Archive for November, 2008

Conversation is innovation

November 26, 2008

Bill Doty reflects on how the search for “big innovation” might keep us from making small acts each day to change the way we live and work. That conversation, appreciation and understanding is innovation.


The business of bicycles

November 26, 2008

John McGovern and Myles Murray discuss the benefits and business opportunities around the bicycle as mode of sustainable transportation. Bike racks, bike shops, bike trailers – all viable business opportunities with markets ready to be created.

John mentions the Center for Sustainable Transport in Eugene, OR.

“Can I count on you to lead?” – Holly Harlan

November 26, 2008

Quotes from 2008 Champions of Sustainability

November 26, 2008

“Train, engage, and empower kids.  Kids can create great change and it’s easy to forget that.  Communicate what you are passionate about.” – John Farber, Old Trail School

“I’m just telling the story of my clients.” – Beth Yurich, Yurich Creative

“It doesn’t feel like a leap when you have partners who are just as passionate as you.  I can’t do it alone.  If we as a community are ready, it can happen.” -Chris Kious, A Piece of Cleveland

“It’s all about each and every one of us coming together and making a difference.” – Margie Flynn, BrownFlynn

New Story Panel – NYT Headlines from 2019

November 26, 2008

“Bill Doty’s 10,000th Green Building”

“Cleveland: Greenest, Proudest” – We want Clevelanders being proud of Cleveland.

Desire for Cleveland’s environmental innovation to be world-renowned.

“Poverty is Eradicated in Cleveland” – Holly Harlan – vision of local businesses supporting the triple bottom line to eradicate poverty in Cleveland. Environmental and social performance of businesses. The sustainability call is going to bring all of these together. “If we could come up with the technology and create the jobs to insulate and green the houses in lower income areas, I see it as a challenge worth working for,” Holly Harlan.

Sometimes we need to forget. Nostalgic view of past glory days of Cleveland, but in reality, they weren’t all that great. We need to let go of some of that nostalgia and realize that where we are now is not so bad. – David Beach

“It’s an exciting vision that I see and I hope everyone is there to see it with me.”- Andrew Watterson

“We are so close. This new future is so tantalizingly close. So just do it.” – David Beach

The power of what you can do without big money is quantified by the big numbers of people that E4S and other organizations and networks are reaching.

We need to target more diversity in this discussion. How do we cast a wider net and engage others in this discussion and effort? – Andrew Watterson

“What’s going to hold us together is some Powerful Purpose. I’d like us to articulate that purpose as a community. A community is a set of beliefs that bind us. Do we want to just stay abreast with other cities, or do we want to choose to lead? We need to collectively solidify that choice.” – David Cooperrider

“Let’s not just keep up, let’s lead.” – David Cooperrider

New Story Panel – What’s worth jumping off the cliff for?

November 26, 2008

Prosperity for our community, a future for my children and my grandchildren, a sense that you can do it and it will work out, love of place, jump to serve others, passion and loving what you’re doing, believing that the leap will help create a better world, look for ways to bring benign thinkers into the dialogue, we need to take a chance (this is the best time to start a business to help solve problems), find a new way of creating the next economy, you can find a lot of help in this network.

New Story Panel – What’s innovative in Cleveland?

November 26, 2008

The little things that go on every day in sustainability make Cleveland unique and powerful. – Bill Doty

Cities thrive or fail on a million different decisions that go on every day.  These decisions make a great city. – David Beach

Little innovations that can change entire industries.  We often think of change is either or (top-down or bottom-up, inside-out or outside-in).  But it can be whole system instead.  Collaboration.  Unite our strengths.  We must strive for wholeness.  Sustainability is a lens that crosses all borders and brings out the best in all of us. – David Cooperrider

Personal role in creating change.  What’s the individual role in driving change?  What’s the individual role inside all of the organizations of which they’re a part?  What’s the organization’s role in creating change?

If they don’t get it, I don’t try and shove it down their throats.  I just keep doing what I do every day to implement sustainability until people begin to see and understand why. – Bill Doty

There is no “them”.  Speaking to people as if they’re already part of the tribe.  Communication is super important.  I don’t have the luxury of thinking that there is ever a “them” or an “us”. -Linda Robson

Energy and ideas.  Engaging yourself in a way so that you affect change. – Andrew Watterson

Keep sharing those stories with our young people.  the professor that closes the book and says, “there you have it, we’re screwed.” too little, too late.  It’s important to share these stories and lift these up.  The importance of positivity: we need the inspirations, the hope, the courage.  Bring the schools into the engaged process with us. – David Cooperrider

