only


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the tip of the economic iceberg. In realizing the market potential of regenerative design, it is important to understand the various costs of a building over a life cycle of thirty years. The cost of salaries for the people who inhabit a building far outweigh any other expense and resource positive buildings may have their most dramatic economic impact in this area. As the Commission for Environmental Cooperation reports: In the United States, the annual cost of building-related sickness is estimated to be at $58 billion. According to researchers, green building has the potential to generate an additional $200 billion annually in the United States in worker performance by creating offices with improved indoor air quality. Lockheed Martin has reported that simply by “daylighting� Building 157 in its sprawling Sunnyvale, California facility, it was able to save $500,000 per year in energy costs – and far more than that in reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. In other words, regenerative design may also be the most cost-effective means of improving the productivity of industrialized nations.

CHALLENGES Yet despite the obvious economic and environmental advantages of regenerative design and resource positive architecture there are still serious challenges to the wide scale deployment of


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next generation green buildings. These include:

1. Reliable Performance Data As noted above, because of the scale and complexity of an average building, it is difficult to accurately assess and quantify both the performance of individual building components and entire buildings. In simple terms, we really don’t know what works and what doesn’t. We need an international network of buildings to act as living labs that accurately gather, store and compare performance data in a coherent and consistent manner.

2. Research The lack of research in green buildings in general is the most serious challenge facing this field. Historically, the AEC industry is one of the poorest in terms of research and development investment, with less than 0.7% of total building permit value in 2006 re-invested in research. Moreover, according to the U.S. Green Building Council: ... research on green building constituted only about 0.2% (two-tenths of one percent) of all federallyfunded research from 2002 to 2004 – an average of $193 million per year ... Levels of green building research pale in comparison to amounts being invested in other sectors, and green building research funding is fundamentally fragmented and thus not conducive to creating integrated solutions.


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Yet despite these challenges, the advantages of a resource positive or regenerative architecture are clear. Not only can we dramatically reduce our energy consumption and our greenhouse gas emissions, but resource positive buildings can also improve the quality of life for ordinary people by making a built environment that is healthier, more productive and more affordable. Our buildings can not only save the planet they can make it a better place to live and work.

An expanded version of this work is available from the Okanagan Institute at http://www.okanaganinstitute.com/publications/ chapbooks.php the author Douglas MacLeod has bachelor’s degrees in Architecture and Science from the University of Toronto, a master’s in Environmental Design from the University of Calgary and is a PhD candidate in the Computational Media Design program in Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. A registered architect (California), he is a recognized expert in the areas of eLearning, sustainable design and in advanced technologies such as computeraided design, social media, online knowledge management and virtual environments. His doctoral research is focused on the social construction of cyberspace. As Executive Director of the Okanagan Science and Technology Council (OSTEC) since 2008, MacLeod


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TEDxOkanaganCollege brings a strong portfolio of demonstrated knowledge and expertise in teaching, research and management. During his time with OSTEC MacLeod has built partnerships between industry, government and academic institutions to help Okanagan companies research, develop and commercialize new products and services.


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Agent of Change OKANAGAN COLLEGE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING TECHNOLOGIES AND RENEWABLE ENERGY CONSERVATION Robert Parlane

Our buildings need to become more sustainable! Construction accounts for 35-40% of total energy use in Canada.1 Most of us understand this need, and many excellent examples of sustainable architecture are being built around the region. In North America, the Pacific Northwest represents a hot bed of sustainability, with many excellent examples of green


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Figure 1: Main south entrance

architecture occurring throughout the region, and frequent examples of pioneering initiatives. These still represent only a small proportion of all new construction in the region, and primarily in the public sector. We believe the industry is poised at the brink of large scale adoption of sustainable principles and technologies in all sectors. Driven by consumer demand, media and education, sustainable construction will become mainstream. Clearly education is the primary driver for a teaching institute. Given the mandate by the federal government to be a Centre of Excellence (COE) in sustainable construction, the College will train the upcoming generation of trades professionals as specialists in sustainable technologies and renewable energy. As these students enter the workforce in the coming decades, they will be ideally positioned to


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meet these new demands and influence the construction industry as it evolves. It is therefore hoped the COE will become a significant milestone in bringing about the change to make sustainable construction mainstream in this region. To accommodate such an ambitious program, the building needed to be a clear demonstration of the best in sustainable construction. All technologies had to be clearly expressed and the building performance measured against the highest sustainable benchmarks currently available. The Living Building Challenge (LBC) was identified as the appropriate benchmark. Developed in the Pacific Northwest, the Living Building Challenge seeks to push the boundaries of sustainable design beyond LEED standards. It is considered to be one of the most progressive sustainability benchmarks for buildings today. The LBC uses the metaphor of a flower to describe a building that is informed by its ecological environment, generates all of its own energy with renewable resources, captures and treats all of its water and operates efficiently and for maximum beauty. In so doing the vocabulary of a building is defined by its immediate environment and climate, and a local vernacular established. Registered under LBC version 1.0, the Centre of Excellence must meet all the requirements of six "petals": site, energy, water, indoor quality, beauty and inspiration.


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SITE The COE is located within the city centre of Penticton, and immediately adjacent to the navigation beacon for the regional airport 2 km to the south. It is a brown-field, located away from all sensitive habitats, and not within the 100-year flood plain. The College is currently negotiating for an equivalent area of land to be set aside for permanent habitat exchange.

WATER The project benefits from a state-of-the-art chemical-free waste-water treatment facility (WWTF) constructed in close proximity to the site, treating waste-water to a higher standard than might ever be achieved with a standalone facility on the site. Therefore, all black-water from the COE is exported to the WWTF, and an equivalent volume of greywater is imported back for toilet flushing and irrigation. In addition, a corresponding volume of bio-mass is imported for use as fertiliser on the landscaping within the site, and an equivalent volume of bio-gas is imported, for which we are currently reviewing potential uses. To complete the balance, a quantity of electricity is generated on site and exported to the grid, to offset the energy used to treat the quantity of black-water at the WWTF.


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Figure 2: Schematic of water cycle

Water use for landscape irrigation typically represents 50% of all non-agricultural water use in the Okanagan.2 For the COE, this is mitigated by the extensive use of xeriscaping: landscaping that uses dry climate plants particularly well suited to the local environment, where little or no irrigation is required. Areas of landscaping with greater water requirements, such as lawns, are limited to specific areas where their use can be maximised and irrigation is done by high efficiency below-ground systems.

ENERGY The approach used to target net zero energy use can be considered in three stages: conserve, capture and create.3


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Conserve A high performance building envelope serves to conserve heat generated within the building. High insulation levels are used throughout the building, and an overall maximum air leakage rate of 5 m3/hr/ m2 defined. Heat loss through the windows accounts for 50% of all heat loss through the external envelope of the COE.4 To help offset some of this heat loss, all windows and curtain walling are to use argon-filled triple-glazing. Since doors are prone to poor air leakage and poor insulation values, the number of external doors in the COE is minimised and, where possible, single-leaf. All entrance doors have vestibules. The building will be extensively metered at the classroom/shop/office level. Each space is allocated a value for energy use (combining lighting, mechanical and plug loads), and the users have to manage their own uses to ensure they do not exceed the allocated loads. The uncontrolled growth of plug loads, or "parasitic loads", has been a major hurdle for other buildings seeking to achieve net-zero energy use. Fortunately the aspirations for this building to become an "agent for change" enjoy widespread support from students, faculty and staff. It is hoped therefore, as a teaching institute using full and detailed energy use monitoring, plug load energy use may be adapted and reduced through ongoing education and competition.


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Capture While the heavily articulated building form increases the area of the external envelope, with a related increase in heat loss, by allowing the building to capture winter solar gain, daylight, and natural ventilation, the result is a net benefit to the overall energy equation. The south orientation of the glazed entrance wing and some of the classrooms allows low-level winter solar gain to be captured, and high clerestory windows on the east elevation use the early morning sun to preheat the workshops. Summer solar gain is shaded by large overhanging roofs and brise soleil. The capture of daylight and natural ventilation, discussed in more detail below, reduces lighting and ventilation requirements, further reducing the energy demands of the building. High efficiency heat recovery systems capture heat from the exhausted air to pre-heat incoming fresh air before it is distributed to the building in winter and can be used to pre-condition the air in summer. By doing so the building ventilation heat load can be reduced by as much as 80% in the winter. By applying these tried and tested principles in combination with a high performance envelope, winter solar gain and efficient heat recovery, the theoretical annual energy consumption is reduced to 62.6 kWh/m2, compared to 345.3 kWh/m2 for a similar conventional building. This very low energy consumption achievement is significant, and essential if net-zero energy use is to be a realistic target.


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Figure 3: Roofscape showing testing area, green roofs, ventilation chimneys, solar hot water panels and photo-voltaic array.

Create To balance the net-zero equation, energy for the building is captured from two sources: geothermal and solar. The basic source of heat for the building is a central ground-coupled heat pump loop. The design employs an open-loop system using groundwater production and injection wells for heat extraction and injection. Heat recovery from the municipal grey-water system, successfully used at the Okanagan College, Kelowna campus, may also be an option in the future. A large, first phase 258 kW photovoltaic array on the roof will generate an estimated 310 kWh per annum. When there is insufficient light to generate power, typically at night or during the winter,


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Figure 4: Energy use compared to a reference building.

electricity will be imported from the local utility. This is offset by surplus energy generated during the summer months to achieve net-zero or net-export balance over the course of a year. Both flat plate and evacuated tube solar panels are used to provide domestic hot water for the building. When surplus heat is available, it is also used to supplement the ground-source heat pump system, further reducing heating. Space heating is provided by radiant heating from in-slab PEX piping. In the summer, the cooler groundwater (close to its natural temperature of 12째C) is circulated through this system to provide free cooling. Thus, the COE uses the thermal mass of the ground as a heat sink to moderate the internal temperature.


