Archive: environment

March 28th, 2014 | By Contributing Writer | Posted in Art & Society, Education | Comments Off

How to Negotiate a Better Future – Part One

Eyes on the Future by Good and Coloumn FiveNegotiations between people, between companies and between countries are going to be the driving force in solving the world’s biggest problems of our generation. From the environment, to trade, to diplomacy, and ensuring that we don’t destroy ourselves with nuclear weapons – negotiations will play a key role in absolutely everything. Here’s a more in-depth look at just how important negotiations are in many of the aspects that keep our world turning.

Along with taking a big-picture look at each of these situations, we’ll also break it down and look at what we can take away from each situation to help us in our own lives. Most of us will never have to negotiate nuclear treaties or sit across the table from an angry world leader, but these takeaway tips can help to improve our own lives.

Globalized Trading Opportunities

With a global economy and opportunities all around the world, people from all backgrounds are doing business together every second of every day. Negotiation skills play a huge role in the success of global trade. It’s not hard to overcome a language barrier in this day and age, but it is very difficult to overcome a negotiations barrier. When it comes to trade negotiations, each national representative has a very clear- cut objective and that’s to reduce trade barriers and to slant things in favor of their own nation. An example of negotiations not going incredible smoothly are the Doha round negotiations at the WTO.

Sometimes, negotiations will be outpaced by technology and the economy, so large businesses will put their own interests ahead of the interests of their country, and everyone else on this planet. If WTO negotiation results were implemented immediately, there wouldn’t be time for lobbyists to muddy up the waters as much.


Keep an open mind.

Don’t forget that other cultures may see the world differently than you. Whether you’re on vacation and trying to book a room or just trying to get help from a call center, patience goes a long way into ultimately getting your way – and that’s the best kind of negotiation.

Remember in your day to day life that just like the representatives of large nations, people will typically look out for themselves and their loved ones, and you will be doing the same – but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to reach common ground.

Nuclear Agreements & Treaties

Some countries have been allowed to have nuclear weapons and others have not. Negotiations, when it comes to nuclear agreements, are very difficult and incredibly important. When nuclear power is involved, we’re talking about something that can absolutely devastate an entire region in an instant if there’s an accident, or something that can completely destroy a nation if it’s used in an attack.


“Mutually assured destruction” is a phrase used to describe why rational countries are very careful with their nuclear programs. Any rational nation realizes that it’s better to find another solution to a problem than to have both nations destroy one another.

Have you ever had an immature co-worker or friend who seems to live by the rule “If I can’t get what I want, nobody can!” Often times in negotiations, it’s much more beneficial to reach a compromise rather than to reach a stalemate that harms both parties. In other words, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.

|| Written by Mary Ann Keeling ||
Mary Ann is a writer and a blogger from Brisbane who likes to share her passion for the future through her writing.

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December 13th, 2012 | By Mallory Smith | Posted in Art & Society, Business & Economy, Environment & Energy, Innovation | Comments Off

Women: Spend consciously this holiday season, you’re in control of what gets sold in the first place

Women have enormous purchasing power, which is expected to reach $28 trillion by 2020, according to BCG. Why, then, do we continue to purchase products that are harmful to us and the environment? Why do we buy from companies that are only interested in money, and not the  well-being  of the people they are serving?

Perhaps it’s because 91% of women surveyed believe that advertisers do not understand them. Maybe we  are not  hearing about any products that we can truly get behind, so we just buy from the limited list of what’s available. Well, that won’t work much longer. If we want to see a better world, full of healthy people and conscious products, we need to buy products that reflect those qualities. We can only make a real change if we determine what’s getting sold, rather than just buying what’s out there because we think it’s the only option. It’s not!

There are many problems in the world that can be solved by showing marketers that you don’t want to be a part of the status quo anymore.   Talk to your friends and neighbors about what they are buying and who they are buying from; start a conversation in your community.

In addition to getting your voice heard, focus on buying from companies that would seriously listen to you as the consumer. Buy from companies whose mission statements include creating a safe, healthy society through eco-friendly practices. Nike, Johnson & Johnson, and Dell have all been praised for their sustainable practices, and Toms Shoes, Seventh Generation, and Project 7 all sell products with a social mission in mind.

Some say that “citizens’ real source of power to make change on the scale we need is through transforming the policies, business practices and structural context in which production and consumption happen.” This means lobbying for taxes on junk food, and tax incentives for green products.

And then there’s focusing on what you’re buying now. This holiday season is a great time to reflect on what you’re buying.  The National Retailers Federation forecast that during this time of the year 586.1 billion dollars will be spent on gifts. This is a perfect opportunity to be conscious of what you buy. For instance, you could buy fewer toys, since they will inevitably just end up in landfills or the ocean, and instead buy gifts that promote activity and encourage social experiences. And remember a gift doesn’t have to be physical- you can simply promise to babysit someone’s kids twice that month, which is a great gift for the parents and a fun, new social experience for the children.

The bottom line is, we are capable of changing what is getting sold to the public, but we must be conscious buyers and get active about supporting companies whose mission aligns with our own.


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October 8th, 2012 | By Mallory Smith | Posted in Art & Society, Environment & Energy | Comments Off

Building with the eco-brick

As population increases, more homes need to be built. As population and consumption increase, so will our piles of garbage. So, it’s safe to say that in the future we need to build more homes and efficiently dispose of more garbage. How can we build more homes while putting less garbage into landfills? If you skeptically answered “build homes with garbage?” you are correct. The eco-brick is Susanne Heisse’s brilliant answer to alternative trash management. As  founder of Pura Vida, Heisse designed the eco-brick out of a  plastic bottle stuffed with inorganic trash that, when sufficiently stuffed, can be used as a building block for homes and schools. As of today eco-bricks have been used to build more than 200 schools and several homes throughout Central America. Watch this video and learn more about the super simple, super effective eco-brick.

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March 11th, 2011 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Environment & Energy, Innovation | 2 Comments

Carbon Nation a Great Film – Go See It.

Film director and producer Peter Byck watched An Inconvenient Truth some years ago and thought, “If that is the problem, what is the answer?” Thus began an odyssey now in its forth year to conceive, produce and now to show the new blockbuster documentary, Carbon Nation. The film opens today in San Francisco. Go see it!

I had the opportunity to chat with Peter last week at a Seattle V.I.P premier of the film, sponsored by the Boeing Company. Peter hosted the event and answered general questions, as he will be doing this evening in San Francisco. The film suggests a feasible path to reduce carbon emissions to the scientifically supported level of 350 parts per million, especially through the wide spread application of wind and solar power. Recalling the swift transformation of industrial processes from the manufacture of autos and washing machines to war material seventy years ago, the film argues persuasively that the idea that we cannot scale up carbon friendly sources of energy is not actually true. It is simply current policy.

At once humorous, visionary, challenging, and informative, Carbon Nation is the new must see film on our common future.

Private screenings can be booked now, and DVD’s will follow the theatrical run, as might a proposed television series.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, author, consultant, blogger, internet video host and Founder of To arrange for a speech contact

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February 10th, 2011 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Art & Society, Business & Economy, Environment & Energy, Innovation, Science & Tech | 1 Comment

Outlook 2011 Video

Here is our new video summarizing my Outlook 2011. I wrote the outlook at the beginning of the year and we posted the original on January 3. The written version with more detail, links to resources and a recap of how accurate our Outlook 2010 was can be found in our blog archives. After multiple requests we have decided to produce this video version, as we have done the last several years. Enjoy!

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, author, consultant, blogger, internet video host and Founder of To arrange for a speech contact

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