Sustainability is a poorly defined notion. More often than not—and we’re guilty of this, as well—sustainability is talked about in environmental terms. Be it about a company’s footprint from its data centers or the methodology for reporting, we sometimes miss the other two aspects of the bottom line. What sort of pundits would we be if we didn’t look at the social side of sustainability?
Over the course of this next week, and into the rest of May, we’ll feature stories that have a positive impact on people—both here and abroad. The Social Side of Sustainability series will examine the entrepreneurs, organizations, and innovative ideas that foster sustainable growth in developing nations, as well as economic recovery here in the U.S.
As the global economy continues to falter, what role does social entrepreneurship play in development? What sorts of models are the most effective? And can those same models be applied to disaster-stricken areas like New Orleans in the same way as somewhere like Mumbai? Join us as we explore the people portion of the triple bottom line.
As the 40th anniversary of Earth Day approaches, Congress is heating up over debate around the proposed Kerry-Graham-Lieberman Bill, which would establish sweeping federal energy and climate legislation.
As tensions rise, high-end escorts in the greater Capitol Beltway area have offered their services for free to any member of Congress who votes in favor of the bi-partisan effort on the part of Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) that hopes to spur clean energy growth and create green jobs.
Mary Walters, who is the proprietor of a well-known escort service in the Washington, D.C. area, first announced that her company would not charge when she noticed environmental issues taking a back-seat in the political process to health care reform, which recently passed Congress in historic fashion.
Yesterday, protesters from the divisive Fair Trade Tea Party clashed with D.C. police, as violent protests erupted when throngs of activists descended upon Capitol Hill.
The group, inspired by the larger Tea Party Movement, demonstrated in front of the nation’s capitol, each member carrying clenched fistfuls of tea bags, many of which were ethically-sourced from sustainable plantations from around the world, as a gesture against government inaction.
Dubbed “Dr. IM,” Jay Parkinson is re-imagining healthcare with a 21st century toolkit. Up until recently, Parkinson had no office, no secretary, and for all intents and purposes, did not fit the image of the doctor. That’s because he is not the typical doctor.
Parkinson started Hello Health with partner, Nat Findlay, in a coffee shop in New York City in late 2007 because he was disillusioned by the traditional healthcare system. Through Hello Health, patients can connect with Dr. Parkinson via social networks, video chat, or even by text message. He doesn’t work directly with insurance companies; clients pay for consultations via PayPal.
His quality and standards of care are considered on par with other home-visiting, or “concierge,” doctors. Yet, Parkinson’s Web 2.0 version speaks to a new generation—a generation that values the interconnectedness of community—offering a new way of keeping people well.
Now, Hello Health has expanded beyond Parkinson. It is a growing community, a team of doctors, staff members, and even patients working together to redefine what it means to be healthy in this day and age. Check out the video below of Parkinson from a recent PopTech conference.
Text messages save lives. So says Josh Nesbit, co-founder of FrontlineSMS:Medic. He discovered a while back one of the key devices in providing adequate healthcare. It has nothing do with lasers or imaging equipment, devices made in the back lab of some highly funded biotech firm. Healthcare, to him, is best delivered by cell phone.
The mission of FrontlineSMS:Medic is to advance healthcare networks in under served communities using innovative, appropriate mobile technologies. The centerpiece of its system, according to its website, is a free, open-source software platform that enables large-scale, two-way text messaging using only a laptop, a GSM modem, and inexpensive cell phones.
A central clinic laptop runs FrontlineSMS software, enabling community health workers to use text messages to coordinate patient care, offer mobile diagnostics, and map health services.
Here’s Nesbit talking at last year’s PopTech Conference on mobile technologies, and the future of healthcare.
As major news outlets talk about “Cadillac plans” and “public options,” it only seems appropriate to take a couple deep breaths, push the stethoscope to the proverbial belly of our culture, and try to find out what it really means to be healthy in this day and age.
Throughout the rest of January, 3p will be featuring articles investigating how sustainability and health intersect. We’ll feature interviews with people behind some of the biggest names in the industry, give glimpses into the innovative models utilizing technology and social media to deliver care in new and unique ways and talk about the trends as we see them (like this article on Stryker from yesterday). Hopefully it will offer some necessary clarity and insight into such a complex topic.
But as health is such a personal thing, we also want to hear from you about the most important issues and stories that affect our lives. Leave a comment or send us a tweet using the #3p hashtag to tell us what you think are the healthcare stories that shock, scare or even inspire you.
Triple Pundit has had a heck of a year. With your help we’ve grown to be one of the most widely read online publications about sustainable business, brought in many new contributors, and helped stoke the fires of a new, green economy in many new places. We hope you’ve had a great time reading and engaging with us and we’re ready to kick of January with a lot of new features, partnerships, and content.