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INDOOR QUALITY The heavily articulated plan allows both daylight and natural ventilation to penetrate deep into the building, thereby minimising lighting and ventilation loads. High ceilings and tall windows maximise light penetration into offices and classrooms. High clerestory windows throw light into the larger volumes of the gymnasium Figure 5: and workshops. All occupied Ventilation chimney workspaces within the building are to be within 9m of a window offering daylight, views and natural ventilation. Where natural illumination is not easily achieved, light pipes bring daylight deep into these spaces. Further to this, in the Human Kinetics suite and Innovation Centre a prototype system is used that actively tracks and collects sunlight, and ducts it into the deep plan spaces. Typically, single aspect opening windows provide natural ventilation to a depth of 6m into any space, before the air starts to warm and rise above head height. The heavily articulated plan greatly assists the penetration of fresh air into the building. A series of five 14m high ventilation chimneys along the spine of the building are used to boost this


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Figure 6: Ventilation air flow modelling

natural ventilation. These chimneys use their orientation to the prevailing south-north winds, and the natural stack effect of warm buoyant air to draw air through the building. This stack effect is further boosted by the use of solar gain through glazed panels to heat the rising air. At peak conditions the glazed panels alone increase chimney ventilation by as much as 100%. When winter and peak summer temperatures make it inefficient to use untempered air for natural ventilation, the building will operate in closed mode. In order to maintain simple operating systems all windows are manually operated, and closed mode will be indicated by simple red and green lights in each room. When the building operates in closed mode, low-level displacement ventilation provides the acceptable background levels of fresh air. The displacement ventilation is aided by the higher ceilings


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and resulting stratification, reducing the heating load on the incoming air. Displacement ventilation is an able complement to the use of radiant heating and cooling. Both systems provide low level heat and ventilation directly to the occupied zones where they are needed, and are more energy efficient when compared to the more general, larger volume, higher heat of forced air or similar conventional solutions. Furthermore, when the slab is cooled, incoming natural ventilation stays cooler and close to the slab, penetrating further into the building before rising.

MATERIALS The LBC requirements to avoid red list materials, and source materials from within an appropriate radius according to their densities are particularly challenging to the design team. Located in a relatively unpopulated region of North America, many construction products are shipped from the manufacturing belt on the Eastern seaboard or from overseas, both outside of the permitted radii. The presence of red list substances, such as pvc, cadmium, and many wood treatments, in many common construction materials further compounds the difficulties of sourcing acceptable products, as does sourcing alternatives to achieve competitive tender prices.


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British Columbia is currently facing a major pine beetle epidemic. This small beetle, spreading unchecked due to mild winters, attacks pine trees and kills them by introducing a fungal infection, leaving vast areas of red forest. It is estimated 14.5 million hectares in BC are infected; in some areas over 80% of all pines are beetle killed.4 So, in addition to the widespread environmental havoc this infestation has wreaked, many small BC communities are facing serious economic hardship in the coming years. If left unharvested, forest fires eventually release the sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere. It was therefore clear from the outset that this building needed to respond to the socio-economic and environmental factors of the immediate availability of large volumes of lumber from beetlekill forests. The project design team therefore established acceptable parameters for the use of wood harvested from beetle-killed forests in lieu of FSC lumber normally required by LBC. Wood construction results in a relatively low embodied carbon footprint, calculated at 1770 tonnes compared to 2235 tonnes or 3360 tonnes for an equivalent steel- or concrete-framed building, respectively.v Unable to use radiant heating/cooling beneath the sprung timber floor within the gymnasium, 75 mm thick reinforced concrete prefabricated wall


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Figure 7: Prototype composite panel

panels are used to provide the thermal mass for the radiant heating/cooling piping. The 3.6m wide and 7.9m high concrete panels are cast between glulam columns. The composite action of the fixings between the two elements reduces both the structural size of the glulams and the thickness of concrete by 60%. This significantly reduces the volume of material used, and the weight on the foundation piles from 14 to 5 tonnes. These panels provide an innovative, integrated design solution for the COE, and are believed to be the first use of a composite concrete/glulam system in North America. They may ultimately offer an alternative to tilt-up or pre-cast concrete construction that utilises less material.


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Figure 8: Rendering of completed Gymnasium

BEAUTY AND INSPIRATION As discussed at the outset, the requirement for the building to be used to inspire and educate can be clearly demonstrated, and as a primary mandate for the project, is one of the most exciting aspects of the project for the design team. Most sustainable buildings influence their respective societies by example, within the constraints of their primary building purpose. One of the main purposes of the COE is to train the next generation of construction professionals in sustainable technologies and renewable energy. The building will therefore have a direct impact on the wider construction industry throughout the region for decades to come. In order to do so, the building and its systems must be transparent to both students and visitors.


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The building itself is to be used as a teaching tool. To remain relevant, the design makes generous provisions for experimentation and will be adaptable and flexible to accommodate the inevitable changes in building technology that will occur.

www.alivingclassroom.com notes 1. John Nyboer, Canadian Industrial Energy End-use Data and Analysis Centre, Simon Fraser University. 2. Okanagan Basin Water Board, 2009. “Water Management and Use Study”. 3. Broderick, M, 2009. “Carbon Neutral Campus Architecture: Climate Specific Design and Innovation - Webcast”. 4. Schrier, D, 2009. “BC Stats Environmental Statistics Giving Dead Wood New Life: Salvaging BC’s Beetlekilled Timber”. 5. BuildCarbonNeutral.org, 2007. “Construction Carbon Calculator”. the author Robert Parlane is an Associate with CEI Architecture, and Project Manager for the Centre of Excellence.


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Performative Architecture SUSTAINABILITY AND MUCH MORE Branko Kolarevic

Sustainability has permeated widely the current discourse related to the built environment and its negative impact on the natural environment. Sustainable building design aims to substantially reduce or entirely eliminate that negative environmental impact by emphasizing, among other things, the need to reduce energy usage in buildings and promote the use of durable, high-quality and low-impact materials. One of the problems is that sustainable design doesn’t always result in great buildings. A building could be very energy efficient, but ugly. A building that would be beautiful and would use high-quality,


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low impact materials, could be expensive to build. In other words, environmental impact of a building is just one measure of how buildings perform, which often has to be reconciled with other performances expected from buildings. While it is fairly easy to understand what performances are expected from designed objects such as cars or airplanes, the picture is not so clearly cut when it comes to buildings. What exactly constitutes performance in the context of built environment and in architecture, as a discipline and profession responsible for much of what we encounter in cities? What are the performances in and of buildings? Sustainability or environmental impact is certainly an important one, as is cost. Then there is structural and energy efficiency, environmental comfort ... Spatial and surface effects are also some of the performative dimensions in architecture. As these examples show, some are quantitative and some qualitative, some are tangible and some are not. Some can be easily measured and some can’t. And some performances are events that take place within buildings, which can shape social and cultural norms. Buildings can also be catalysts of socioeconomic development. This political, socio-economic and cultural performative potential of architecture is being rediscovered due, in large part, to what is nowadays called the “Bilbao effect,� after the socio-


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economic and cultural transformation of a sleepy provincial town in northeastern Spain into a cosmopolitan cultural magnet as a result of a bold architectural and cultural strategy – the synergy of the global cultural brand of the Guggenheim Museum and the exuberance and expressiveness of Frank Gehry’s architecture. Not surprisingly, by reaching out for out-of-the-ordinary architectural tactics, cities increasingly expect miracles – hence, the curvaceous, light-animated forms of Kunsthaus Graz (figure 1), the “blinking eye” bridge in Gateshead, UK, and the wing-like museum in Milwaukee.

Figure 1. Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria (2000–03), architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier (spacelab.uk).

Given such an expansive context in which architecture operates and exists (from politics and culture to physics), building performance can be defined very broadly, across multiple realms, from


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financial, spatial, social and cultural to purely technical (structural, thermal, acoustical, etc.). In performancebased design, it is this multitude of performances – and not only sustainability – that become the design driver. The issues of performance (in all its multiple manifestations) are considered not in isolation or in some kind of linear progression but simultaneously, and are engaged early on in the conceptual stages of the project, by relying on close collaboration between the many parties involved in the design of a building. Thus the performative in architecture is operative on many levels, beyond just the aesthetic or the utilitarian – or sustainable. It is important to note that performancebased design should not be seen as simply a way of devising a set of practical solutions to a set of largely practical problems, i.e. it should not be reduced to some kind of neo-functionalist approach to architecture. The emphasis shifts onto the performative strategies of design that are grounded, on one end, in intangibilities such as cultural performance and, on the other, in quantifiable and qualifiable performative aspects of building design, such as structure, acoustics or environmental design. Determining the different performative aspects in a particular project and reconciling often conflicting performance goals in a creative and effective way are some of the key challenges in performance-based design.


