A Mideast Bond, Stitched of Pain and Healing This article is about a Palestinian little girl and an Israeli little boy both recovering from injuries inflicted by their respective enemies. Amazingly beautiful lesson on humanity.
Saturday afternoon the Santa Mountains were breezy, sunny and the vineyards hopping with wedding parties, wildlife, fresh food and a lot of horsing around. My childhood friend Dina has a ranch and handles horses at Saddle Rock in Malibu. She invited me up for a little cruise on a golf cart around her playground to check out the wildlife. I cracked up as I watched my childhood friend go through the middle of a pasture with dozens of loose horses while she tried to coax Rolan the camel to prance around for me.
A Wedding Preparation
I am always amazed at how easy it is to find hidden gems in the hills above Los Angeles or in the middle of the city. Saturday I got to feed a zebra a carrot, talk to a camel, see a local food truck transform a meadow into a casual gourmet country wedding, check out water buffalo as I am preaparing for my adventure to East Africa next spring. All in a day in Los Angeles.
Steve Glenn lives in Santa Monica California and is one of Los Angeles’ more ambitious sustainable lifestyle leaders. He walks his talk and his robust world is always brimming with ideas and inspiration. His secret is probably his discipline and ability to think out of the box and surround himself with like- minded pioneers who keep getting better ideas by collaborating and listening to each other. His homes are designed by some of the best architects in the country such as Ray Kappe and Kieran Timberlake.
The LivingHome C6 is a revolutionary new prefabricated home that combines clean, modern design with our Z6, LEED® Platinum level environmental program and Cradle-to-Cradle CM inspired materials
This is their first affordable LivingHome. It was designed by LivingHomes staff in collaboration with Make It Right, a nonprofit founded by Brad Pitt and architect William McDonough to build 150 affordable, sustainable homes in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, the neighborhood hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each C6 will help support the efforts of Make It Right.
3 bedrooms, 2 baths, an open floorplan, and lots of storage, light and warmth.
Comfy. Conscious. Complete: $179,000, including hot/cold running water, closets and a lifetime of happiness.*
Los Angeles is a city that has many innovators yet it still has a lousy reputation for being out for the greater good vs. just looking good. Steve Glenn’s low impact residential house-print puts much of that mythology to shame. Even Northern California eco elite types come to learn and share ideas at the House of Steve Glenn for his many Fred Talks (think TED meets Friends), and Sustainable Business Council "Think Tanks" and special events. His home is like a living salon where an ongoing conversation with leaders from all aspects of sustainable business and innovation have their moment in the sun to talk, collaborate and recreate.
Define A LivingHome
We work with leading architects to create lines of homes that feature modern form and functionality and an unprecedented level of healthy/sustainability materials and energy systems. Ray Kappe, FAIA - one of my favorite all time architects -- designed our first line of LivingHomes; and the first we built was the first residence in the nation to receive LEED® platinum, the highest level of certification from the United States Green Building Council. We're using high volume, factory production to increase the quality of our homes as we reduce their cost, schedule, and construction waste, compared to those that are similarly constructed on site. We're selling our homes to owners and home builders with land, and through communities we and other groups are developing.
What is the message beyond the beautiful design and quick assembly. You have elevated the prefabricated home to an incubator of style, efficiency and a showcase for the country's top architects and thought leaders.
Our mission is to create homes and communities that inspire people, foster family and community interaction, and make modern life easier, healthier and more comfortable -- all in ways that compliment and enhance the municipalities and environments in which we work. We hope our products will set a standard for the positive impact they have on soil, water, energy and health - and we're using the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED®) certification system so we, and you, can measure how we're doing.
Why are you based in Los Angeles?
I like it here. I also have family here and find it a great place to be an innovator. LA is one of the best markets in the country for modern architecture which is a passion of mine. There are other places in the country that I like and this just happens to work well for me. We are working in places like Torronto, Palm Springs, Los Altos, with other locations in the works. I am based here but we have projects in many places.
Where did your architectural inspiration come from?
LivingHomes is inspired by the school of modernism initiated by the Bauhaus and widely practiced by great architects like Walter Gropius, Richard Neutra, A. Quincy Jones, and Ray Kappe, our first architect. These architects' designs integrated form and function, presenting materials authentically, devoid of adornment or dress. Their homes expanded space through open floor plans, and invited the outdoors in through floor to ceiling windows that bathed interiors with natural light.
*There are numerous links and references on the LivingHomes website that go deeply into this question.
Is there a typical Livinghomes Buyer?
Usually cultural creatives taking the first leap into the unknown. The company is growing incrementally and as a result, so is our buyer. It is a very exciting time.
How have LivingHomes evolved and what’s next? I see you have a range of services and different kinds of homes and price points. Your homes now range from very high-end to affordable. I am looking forward to a Livinghome planned community!
Check out our website and learn about the multiple housing options and projects www.livinghomes
This is the sustainability conference of the year by Fortune Magazine where preserving the environment is everyone's business.
I spent two days in early May at Fortune Magazine's Brainstorm Green conference, a think tank of big business, inventors, investors major corporations and thought leaders. The conference focused on sustainability and solutions and there was an impressive line up of movers and shakers hammering out passion projects, realized dreams, unrealized goals, realized goals while discussing rational and diverse procedures. Innovation and inspiration unlikely partnerships and the art of the coalition helps get traction.
"One of the distinguishing things about CI for me from the very
beginning was our decision to work with business, to work with ‑‑ those
partners which at the beginning of our history were thought by many
conservation organizations to be the enemy. And we have worked with
them consistently over the years to develop best practices, to involve
them in mitigation of their impacts. And businesses have understood this much more quickly than
governmental authorities have. And business has adapted their practices
to understand that if they don't have ‑‑ if they're not protecting
their supply side of their business, if they don't have a sustainable
supply side their business is going to change and not for the better.