E4S Network Reflects on Cleveland’s Future

November 25, 2008

Thoughts from Bill Doty

November 25, 2008

I’m taken by thoughts of innovation — we don’t even realize the innovation taking place at the micro scale with every action we’re taking — problem is, we’re waiting for big innovation and government rules. That doesn’t get to real lasting change, which happens from incremental steps every day. To say we need big innovations sets our expectations too high, it can let everyone down. Unfortunately, we try to compare sustainability to big and bold innovation. We need to get up every day and do what we do to improve our footprint. Those are the things that will make a real difference every day. It came home to me that none of us would be here without innovative work of David Beach, Holly Harlan, Sadhu Johnston, and others who took a risk to create something new and got support of foundations to create a place that’s an inspiration.

I realized I was not alone – this has become a family. It’s the same people over and over and over. It’s not some flash in the pan. These people get it. We’re all here and consistently talking about it, and influencing who we come into contact with.

Reports from the discussion groups

November 25, 2008

We have a roomful of around 200 people actively engaged  in making Northeast Ohio a sustainable place or a Green City on a Blue Lake. Sharing their visions below of how Cleveland might look in 2019:

The Cleveland Clinic farmer’s market drew an average of 2,000 a week, and created a new community, fulfilling a need.

Phillips reused the huts smokers once used as bike stations for their employees.

Common thread is a healthier Cleveland; We can market ourselves as a lower carbon community. We can tap into our ranking as the #2 local food market in the country.

Assets of Cleveland manufacturing – we have the dots, now it’s time to connect them.

We’re one truck day trip from the whole country’s population – we’re centrally located.

Our vision is a new Innerbelt Bridge (over untroubled waters). Connecting past and future again as the center of the transportation and energy sector. New energy will fuel our return to transportation center.

Sustainable Product Education Center: combines a sustainable product mart and education center to train and teach people how the products are developed and an incubator for new products and provides the touchpoint for the stories of innovation.

Filling the void left by policy and business is the faith community and groups like the Interfaith Power and Light.

Dovetail Solar and Wind is a renewable energy success story. The idea is to go from niche to mainstream.

Collaboration across sectors is needed and finding common ground.

Ron @ Green Source Products: We looked at a GreenCity on a Blue Lake as a creative entreprise. Use the natural resources we have; Manufacturing workers and tech can be a springboard; Regionalism is needed; look to leading practices here like Fairmount Minerals; our international connections i.e. the Cleveland Clinic; pride we take in our ethnic diversity is a strength we have here; Local farmer’s markets are growing.

“Business as Unusual” – a theme that leverage the heritage of what Cleveland known for and reinvent them for new economy. If we get this right and integrate they’ll be embedded in everything we do (we won’t need to call it out as something special). Wind assets and cold weather are opportunities for green building but will only happen if true spirit of collaboration between business, education and across state lines to similar regions like Pittsburgh.

Repurpose things — water, energy, deconstructing our traditional ideas for the city; a positive vision for the future; Clevelanders are not good storytellers. We need to reinstill the pride and ability to share those stories.

Community and foundation support has fueled the nonprofits. The crux is the passion and curiosity that you can find here. Our manageable size. The legislation and federal and state support — how can we fill out the empty bills that are sitting there. Feasibility study for exploring wind offshore.

Meredith a Weatherhead student – the hard working people in Cleveland do the clean work. Rezoning to do urban farms and reverting to how we used to look. A clean swimmable lake. Mistake on the lake no more. Recognition as top sustainable city. A model city. Fresh water resources.

Passion and adversity facing crisis. Harmony – what can be done if we see the advantages of harmony is a balance or a process not a final resting place. As we manage what is good for individual and balance with what is good for the collective we’ll be a model.

Paul Alsenas – one of first rules of innovation is to break the rules. We started out as conversation we talked about our passions and food kept coming up. We have Chris Hopkins who grew up on a farm. We talked about how do we make our region a food system that’s local and sustainable?

1. Water

2. We have world class farmland

3. Dense urban population – ethnic and rural/urban

How convert it to a local food system?

Our robust network of farmer’s markets – what can we learn from them? We have the first national park that’s looking at growing food.

We have Chris Norman taking over Crown Point Ecology Center moving us in new directions.

Transforming the education system to get kids to understand where does our food come from, how to prepare food; how do capture what we grow for fuel?; how do we lower the cost of public service through controlling land use.

City Mission redefining collaboration – started when city of Cleveland approached six churches and sought their help in meet the needs of hungry families. The DNA of being collaborative was there, but forgotten. Wanted to reconnect with collaborative spirit. Saw opportunity to work with Cleveland Food Bank because they expanded view of what’s possible.