Your feedback on 2011 + ideas for 2012 please
Nov 13, 2011
I've seen great ideas appearing in the comments on this year's proposals (for example https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/4/planId/15101#plans%3Dtab%3Acomments%3Bcomments%3D ). Thanks for this! It would be great to start gathering such ideas now by inviting thoughts from the whole community. What worked really well this year? What's been learned about the potential for collective intelligence? What could be improved to make your experience of the site and the process work better? What should the CoLab think about when planning new activities for 2012? How can this small project contribute to big breakthroughs? Everyone's feedback is very welcome! Many thanks, James
Nov 16, 2011
There's an old saying - "IT isn't the winning, but taking part which counts". (Or words to that effect.) If that were the case, then winning, would effectively be the point of entry - rather than the order of line-up in which 'anyone' finished any 'competition' - or race (- or even, the way WE are all going, 'the Human race'). Given the fact that each 'participant' has potentially spent years (& years) researching their subject & seeing 'gaps' in the market which need filling, then there is always the bigger potential to allow all entrants to offer up their own element to win 'single-handed', and to also offer them the opportunity of amalgamating their entry with all other entries - forming a community application of entrants at Climate CoLab 2012. As an analogy, if each entry were a drop of rain - and each drop of rain were compared to each of the others to find the biggest/shiniest/bluest or pinkest - or the most perfect shape & format, then all eyes would be caste upon the singular - rather than the size of the 'pool' of the mass of raindrops, which create a puddle, a pond - a lake... or even an ocean. When we look only at Carbon Dioxide, we forget all the other greenhouse gases - created (& excreted) by our own organic life 'mass'. We forget that still, CFCs & HFCs are traded on the black-market - and the fact that methane is itself 23 times worse than carbon dioxide. The more life on Earth - the more we create free fuel for ourselves in methane - the more energetic bodies on Earth, the more opportunity for Kinetic energy. The Planning Guidelines ask designers to consider designing totally inclusive policy/s. As Ecological designers or inventors who conceived puddles, ponds & oceans - we are asked to explain our raindrop/s. Maybe WE could all learn to become far more 'fluid' in our thinking and 'pool' our resources entirely? As 'a race' (in A race) - WE ALL have within us THE answers which will ALL contribute to OUR evolutionary change. Interestingly - the 2011 CoLab 'competition winners' (with the exception of that which 'pooled' 2010 'winners'), weren't submissions which included other concepts, but were for 'one singular element' of sustainable economic activity. Maybe, in the year 2012, there could be another way of 'judging' any concept - especially given the predictions for the year itself!:D 'AnEarthMother'.
Nov 16, 2011
Last year I got the majority of my votes from family and friends, and it didn't seem a very productive process. This year, the vote competition was tougher, and it was clear that hitting up people I knew wasn't going to get me there. I ended up finding a constituency online that would enthusiastically support my proposal. It worked out a lot better than I expected. I think that makes voting more relevant, since in the real world, we also have to find enthusiastic advocates to make things happen. It keeps us anchored in political reality. It also spurs us to connect with people who do support our ideas; this could end up making the colab a seed for organizing real action. I'll also mention, most of my votes came from reddit, and so did a lot of the material in my proposal. Much of it I wouldn't have come across if the reddit "hivemind" hadn't fed it to me. More came from the collection of blogs I follow. Essentially I've been leveraging some collective intelligence separate from the colab.
Nov 16, 2011
(To be clear, I'm not trying to say that number of popular votes this year is an indicator of political feasibility! Just that finding those constituencies is going to become a more important part of the contest, as the competition gets tougher.)
