Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Molina Center - sustainability education and internships for at-risk youth

What would happen if we had an army of young people with the courage, critical thinking, training and sheer inspiration to solve our most pressing global issues?

We would change the world!
The Molina Center is building a place which equalizes opportunity for young people, breaking at-risk youth out of chronic poverty, homelessness and unemployment and tuning them into the reality that solving global challenges locally has a neat side-effect: employment, education and a brighter future for all.
We will engage at-risk youth with paid internships in sustainability - a long-term transitional residential program running every aspect of our social enterprise businesses. Working as a team in an entrepreneurial environment where everyone is encouraged and supported to consider their reach and capacity to make a lasting difference. Within a real eco-village community that gives full support for our interns to run every aspect of our business and community life.
Yes, real paid internships for at-risk youth.
With all the wholistic structure and support needed to ensure lasting success.
If you are an intern coming to live and work at The Molina Center:
  • we will meet you where you are - now, and move with you to the future you want
  • we will create mentoring partnerships with key experts in the local community
  • we will recognize that you are a complex being, and work with you to address the root causes of emotional distress and under-achievement
  • you are a valued member of our team, and have great insight and energy to give
  • we will ensure that you are secure financially, comfortably housed, eat good food and are part of a dynamic and inspirational community

What We Have Now:

  • the land: 42 beautiful acres in western Colorado held free and clear by our 501(c)(3) non-profit
  • the facility: two main buildings (one brand new!), plus a number of smaller ones, all the infrastructure in place
  • the people: a well-credentialed board hailing from around the USA, an Executive Director from Australia, a qualified chef to make that good food, community and industry partners and a diverse network of volunteers and supporters
  • the programs: two thoroughly researched and innovative programs - Food Foresters (Permaculture and Urban Gardening) and Natural Builders (sustainable building pre-vocational program)
  • the youth: we already have enough potential interns to book us out several times over

We Need Your Help With:

  • operational funding: startup money to pay our new staff, interns, insurance, materials (once we are established we should be self-sustaining)
  • credibility: we have already spoken to a number of grant-making foundations - the common thread has been "show us that you have broad, grassroots support and get back to us" - they are enthusiastic and keen to help, but no-one wants to be the first in to support a new approach
Hence this crowdfunding campaign. After several years of planning, hundreds of  thousands of dollars worth of private financial and in-kind donations and support, we are coming out of "stealth mode" and asking for your - the general public's - support.
As soon as we reach $30,000 on this campaign, we can start our programs.
However - we need to raise $300,000 to be sure that we can continue operations in the long term - we will be working intensely to push our campaign to this goal!  Raising up to or beyond $300,000 will ensure that we have enough to fund operations well into 2015 and convince grant-making foundations that we are a safe investment, so that we can continue to inspire many more at-risk youth into the future.
If you can't afford a donation, then share this with your friends. Even just talking about us - saying "check out The Molina Center, they are doing cool stuff" to everyone you know - will make a real difference to our collective future. Check out our Referral Prizes shown at the end of this page to see how we will thank you for your support.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rural Community College Bhutan | Indiegogo

Rural Community College Bhutan | Indiegogo

Short Summary

Contributors fund ideas they can be passionate about and to people they trust. Here are some things to do in this section: I am Dr. Rieki Crins, anthropologist specialized on Bhutan. I have 23 years of experience with the country. The last 15 years I have been working with my Bhutanese partners in the tourist sector. This sector is a growth sector and it can create a lot of jobs for the many unemployed Bhutanese youth. That is why I started this project: and impact investment project: Setting up eco hotels and a rural business academy where we teach hospitality, tourism and social entrepreneurship. We will work closely with respected hotelschools from Switzerland and other experts. This part of the project will be implemented as a non-profit initiative for which the Learning Exchange Foundation has been established. The Foundation will set up the LEF School with limited funds and run the school. The idea is that when the Bhutique Hotel is profitable revenues of the Hotel will flow into the LEF School making it a self-sustaining concept in the future. The initial phases will need a development grant in order to pilot test the model and become sustainable after 5 years. The funding needed will cover all operational expenses of the first 3 years of developing the concept.

Background and rationale: Bhutan is one of the least developed economies in the world.  Its economic development and growth are challenged by factors of geography being located in the fragile and rugged eastern Himalayan range and sandwiched between two giant nations – China and India.

