Thursday, July 2, 2009

Global Problems Need Global Leaders: Why aren't we supplying them?

So I know this may be a bit naive, but it appears that instead of simply bailing out industries that produce substandard products (in an economy that no longer can afford to demand mediocre, poorly crafted products), perhaps a change in fiscal policy might be a better approach that is geared towards building industry and economic opportunity through education. Am I wrong? Here is my theory.

I say all of this upon the basis that it irks me that there are very few established undergraduate sustainable engineering programs available right now. This will be great for me, because it gives me the flexibility once I finish school to study overseas and create my own role or job. But I have to admit, the lack of preparation and resources is discouraging when I think of how poorly planned and unattuned our leaders of innovation and industry must be for the resources no to exist. I think it freaks me out that a day could come very soon, when the responsibility will fall on me and there is like NO ONE, save my fellow peers around, to show me the ropes. --eep. But, If I remember correctly, based upon how we create clubs and whatnot in school, I think the trend goes; you show up and you're freaked out that you don't know as much as you think you should. You get to a point where you feel like you're getting caught up, then HOLY CRAP somehow you ended up in charge and you're freaking out because you don't know as much as you think you should. Here are some steps I mapped toward fixing this problem we're having with lack of preparedness of redesigning our fiscal policy in a short term manner that will move us toward long term goals. hey, it's a theory but at least it's something.

PhiG's Anti- Bailout strategy
  • a) review the current fiscal policy (that makes sense, right?)

  • b) catalog existing environmental and sustainability initiatives

  • c) centralize these into an organization by creating an association and standard guidelines for participation. This group should offer incentives for those who operate these organizations and other projects to register their organization and to send detailed reports of what they're working on and statistics so that the organization can measure their progress

  • d) pay people to assess these projects and organizations and weigh their progress against the current fiscal policy to develop standards of operation and make note of how those organization that operate under cost or are economically sustainable manage to sustain themselves and reward them by providing marketing resources to help these groups gain support and funding

  • e) these groups could be linked to intentional communities (with approved community standards) and could provide benefits, like food, housing, and medical assistance (Instead of universal health care) to encourage those who have limited options [and/or reward those who really care to make an effort to improve the economy through their leadership] to foster a new responsible industrial sector of society. This strategy could be implemented without forcing perceived socialism on those who benefit from not participating in a more collective and collaborative structure. This could also be a good way to measure the impact of developing a more [inclusive, responsible] collaborative and sustainable society and increase the level of willing participants who might prefer this option as an alternative to poverty who out of necessity might become willing participants [among those who are currently unemployed]. (ie how Berea College was set up) This way the unemployed labor force could be rediverted into labor based and functioning communities instead of allowing those people who prefer to work, or who are able to collect benefits without making a contribution. This sets a much better example for our youth, the emerging workforce, and builds accountability in industry and builds character.

  • f) offer incentives or endowments to organizations that can create green jobs but would need funding to supplement the capital needed for the additional overhead. give tax breaks to those corporations who can create jobs that promote community growth and sustainability and create models based upon those companies that show a marked improvement in productivity proportional to this growth in overhead. give these organizations a financial, contracted or some comparable incentive to continue to hire or train people for jobs. (ie berea college)

  • g) find investors such as failing corporations with reputations for wasteful products and practices and offer them an option to recruit employees who can redivert company funds towards redeveloping their operational models toward these newer models or divesting funds into more sustainable corporations or practices as an option instead of providing bailouts or forcing companies into bankruptcy. encourage them to send execs to consult these newer, less developed organizations or educational institutions in a co-operative exchange. As they teach stronger organizational and marketing strategies to these institutions here they will learn more sustainable business practices based upon the principles of cradle to cradle technology. this exchange will also instill a sense of social responsibility in current leaders, not only how their products effect the environment, but also ensure that they learn the importance of giving back and how to mentor those who might have otherwise been intimidated by practical applications of finance, risk management, business, etc.

  • h) fund teachers and schools that already have strong training programs in social justice, permaculture, sustainability, etc. (ie berea college)

  • i) trade surplus products or contract with other nations the rights to use these new organizational models

  • j) negotiate contracts with other nations for bringing in global expertise that can strengthen educational, productivity skills through their knowledge and leadership. offer scholarships and training to prospective international leaders under the stipulation that they spend some time in service in education in the US or in influential satellite stations or in their investments overseas. (take a cut... probably via tax for those international investors who simply want to invest. but you know, watch out for China ;P)

i mean there are a lot of other components that must go into this, but i think as far as a rough skeleton goes, this is what should be happening before we reach the milestone of the next bailout. once this shift begins, plans should be made to restore some of the land and communities to fit more into the natural ecology in order to improve conditions for sustainability. it would also be beneficial to segment a portion of the sustainability industry (probably spearheaded by McDounough and Branaugh that deals with how to reuse some of these resources in a manner that creates less waste and contributes a more significant roles than just job skills that will teach Americans the skills needed to become better leaders than some of the inadequate people we've been relying upon previously. because really, what's the point in having a job if you don't care about what you're doing or know what good you can do with it. Instead, American industry should be focused upon building leaders, encouraging ideas, and funding those who aspire to achieve excellence [under the stipulation that they put it back into the economy of course]. Do what's need to do to ensure quality input and nature will ensure that the rest corrects itself.

Creating Green Collar Jobs

Providence wins grant to create ‘green-jobs’ training program

Report authors say cities can create green jobs by focusing on assets and public policy

Green Jobs Now Initiative :

My only criticism is that this takes much more than a day. Why isn't this a bigger think tank or part of a departmental organization of the academic programs with existing sustainability programs? We need to get it together!!!!


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