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Democracy and Medieval High-Tech Cities – Interview with Tomas Diez

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Comments are off

FROM https://twitter.com/OuiShare

Democracy and Medieval High-Tech Cities – Interview with Tomas Diez
Posted on September 4, 2014 by ouishare
Tomas Diez is a venezuelan urbanist and utopist, with deep concern for citizen empowerment and democracy. He lives in Barcelona where he is currently involved in the Fab City initiative, together with protagonists like Barcelona’s deputy mayor Antoni Vives and chief architect Vicente Guallart. Barcelona city aims to create a network with Fab Labs in each district in the next few years . Tomas was a keynote speaker at OuiShare Fest both in 2013 and 2014, and got to know OuiShare through the connectors of its spanish branch: Albert Cañigueral and Cristobal Gracia.

It was a natural choice to ask Tomas to contribute with his expertise to the creation of the Collaborative Territories Toolkit, and it didn’t take long for him to answer to our request. To our joy, a Skype interview was set up within a week’s time. He connected from his home right at the seafront in the Barceloneta neighbourhood in Barcelona, with a beautiful colourful painting making up the background of the conversation.

Please enjoy this very first interview carried out for the Sharitories initiative, providing many useful insights and provocative ideas to consider in the elaboration of the Collaborative Territories Toolkit.

Stina: So, starting from scratch: how can the collaborative economy be introduced to local policy-makers?

Tomas: This is kind of difficult, because when approaching local government there is tension between new ways and established structures. More than talking about collaborative economy, I think we need to look at processes of democracy and participation.

We need more active participation, and that the citizens become protagonists in for example transactions taking place in the city. For that we need to enhance the way in which democracy is practiced on the local level. So I think a crucial starting point is that the rights of citizens should be in focus.

S: Which local department do you think is best placed to “host” collaborative and sharing economy topics?

T: Collaborative Economy is a kind of transversal topic, so it’s quite difficult. Perhaps it could be the employment office, whose traditional role has been to generate jobs. Now it is more about generating opportunities and empowering people. It’s a new model, and city councils should help people to be productive.

S: What are the main problems or barriers you have encountered with your own work or projects?

T: I don’t know, I’m kind of a lucky person!

Well, what we found, and what I think everyone is going to find, is the tension between old and new ways, and that many people are not ready yet. For example, one frustrating thing when working with city councils is that they are still in the old way.

Instead, they should understand that they are platforms: their role is to enable citizens and businesses to realise their visions. If they would to try this new role, they would soon see for themselves that revenues would come anyhow in the end!

S: This last point kind of answers to my next question actually: how local governments can position themselves in relation to other stakeholders to co-create a vision for collaborative territories?

T: Yep, they should be platforms. What tends to happen is that local governments that try to lead mostly try to make a marketing campaign, and seek to create an impression of themselves as “good government” in the public opinion. I think the real deal is to really empower people.

S: How can local governments work with national authorities to avoid to end up in legal and regulatory “grey zones”?

T: There is definitely some tension in this field. For example, in Spain there is a law forbidding people to produce energy in their homes. On the other hand, in the Fab City vision the idea is to produce energy locally and create self-sufficient districts. I am an utopist, I know, but I think that the idea of the nation state is obsolete, as pointed out by Benjamin Barber, who thinks that mayors should rule the world.

In the end, the national politicians people vote for you never see, whereas a mayor is much closer to the people. If they were given more power, this would help to create more productive, self-sufficient cities.

S: What would be the one tool you would propose for the Collaborative Territories Toolkit we are creating?

T: A lot of things have already been invented, so I think it is important to look at processes rather than tools. There will never be one specific toolkit, but many processes and tools. One interesting project that I just read about iss Ethereum, an open source platform inspired by Bitcoin, where people can create their own local currencies, whatever they are.

I think what we will see is a kind of return to Medieval ways of carrying out transactions in a city, but in a High-Tech way. Maybe people within cities will trade milk, water and other things rather than money.

S: That ties into my next question. We are in 2025. How do you see collaborative economy at local level?