But, I mean, trying to get this done with countries you have hundreds of
countries come together at these big global conferences, and treaties
are very hard to negotiate, and then if you do get a treaty you bring it
back here and it doesn't get ratified. So, it's businesses that
recognize their self-interest is in acting quickly and getting the job
This post offers a few highlights and links to interesting talks and partnerships swirling around the globe from villages to major cities, companies and investment funds thinking about solutions to help businesses create more sustainable solutions. After circling the environmental conference circuit from the entertainment indsutry to the more esoteric, inspired and cloistered world of Bioneers in Marin County or the Environmental Media Awards, it seems that sustainability is the conversation, thread and challenge that interlinks everything and is top of mind for most companies that want to lead by helping the world and being profitable.
Collaboration: Here's a good one, Coca Cola, Dean Kamen, Will.i.am, Slingshot and water purification, Eko Cycle (Will.i.am's sustainable project in video below & and teamwork).
Will.i.am contacted Coca-Cola's chief sustainability officer Bea Perez, on stage at the Fortune panel. With them was Dean Kamen,
not an Ekocycle partner, but an inventor and founder and president of
DEKA Research and Development Corp. Kamen, for most of his career, has
worked on medical devices. His latest project with Coke is the
Slingshot, a small water purifier that can make 250 gallons of
hospital-grade H2O per-day out of impure water. The idea is to install
these devices in places around the world with poor access to clean
water. In 2011, Kamen and Coke conducted the first field trials of the
machine in Ghanaian schools.
Bob MacDonald CEO | Chairman of Proctor and Gamble
The Procter & Gamble CEO has been facing pressure from certain
shareholders. But McDonald says that the right kind of investor gets
long-term green goals. Here are some quotes from his Fortune Brainstorm speech:
With the purpose of touching and improving lives, you can't help but
care for the environment. We believe that taking care of the
environment goes hand in hand with everything we do in improving lives.
And that's one of the reasons that we've been a company, a successful
company, for 175 years is that we always care for the environment as we
create new products and new operations.
We have an environmental vision that's very simple. There are four
parts to it. We want to power our plants with 100 percent renewable
energy. We just opened a new plant in China which is powered with 100
percent renewable energy. Second, we want to use 100 percent renewable
materials in our products. Third, we want to have zero consumer waste
go to landfills. And, last, we want to design products that are better
for the environment.
When we think about the environment, there are two aspects that we
think about. One is the innovation required. And the second is the
productivity required. Relative to the innovation, we spend over $2
billion a year on research and development. We have more Ph.D.s than
most U.S. universities combined. We spend $450 million a year on
consumer knowledge, which helps give us the insight to create those new
"Redefine consumption" - Hannah Jones, Vice President of Sustainable Business and Innovation at Nike describes a relationship with a brand as transitioning experiences. Do you feel aligned with a brand?? Like minded diverse disciplines.
NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker on the importance of innovation and
most powerful when it’s activated by collaboration between unlikely
partners, coupled with investment dollars, marketing know-how and
determination,“ Parker said. “Now is the time for big, bold solutions.
Incremental change won’t get us where we need to go fast enough or at a
scale that makes a difference.”
percent of the environmental footprint of a pair of Nike shoes is
embedded in the materials used to make them. When you multiply that
across our business, and across the industry, it’s clear that innovation
in sustainable materials is a huge opportunity, not just for Nike, but
for the world.”
Regarding city planning, the automobile check out some of Peter Calthorpe's Urban Designer had a noteworthy ideas: Not all roads should be designed for a car. Every third street should be auto free and bicycles, and pedestrain environments serve a higher quality of life.
"We need to find a new definition of what defines the middle class and that means not owning a car."
Calthorpe has been named one of 25 "innovators on the cutting edge" by Newsweek Magazine for his work in redefining the models of urban and suburban growth in America. Throughout his long career in urban design, planning and architecture, he has been a pioneer in approach to revitalization and regional planning.
Rick Ridgeway VP, Environmental Initiatives Patagonia and spokesperson Conservacion Patagonica - Patagonia privately held major outdoor retailer preserves the wilds of South America like the great American conservationists and our national parks. What started off as a road trip turned into one of the most successful global land conservation efforts merging capitalism and retail with environmental preservation thanks to a wild bunch of adventurers in the early 70's.
"We took things we learned on our adventures like to Patagonia. In order to stay alive, we had to take risks and learn how to manage them," said Rick Ridgeway of Patagonia. "When you are in places like that, you get a sense of beauty in your bones and you want to protect it."
According to Adam Lashinsky, Senior Editor At Large, Fortune Magazine:
Perhaps the most sensible environmentalist at the Fortune conference is, of all things, an ex-Goldman Sachs (GS) banker. Mark Tercek, CEO of the Nature Conservancy, is promoting his book, Nature's Fortune. He tells an insightful story of interactions between his scientists and engineers at Dow Chemical (DOW),
which wants to work with his organization on conversation programs.
Turns out the Dow engineers understood the practical science under
discussion far better than the environmentalists, in Tercek's opinion.
His scientists are very good at theorizing, he says, and less good at
offering solutions. (Tercek is one of the most articulate, fluid,
nimble, explanatory speakers I have heard in a long time. If he writes
half as well as he speaks, I want to read his book.)
"Business is the most nimble in moving sustainability forward. It's enlightened self interest. Companies can be used as a voice for environmental action. Use us!"