The result of the 2009 Bhutan Labor Force Survey confirmed that unemployment is rising and more than 80% of the unemployed are in the age group of 15 and 25. Besides, 60% of its population of 700,000 is younger than 25 years of age. This means 13,000 of the 325,700 economically active people in Bhutan are unemployed. Many blame this on the mismatch in demand and supply, as more Bhutanese citizens are becoming educated and unable to work as farmers or laborers anymore, while the highest economic demand in the country is for construction and manual labor. Also, large numbers of young people are migrating from rural to urban centers in search of employment and better opportunities. Statistics (Labour Force Survey 2011) show youth unemployment more than doubled between 1998 and 2005.  And with growing unemployment, delinquency, such as petty crime and prostitution, is on the rise. Bhutan’s population is young, 60 % is under 25 years. Bhutan has been very successful in education and school enrollment is almost 100 %. However, the educated young people don’t go back to the farms of their parents to plough the land and look for other opportunities elsewhere.  It is to be noted that Bhutan’s unemployment scenario is more of a mis-match of jobs and skills than the lack of jobs as such and business opportunities. According to the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources : given the current scenarios of unemployment in general and youth unemployment in particular, “around 140,000 new jobs must be created in the next five years and creating an environment in which the educated youth is able to find job or business opportunities to lead meaningful lives, is the main challenge for the Royal Government of Bhutan.”  The Ministry also states that  “the lack of proper system of ‘school to work transition’ is to be another major factor to be addressed. Our young jobseekers are not aware of the labour market dynamics and opportunities, be it direct employment or through skills development.” (MoLHR, 2012). As tourism is one of the main economic drivers for Bhutan, with an increase of 35% tourism arrivals in the last 5 years). The hospitality and service industry is still in very nascent stages and offers enormous scope and opportunities for the Bhutanese especially the younger generations. Central and eastern Bhutan in particular remains largely unexplored thus offering plenty of scope for businesses whilst the educated and young are rushing to towns in western Bhutan for employment (rural-migration being another major challenge for Bhutan) that is scarcely available. Therefore this project aims to focus on reorienting and supporting youth from these areas to realize the value and potential in their own communities and stimulate economic growth whilst becoming independent, self-sufficient and confident individuals.

Goal and Objectives of the Project

The goal of the project is to establish a full-fledged training center Paro and later in Phobjikha to build capacities of young men and women with the objectives to: 1.  Contribute to professionalization of the tourism and hospitality services in Bhutan and comply with high quality standards required for this sector. 2.  Facilitate and support younger generations from rural poor and marginalized communities to receive training in tourism development and hospitality, so they can generate their own income and lead meaningful lives. 3.  Exchange of students and professionals with other countries in the West and the East to improve experience and learning contributing to educate participants of the LEF Schools. 4.  Bhutique Hotel well known and profitable in 2017 and LEF Schools sustained from the benefits and charity received from customers. Efficient online marketing, crowd funding, and mouth to mouth promotion will generate an occupation rate of 60% annually.

Target group

The project aims to reach out to young men and women in the age group of 18 – 30 from Central and Eastern Bhutan, of class X – XII pass outs or drop outs. This is a vulnerable group and risks to fall in between the cracks, because of their geographical location (far away from the capital), the level of education and lack of guidance they have a limited future. At the same this group is well positioned to take up blue collar jobs and set up small scale and medium sized businesses to make a decent living and with them the families would benefit as well. There is a big need for young people in this target group for guidance and training as they often come from a rural background where parents are illiterate and/or from broken homes. They lack role models to look up to and often they move to towns to stay with friends or family, don’t find desirable work and “linger” all day in the streets. Therefore, the project is aiming at such groups interested in exploring business and job opportunities to help them guide and explore their potentials and take the future into their own hands; be it a professional job in the tourism/hospitality sector or setting up a profitable business related to tourism. Our aim is to stimulate the young people to stay in the places where they live and not move to Thimphu We need 100.000 US dollars to set up the school and to enroll the 50 first students who we will train. By training them, they can sustain their family.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Look Inside BMW's Ultra-Green i3 Factory

Look Inside BMW's Ultra-Green i3 Factory - Popular Mechanics


 BMW claims its i3 electric vehicle, which debuts at the end of the year, is the world's most sustainable car.

 BMW i is revolutionising automotive engineering with the first series-produced passenger cells made of carbon, components from BMW EfficientDynamics lightweight construction technology. Carbon is around 50 % lighter than steel and around 30 % lighter than aluminium, allowing BMW i to set new standards in lightweight construction while also completely offsetting the additional weight resulting from the high-voltage lithium-ion battery. At the same time, carbon is a high-tensile material with very versatile applications in construction that increases the safety of all passengers.

BMW i is a comprehensive and ground-breaking concept for sustainable mobility. It represents visionary electric vehicles and mobility services, inspiring design and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability. And it thrills with its innovative vehicles: the all-electric BMW i3, a locally emission-free car for city driving that is sustainably designed throughout,

Sustainability and BMW i.

Reinventing mobility with sustainability in mind takes more than just a vision. You need answers to a plethora of emerging questions, the first of which is: Where does sustainability begin? The answer: in the same place as it ends.