T: Well the thing is, the collaborative economy has happened before, it is just being carried out in new ways. Look for example at Indians in Latin America over 600 years ago, they already had a collaborative economy. From what I see, now technology can help us to reinvent humanity and humanism maybe.

S: Sharitories – what does this neologism evoke to you ?

T: I like and don’t like neologism. Sharitories [pauses] for me… it is not that hot!

S: Thank you very much. It’s now time for some more targeted questions based on your specific expertise.

First one: in your OuiShare Fest 2014 Keynote, you mention that in the Fab City, mixed network of labs should not only be funded and managed by public organisations. In your opinion, what would be the optimal partnership model for stakeholders of Fab Labs (e.g. users, public organisations, private companies)?

T: First of all, I think there shouldn’t be a model. Actually, what we spoke about at the Fab10 conference in Barcelona recently was the planned disappearance of Fab Labs. What I think will happen is that digital fabrication will move to people’s homes, just like happened with computation. In the beginning, there were places where to go to use computers, now people have them in their pockets and built into their washing machines.

Importantly, we must not let public organisations own Fab Labs, because we have seen how badly that can turn out. That is why with Barcelona Fab City we are taking a leadership position in helping local organisations to establish Fab Labs independently.

S: On the other hand, how do you feel about corporate Fab Labs, i.e. owned by large corporations?

T: That’s great. It is already happening too, like Renault, Airbus, etc [didn’t get which companies]. I think we have a lot to learn from such examples, and how Fab Labs move from being a hobby for some enthusiasts to be enablers for local and global businesses, as well as for creating social impact..

Stina: You talk a lot about education around Fab Labs and digital fabrication, including Fab Academy and introducing digital fabrication in school curricula. Do you have any ideas on how to promote education for the “common citizen” (i.e. not students or digital professionals) in this field?

T: I think this is something that will happen spontaneously when different tools start appearing in different places. Take for example a person working at Zara, a quite “common” citizen. Today this person is perhaps mainly working with folding and selling clothes, but imagine if Zara decides to move towards a model where you start to create the clothes yourself. Then the role of this person will completely change.

I don’t thinks it is so much about teaching these things, because new generations will be mostly born with it, like with computers and kids: everyone has a history in which a 3 year old kid takes a smart phone and starts to use it without any instructions.

I think we need to plan the future for kids rather than for our grandparents, because they are the ones who will take over.

S: You have founded the Smart Citizen project. How do you think this device could help to develop collaborative projects?

T: This project is part of a vision for cities with distributed sensors, as a way for cities to become platforms for people to be productive. The first version of the sensor board is now in the “proof of concept” phase, where its users capture data that can be made useful. I think that next year, when we will launch a second version, big things will happen!

The idea is that this will become a political tool. People collaborate when they have common concerns, and the Smart Citizen board will help to discover them. 1000 Smart Citizen boards are already being used by technology enthusiasts, researchers and curious people (quite specific groups so far).

I like how Jaron Lanier talks about the automisation of work and human tasks, and how computers are continuously allowing that to happen. When we interact online, we always leave a digital trace. Now these traces have led to empires of data owners like Google and Amazon. In the near future, the Smart Citizen will be able to create and own its own personal trace. This is likely create a whole new economy and a new middle class using data to be productive.

I look forward to see research advance in this field, as already under way at the MIT.

S: Thank you very much for your time and interesting insights Tomas! And have a great summer!

By: Stina Heikkilä




Posted on September 9, 2014 by Comments are off

Old tech, new tech. Apple was showing off today about a new telephone and a device that you put onto your arm to tell the time and a few other things. Not to be outdone, I thought it would be nice to revisit a great video of kids looking at old technology – just happens to be an old mac computer.

Go to old computers here. Enjoy! Perhaps a lot more than the megasales pitch that was pushed at the planet today.

The GIY Gathering 2014

Posted on August 7, 2014 by Comments are off

The Gathering 2014

The Gathering 2014

For food growers and food lovers, the GIY Gathering is your annual chance to come together with like-minded people for a festival of home-grown food.