Nov 20, 2011
Perhaps this topic has already been covered. If so, my apologies. An initial view of the proposals leaves me, in some cases, confused as to what the proposal is actually proposing. I see the scientific and philosophical underpinnings of some the proposals,but as to how those can be turned into policy responses remains, to me, unclear. I would suggest that the proposal submission fields are more specific and consistent across proposals in order to allow for fair objective evaluations. At the moment, I see fields such as "what", "when" and "how" in some but not all proposals the field "vision" in the winning proposal but not in some of the others etc... I would like to see a standardization of fields as well as specification of the structure of the proposals that goes beyond the quite general "what" "why" and "how" format. Some suggestions... 1) Proposal Background 2) Problem or challenge to be addressed 3) Objectives of the project 4) Methodological approach 5) Expected outcomes and durability 6) Target groups/ stakeholders involvement 7) Possible internal or external constraints during and after project implementation and solutions foreseen 8) Policy Options The development of the proposal fields could itself be an democratic feedback process. I think asking for specific fields would help authors refine their proposals in more detail. Another thought, a brief video uploaded to youtube describing how the winning proposal was presented to the UN or the U.S. congress with the author of the proposal would, I think, highlight the consideration that decision-makers would give to the Climate Labs work. It would encourage people such as myself to take the time to write out a well-reasoned proposal that may actually effect change... Thoughts?
Nov 21, 2011
Many thanks all - keep the suggestions coming! Dennis you've been a brilliant collaborator and proposer - well-earned congratulations! Reddit was impressively effective for voting firepower but does this mean that future voting success would be determined by a proposal team's choice of social media platforms? The latest article about the CoLab (http://www.crowdsourcing.org/editorial/the-climate-colab-crowdsourcing-goes-green/8186 ) has at the end a hint of current ideas about future activities, "we are currently designing a flexible matrix that defines the climate change problem in terms of the “who,” “where” and “what” dimensions. The “who” dimension describes the primary social group expected to take a proposed action: government, business, non-government organizations, schools and universities, grassroots citizens groups. The “where” dimension encompasses geography, as proposed actions can operate at different levels of geographic aggregation that include: international, national, state or provincial, local, and even household. The “what” dimension involves the types of actions that can be taken to address climate change: mitigation to reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions, geo-engineering to reduce their warming effects, adaptation to withstand the effects of warming on an ecosystem. Experts and members of the CoLab community will describe what combination of elements will be leveraged in a climate change strategies Finally, members will be invited to develop comprehensive proposals that combine multiple strategies and that address the potential synergies and conflicts among these strategies." Linda, is this the 'pool of ideas' you had in mind? Robert, perhaps this would add some of the structure you described? Questions arising: Who else is already working on this kind of action-based matrix? How to get synergy between collaboration and contesting? Not all proposals are compatible but all probably have elements that fit. Sifting out proposals is much easier/faster than merging them. How to encompass both policy about actions and policy that addresses why previous policy about actions hasn't worked? (Why hasn't previous policy worked?!) How to bridge the gap between 'concrete' actions that attract attention and intangible game-changing actions? (Are sufficient concrete actions possible without changing the game?) What can the CoLab community do that hasn't been done to overturn 20 years of feeble actions?
Nov 21, 2011
I personally feel that the most influential thing we can do in the US (at this moment) to address climate change is to support carbon tax legislation. Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) has been working on this issue for years and is recruiting people around the country to help pressure representatives in Congress to support "Fee and Dividend" legislation. I recently wrote an article on CCL and the carbon tax: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/17/1037426/-Becoming-a-Soldier-for-the-Carbon-Tax H.R. 3242 is a current bill sponsored by Rep. Stark that's similar to what CCL's proposing. Please ask your representative to support the bill: https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr3242 Beyond that, please join CCL: www.citizensclimatelobby.org/
Nov 21, 2011
It's not so much the platform as the interest group. I made a post on the "environment" subreddit that went nowhere. On the other hand I got some votes from other message boards devoted to thorium and other advanced nuclear technologies, plus some votes from people at Citizens Climate Lobby (since my proposals both advocate fee-and-dividend). Ie., it's just about finding enthusiastic supporters somewhere. I'd noticed a couple pockets of reddit that tend to upvote articles on thorium reactors, so those were natural places to try.