Sustainability characterises the thoughts and actions of the BMW Group. Which is why the BMW Group is the Dow Jones Sustainability Index leader for the eighth year in succession, making it the most sustainable company in the automotive industry yet again. With EfficientDynamics, BMW has set itself the goal of continually reducing emissions while increasing driving pleasure. BMW i uses a wealth of innovative BMW EfficientDynamics technologies and goes even further: From design to production, from the useful life of the vehicle to its disposal, every detail is based on sustainability. Because sustainability is an attitude that doesn't have a beginning or an end. 

The aim of developing the BMW i cars is not simply to build emission-free cars, but also to use the maximum possible amount of sustainably produced and recycled materials – especially inside. The interior of the BMW i3 sets a new standard here and makes sustainability tangible.

Another milestone is the completely innovative LifeDrive car architecture, with its carbon passenger cell and aluminium drive module that reduce its weight enormously and extend the car's range. 

Natural, renewable, and sustainable: the interiors of BMW i cars feature door trim panels and dashboards made from a renewable natural fibre, naturally-tanned leather and an open-pore eucalyptus wood from 100 % FSC®-certified forestry. Overall, 25 % renewable raw materials and recycled plastics were used in the interior of the BMW i3. The textile seat coverings are 100 % recycled polyester, produced using 34 % PET. A further 25 % recycled plastics are used in the exterior. 

The BMW Group has topped the Dow Jones Sustainability Index every year since 2005 as the world’s most sustainable automobile manufacturer. Rather than become complacent, we were motivated to create new standards: the energy-intensive carbon fibre manufacturing process was set up in Moses Lake, USA, because it can be operated there using clean energy from one of the world's largest hydroelectric power plants – the Grand Coulee Dam. The BMW i plant in Leipzig is also fully powered using electricity from 4 wind turbines installed specifically for that purpose on the plant premises. In addition, the energy consumption required to produce the cars in the Leipzig plant was reduced by 50 % and water consumption by as much as 70 %.*
*compared to the industry-leading BMW Standard. 
If this does not sound like THE CAR for a Sustainable FUTURE i don't know what would ?
Only my public transport is more ECO Friendly without any doubt!  But if i would drive a car...
This would be the only car i could imagine.....
Not just a little bit more fuel efficient like the Volkswagen Blue Motion Models...

Friday, October 11, 2013

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty ranks #1 on Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business for the second year in a row.

Ginni Rometty - Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Women in business - FORTUNE

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty ranks #1 on Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business for the second year in a row.

Ginni Rometty

ibm ceos ginni rometty
  • Title: Chairman, President, and CEO
  • Company: IBM
  • Age: 56
  • Last year's rank: 1
In her second year as CEO, Rometty is sinking IBM's resources into commercializing Watson, the Jeopardy-playing supercomputer. Rometty believes that Watson, a machine that can not only crunch numbers but also learn things, represents new sales opportunities for Big Blue. She's also pushing into underserved markets—Africa, for example—and picking up new customers in marketing and finance, to keep the 102-year-old tech company ahead of the competition.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

TBLI CONFERENCE™ - Zurich Switzerland November 14 & 15


tbli conference, asset manager, asset owner conference

“Rethink The Past And Move On”

Measuring the impact of investments remains a main challenge for sustainable finance professionals and, together with Climate Change, an overarching theme at TBLI. Sixteen related workshops offer debate on ESG and Impact Investing trends, private equity, portfolio strategy, food production, emerging markets, sustainable energy or philanthropy investing.
Register here



In existence for over 15 years, TBLI CONFERENCE consists of two annual conferences. These two-day events give the world’s leaders on sustainability an opportunity to network and exchange information on the latest developments in screening, auditing, reporting, SRI analysis, corporate citizenship, indexes and research.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Reinventing meat

