Entries tagged with “Personal Democracy Forum”.


If Al Gore were Black and Charismatic: Main Man Van Jones, at the PdF in New York. Finally got the video up from our coverage, though this copy is linked through the Personal Democracy website.

This is a speech that he has given… well, perhaps one too many times. But the ties to technology and social networking have never been clearer. Seriously, check this guy out. And read about Green-For-All. This seems like real people with real suggestions.

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more about “PdF2008 Talks: Van Jones on How Socia…“, posted with vodpod

We just stumbled on this video.  Maybe its because we’ve spent hours and hours relentlessly going over footage from the very same conference where Obama Girl was (the Personal Democracy Forum that we ranted about last week), or maybe its because we love seeing the geeks reactions when confronted with the real live Internet sensation, but we thought this was funny.

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We also chatted with Obama Girl, but didn’t make the video.  Nor did she pick our name out of the hat for the free camera.  Oh well.  This will be the last PdF post, unless we can stumble on some footage of Van Jones from the podium.

The moral of the story at PdF was pretty simple: I blog therefore I am (relevant). Thus, with our new found relevance firmly in hand, we are setting out to bring you some highlights of the things we like in the green world. Good Green, if you will.

First on the list: Carbon Offsets. It’s basically the ideal thing for the Lazy Environmentalist, because it involves doing very little whilst shedding copious amounts of Liberal Guilt. But, when one is throwing money at a problem that one doesn’t want to sack up and solve, its important to figure out WHERE the money should go. We endorse the Nature Conservancy as the best option to offset your terrible habits!

Seriously though, sometimes you have to fly. Sometimes you have to travel. There are events that shouldn’t be avoided simply because of carbon output. And there are really easy ways to partially offset the damage that’s being done. Carbon is, at the end of the day, a natural element. It’s just… you know… when there are billions more tons of it in the air then there should be that we run into something of an issue.

Just remember: operation costs are huge parts of many charities, and for some ungodly reason, nature is still considered a charity. So, as long as its a cause Celebe, The Nature Conservancy gets pretty good bang for your buck all things considered, but we would love to hear other good carbon offset options.

Coming to you live from day two of the personal democracy forum, which managed to become even more relevant and even more interesting. Seriously, there are some great thinkers here, and there is a lot of hope ricocheting around Jazz at Lincoln Center these days. We even had time to hear from my favorite green thinker out there right now: Van Jones was here, if only for a moment. He talked about what he always talks about, namely the fact that the economy and the environment are in the toilet, and they are both circling the drain. However, Jones had some fascinating stuff to say about the power of the web, and how social technology can work to solve Global problems.

The question is, as always: How do we harness this the new media in a way that creates actual social change? This is particularly relevant for the green movement. Lets be fair, if there ever were a fractured and loaded social movement that could use some internal organization and healing, it would be the “eco” or “green” movement. We, and we use that collective term loosely, are sort of an enigma when it comes to being an organization. We don’t talk well, and we don’t agree on much, even internally, and there really is SUCH an ethos of guilt and aggression from a portion of the green movement that we’re (not We, but we) are not even sure that we want to play with those people. They make us feel bad.

So, we learned in the last two days that technology can solve just about anything. Main Man Obama, where he to be elected president, would roll into office with an email list of over 3 million people, meaning that he would have the power to interface with his supporters in ways that are far deeper then just getting him elected. Sunlight foundation and others are making the entire political process transparent. Craig Newmark, of Craigslist.com, isn’t great in person, but man is the web his medium. Lawrence Lessig is one of the most amazing people we have ever gotten the chance to meet, and if he can’t take money out of politics (check out Change Congress RIGHT NOW) then no one can. But most important to us, we got to see a side of the tech community that is so positive, and so forward looking that it needs to be integrated into every aspect of social life. It isn’t in the green movement as well as we would like (greenforall.org being one nice exception) but we need to move in that direction.

P.S. I would link more, or throw up one of the millions of pictures we have, but I am far too exhausted. Participatory Democracy is sweet, but god damn is it hard on the body.

Sitting here at the Personal Democracy Forum at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and hearing about the connections, both social and political that can be created through the blogosphere, we thought we would throw up a quick post. There are all sorts of things that can be drawn from a presentation like the one given by Mathew Hurst, from Microsoft Live Labs. Check out his work. Interesting stuff. In sum: the social connections created by linking A to B and B back to A are responsible for the spread of information on-line. Well, duh, you say. But when it comes to something like the Environment, and issues of green-ecology, that actually is a pretty important statement. That means that, as blogs grow to being the go to place for green readers (take, for example, tree hugger), they become defacto gatekeepers for the people interested in this type of information.

We know “gatekeepers” is a troubling term. Because they aren’t gate keepers in the traditional sense — we can create a competitive blog and wrest control from them by simply being linked and read like anyone else. But, that still means that the reality of the situation is that the blogs are controlling what we think about and what we read about. Lots of hits, lots of diggs… that has the capacity to actually pick and GO with an agenda. It’s fascinating to think of it along these lines, but within the (still too insular) green community, blogs actually are the people who make policy seem inevitable or impossible. The debate about actual control and actual policy rages on, but the presentation that we are watching today made clear that the battle for hearts and minds is actually really important. No Impact Man, for example, has the real social power to decide what green policy stays in peoples minds and reverberates around the blogosphere.

In light of all this thinking, I just wanted to throw up a post, since the video from our interview cleared today. Check out the interview with Deron Lovaas and Colen Beavan, AKA No Impact Man. With the rising prices of gas and energy, people are starting to go green out of financial need. But, will this impact the reality on the long run, or is this another flash in the financial pan?

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Watch the video, visit the links, change the policy. In essence, as PGP mentioned, talking about vertical farming is a real applicable way to get green farming up and going.