Nov 22, 2011
This is in response to Robert Hickey's comment #5 above (see his profile at https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/member/-/member/userId/189682). He said: "I would suggest that the proposal submission fields are more specific and consistent across proposals in order to allow for fair objective evaluations. At the moment, I see fields such as "what", "when" and "how" in some but not all proposals the field "vision" in the winning proposal but not in some of the others etc... I would like to see a standardization of fields as well as specification of the structure of the proposals that goes beyond the quite general "what" "why" and "how" format." He then goes on to give some specific suggestions for structured fields that could be included in future proposals. As James Greyson's comment #6 above notes, we are considering a much more structured process for proposals next year (though there is some debate among the team as to how strictly to standardize the format and how much room to leave for discretion). And as noted, this greater structure would be provided by breaking out in more details the dimensions of what (that is, what actions are taken), who (which social groups are assuming which responsibilities for ensuring that the actions occur), and where (what is the geographic locus of activity? global, national, regional, local, etc.) The idea about the videos is great. I doubt that the UN or Congress will let us take video of the event (we sponsored had a speaker from the UN at MIT this year, and she could not allow us to record her talk). But we can try to get videos of the presenters after the briefings to say in their own words what it was like. Thanks for the excellent suggestion. Rob Laubacher On behalf of the Climate CoLab team
Nov 23, 2011
I wonder if it would be useful to have different categories for individual techniques (rapid transit grids, thorium reactors) and comprehensive plans (Cycling Carbon). It seems difficult to rate the two types of entries against each other. Entries in the comprehensive category could refer to individual entries for more detail. That way entries like Cycling Carbon wouldn't get so long, and could stick with a big-picture view instead of getting down in the weeds of technological details. This could also help with cross-fertilization...authors of comprehensive plans could refer to individual entries by other teams, without competing with them. A drawback might be that some entries could be in a gray area between the categories, in which case it'd be up to the author to decide the best category...or perhaps split the entry into parts for each category. Another way to divide it might be "technology" vs. "policy."
Nov 26, 2011
Re: James (a.k.a blindspotter). Yes, that is another way to go about that I think would have positive results in terms of sharpening proposals and allowing for comparisons between them. Such a matrix I think could even be leveraged to develop different proposal categories (as Denis mentions and would take out the 'grey area' as the author would self-categorize the proposal) (assuming a critical mass off proposals of course) as selecting various subcategories within the matrix by checking it or another way, would allow for easy sorting by each box checked or a triangulation by searching for multiple checked categories (such as government, national, mitigation to reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions in the who, where, what typology that exists now). Re: Rob Laubacher. I agree that there is a need to leave some room for discretion and avoid an over-defined process that feels robotic and stripped of the creative spirit that I think the crowd-sourcing approach aims at. Also, I suppose that I did not think deeply about the limitations of governing bodies allowing video or audio recordings. But your idea of getting video of presenters after they deliver their presentation is a great one and I think one that is perhaps even more thrilling for viewers given the emotions and adrenaline that presenters will have after presenting their ideas at such a high level. Sorry for any spelling mistakes, this was kind of a "stream of consciousness". Rob Twitter: @rfhickey
Nov 29, 2011
I got wonderful experiences from last Climate Colab competition- Think and brainstorm for common cause, get spirited in team work, witness how the collective intelligence can better shape the ideas, realize about the need and importance of collective intelligence and need of best comprehension of generated thoughts to community are some of them. I excited to see the future competition's trickling down of scale. It would be great help in generating fresh thought in small scale, bottom up mitigation measure for climate change. These kind measures became very important while reviewing the last 20 years largely failed climate change negotiations mostly directed in top down, large scale measures. Regarding to the questions in comment 6 1. I thing the proposals can be classified based on content of the proposal and extent of practical implementation in real world. Class 1: proposal with advocacy level- where the main idea is from already well practiced or well discussed in climate change negotiation. Here the teams has to defend its implementation rationality for the specific question of the competition and explore, express its feasibility, sustainability to acts as solution for climate change. If its implementation history is not so positive they have to show case how it would be positive in new scenario. Class 2: Proposal with puzzle and new idea level- where the main idea is from collating different thoughts which may not be necessarily implemented elsewhere or generating new thoughts for that. Here the team has to really need to comprehend the community by its expected positive change with feasibility analysis and modelling. By integrating with up to date reviewing of the proposal's main idea it can be easy to identify in which class our proposal is, who is working on similar arena and what have to do with the objective of Climate Colab current competition. 