Reinventing meat

 Nine billion people are expected to live on earth by 2050. What’s everyone going to eat?
Venture capitalists are investing in startups that are engineering new foods for a hungry planet–alternatives to chicken, beef, eggs and salt that deliver environmental or health benefits. The food industry, they say, desperately needs reinvention.
“The way we generate protein today is just not sustainable,” says Samir Kaul of Khosla Ventures, which has invested in a half-dozen food startups. “We’re running out of fertile land. There are water issues. Health issues.”
“Our population is growing, and agriculture just hasn’t kept pace,” says Amol Deshpande, a chemical engineer who worked in the seed business before joining Kleiner Perkins.
One company that’s getting lots of attention: Beyond Meat, a startup that has developed a vegan alternative to chicken. Kleiner invested. So has Bill Gates, and the founders of Twitter, Biz Stone and Evan Williams.
I’ve written a long story about Beyond Meat that was posted today at It was originally destined for the print edition of the magazine, but Wired has just run an excellent story about Beyond Meat, so my editors chose to post my story on the web. Here’s how it begins:
FORTUNE — Most people consume protein in what vegetarians call “the secondhand form,” that is, after it has been digested and converted into meat by chickens, cows, and pigs. This is inefficient, as Winston Churchill noted In “Fifty Years Hence,” an essay published in 1931. Churchill wrote: “We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium. Synthetic food will … from the outset be practically indistinguishable from natural products, and any changes will be so gradual as to escape observation.”
Then again, predictions are hard — especially about the future. Food scientists and entrepreneurs have tried to reinvent meat for decades, with little to show for it. Last summer, Dr. Mark Post, a Dutch scientist and medical doctor, unveiled a five-ounce hamburger that was grown in a laboratory from cow muscle, at a cost of $325,000. (Google (GOOG) founder Sergey Brin picked up the tab.) Closer to home, mock meats from companies like Kellogg (K) and Kraft (KRFT) can be found in supermarket freezers, branded as “Chik’n Nuggets,” an “All-American Flame Grilled Meatless Burger,” and “Classic Meatless Meatballs.” Soy-based, mushy, and more expensive than the real thing, they remain niche products.
And yet, the need for alternatives to meat has never been greater. Global demand for meat has tripled in the last 40 years, driven by population growth and a doubling of per-capita meat consumption, according to the Worldwatch Insitute. That has intensified pressures on land, water, feed, fertilizer, and fuel. Meat is a climate change problem, too: Animal agriculture is said to be responsible for about 18% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, more than the transportation sector.
This presents a big opportunity for someone who can devise a tasty and affordable plant-based substitute for meat. That is exactly what Ethan Brown, the founder and chief executive of a California-based startup called Beyond Meat, aims to do, and he has persuaded some smart people to put their money behind him. Beyond Meat makes vegan “chicken-free” strips that it says are better for people’s health (low-fat, no cholesterol), better for the environment (requiring less land and water), and better for animals (obviously) than real chicken; most important, if all goes according to plan, they will cost less to produce than chicken. Fortune has learned that Bill Gates is an investor; he sampled the product and said he couldn’t tell the difference between Beyond Meat and real chicken. “The meat market is ripe for invention,” Gates wrote in a blog post about the future of food. Kleiner Perkins, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm, made Beyond Meat its first investment in a food startup. “KP is looking for big ideas, and this qualifies as a big idea,” says Amol Deshpande, a former Cargill executive and a partner at the venture firm. “The single biggest inefficiency in agriculture is how we get our protein.” Other investors include Evan Williams and Biz Stone, the founders of Twitter; Morgan Creek Capital Management; and the Humane Society of the United States, an animal-welfare group.
You can read the rest here.  The story goes on to explain that one advantage that Beyond Meat should enjoy over “real” chicken is that its product will use less feed than chicken. As I write:
It takes four-tenths of a pound of feed, mostly soy and pea protein, to make a pound of Beyond Meat. (A chicken breast is more than 60% water.) By comparison, even after decades of selective breeding and production efficiencies, broilers require nearly three pounds of feed, mostly corn and soy, to yield a pound of ready-to-cook chicken. Feed accounts for about 35% of the costs of chicken, so when corn prices spiked last year, the prices for whole chickens rose by 21%. As the costs of feed increase over time — and they likely will, as the costs of energy and fertilizer rise — Beyond Meat’s competitive advantage should emerge. “A chicken is just a bioreactor raised for the purpose of delivering protein to humans,” says Kleiner’s Amol Deshpande. “If you can do that more efficiently another way, that’s good for everyone.”
I’ve tried Beyond Meat, and it’s good, especially when chopped into a “chicken” salad or used with a sauce. In his Wired story, Food Network celeb Alton Brown writes that Beyond Meat’s “Chicken-Free Strips could replace chicken in at least 30 percent of the existing chicken recipes floating around out there,” to no ill effect. Brown is also pursuing a b-to-b strategy for his product.
I don’t know if Beyond Meat will grow into a big company. But I’m pretty sure that the way we produce and consume meat today is unsustainable. One way or another, we need to figure how to produce meat more sustainably or, better, eat a lot less of it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

(9) Help us Make it happen for the Apoccas Campaign

(9) Help us Make it happen for the Apoccas Campaign

Watch this video to learn more about WHY you should empower these women
We believe in empowering rural communities. We want economic independence for all and work directly with organic silk farmers and cotton growers, expert spinners, traditional dyers and artisan weavers in rural Thailand. In short, we are missionaries of trade, not aid - we live by helping others help themselves.

We invite you to join us, to be a champion of positive change