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  • The Story of Solutions

  • Do you have one of these, of course not this thing is five years old

  • now everyone's got on of these

  • Can you imagine how much genius and focus it took to turn a music player into

  • a hand-held computer phone, GPS remote control for everything in life in just five years.

  • Seriously

  • The thousands of people who made this thing had to solve thousands of problems

  • that literally could not have been solved five years ago.

  • That's what people can do when the motivated to find solutions to problems.

  • But the problems we've been busy solving are not the problems that most need solving.

  • So much focus has gone into faster, cheaper, newer.

  • That we've actually lost ground on things like safer, healthier and more fair.

  • It's easy for getting better and better at playing the wrong game.

  • And, in many ways this system is a lot like a game, but with very high stakes.

  • Just like a game our economy was designed by people

  • to get everyone to play by certain rules

  • and like a game it comes with instructions telling us what the goal is.

  • Think about the last time you played a new game

  • Remember ?

  • The first thing you did was find out what it means to win

  • and that guides every decision you make along the way.

  • So naturally the solutions most people are working on pursue this game simple goal

  • and that goal is more.

  • More money being spent, more roads being built, more malls being opened, more stuff.

  • That's what economists call growth.

  • So we take all the money spent on stuff that makes life better

  • and all the money spent on stuff that makes life worse

  • and we add it together into one big number called GDP.

  • We were told that a bigger GDP means we're winning

  • So it's the number that thousands of the rules and laws are designed to increase.

  • But there's a big difference between more kids in school or more kids in jail.

  • More windmills or coal-fired power plants.

  • More super-efficient public trains or more gas wasted in traffic jams. deh!!

  • But in this game of more they are counted same.

  • Now we can't change a game this dumb one rule or one player at time.

  • The problem is the goal itself. We need solutions that change that.

  • What if we built this game around goal of better.

  • Better education, better health, better stuff.

  • A better chance to survive on this planet.

  • That's what we all want. right?

  • So should that be what winning means.

  • Changing the goal of the entire economy is a huge task.

  • Of course we can't do it all at once.

  • But when we focus on game-changing solutions

  • we gradually make it possible for a new game to be played.

  • To do that we have to be able to tell the difference between a game-changing solution

  • or just a new way to play that old game of more.

  • For example,let's look at two solutions to one of the many problems we face today.

  • The scourge of plastic packaging that everyone knows is a disaster for the planet.

  • Especially the oceans.

  • And, here are two groups of people with very different ideas of solutions to the plastics' problem.

  • These guys decide that enough is enough

  • and they start by launching a citizen campaign to ban the plastic bag in their community.

  • these guys have a different solution.

  • They start a business that gives people's gift cards to buy stuff if they recycle their plastic waste.

  • Both of these are happening right now,

  • but only one if them changes the game.

  • The gift card solution does keep some plastic out of landfills and incinerators.

  • But it creates more plastic by encouraging people to buy more stuff.

  • Even worse,it teaches that more consumption is the right reword for being a good citizen.

  • Making it even harder to think outside that old game box.

  • The 'ban the bag' solution is harder to achieve,

  • but it's a game-changer.

  • Why? Well by volunteering their time these citizens are declaring that

  • there's something more important to them than just earning and spending more.

  • To win this campaign these citizens are gonna have to team up with

  • forward-thinking businesses offering alternatives to throw away plastic packaging.

  • They're gonna have to build power to fight back against the American Chemistry Council.

  • Which is lobbies for the company’s that make all that plastic junk.

  • And they're gonna have to get out and talk to their neighbors and friends

  • inspiring yet more people to begin to question the old game.

  • This is exactly what's happening in towns and cities all across the world

  • and they're winning.

  • But can banning a few million plastic bags transform the goal of the game.

  • By itself no,but in combination with millions of others working on

  • game-changing solutionsthat they care about, YES.

  • Together these solutions are beginning to turn the tide.

  • As people build power to change the game

  • their citizen muscles grow.

  • They work to ensure the local solutions they create get copied in scaled up.

  • And when they see the solutions getting blocked by corporations with way too much influence

  • they team up with other solutionerias to fight for real democracy

  • by the people, for the people.

  • Gift cards will never do that but thousands a citizen campaigns can.

  • Whenever I'm asked to join in a solution I want to know if it's transformational

  • will it change the goal.

  • To figure it out I use the word GOAL

  • I want to know that it G-gives people more power

  • taking power back from corporations to build democracy.

  • O - opens people's eyes to the truth that once basic needs are met

  • happiness and well-being don't come from buying more stuff

  • but from communities, our health and a sense of purpose

  • A - accounts for all the cost it creates

  • including the toll it takes some people and the planet

  • In other words it internalize it's cost instead of externalizing them

  • as most businesses do today.

  • L - lessens the enormous wealth gap between those who can't even meet the basic needs

  • and those who consumed way more than their fair share.

  • When I see solution that does all that or can be redesigned to

  • I'm in. And they're popping up everywhere.

  • Like the Evergreen cooperatives in Cleveland.

  • Where worker owners are running green businesses.

  • A laundry, a solar company and a super productive urban farm

  • that are healthy and safe.

  • They provide secure jobs to people that the old game has left behind.

  • We all know we need to get businesses out of our democracy.

  • But cooperative go even further bring democracy into the businesses.

  • Sustainable,democratic, equitable.That's a game-changer.

  • Or in Capennori a town in Italy where local citizens working with businesses and governments

  • are not just seeking to manage waste better

  • but they're questioning the very inevitability of waste.

  • They're promoting solutions to waste not with expensive techno fixes

  • but by working together as a community to reclaim compost for the soil,

  • to find reusable substitutes for disposable products

  • and then to put discarded material to good use.

  • They've already reduce some wast by eighty-two percent

  • while creating jobs and building social fabric.

  • And how about the new trend of collaborative consumption

  • formerly known as 'sharing'.

  • Sharing may sound like the theme of Barney song

  • but think about it, it's a huge challenge to the old game.

  • It gets as off the treadmill of 'More-More-More',

  • conserves resources, gives people access to stuff they otherwise couldn't afford and builds communities.

  • what's it look like?

  • Bike share programs in major cities,

  • online platforms to let as share everything from our cars to our homes to camping gear.

  • In my town the public library system lends out tools.

  • There's just no reason that every house needs its own power drill,

  • crème brûlée torch, scanner, wheelbarrow,a bike pump when we can share.

  • As transformational solutions like these gains traction

  • we will reach a tipping point. If we keep focused on the new goal of better.

  • Without a new goal all the work we're doing to build a better future will be

  • A not enough and B really hard.

  • Too much genius and focus will continue to go to solving problems like iPhone battery life

  • while the problems that threaten human life spin out of control.

  • Five years ago when we made the story of stuff

  • we started building a community of people who sensed that something was really wrong with this old game.

  • We agreed there was a problem.

  • Now it's time to build the solutions.

  • Solutions that won't just change a few of the rules but will change the entire game.

  • Wanna help? Come on let's do it.

The Story of Solutions

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B1 goal people stuff solution citizen democracy

The Story of Solutions

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    Anni posted on 2014/08/24
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