A Better World by Design 2014, the Real Payoff

Global Forest Watch presents at A Better World by Design
Now I know for sure that attending A Better World by Design (AWBxD) this year was well worth it. When I talked with my students who were able to attend this design conference in Providence, Rhode Island, there was palpable excitement. All but two of my intro to environmental science students made it to ABWxD, and we had a blast sharing the things that really stood out to us during those 3 days of talks and workshopes on the Brown University and RISD campuses, like these…

Global Forest Watch tracks forest fires and wind patternsSarah Mann Carolyn Ciciarelli from Global Forest Watch showed us their interactive web platform for examining deforestation, forest fires and more—an amazing way to look at tree data all over the world. Global Forest Watch also makes APIs that allow people to utilize forest data for their own specific analyses. The blurry image here shows how their platform couples forest fire and wind data to provide insights on air quality—AWESOME! 

Ellen Jorgensen told us about the DIY biology lab in New York Genspace and Continue reading

Exploring Livable Streets, Environmental Art and Workspace Layout at A Better World By Design 2014

So back in the summer, I was trying to decide whether I should attend if it’s worthwhile to attend the design conference A Better World by Design (AWBxD). Now, here I am on the campuses of RISD and Brown University attending conference talks and workshops! While some of the workshops are quite amateur in nature (i.e. feel not well developed and not well facilitated), some of the ABWxD speaker sessions and other workshops have been fantastic. Here are a few of my faves so far…

Aaron Naparstek got us well acquainted with livable streets, showcasing some amazing urban re-design work from around he world and particularly in NYC, improvements to cities that allow them to better integrate bicycles, pedestrians and green space to become more lively.

The folks from Work-Shop kicked of their session by giving us a super-basic floor plan and 3D-printed model furniture and having us work in small groups Continue reading

Should I Go To A Better World by Design 2014?

headerlogoEarly bird registration closes soon for one of my favorite conferences, A Better World by Design (ABWxD). To me, it tops even MIT Technology Review’s heady (swanky, even) EmTech experience of being within meters of tech revolutionaries at MIT’s Media Lab. Because ABWxD is an extremely engaging, active experience with interactive, well-facilitated problem-solving workshops and charismatic keynote speakers who have spoken passionately about the role of effective design in a variety of fields ranging from sustainability and health to urban development and education. It’s not just invigorating but also empowering. But do I really want to go once again to drink the design thinking Kool-Aid?

The first part of Decisive‘s WRAP framework is Widen Your Options, so the question shouldn’t be “whether or not to attend A Better World by Design”; to escape narrow framing, consider what am I or should I be comparing this amazing conference experience to? Well, for the $165 early bird registration cost for 3 days of ABWxD excitement, I could…

– get a Remee lucid dreaming sleep mask and up my commitment to my decades long interest in lucid dreaming;

–  get a third of an iPad mini (but easily a whole iPad mini and then some after considering transportation and lodging costs);

– take a day or overnight trip to the White Mountains; Continue reading