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PERFORMANCE SIMULATION Today, digital quantitative and qualitative performance-based simulation represents the technological foundation of the emerging performative architecture described previously. Analytical computational techniques based on the finite-element method (FEM), in which the geometric model is divided into small, interconnected mesh elements, are used to accurately perform structural, energy and fluid dynamics analyses for buildings of any formal complexity. These quantitative evaluations of specific design propositions can be qualitatively assessed today thanks to improvements in graphic output and visualization techniques. By superposing various analytical evaluations, design alternatives could be compared with relative simplicity to select a solution that offers desired performance. Future Systems, a design firm from London, used the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis in a particularly interesting fashion in its Project ZED, the design of a multiple-use building in London (1995; figure 2). The building was meant to be self-sufficient in terms of its energy needs by incorporating photovoltaic cells in the louvers and a giant wind turbine placed in a huge hole in its center. The curved form of the façade was thus designed to minimize the impact of the wind at the building’s perimeter and to channel it towards the turbine at the center. The CFD analysis was essential in improving the aerodynamic performance of the building envelope.


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Figure 2. The CFD analysis of wind flows for Project ZED in London (1995) by Arup, architects Future Systems.

The original blobby shape of Peter Cook’s and Colin Fournier’s competition winning entry for the Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (figure 1), was altered somewhat after the digital structural analysis by consulting engineers Bollinger + Grohmann from Frankfurt (figure 3) revealed that its structural performance could be improved with minor adjustments in the overall form. Likewise, Foster and Partners’ design for the main chamber of the London City Hall (figure 4) had to undergo several significant changes after engineers from Arup analyzed its acoustical performance using in-house developed acoustic wave propagation simulation software.


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Figure 3. An early analysis of the building skin for Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (2000–03), architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier (spacelab.uk).

Figure 4. The acoustical analysis of the debating chamber in the City Hall, London (1998–2002) by Arup, architects Foster and Partners.

ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE Addressing the building’s appearance (“how it looks”) and its performance (“what it does”)


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increasingly requires creating environmentally attuned buildings, whose physical forms are shaped by environmental performances in respect to light, heat, energy, movement or sound. There is currently an interesting gap in the aesthetics (and ethics) between form-oriented or cultural performanceoriented designers (Frank Gehry, Greg Lynn, etc.) and those whose work aims at environmental performance (Thomas Herzog, Glenn Murcutt, etc.). On the other hand, there is another group of designers — the ones whose work is neither too formalist or environmentalist (Foster, Grimshaw, Piano, Sauerbruch and Hutton, Jourda and Perraudin, etc.). The design strategies in the projects of the latter group vary considerably as they respond to different cultural and environmental contexts. In many of their projects, formal and environmental performative agendas were successfully pursued in parallel. In the Swiss Re project in London (1997–2004) by Foster and Partners (figure 5), the design aims at maximizing the daylight and natural ventilation in order to substantially reduce (by half) the amount of energy the building needs for its operation. The spiraling form of the atria at the perimeter, which runs the entire height of the building, is designed to generate pressure differentials that greatly assist the natural flow of air. The aerodynamic, curvilinear form, besides affording a commanding, iconic presence, enables wind to flow smoothly around this high-rise building, minimizing wind loads on the structure and cladding,


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and enabling the use of a more efficient structure. In addition, the wind is not deflected to the ground, as is common with rectilinear buildings, helping to maintain pedestrian comfort at the base of the building.

Figure 5. The Swiss Re building in London (1997– 2004), architects Foster and Partners, engineers Arup.

Some architects, notably Norman Foster and Nicholas Grimshaw – once labeled High-Tech and renamed Eco-Tech by Catherine Slessor — have explicitly stated their intentions to improve the environmental performance of their often highly visible buildings. While one could question the methodological consistency in their projects and whether certain performative aspects, such as energy efficiency, were indeed maximized, these architects


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did manage to consistently push the technological envelope of environmental performance in their buildings. An interesting example of a recent project that seems to capture the broad agenda of performative architecture, from cultural to environmental performance, is Renzo Piano’s Tjibaou Cultural Center for the Kanak population of New Caledonia (1991–98; figure 6). The “cases” that dominate the design, and that formally reference (but do not imitate) Kanaks’ huts with their cone-like shapes, were conceived with a particular cultural performance in mind. The cones of the “cases” were truncated for a more efficient environmental performance. The natural air flow within the building is then further enhanced using a system of computer-controlled louvers on the inner skin in “cases,” which was designed and developed through wind-tunnel testing and computer simulations by engineers at Arup and the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment in France.

Figure 6. Section drawing of the Tjibaou Cultural Center in Noumea, New Caledonia (1991–98), architect Renzo Piano, engineers Arup.


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Figure 7. The City Hall in London (1998–2002), architect Foster and Partners, engineers Arup.

The performative design strategies can vary considerably as they respond to different contexts. Peter Cook’s and Colin Fournier’s Kunsthaus Graz (figure 1), which was discussed previously, features an expressive, biomorphic blobby form, and an acrylic glass “skin” whose primary function is to be a “communicative membrane” – a low-resolution computer-controlled skin, a “media façade” that would enable the building to perform on urban scale. Interestingly enough, there is not a hint of environmental performance in the Kunsthaus Graz project, as if to suggest that the formal and environmental agendas are often incompatible – which cannot be farther from the truth. Foster and Partners’ City Hall in London (figure 7; 1998–2002), imbues an iconic, biomorphic form with a logic of


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environmental performance that calls for such a form in the first place. The “pebble-like” form of the building in the end resulted from optimization of its energy performance by minimizing the surface area exposed to direct sunlight. The building’s form is a deformed sphere, which has a 25% smaller surface area than a cube of identical volume, resulting in reduced solar heat gain and heat loss through the building’s skin (figure 8).

Figure 8. The solar diagram for the City Hall building.

Foster’s performative approach to the design of the City Hall building, for example, could imply a significant shift in how “blobby” forms are perceived. The sinuous, highly curvilinear forms could become not only an expression of new aesthetics, or a particular cultural and socio-economic moment born


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out of the digital revolution, but also an optimal formal expression for the new ecological consciousness that calls for sustainable building.

CONCLUSIONS Performative architecture is not a way of devising a set of practical solutions to a set of largely practical problems. It is a “meta-narrative” with universal aims that are dependent on particular performance-related aspects of each project. Determining the different performative aspects in a particular project and reconciling often conflicting performance goals in a creative and effective way are some of the key challenges in this approach to architecture. The development of more performative techniques of design is essential to this task. It necessitates a shift from scenographic appearances to pragmatist imagination of how buildings work, what they do, and what actions, events and effects they might engender in time.

acknowledgment This paper is based on texts that first appeared in the book titled “Performative Architecture: Beyond Instrumentality”, edited by Branko Kolarevic and Ali Malkawi, and published by Spon Press (Taylor & Francis), London, UK.


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Bring on the Learning Revolution BRINGING THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD Sunddip Panesar Nahal

The current post-secondary education system in which we educate our students are in interesting times, with much emphasis on providing programs in sustainability. The Okanagan College Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation (also referred to as Centre of Excellence) in Penticton, British Columbia (BC), Canada, is one such institution designed to address sustainability in education, with programs in


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Geo-Thermal, Power Lineman, Onsite Alternative Energy Sources, Metering and Monitoring of Green Buildings, Building Envelope Construction, Life Cycle Site Management, Refrigeration Mechanics, and Applied Conservation Technician (Okanagan College, 2010). Thus, in the post-secondary education sector, change is on the horizon when it comes to education, as the Centre of Excellence is one of the leading institutions in offering programs related to sustainable technology and renewable energy conservation. With a $22.6 million dollar investment from federal and provincial governments, the Centre of Excellence has the ability to provide superior education (Okanagan College, 2010). There are several institutions working towards providing an education system of similar calibre, by allowing multiple alternative settings for learning, making it possible to reach each and every student and supply opportunities to reach his or her potential.

CURRENT EDUCATION SYSTEM While changes in some areas of education area are apparent, the current education system still serves students in the same way that students were taught over a decade ago. According to Winograd (2002), Raymond Rose, vice president for The Concord Consortium, a non-profit educational research organization, stated, “The current model of education


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is based on a standard of measuring learning based on seat-time. Virtual programs are currently restricted by having to fit into the brick-and-mortar model for schools.” For students who wish to seek an education outside of their home country, international students complete their education in their home country and then move to the country where the institution accepts them. People who can afford international fees are most likely to make the move and leave their home country, which leaves local students left to seek an education in a post-secondary institution close to home or nowadays, through an online medium. Many post-secondary institutions are offering education through asynchronous learning. For instance, DeSales University offers online degrees, evening, and weekend classes to non-traditional students (Marshall, 2007). The non-primetime hours attract individuals who have demanding schedules, such as those who work full-time and have family responsibilities. The University of Phoenix (UOP) also provides an online method of delivery to make it possible for individuals to access “knowledge and to learn in new and different ways. At the dawn of the 21st Century, the education landscape is changing” (Crawford et. al., 2002, p. 64). Learners interact asynchronously via emails and newsgroups (University of Phoenix, 2006). The mission of the institution is to offer programs to “working adults around the world through multiple campuses”


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(University of Phoenix, 7). Lectures, assignments, and participation occur at the learner’s convenience. This is particularly useful for students who travel because courses are available on the Internet and the classroom folders are easy to obtain online. The learner is also able to login and participate at any hour of the day; technical support is available 24 hours at any day of the week (University of Phoenix, 2006). Thus, non-traditional scheduling requires that learners “assume greater responsibility for their own learning than students in the traditional classroom setting” (Coombs-Richardson, 2007, p. 72). While there are many post-secondary institutions already using various technologies to provide access to an education to individuals all over the world, institutions have not fully utilized the virtual capacities in which the technological world has to offer.