To celebrate the end of the year, our crack team of editors has put together a few top-five lists for the year, including this one…the top five greenwash stories of 2009.
More than 20 years ago, David Wirth, at the time a senior attorney at the NRDC, wrote about the imperative of climate protection in global politics. “The international community cannot afford to delay elevating the greenhouse effect to the top of the foreign-policy agenda,” Wirth wrote in Foreign Policy.
The editor’s note of Endgame, the latest installment of Dispatches, a quarterly focused on issues ranging from the environment to the economy to the war in Iraq, opens with this historical claim of the importance of environment in the world’s socio-economic discourse. Two decades ago, people were saying practically the exact same thing as we are now. Though the lexicon of Wirth and James Hansen and several other notable environmental commentators from the time has slightly shifted—now the lingo is climate change or global warming—the underlying notion is still very much intact: The way we live our lives is unsustainable.
If the Copenhagen climate conference has managed to do anything (even before it begins), it has managed to divide. It has facilitated the formation of two neatly antithetical groups of people: those who think nothing will result, and those who are hopeful as to what could happen.
“See You in Copenhagen” is a campaign of short films and ads produced by Found Object Films, in cooperation with the UN Foundation and TckTckTck, to raise public awareness leading up to COP15. It would fit firmly in the latter camp, featuring a certain cautious optimism. We may be sliding down a slippery slope, and Copenhagen may be just a time for political power plays, meaningless gesturing, and the biggest green networking event ever to take place. But it could also be a turning point.
In this video, Better Place innovator, Shai Agassi, talks about cleantech’s role in building the new clean economy, and those implications at COP15.
US Infrastructure ran an article last month about how much energy we use to power the Internet. The above is an in interesting representation of what that power consumptions looks like. From updating our Facebook profiles to reading the news to watching last night’s sitcoms, the Internet has subsumed nearly every aspect of our lives.
For many of us, the data center is something we all know exists; and as we have been reading more and more, it is something that needs “greening” to improve large corporations’ environmental footprints.
Yet, aside from the select few that work and think about data centers on a day-to-day basis, the majority of the public, business leaders, and even sustainability experts couldn’t explain how data centers work, let alone what it takes to make them more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Over the course of the week, 3p will be showcasing the perspectives of experts and thought leaders in the data center industry, as well trend analysis, in an attempt to create a context for how they fit within the larger economic and environmental bottom lines.
Crazy Shirts is one of the first companies in the Hawaiian Islands to design, manufacture, and sell t-shirts. For many Americans, it is emblematic of the Hawaiian Aloha lifestyle, selling the mystique of surf, sand, and sun in shirt form at shopping malls, airport gift shops, and coastside boardwalks from California to Florida. Recently, however, the Honolulu-based apparel maker made news for something slightly different. It’s making board shorts from recycled plastic bottles.
This is a growing trend in fashion design. Earlier this year, companies from Anvil to Sears and H&M announced the production of lines made from recycled polyethylene teraphthalate (PET). To produce each pair of Crazy Shirts board shorts, roughly seven 16-ounce recycled plastic bottles are used, converting the synthetic material into polyester PET microfiber. In a recent interview, President & CEO Mark Hollander spoke about how and why Crazy Shirts makes its eco board shorts.
As BlogWorld kicks off in Las Vegas later today, the folks over at change.org, in partnership with several other prominent organizations such as Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, and WWF, launched Blog Action Day.
Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. Blog Action Day 2009 will be one of the largest-ever social change events on the web.
This year’s focus is on the growing concern over climate change. As of this morning, 8,922 blogs are participating—including 3p—representing 148 countries, and a combined readership of over 12.5 million people.
To find out more, go to Blogactionday.org.
When 3p covered BBMG earlier this year, the interactive marketing agency had just released their 2009 Conscious Consumer Report, an exploration of consumer attitudes, behaviors, and priorities at a time of perceived great social reset. This morning, in what seems to be a natural extension, BBMG released a white paper on the evolution of philanthropy, building off of much of the logic of their Conscious Consumer Report.
In it, the paper’s author writes, “The new economy has created a reset moment that’s changing how we live and work. And it has profound consequences for philanthropy.”
Trust in our institutions has changed. Entrepreneurship is rising, and from that, a new class of social entrepreneurs, those who break classical boundaries and blur the lines between the traditional roles of for- and non-profits, combining what BBMG calls, “social purpose with financial promise.”
Nike made a couple big announcements yesterday. The first, as we saw here, was its resignation from the board of the US Chamber of Commerce. The second, and slightly overshadowed, was a higher than expected earnings report, which caused shares to shoot up in Wednesday trading.
The timing of the announcements could have very easily been a coincidence. A company as large as Nike, with so many wheels turning, it’s very possible that the two developments occurred mutually exclusive from each other. But what if they didn’t?