2. Regarding the synergy between proposal, I thing it would just evolve. In due course of time in competition the synergy between two proposal would be discovered and merging of the proposals will be the better option than standing alone for the objective of making stronger, comprehensive proposal. From my personal experience that would be the chance to witness the collective intelligence and enjoy the team spirit. Initial understanding within team members about thoughts, philosophical underpinnings, what is to be advocated and not advocated will be essential for maintaining the initial vigor. 3. Based on what we are advocating in our proposal, it is team's responsibility to express why the similar policy is not worked and how the current will overcome the past, present short comings. I thing it is also peer proposal teams responsibility to critically review other teams proposal for this concern and make debate with rationale explanation. By this the quality of proposal can be improved and thus community can express new thoughts for climate negotiation and necessary corrections for implemented actions and policies. 4,5. I thing climate colab can acts as technology, policy clearing house for each year climate change negotiation scenario. As like Linux operating system regular cycle updates, our community can provide a comprehensive set of new policies, technologies or action corrections to different geographical scale for every year. I thing the current voting and selection of handful of proposal for exhibit as outcome of collective intelligence will not be sufficient in this regard. Since it will be similar to updating and releasing a small set of software instead of whole operating system. The summary of each year's proposal has to be released since it would reflect climate colab community's collective aspiration, thought processes, strong beliefs which could provide solution for complex problem of climate change. I came to know about Climate Colab from an advertisement in MIT open course ware website and I expected it would act as a knowledge sharing platform about climate change also. The recent updates on climate change related science, technology as Facebook link is largely helpful in this regard. More and more social networking links can be generated for this.
Dec 8, 2011
It's all moot. The JAXA IBUKI satellite has revealed that the West is a CO2 sink, and the undeveloped world a major source. So the only feasible mitigation scheme is the rapid industrialization of the under-developed nations (udn). Alternatively, if the net effects of CO2 turn out to be positive, the West will need to begin paying the udn for its output.
Dec 11, 2011
So I've already shared these thoughts with James but in the spirit of collective intelligence (and all that) here it is for everyone to see! - Work out the identity creative or intellectual. At present what is practiced and what is preached doesn't seem to match up. Creative expression seems fairly limited in the proposals and I was nervous to add any to mine in fear of weakening its credibility. - Build teams not just ideas. To be truly collaborative we need international and intergenerational teams. It seemed that most proposals were led by one individual and teams appeared to mirror existing working relationships (I could be wrong) rather than creating new relationships. This would also help to ensure that every team had sufficient expert knowledge to create a really viable proposal. - Think about guidance on the way that teams work. If as suggested above teams become more diverse you'll have to give some guidance on how they work to avoid drowning weaker voices. For example someone who has had 30 years industry experience is likely to intimidate a young person yet there contribution may be equally as valid! - Tips on engaging young people. We need to understand how it's beneficial to us and why its not just the same rhetoric that we hear from older generations all the time. Two key factors prevent you engaging with youth, apathy and time. Apathy can be tackled by making it relevant and using appropriate channels for outreach (twitter is a great one for this). Those who are active tend to struggle with time, we tend to be involved in a lot of projects in a bid to save the world faster (!) this is more tricky but perhaps with more supportive teams solutions could be found. A bit of a ramble but hope that helps. Camilla
Dec 12, 2011