A NEW IDEA With the increasing advancement of technology as a means to provide learning opportunities in sustainability for students, education systems such as the Okanagan College Centre of Excellence can revolutionize education in a way where everyone can have equal opportunity to an access to education, regardless of where they are at in the world. One of the unique features of the Centre of Excellence distance learning model is that the student’s educational experience is not shaped by the


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institution. Instead, the institution creates virtual programs that accommodate the student’s current and continued professional experience. Faculty can design a curriculum for virtual learning students that support students studying and applying theories relevant to their professional activities. For example, virtual lessons on sustainability and energy conservation taught by instructors in real-time would allows students view lessons taught by a professor, regardless of where they lived in the world. When learning curriculum, students are asked to reflect on their prior and current work experiences in course discussions and assignments. The sustainability curriculum should incorporate a research and reflection component that focuses on developing in learners an awareness of social change impact. To illustrate, the curriculum should include self-directed virtual learning projects because they involve the participant in the process of learning rather than just being a passive recipient of information. In self-directed learning, learners are motivated to take on the task of managing their own projects with little to no assistance or facilitation by an instructor because motivation is critical in teaching learners to become self-directed (Marshall, 2007). Therefore, when creating self-directed assignments, assignments should allow for students to connect face-to-face online with others to have an opportunity to discuss their experiences. For instance, having the


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opportunity to discuss insights on the results of creating a sustainable housing project in the learners’ local community and compare such projects to what is occurring in other neighbouring areas around the world is an effective way in seeing global differences. Therefore, self-directed learners promote the application of learning by developing their critical and creative thinking, goal setting, and problem solving skills and shape their thinking. Such learners thoroughly develop their mental capacity when the information is meaningful and relevant to real-world experiences. When creating the virtual program, curriculum should have direct application of theory to practice, extensive technical support in a variety of multi-media environments, considerable hands-on learning as opposed to textbased learning, academic and financial advising, appropriate accreditation, and various methods of contact that will provide a liaison between the student, instructor, and stakeholders in the institution (Coombs-Richardson, 2007). To exemplify, learning about a ground source heat pump with radiant cooling through virtual labs would give more students an opportunity to learn about the enriching curriculum offered at Okanagan College. A virtual lab can include the instructor, who is stationed at the Centre of Excellence building, providing a live video stream with a Twitter interface on the expectations of the lesson and the criteria to complete the assignment. The twitter feed would


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allow students to provide their thoughts and ask questions and everyone would have an opportunity to contribute. This would allow flexibility in the learning process as students can work in the comfort of their own physical space. The instructor can respond to the Twitter feed questions as the discussion is taking place. Another example is a virtual lab can be set up using programs such as Elluminate, where the entire class is again online at the same time and the instructor is facilitating the learning and students have an opportunity to ask questions by pushing a button to “raise their hand�, which sends a signal to the instructor, and the instructor passes control over the microphone for students to also contribute. The advantage of this method is students have an opportunity to listen to the ideas, questions, and clarifications of others in real-time, which would not be the case through pre-recorded lessons. The reflection process can be done as a discussion in Elluminate or through another online form, such as ePearl (Concordia University, 2010). As stated earlier, many post-secondary institutions have online course forums with weekly discussion questions, which give students an opportunity to respond to questions provided by the teacher. Facilitation of the discussion occurs by the instructor. What is missing is the face-to-face component. As the Okanagan College Centre of Excellence moves towards a new way of learning,


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students can interact using virtual face-to-face methods similar to Skype to work on collaboration and projects. Maintaining a social presence is an important component of effective learning, as collaboration can help students work with others on misconceptions, na誰ve conceptions, and preconceptions. Another advantage of such a method is the lack of space and classroom size would be a non issue as instructors would be able to teach students from anywhere in the world. Therefore, Okanagan College can significantly increase the student population that it serves without increasing the size of its physical location.

OUTCOMES With such enriching experiences, students can take the educational experiences learned at the Centre of Excellence, and share the knowledge and resources gained to not only empower themselves, but to empower and teach their own communities, all across the globe. Practical experience can also occur in the local communities. The knowledge gained and shared within creates a ripple effect, as the spreading of knowledge can make a significant difference in a community, specifically in developing countries where illiterate individuals can gain from access to an education. To exemplify, students can work in their local


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communities to take on the challenges of the tasks expected in the program; they can learn from the experiences of their peers who are from all over the world. Consequently, students would have a better understanding of the culture of others through this process and change working practitioners into scholars. Such a model, starting from one college in a remote area of BC, offering a learning opportunity for the world to view, is an example of bringing on the learning revolution in the 21st century. With such a model put into practice, the Okanagan College can become a leading institution in bringing the world to the campus in a variety of different ways. This would make Okanagan College a globe changer, as the local and international market would have access to an education system in sustainability in a way that is engaging and encourages lifelong learning. Students from all over the world would bring a variety of perspectives to the classroom environment. It is through this view that real life experience is integrated in an educational setting.

CONCLUSION Distance learning is implemented in high schools throughout the nation and has made progress over the past decade. Technology has revolutionized the concepts of teaching and learning, and the “virtual post-secondary institutions� are shifting toward this trend. Students are learning technology


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to prepare them to compete in the job market and technology-competitive field. With the online advantage, “students have the flexibility of time and space, and equal access to quality courses through the web. [At times] students have flexibility in when and where they take needed courses, and schools can expand their offerings� (Thomas, 2000, p. 4). With such a method, students will become learner-centered, motivated, and self-directed to complete their education with success.

references Concordia University (2010). ePearl. Retrieved May 09, 2011, http://www.concordia.ca/congress2010/ epearl.php Coombs-Richardson, R. (2007). Personalizing distance learning. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 43(2), 71-75. Retrieved February 19, 2011, from EBSCOhost database. Crawford, C. B., Brungardt, C. L., Scott, M., & Gould, C. E. (2002). An instructional theory: A beginning. Longmont, OH: Rocky Mountain Press. Marshall, G. (2007). DeSales offers online degrees: University has courses available in marketing and management. Retrieved February 11, 2011, from ProQuest database. Okanagan College (2010). Centre of Excellence. Retrieved May 09, 2011, from http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/ Community/Okanagan_College_Foundation/ Centre_of_Excellence.html Thomas, W. R. (2000). Web courses for high school students: Potential and issues. Retrieved May 09, 2011, from ProQuest database. University of Phoenix. (2006). Retrieved January 31, 2011, from www.phoenix.edu


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Winograd, K. (2002, March/April). ABC’s of the virtual high school. The Technology Source, Retrieved February 8, 2011, from http://ts.mivu.org/ default.asp?show=article&id=98. the author Dr. Sunddip Panesar Nahal is extremely passionate and enthusiastic about making a positive change in education and it is evident in her work as a Board of Governor for Okanagan College, her classroom/online teaching experiences, educational consulting work, and in her newly co-founded school iLearn BC, an innovative school that embraces technology and utilizes a variety of delivery mediums to reach out to the individualized needs of students and help them learn in a fun, interactive and engaging way. As an educational consultant, Sunddip provides workshops, conferences, and training to teachers and educational leaders across North America in a variety of areas, including the 21st century learner, assessment practices, leadership, ESL teaching strategies, classroom management, and new teacher survival skills. Her doctoral research and published article recently won the Best Paper of Track Award in Education and Instructional Pedagogies at the Las Vegas AABRI Conference. Her timely doctoral research explored the disconnect between new teachers’ expectations and the actual realities of the classroom, and has already made a significant contribution to changing and transforming new teachers.


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Mattering Nikos Theodosakis

Journeys begin with questions; my journey began ten years ago as I drove my daughter, Matia, to her grade three class, “Baba”, she asked, “What does school have to do with anything? Matia’s question took me by surprise. Quickly making up some answers, I pointed out how the things she was studying would help her when she grew up. I saw that she was patiently listening to me and waiting for me to come up with better answers, and when I couldn’t, she just turned away and looked out at the landscape passing outside the car window. I knew that she didn’t believe a single word that I had said. On the drive back home, I began to wonder what Matia meant by her question, “What does school have to do with anything?” Perhaps she was


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really asking, “What is the connection between school and my life, between learning and me?” In short, “Why does school matter?” Matia’s enquiry rekindled in me some kind of personal frustration about schools that must have been buried inside me for several decades, perhaps it was even anger. It got me thinking about my own experiences in school, and apart from a few exceptional teachers who actively sought out how to help me see what school had to do with anything, for the most part, I too had asked that very same question. I just never knew that I had. I was a disconnected and distracted high school student, barely passing my grades, and though I had a great time learning as a teenager, it was almost always due to my explorations outside of the classroom as opposed to any explorations within it. I recall one day the principal calling me into his office and laying out folders on the table full of my earlier academic achievements. He reminded me that I had been in a gifted program for many years, and expressed how disappointed he and the other teachers were in my lackluster performance. Apparently I had the potential to be a “great” student, but not the interest. Looking back, I think it was a question of relevance; I failed to see the purpose of learning and what school had to do with me and my life. School did not matter. So here it was again, this unsettling feeling in my gut that there was something missing, some kind


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of a gap continuing between what students want to know and what teachers are asked to teach. I wondered if in twenty years, Matia’s children would ask her, “What does school have to do with anything?” I shuddered to think that nothing would ever change. I suppose it was these reflections and questions that started me working with Matia and her friends at her school. Collaborating with her teacher, I created a project with her class that involved filmmaking, and then another celebrating painting. Soon I found myself helping other schools in my community, and somehow it has now joyously grown into my work with school districts around the world. I am not a teacher. I am a Greek restaurant owner and over the last few decades I have invited many classrooms into my restaurant for tours. As we walk around, we discuss and explore the student’s own personal connections and observations about Greece, history, squid, music, movies, architecture or wherever our tour and talk takes us. I see the “a-ha moments” happen, it’s that instant when students realize that what they are learning about at school has something to do with real life and their own real lives. Abstract concepts become tangible and school stops being about the pretend world and begins to be about something real. As was the case for my daughter and I, I feel today’s students hunger for learning that matters. They desire to work with real data and real people to solve real world problems. I think they want to see


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how school relates to their own lives and why they should bother learning at all. In order to see if I could help share some ideas on making learning a little more connected, I founded our OliveUs Education Society. it’s mission is to create education projects that address the question – “What does school have to do with anything? Our current project, called InStill Life, has three main goals. 1. To invite students to solve a real world problem, specifically around the area of global food shortages. 2. To demonstrate how different school subject areas are interconnected, and 3. To demonstrate to students that they have the ability to create positive change in the world at any age.

The InStill Life project, designed for elementary students, looks at our personal connection to food, and then uses that connection as a path for exploring a variety of themes and subject areas. The InStill Life project begins by transforming the classroom into a Greek restaurant, complete with linen tablecloths, plates, cutlery, napkins and fresh flowers. We don’t use paper plates or plastic cutlery because it does not support one of the main themes of the project: living sustainably. Although it’s a little more work, the feel of their dining experience is more authentic and also more beautiful. We bring out a large bowl of Greek Kalamata olives, feta cheese, olive oil, fresh bread and sometimes


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a few spinach pies or wrapped grape leaves. As we eat the lovely food, students discuss their experiences with these new tastes and record these observations in their project journals. We point out how the olives, oil and cheese are exactly the same kind of food that students in ancient Egypt, Greece or Rome might have eaten three or four thousand years ago. We explore where olives are grown in the world and this leads to a discussion about the kinds of foods we import into Canada, and what foods we export. This evolves into animated discussions about the students own relationship with growing, harvesting, preparing, baking, cooking and eating food. We also compare healthy versus not so healthy eating choices. We celebrate food by inviting students to paint a still life painting of their favourite fruits and vegetables. Before the paint brushes come out, we present a brief overview of art history, focusing on how artists have interpreted food, from ancient Egyptian wall paintings and Roman mosaics to modern canvases and even digital creations. Students look at composition, lighting, depth and color and then create digital still life paintings online as part of a technology exploration and then in their art room, after arranging their compositions, these artists begin to sketch, shade, mix paint and create their own masterpieces. After the paintings are done, we turn the fruits into a salad, the vegetables into a soup, and we


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eat in the classroom once again. Now the conversation looks at food challenges around the world, and we explore different ideas of how they, as students, could help farmers in developing countries produce more food. A solution that is offered is to produce gift cards based on their still life paintings, to sell these gift cards, and then to lend those monies, in the form of micro loans, to food entrepreneurs around the world. There always seems to be unanimous approval on this proposal. One teacher told me that her students were eager to do the InStill Life project because “they see and hear about all the despair on the news and feel overwhelmed and hopeless at their inability to do anything about it.’ This project showed them that they could. Once the paintings are photographed and each of the artist’s portraits is taken, the cards are designed and sent to the printers to be printed on professional quality card stock. While the cards are at the printers, we look at the idea of micro lending. Using resources on Kiva.org, an organization that facilitates micro loans through their web site, we look at how entrepreneurs turn ideas into reality, and how the money that will be lent will have an impact on these individuals and their communities. I created a role playing card game that illustrates how micro lending works and helps students visualize the different partners in a micro lending circle. There is the entrepreneur who has an


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idea, the field partner who will train and support them, the supplier from whom they will purchase their seeds or supplies from, the customer who purchases their finished products, the merchants, from who they can now buy goods that they themselves could not produce, and finally the investor, who begins the process by investing their money into this circle. The students played the different roles and were thrilled when they realized that with the sales of their gift cards, they were going to be the real investors in this very real world project. These grade four and five students would be supporting food entrepreneurs around the world. Once the cards start selling, we begin making the loans. I remember making our first loan with our first school to a farmer in Tajikistan who was looking to buy some cattle. We lent twenty five dollars and he planned to pay it back over the next ten months. We had a round of applause and a cheer at our first loan and then I asked the class the question: Where is Tajikistan? Nobody, including myself, knew. So out came a globe, some geography books, and finally we located which part of the planet was the recipient of our first loan. Eventually we had a map of the world on the classroom wall covered with the photos and names of real people in real places whom the students were really helping. With each new face on the map, the students were bringing the world to life, while bringing life to the world. Geography with purpose.


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The project involves plenty of real math. To keep track of our sales, expenses and our loans we use charts and graphs. The key is that we explore these tools in order to better understand our project goals, not to better understand charts and graphs themselves. The same happens with profit and loss formulas, fractions, percentages and other math concepts. At one of the schools we brought in a farmer to explain the science of how seeds grow. He led the kids in an egg carton vegetable growing project, talked about organic versus genetically modified seeds, and gave an inspiring talk about the potential that exists within each seed, and likewise, within each of us. At another school, students spent a Spring day in an apple orchard, examining flowers, plants, moss, bugs, and learning how to make stuffed vegetarian dolmathes from my mother Maria and baked apples from our friend Caitlyn. On a long table set with white tablecloths, fresh flowers and real plates and cutlery we had a delicious lunch under the apple trees while Ari Neufeld, a talented guitarist played and sang for them. After lunch we sat under the trees and wrote poetry, and even though the skies opened up and drenched us all, the kids had one of the most memorable days of their lives. One afternoon my wife Linda and I were out buying groceries and a lady came out from behind the bakery counter: “I don’t know what you’re doing


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exactly in my son’s classroom, he never talks about school and he really struggles, but lately he’s coming home, talking about farmers and loans and everything and he’s really excited.Thank you.” Parent’s are excited to see their kid’s enthusiasm, students are excited to contribute in a real and meaningful way and teachers are excited to provide projects that connect the dots and enrich and expand their students lives. What I have learned in my journey so far is that when a project reflects back to the student some kind of a personal truth, and illuminates some link between the theoretical world of textbooks and the very practical and complex real life world that they exist in day to day, then connection happens, and with that connection, there is an opening for relevance and purpose. Shelby, a student in grade 5, recently told me “Mr. Theodosakis, this project has changed my life and helped me believe.” This project has helped me believe that if we can transform schools into environments where real life is integrated into learning in meaningful ways, then we can unleash an excitement and passion that will engage students and enable them to see their connection to the world and their potential in it. Thank you Matia for asking me “What do schools have to do with anything?”


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TEDxOkanaganCollege the author Nikos Theodosakis is an advocate for meaningful education and is the architect of the InStill Life, Preserving Your Culture, The Director in the Classroom projects and author of “The Director in the Classroom”, co-author of “iLife in the Classroom” and currently researching his new book “Mattering”. He is founder and executive director of the OliveUs Education Initiative Society, a non profit organization that provides rich learning projects around the world that promote personal connection, purpose and meaning. Nikos is one of thirty entrepreneurs in Canada to receive the Financial Post Best Partnerships award for innovative leadership in connecting business, arts and education. He lives in Naramta B.C. http://nikostheodosakis.com


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Beyond Plastic Emily Chartrand

Have you ever experienced a moment that completely changed your life forever? Personally, I’ve had many moments that have left a lasting change and impact on me and my perception of society. Let me tell you my story. At only seventeen years old I have been privileged to lead a very enthralling life. I grew up in a pretty average household. I have a sister who is three years older than me and a loving Mom and Dad. We’re a small family but I like to think that we’re pretty close. My mom, Mary Ann spends her days at home, where she runs a motivational speakers' bureau. For as long as I can remember I have been dragged to various conferences with her to hear motivational speakers, some pretty amazing and some not. My Dad, Yves grew up in Quebec with a large family. He now works at a ski


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resort as a maintenance engineer. I am always amazed at what he can fix and create. There’s not a moment when he doesn’t have a million projects on the go either at home or at work. My big sister, Chanel is now studying fashion merchandising and marketing at a university in Vancouver. She often tells me about her everyday tasks in school and I admire her courage and confidence. Lastly, I am Emily, just a grade eleven student from the sunny Okanagan. One might call me a pretty average kid; I’m not an all-star athlete, a superstar singer or a crazy brainiac. I am just an average girl who likes to help people and do the right thing, be it in my own backyard or across the world. For as long as I can remember I have been pretty ambitious. My parents taught me that when I want something – be it new shoes, candy or a trip to Mexico – I have to make it happen for myself. When I was younger my friends from the neighborhood and I were a common sight on the side of the road selling little knickknacks. We sold everything from lemonade, caramel popcorn, cool aid and even stacks of rocks we glued together. Our gracious neighbors always came out to support us and purchase our latest product. Thanks to them it became apparent that even though we were young it didn’t mean we couldn’t be successful. My adventure in the world of social activism started in December of 2003 when I was just nine years old. My sister and I were shopping for Christmas


