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Feb 04
2011

What is next for New Commons

Posted by: Robert J. Leaver in Clients

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Robert J. Leaver
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In 2011, I decided to put more good stuff into the world – both mine and the work of others.  This posting features 3 topics that I will speak about regularly this year:

  • Whole Systems in Action: Why you need to get involved with the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
  • Sustainability Matters: 2 essays I wrote on sustainable RI and a green Providence
  • The Next Economy: papers, thinkers, and links about what is next!

Whole Systems in Action: The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association


From March 8 to 10, 2011, the professional community of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association will convene its annul Building Energy Conference at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston .  It will be the 35th gathering of thousands of engineers, builders, architects, planners and whole systems thinkers who are constantly creating new edges in thinking and practice about renewable energy, high performing buildings and sustainable urbanism.  It is one big learning community you need to be part of.

By participating in the conference, your mind is stretched; skills sharpened and you get to meet some cool people.  I have been associated with this tribe of great people since 1993.  It is one of my three professional communities that help define me and keep me pumped.

This year, David Orr will be the keynote speaker.   His current project is to transform the town of Oberlin, Ohio into a sustainable town.  The Whole Systems in Action track is a collaborative production among me and some of my closest friends in NESEA. This year, I will be closing the track presentations on March 10, 2011 with “Villages and Cities as the Next Frontier.”  This session features the work of James Hillman and his papers, which I edited, in City and Soul: The Uniform Edition of the Writing of James Hillman.  

On Tuesday, March 8 evening during the Community Forum John Abrams of South Mountain Company and author of The Companies We Keep and I will host a conversation on whole systems in action – in our work teams, our buildings and places.  We will provoke the conversation and then turn the room in to one big learning café with many small groups debating and sharpening their thinking.

Sustainability Matters: Sustainable RI, Green Providence


I just finished 2 essays on the future of RI and the future of Providence.  The “Sustainable Tax Credit” argues for the state to grant tax incentives for turning buildings into high performing, energy efficient ones.  And do this instead of reviving the historic tax credit.  icon Sustainable Tax Credit (55 kB) to download.

The second essay, “Providence as a Green City” puts forward a provocative design for the I-Way land under the old 195.  Instead of putting up ”regular” buildings, parks and so on, design the entire 19.2 acres as a self-contained ecosystem based on 21st century thinking and practice about sustainable buildings and places. For example, the place would have its own renewable energy sources. And by doing so, Providence is put on the map as a green city.  icon Providence as a Green City (64 kB) to download or see the post on EcoRI.com

And feel free to pass these essays along to others.

The Next Economy

The next economy will be different than anything we have known before. And by the way I no longer believe there is anything such as a creative economy...a knowledge economy.  Instead it will be an economy of convergence where creativity and knowledge and much more will inform the food we grow, the stuff we make, how we serve people and the experiences people want.

Here you can check out my favorite websites and thinkers as well as brose through a “library” of papers.  

You can also read my new essay, which is still a work in progress, “Growing the Next Economy, Locally and Regionally .”

Comment below or join me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Leaver/100001456206291

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