Many thanks Everyone! Camilla, great to see your feedback here. Your thoughts about encouraging voices of young people is very important and relevant also for the dynamic between experts and non-climate-experts (like me). The expert reviews have been valuable and the challenge for the future will be to find ways to entice busy experts to offer reviews that feel like part of a dialogue. Brian, did you find a reference where JAXA say what you said? Their site (http://bit.ly/veb6i8 ) seems to say the CO2 absorption is happening in summer due to plant growth with CO2 released back in winter, which is a well-known pattern in concentration levels that nevertheless rise year after year. The loss of ecosystems in tropical areas is clearly a big driver of emissions but would more conventional industrialised development stop this, or would it just accelerate the loss? Nishadh, many thanks for sharing your positive experience of the CoLab! I'm excited also about the future expansion of scales for proposals, which will make something like a tapestry of possibilities in which all groups can take part and find opportunities. Great to raise also the 20 years of failed climate negotiations. There is also a comparison with the international Agenda 21 programme (http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/ ) which was a very well funded 'who, what where' matrix but similarly failing over 20 years. The challenge for a small project like the CoLab is how to create new patterns in this 'tapestry' that can break the cycle of failure? Dennis, yes it's difficult to rate technology and policy entries against each other - since the policy sets the scene for the technology. They're not generally in competition. Most technology options are similarly not in competition so I wonder about the usefulness of voting on proposals when there is a bigger matrix or tapestry in future. Voting can reveal options that policy-makers have missed but can it reveal options that society has missed? Rob and Rob (Hickey and Laubacher), many thanks for your thoughts on the interplay between structure and flexibility in setting up a matrix for future proposals. Google has a lot of results for 'matrix of climate action options' and a quick look at one of them reveals the challenge of making a matrix engaging rather than dull and technocratic (http://www.resourcesaver.org/ewebeditpro/items/O46F15296.pdf ). Even more challenging is passing what I'd call the John Reilly test, "The more we talk about the need to control emissions, the more they are growing," (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45153509/ns/us_news-environment/ ) Clearly actions are the desired outcomes but could society's focussing of attention on actions be self-defeating? I'm thinking for example about the way that climate talks and climate campaigns have for 20 years been action-focussed, without really looking at why the actions don't get going. Would it help to consider a structure that acknowledges our collective unintelligence by making space for asking 'what are we missing here?' within the structure of the matrix/tapestry? This could make a nice balance between breakthroughs around what we already know and breakthroughs around what we are discovering together. More thoughts and input very welcome!
May 7, 2012
I think one of the key issues to develop this year is the Rio Earth Summit 2012. This issue is fundamental. Should be discussed on the Agenda 21, to ask whether the objectives were met. I am new to this forum, I hope to use information from the website. In my personal experience, I believe that 2011 was the international year of forests and little has been done on the subject. I hope not to be too critical, the land belongs to everyone. Greetings from Argentina. Cristian Gatica Degree Thesis in Environmental Management. email@example.com
May 9, 2012
Thanks Cristian! How could the CoLab help with Rio+20 issues? Could we do something to boost the outcomes beyond what was achieved in previous events like international Agenda 21 and '2011 year of forests'? See also the new discussions on 2012 activities. https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/discussion#discussion%3DpageType%3ATHREAD%2CthreadId%3A10303 Greetings from England! James
Aug 27, 2012
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Mar 7, 2013
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Mar 28, 2013
Thanks to James for introducing me to this forum. Great dialog and ideas here and in proposals. In browsing the comments above, I find I want to pull out a couple that seem pertinent in developing proposals and process... vishal: "It would be great help in generating fresh thought in small scale, bottom up mitigation measure for climate change. These kind measures became very important while reviewing the last 20 years largely failed climate change negotiations mostly directed in top down, large scale measures." - - Grassroots, bottom up actions that influence policy! cborn: "Build teams not just ideas. To be truly collaborative we need international and intergenerational teams. It seemed that most proposals were led by one individual and teams appeared to mirror existing working relationships (I could be wrong) rather than creating new relationships. This would also help to ensure that every team had sufficient expert knowledge to create a really viable proposal." - Team work is a strong method for producing effective and actionable projects, indeed. Dennis: When I first looked at the format for the proposals, I also thought it was a bit "loose" but as I filled in the slots, I found that my former life as a research student made it possible for me to create structure within the loose framework. I suppose it all depends on our backgrounds as to how well prepared we are for creating focused responses. Glad to be here and look forward to interacting with you all. :)