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presents to give to our teachers when we stumbled upon a neat idea called Reindeer Poop, a small bag containing chocolate covered almonds. We loved the product, giggled at the thought of giving out teachers some poop and thought we could do something like this ourselves, so we came up with snowman poop; a chocolate covered plastic spoon with marshmallows to accompany your hot chocolate. My sister went on the computer and created a cute label and we had fun experimenting with dipping spoons in chocolate. Our final product looked great; we even sprinkled sprinkles over the spoons! Our teachers and friends loved Snowman Poop and because “Santa was on a budget that year� we thought that maybe we could sell Snowman Poop to make some extra money to go Boxing Day shopping. This became our goal. We decided to take our prototype and go to some of the stores in our small town of Summerland, B.C. and see if they wanted to carry it. Right away six local stores agreed to sell our product for us. We sold them in cases of twenty-four and it was a huge hit. Because my sister and I were making money my parents suggested that we donate a portion of our proceeds to charity. We loved the idea of sharing our earnings so we went online and had so much fun looking at some interesting charities that we could donate to. We finally chose to donate to a UNICEF program that educates girls. We donated over $250 to their program as well as an extra donation to our local Olympic downhill skier Kristy Richards. Snowman Poop also


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funded our trip that my family took to Montreal to visit our relatives out east. Snowman Poop not only helped people all over the world but also those in our community. I hope that it showed other children that we can all make a difference no matter how old we are. After assessing our business at the end of the second season of Snowman Poop, we decided that we had enough of the messy chocolate and working in the winter months while juggling school, Christmas and various other activities. Chanel and I loved being in business and more importantly loved giving back so wanted to come up with a summer product. We live near the Okanagan Lake, home to the infamous Ogopogo Lake Monster so we felt that the shift from Snowman Poop to Ogopogo Poop was natural. We created another label and instead of the chocolate spoon we opted for jellybeans in a plastic bag. Again, we went to a few local stores to see if they waned to carry our product for us and the ones that agreed were selling out of our product so fast we couldn’t keep up! Soon we were receiving emails from other retailers and visitor’s centers all around the Okanagan Valley who wanted to sell our products and before we knew it Ogopogo Poop was being sold in over 30 stores. As we started making more money our goals started to change. Instead of giving our money to a large organization, we wanted to see for ourselves where it was going and whom we were helping. Chanel and I heard about The Children of the Dump


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in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico who live beside the dump and rummage through the garbage to find stuff they can take and sell or use themselves and we decided we wanted to go there and help them. Right away, we started doing everything in our power to make enough money to get there while collecting donations to hand out to the people who live on the dump. All of our friends were such a great help. We’d often have movie nights at our house where we would sit around in our little assembly line packaging the poop while talking and laughing. To make a very long and exciting story short, we were able to raise enough money to take two working holidays to Mexico. While there, we worked with families who live off of the Puerto Vallarta garbage dump. We brought 200 pounds of humanitarian supplies, helped a family renovate their small home by providing a septic system, water tank and concrete floor, and supplied money for two girls to go to computer school. We supported a number of other causes over the years including KIVA, a micro lending organization and Kristy Richards Olympic Dream. These trips have been life-changing experiences for us and we learned that nothing is impossible! I have had the privilege to speak to many school children and adults to share the story of my business. While I was speaking at a goal setting forum in January 2010, I met a fellow presenter whose powerful talk changed the way I thought


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about my business and society’s use of plastics. Jan Vozenilek is a cinematographer who, with a team of media artists travels to Midway Island in the South Pacific Ocean documenting the effects that our plastic waste is having on our oceans and our wildlife. Their main focus is on the thousands of albatross birds who are dying every year with bellies full of our plastic waste. It was a huge eye opener that inspired me to reevaluate my values and business direction. I was so moved by Jan’s presentation that I become very involved in this cause and I now serve on a committee in Penticton called Plastic Free Penticton. I also organized a plastic free group at my high school and we have worked on many worthwhile projects. After much careful consideration my sister and I felt that we could no longer, with good conscience sell a product that is packaged in plastic. We have explored environmentally friendly packaging alternatives and found them all too expensive. So after packaging over 120 thousand jellybeans, we felt it was time to call it a day. With a few tears we officially closed the Ogopogo Poop business. Chanel and I are extremely grateful for this incredible and life changing experience from which we have learned so much. Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes another door opens” and this is exactly what happened to me. I organized to have Jan Vozenilek and fellow Midway Journey team member, Chris Jordan (world renowned photographer and social


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activist) to speak at my school. They told the story of Midway Island and how the plastic pollution in the oceans is affecting the island and the albatross birds. Because they had heard of my dedication to the cause, they invited me to join them on their spring 2011 trip to Midway in front of my whole school. This was another moment that totally changed my life. I was so excited I cried! My trip to Midway had a huge impact on my life. We were a team of eight, six documentary makers, a poet and myself. I was very nervous about going on the trip but I knew the benefit it would have for me. Midway Atoll is a place full of history – the famous Battle of Midway was fought there and that was evident because there are many artifacts left on the island. There’s a new battle happening on Midway today, an environmental war caused primarily by us, humans. Midway is home to over 500 million albatross birds and they are eating the plastic floating in our oceans. These birds return to the island to regurgitate the food to their babies who are now consuming the plastic as well. Due to the earthquake in Japan that happened in March 2011, Midway was hit with a small tsunami just a week prior to our arrival, killing thousands of baby albatross. Because of these deaths we were able to dissect some nine-week-old albatross chicks. Every single chick we opened up had plastic inside its body cavities. This horrified me but it inspired me more then ever to live plastic free and to tell people what they can do to use less plastic and


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share the horrors of what is happening here. I have been speaking to schools and other organizations telling them about this problem because we all contribute to it. We need to shift this pattern and change our habits. It’s so important. I hope the moments that have changed and shape my life will also have an effect on yours. The world can be viewed as a pretty messed up place with all the crime, poverty, world hunger, natural disasters etc. and now animals eating our plastics. Don’t be discouraged! Pay attention to what inspires you, what you are passionate about and do something about it. Don’t forget that even the small things count, smile more, be kind and refuse plastic!

the author While many high school students were looking forward to spring break as a chance to kick back or perhaps even travel with their family to Europe, Mexico or some other exotic locale, Emily Chartrand went a bit farther afield, at least in terms of distance from civilization. The 17-year-old Penticton Secondary student joined world-renowned artist and activist Chris Jordan, Naramata filmmaker Jan Vozenilek and other artists on a journey to the Midway Islands to document the devastating effects of plastic pollution on the oceans. The Midway Atoll is at the northwest reach of the Hawaiian archipelago, about a third of the way between Honolulu and Tokyo, Japan; a U.S. territory set aside as a national wildlife refuge. While it’s


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home to a wide variety of bird species, there are only about 60 people living there, researchers and caretakers. Jordan’s photographs and Vozenilek’s films of albatrosses carcasses stuffed with plastic shocked the world into disbelief, including Chartrand, who saw a presentation from Vozenilek in January 2010. That gave her a new goal, and brought an end to a longterm company she started at age eight along with her older sister Chantal. Over the course of nine years, the Chartrands packaged some 10,000 bags of green jelly beans as Ogopogo poop, using the profits to support charitable work in Mexico. But after seeing Vozenelik’s work, their consciences could not let them continue using the plastic packaging and they ended their company. Chartrand, however, became an anti-plastic advocate at the school, organizing events and seminars, even arranging for 1000 metal water bottles to be donated to students at the school to replace plastic ones.


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Be a Gardener THE SEASON FOR TRANSFORMATION Robert MacDonald

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.” – Wendell Berry

The term regenerative describes processes that restore, renew or revitalize their own sources of energy and materials, creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature. Regeneration is far more than simple renewal or restoration. It includes three key ideas: a radical change for the better; creation of a new spirit; returning energy to the source. The scale of change required over the next few decades requires profound


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changes in how we design, construct and inhabit our environments. The challenge is to design ecologically sustainable buildings, landscapes and communities as integrated wholes that reconnect us to a living and beautiful world and awaken an appreciation of what is life-giving. This science of living systems is revealing an understanding of nature as alive, self-organizing, intelligent, conscious or sentient and participatory at all levels. In an intelligent and purposeful world, we ask not just how do we harvest food sustainably, but how do we live with the garden in a way that enables the garden to evolve, to be ever more productive and alive. Working from a regenerative perspective shifts the focus of our attention from simply solving today’s problems to working to realize the upper limits of creative potential a healthy system is capable of manifesting. This focus builds from an understanding of the unique nature of a community and of the inter-reliance of human and natural systems that create that uniqueness. It can awaken a deep and caring sense of place and thus become the source of a new community spirit that reconciles longstanding deep divisions as people work together to create an increasing vitality, viability and capacity for evolution of the whole. I have a leadership role in the Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance, which was formed to apply these principles to the watershed of the Okanagan Basin, the source and heart of the future


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of human habitation and economy of this diverse and increasingly populous area, and which is in desperate need of understanding and nurture. It brings together a broadly-based group of individuals, organizations, institutions and government bodies to share ideas and resources, explore possibilities and apply best practices in order to achieve meaningful ecological wisdom about this place and our role in it.