The GIY Gathering 2014 will explore the connections between soil health and human health.  Throughout the weekend, over 300 people will come together in Waterford to be inspired and informed.

We are delighted to welcome some of the most influential food growers, writers, advocates and chefs to Waterford for this year’s event including Patrick Holden, Joy Larkcom, Alys Fowler, Darina Allen, Rory O’Connell, Denis Cotter, Paddy Courtney, Mark Diacono and many more.


VenuesThe GIY Gathering this year returns to its spiritual home at the Theatre Royal in Waterford’s Viking Triangle.  The GROW strand of the main event will be in the main theatre space.  The COOK strand (called the GROW HQ Kitchen) will take place in a specially constructued venue at the historic Blackfriars about 5 minutes walk from the Theatre. 

Gathering Fringe

Gathering Fringe

Outide of this year’s main event on the Saturday and Sunday we have two very special ‘fringe’ events.  Note these events are not covered by the main Gathering ticket, and are separately ticketed.  These are:

Friday 12th, 6.30pm – ‘Feast Your Eyes’ - a very special screening at the Theatre Royal of the classic food movie, ‘Big Night’ with refreshments.  Note this is a separately ticketed event.  Tickets €12 or €9 for GIY Supporters. To buy your ticket click here

Saturday 13th, 8pm – ‘GIY Gathering Evening’ - a very special evening meal of local and seasonal produce with local craft beers.  Ticket price TBC.



In addition to our normal Gathering 2014 tickets this year we have added two exciting new possibilities: Those who have joined our GIY Supporter Scheme can avail of a weekend ticket for €20. You can join our GIY Supporter Scheme and get  half price entry by purchasing a GIY Supporter Plus Gathering ticket. To purchase any ticket for The Gathering 2014 please click here.

Healthy Soil, Healthy People

Healthy Soil, Healthy People

This year’s event will feature talks, debates and discussions over two days linked by the “Healthy Soil, Healthy People” theme.

The scientific community is catching up with what GIYers and farmers have known for millennia.  If you fertilise the soil in your garden with plenty of compost or farmyard manure each winter, you end up with a healthy, nutritious soil that is teeming with microbial life.  From this soil you get healthier, more nutritious food, which in a very real way can contribute to perfect health.  There is an emerging interest in the nutrient cycle from Soil to Food to People.

We are only just starting to understand the connections between healthy soil and healthy people.  Recent research grabbed headlines when it suggested that soil could be the new Prozac, so effective is it at improving mood and reducing depression.  Meanwhile, agronomists at Washington State University observed that healthy, nutritious soil is more likely to produce nutrient-dense food, because of the nutrient ‘flow’ that results from the cooperation between microbial life and the plant’s roots.

Read Michael Kelly’s piece on soil and health from The Irish Independent.

If soil and health are so deeply connected, what are the implications of our current approach to soil?

• According to the FAO, more than 90% of our food comes from our soils, yet thanks to unsustainable production practices globally, we are losing 10 million hectares of fertile soil each year.
• Commercial agriculture uses chemical interventions (pesticides, insecticides and fertilisers) that kill the microbial life so central to soil health.  If Living Soil really is the foundation of health, what is the impact of commercial agriculture on our health?
• With 5 billion people living in cities in the next 20 years, contact with (and understanding of) soil is becoming rarer.  What are the implications of our alienation from the soil that is the foundation of life?

Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival

The GIY Gathering coincides with the Waterford Harvest Festival when everyone in the city will be talking about and thinking about, eating and celebrating, good food.


The 2014 Gatheirng returns to the Theatre Royal and City Hall in Waterford City. Situated in the Viking Triangle, our venues here will include the historic theatre itself and newly refurbished rooms in City Hall.


This years speakers include some familiar faces from previous events, as well as many new names.

Ella McSweeney (Host)

Ella McSweeney (Host)

Ella McSweeney started her career studying zoology before working for BBC radio and television. Since joining RTE she has specialised in farming, food and wildlife programmes.Credits include Nature’s Web, The Green Light, Farm Week, RTE’s Big Science Debate, