Natural Innovation - Latest Articles
Social Ventures - what are they PDF Print E-mail

Many people engaged in the development sector, especially outside of California, seem unfamiliar with the concept of a Social Venture, so I thought I'd outline the concept and how I see it working best.

Charity doesn’t scale to meet the needs of billions, and corporate greed cannot be satisfied by the poorest of the poor, which is why basic human needs remain unmet despite the existence of (technical) solutions.

Between these two models lies the emerging area of Social Ventures.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 April 2011 17:41
Solstice December 2010 newsletter PDF Print E-mail

solstice newsletter

I sent out our first newsletter over the new year break and a few people asked for copies. Its available here, and you can subscribe using the link on the bottom right of the website (or clicking here).

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 April 2011 19:05
Success - UES investment PDF Print E-mail

Sometimes things take a long time, and a highlight this year was seeing Urban Ecological Systems get the investment, from someone I introduced to them in the middle of 2009, for their first commercial system to be built near Sydney. Its a multi-million dollar project, and is a huge vote of confidence in their technology. They are still looking for investment into the core company, let me know if you are interested.

Back in India PDF Print E-mail

Mitra is back in India again, continuing to figure better ways to get tehnology into the hands of the people who need it most. And ... its not just "them", it won't matter how much "we" improve our sustainability in the West, if the South follows the only model it knows to get out of poverty - coal, oil and over-consumption.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 April 2011 15:30
Trip - Intentional Communties - Auroville & Tamera PDF Print E-mail

As I lived most of my life in intentional communities, I always enjoy it when I have a good reason to visit one. This year I've had the pleasure of staying at two eco-villages, both of which have a substantial amount of renewable energy activity.

Earth buildingThe first was Auroville in India, a planned community of about 2000 people (though they've always planned for many more) with a blend of Tamil's and westerners. I visited people working on building & distributing clean technologies to rural India, including solar; wind; stoves; earth-building and in saw new developments in LED street lighting and ruggedised electric scooters. I particularly appreciated at Auroville the importance of spirituality or connection to the divine without there being any one dogma. {More}

I also spent a few weeks with the Solar Village team at Tamera, a very different community of about 200 people in Portugal, it is much more intense and intellectual, and is researching all kinds of technology for food and energy, with a focus on autonomous communities and developing countries. They will be looking for interns in the spring to work on technologies for communities or developing countries. {More}

I look forward to returning to both of these communities.


Trip - Indonesia PDF Print E-mail

In August I spent a month in Indonesia, principally Bali, getting to know the culture and the wonderful people. I had the pleasure of staying at Rachel, Rob & Johnny's home overlooking a valley just outside Ubud. Its hard to imagine a more perfect place for me, with the peace of nature, other social entrepreneurs and close to town. Though I'd come to Bali with a main interest being the highly promising Vortex hydro-power technology it wasn't really happening, so I spent my time working out of "Kafe" & getting to know the people pushing the envelope of sustainable innovation.

There are very few people really supporting innovation in developing countries, in Indonesia a notable exception are Ramp and Inotek whose course and mentorship program for young innovators I got to visit


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