THINK ECOSYSTEMS There is no better model for regeneration than mature, healthy ecosystems – ones in which every species is fully employed, all working collaboratively while recycling all of their resources, and all products and services distributed in such a way that every species remains healthy and productive. Evolution occurs as a response to pressure or full-blown crisis. Our good fortune is to have been born into a time of crisis (however perverse that may sound) – a time calling for dramatic change from one phase of human evolution to the next, a time in which we must shift out of a ten-millenium history of fierce competition in which some get obscenely rich while others literally starve to death. Fortunately, other species have made this shift from competition to collaboration. We have rich precedents in nature and in some aboriginal cultures from which to learn, to find clues for our own healthy evolution into a better future.


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Studying mature ecosystems such as rainforests, wetlands and prairies can help us create working models of our own future. Mature, healthy living systems show enormous diversity (there are no monocultures in nature), creates full employment for all members, distribute leadership and governance, provide equitable distribution of goods and services, and recycle their waste effectively and efficiently. Our best technology has always been inspired by nature. We have imitated spiders spinning and weaving, termites building multi-level mud dwellings, moles and badgers burrowing, cetaceans diving, clams making superglue, birds flying, bats echo locating, mammals calculating, negotiating and nurturing. Now the emerging science of nanotechnology is being inspired by observing the natural nanoworld. We’ve discovered that 95% of bacteria live in complex cities with amazing infrastructures never before seen: skyscrapers, canals, bridges, and other natural wonders at a miniscule scale. Nanoscientists have observed some 30,000 recycling centers per individual nucleated cell in our bodies. Multiply that by 100 trillion cells in an adult human and we can see how serious our own bodies are about recycling the proteins of which we are made to keep us healthy. The nanoworld has an evolutionary history billions of years longer than the macroworld we see with our naked eyes. Only now do we have the instruments to see how nature produces the most amazing materials we know. The big news, as revealed by Janine Benyus


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in her book Biomimicry is that while we forcibly “heat, beat and treat” hydrocarbons to manufacture our products with 96% waste in the process and enormous pollution, nature makes her fabulous materials, such as spider silks and mother of pearl, out of carbohydrates at ambient temperatures with no waste at all. Nature’s manufacture is, then, far more sophisticated than our own, and it is high time we accorded it due respect and learned its ways. We must learn to see ourselves as a integrated part of nature, rather than as a species apart from and superior to the rest, that sees nature merely as a vast resource for its own selfish use. Once we see ourselves within nature’s awesomely complex living systems, as a newcomer species with a great deal less maturity and sophistication than other species, we will make rapid progress in maturing to regenerativity. Then, having solved the basics of living, we will also be freer to explore and develop our uniquely reflective human minds, our creative potential and our capacity for real happiness.

LIVE SMALL In case you haven't noticed, the pursuit of happiness has been redefined by the recession and peak resources. Many assert that we’re undergoing a cultural shift, defined by the abdication of stuff for spirit. In a world where problems seem too big for


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any nation, let alone any person, to handle, it helps to have a hand in bettering our own small corner. Scores of people are participating in local environmental cleanups, volunteering at food banks and bringing meals to the homebound – all ways in which folks are trying to exert their positive influence over a difficult world. Small steps, big rewards. The “small is beautiful” paradigm isn’t just about living with less. It’s about getting the most out of life – your home, your budget, your electronics – without contributing to the world’s ills. The economy, the environment, population growth are squeezing us from all sides, and something has to give. At the moment, it seems to be size. We’ve been super-sizing everything for decades – our meals, our schedules, our homes. Now is the time to take a deep breath and re-evaluate what we want, what we need and what’s important. As the authors of the seminal book Natural Capitalism have stated, the “next industrial revolution” depends on the espousal of four central strategies: the conservation of resources through more effective manufacturing processes, the reuse of materials as found in natural systems, a change in values from quantity to quality, and investing in natural capital, or restoring and sustaining natural resources. It’s unlikely that everyone is going to find it easy give up their oversized residences, fat burgers and gas guzzling land yachts. But more and more people are avidly embracing the “small” movement,


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not just as a trend or fashion statement but also as a life philosophy. And thanks to good design, we can take up fewer square feet, use less power and simplify without downsizing our quality of life. Small may not be new, but it’s now and it’s ever more beautiful.

BE A GARDENER Any gardener who has contemplated the act of photosynthesis knows that life on earth is no zerosum game. Plants are able to pluck sunlight out of thin air and transform its energy into the food that all animals, including us, need to survive. Through photosynthesis, plants are constantly renewing the biosphere. The business of nature is quite the opposite of scarcity and limits. It’s the creation of diversity and complexity, and also increasing consciousness. Although it’s been interrupted on a handful of occasions by episodes of mass extinction, the increase in the diversity and complexity – and consciousness – of species since life began is astonishing. We humans have been misguided at times, and never more than now. But we are as capable of evolving and growing as the rest of nature. In fact, as the quintessential self-conscious species, we have a key role to play in the future of the earth. The number of people in the world long ago overwhelmed what nature could accomplish via the plodding, incremental, and unconscious process of


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biological evolution encoded in our genes. Human thought and imagination, by means of creative change, are now subsuming the far slower process of biological evolution. And in the past few years, a new way of thinking has been bubbling up into our collective consciousness. While the highest aim of sustainable development is creating things that do no harm, regenerative design recognizes that people can be a positive ecological force – that we have the potential to create more diversity and abundance on the planet than would be possible without us. A lot of people scoff at the idea that we humans, who are almost singlehandedly responsible for climate change and the current extinction crisis, could ever become promoters of biodiversity and abundance. But as gardeners know, from one single species of wild cabbage native to the Mediterranean we’ve created not only a multitude of cultivated cabbages but also a multitude of cauliflowers, and broccolis, and kohlrabis, and kales, and Brussels sprouts, and collards, and more. And in many ways we’re producing ever more diversity, ever faster. It took centuries of patient, intelligent work to create the many vegetable varieties from that single species of wild cabbage. Let's not forget those lessons. We need to learn how to distinguish between agricultural practices – and other practices – that enhance diversity and abundance and those that degrade and destroy them. We can do this by studying the natural patterns and processes that over the


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millennia have transformed the planet from a barren hunk of rock, to a green globe cloaked with lush ferns and giant conifers, to the world of diverse vegetative ebullience we know today. That is what the organic movement has been about. And permaculture, biodynamics and all the other regenerative practices that smart farmers have developed.

CREATE RECIPES There is an urgent need to maintain our incredible food diversity that currently exists because of the important ecological, culinary, cultural, and health benefits of biodiversity. Have you ever eaten a meal rich with the juices, flavors, and fragrances that have taken centuries to develop? The delicate, dark red strawberry that was the backbone of the berry industry, the oily fish that built trade routes in the Northwest, the hot pepper that tells the story of Minorcan immigration to Florida, the wild rich spicy watercress and stark sweet Saskatoon berry that grow all around us in the Okanagan – these are the stories of North American traditions that lie hidden within our foods and within our foodsheds. Yet many of these foods have been rapidly disappearing from our tables, driven to extinction by monoculturists. With these losses come a decline in traditional ecological and culinary knowledge, and declines in the food rituals that link communities to place and cultural heritage. If these culinary delights persist


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only in our history books, we will have lost an important cultural legacy and future generations will be deprived of the nutrition and exquisite flavors found in these heritage foods. There are culinary, cultural and health benefits to biodiversity. Plant and animal diversity sustains healthy ecological relationships and regenerative agricultural practices. This diversity also encourages resistance to pests and diseases, ensuring our food security. Inherent in a diversity of foods is a variety of aromas, textures, and flavors that increase pleasure and help us along in our pursuit of happiness. Our daily meals come from the strong hands and creative minds of individuals in food-producing communities. Traditional agricultural and culinary knowledge is passed from one practitioner to the next. This knowledge about how to nurture, harvest and cook the plants and animals around us is key to our survival as a species and worth documenting and celebrating. Getting nutrients from whole foods that are adapted to the regions in which we live and work helps our resistance to disease, and inspires our creative energy.

MAKE A HOME Partially as a result of the economic, social, spiritual and environmental declines that are evident in modern life, the notion of happiness is now being studied seriously. As Nic Marks of the Happy Planet


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Index states in his The Happiness Manifesto, “Happy people don’t only create successes for themselves; they also reach out to others and create societal benefits through their generosity and creativity.” He proposes, “We urgently need a positive vision of our future. We need to stimulate people not to run away but instead to engage, to have compassion, to be open, to be flexible, to be creative and innovative.” We all know that we need to get growth under control – population growth, energy use growth, fertilizer use growth, water use growth. And we need an economy where reductive growth doesn’t mean a collapse in the quality (as opposed to the standard) of living. Any other long-term economic vision is absurd and defeatist. The problem seems to be a lack of imagination, a lack of will, a lack of compassion and a lack of leadership. I have been a Hospice volunteer for a number of years, helping people die. It has taught me that there is no more transformative process for us humans than the passage from life to death, and no more humbling position to be in than being with someone who is going through that process. It is a time of reconciliation, of coming to terms with mortality, and of preparation for the unknown, the beyond. Each person approaches the end differently, depending on their circumstances. But each knows in their inner being that no matter whether they believe that it is an end or a beginning, it is a time of transformation. It is fitting therefore that the symbol


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for Hospice is the butterfly. When a caterpillar nears its transformation time, it begins to eat ravenously, consuming everything in sight. It becomes heavy, outgrowing its own skin many times, until it is too bloated to move. It forms a chrysalis – an enclosing shell within which a miracle occurs. Tiny cells, that biologists call “imaginal cells,” begin to appear. These cells are wholly different from caterpillar cells, carrying different information, vibrating to a different frequency – the frequency of the emerging butterfly. At first, the caterpillar’s immune system perceives these new cells as enemies, and attacks them, much as new ideas in science, medicine, politics, and social behaviour are often denounced when they first appear. But the imaginal cells are not deterred. They continue to appear, in ever greater numbers, recognizing each other, bonding together, until the new cells are numerous enough to organize into clumps. When enough cells have formed to make structures along the new organizational lines, the caterpillar’s immune system is overwhelmed. The caterpillar body then become a nutritious soup for the growth of the butterfly. I believe that the present is really an unprecedented time of opportunity. Think of it as a stage between caterpillar and butterfly – a time of metamorphosis as an old unsustainable system fights to preserve itself and a new system struggles to be born. If we use this butterfly metaphor in thinking of


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our transformation from decline to regeneration, we will immediately see that there are critical ideas and skills available to realize this great opportunity for co-creating a better future. Let's start now. “The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.” – Wendell Berry

For information on the Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance see: www.okanaganinstiture.com/wetlands references Janine M. Benyus, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, Harper Collins 1999 Janis Birkeland, Positive Development: From Vicious Circles to Virtuous Cycles through Built Environment Design, Earthscan, 2008 Paul Hawken, Amory Livins, L. Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, Little Brown 1999 David Eisenberg, Regenerative Design: Toward the ReIntegration of Human Systems with Nature, 2003 Martin Keogh, Editor, Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World, North Atlantic Books, 2010 Nic Marks, The Happiness Manifesto: How Nations and People Can Nurture Well-Being, Amazon, 2011 Gary Paul Nabhan, Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods, Norton, 2002 David Orr, The Nature of Design, Ecology, Culture and Human Intention, Oxford University Press, 2004 Raj Patel, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, Picador, 2005


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TEDxOkanaganCollege — , The Value of Nothing, Picador, 2009 Nancy Jack Todd, A Safe and Sustainable World: The Promise of Ecological Design, Island Press, 2005 Nancy J. Turner, The Earth's Blanket: Traditional Teachings for Sustainable Living, Douglas & McIntyre, 2005 the author A typographer by trade, the professional career of Robert MacDonald has spanned a broad range of activities: publisher, producer, director, contributor, creator, mentor and information outfitter. He has substantial practical, hands-on experience in graphic and typographic design for print and interactive media, editorial development, advertising creative, copywriting, consumer and professional marketing, and business development. Robert has won writing, design, and production awards for print and digital media products he has initiated, or produced for clients. He has consulted at a senior level, and provided creative and management services, to museums and art galleries, government departments, education institutions, public service organizations and associations, publishing media and software companies, and enterprises in the travel, product distribution, packaged goods, professional services, software and technology sectors. Robert has lived in the Okanagan Valley for 12 years. He is an active community volunteer, and is currently a director and Treasurer of the Central Okanagan Hospice Association, a member of Vision North Okanagan, the Publisher in Residence at Okanagan College, and a founding director of the Okanagan Media Alliance and the Okanagan Institute. He is also learning to be a gardener.


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the photographer People do incredible things in this world, but as a young person still learning and very foolish, one can very easily become caught in the well-tread footsteps of cynicism and apathy. It is easy to ignore passion, and so simple to forget hope ... until it is sitting in a chair in front of you. I didn’t have any expectations stepping into this project. Just my camera and nerves. But to be in the presence of so much hope, so much excitement and dedication to change, one cannot help but admit to themselves that there is such a beauty in people who honestly believe in something. I hope to have captured some of this beauty. Matia Theodosakis


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THE OKANAGAN INSTITUTE IS A GROUP OF CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS THAT HAVE GATHERED AROUND THE GOAL OF PROVIDING EVENTS, PUBLICATIONS AND SERVICES OF INTEREST TO ENQUIRING MINDS IN THE OKANAGAN. WE PARTNER WITH INDIVIDUALS, ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND BUSINESSES TO ACHIEVE OPTIMAL CREATIVE AND SOCIAL IMPACT. OUR MISSION IS TO IGNITE CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION, CATALYZE COLLABORATIVE ACTION, BUILD NETWORKS AND FOSTER SUSTAINABLE CREATIVE ENTERPRISES. WE PROVIDE INNOVATIVE CONSULTATION, FACILITATION, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CREATIVE SERVICES. WWW.OKANAGANINSTITUTE.COM


It is only a matter of time before the economic advantages of energy conservation will come to the forefront and it will be graduates from the Centre of Excellence and other forward thinking institutions around the world that will be providing the skilled workforce to lead this change.

Brian Hughes Timing Is Everything Ajahn Sona Birken Merle Kindred Green Building Jeannette C. Armstrong Indigeneity Stephen Joyce Breaking Down Brenda Martens A Brief History of Design Douglas MacLeod Buildings Save the Planet Robert Parlane Agent of Change Branko Kolarevic Performative Architecture Sunddip Panesar Nahal Learning Revolution Nikos Theodosakis Mattering

Robert MacDonald Be a Gardener

Published by the Okanagan Institute in association with Okanagan College www.okanaganinstitute.com Paperback ISBN 0-978-0-9868663-4-0 Ebook ISBN 0-978-0-9868663-5-7 ISBN 978-0-9868663-4-0

9 780986 866340

41000 >

Curated by Brian Hughes

Beyond Sustainability Curated by Brian Hughes

Beyond Sustainability Contributions to TEDxOkanaganCollege

Emily Chartrand Beyond Plastic

OKANAGAN INSTITUTE

This is why it is a blessing supreme to be a part of this important discussion looking “Beyond Sustainability” being held at the cutting edge Centre of Excellence. Through the auspices of TEDx, our presenter’s talks will be archived and become part of the mesh of innovation, which is created by Crowd Accelerated Innovation. The challenges facing our species are great but the power of many minds working together shall overcome.

Jim Hamilton Ideas Into Action

BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY

The investment made by Canadian taxpayers in creating a Centre of Excellence with a focus on sustainable building technologies took a great deal of foresight. Typically post secondary institutions in this country produce professionals who extract our resources or train MBA’s to maximize shareholder value no matter what the cost to the environment.

Contributions to TEDxOkanaganCollege

Beyond Sustainability was chosen as the theme of TEDxOkanaganCollege 2011 to capture what seems to be on the minds of many as we head into an uncertain future on this planet. We are focusing on the “Actions to be Taken” to maintain the combined integrity of the environment, social structure and economic health in the Okanagan Valley and the World. The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Building Technologies in Penticton, B.C. represents a manifestation of this complex balancing act in Canada. As Canada is a major provider of wood and iron ore used in building, it made sense to construct a training college to teach trades people how to build new green buildings of the future and to develop new green building policies that are relevant to Canada and other northern nations. In many ways, more sustainable building construction and design techniques offer a relatively fast return on investment.


It is only a matter of time before the economic advantages of energy conservation will come to the forefront and it will be graduates from the Centre of Excellence and other forward thinking institutions around the world that will be providing the skilled workforce to lead this change.

Brian Hughes Timing Is Everything Ajahn Sona Birken Merle Kindred Green Building Jeannette C. Armstrong Indigeneity Stephen Joyce Breaking Down Brenda Martens A Brief History of Design Douglas MacLeod Buildings Save the Planet Robert Parlane Agent of Change Branko Kolarevic Performative Architecture Sunddip Panesar Nahal Learning Revolution Nikos Theodosakis Mattering

Robert MacDonald Be a Gardener

Published by the Okanagan Institute in association with Okanagan College www.okanaganinstitute.com Paperback ISBN 0-978-0-9868663-4-0 Ebook ISBN 0-978-0-9868663-5-7 ISBN 978-0-9868663-4-0

9 780986 866340

41000 >

Curated by Brian Hughes

Beyond Sustainability Curated by Brian Hughes

Beyond Sustainability Contributions to TEDxOkanaganCollege

Emily Chartrand Beyond Plastic

OKANAGAN INSTITUTE

This is why it is a blessing supreme to be a part of this important discussion looking “Beyond Sustainability” being held at the cutting edge Centre of Excellence. Through the auspices of TEDx, our presenter’s talks will be archived and become part of the mesh of innovation, which is created by Crowd Accelerated Innovation. The challenges facing our species are great but the power of many minds working together shall overcome.

Jim Hamilton Ideas Into Action

BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY

The investment made by Canadian taxpayers in creating a Centre of Excellence with a focus on sustainable building technologies took a great deal of foresight. Typically post secondary institutions in this country produce professionals who extract our resources or train MBA’s to maximize shareholder value no matter what the cost to the environment.

Contributions to TEDxOkanaganCollege

Beyond Sustainability was chosen as the theme of TEDxOkanaganCollege 2011 to capture what seems to be on the minds of many as we head into an uncertain future on this planet. We are focusing on the “Actions to be Taken” to maintain the combined integrity of the environment, social structure and economic health in the Okanagan Valley and the World. The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Building Technologies in Penticton, B.C. represents a manifestation of this complex balancing act in Canada. As Canada is a major provider of wood and iron ore used in building, it made sense to construct a training college to teach trades people how to build new green buildings of the future and to develop new green building policies that are relevant to Canada and other northern nations. In many ways, more sustainable building construction and design techniques offer a relatively fast return on investment.

Beyond Sustainability  

Beyond Sustainability showcases the proceedings from a conference that looks at global challenges through the lenses of diverse perspectives...

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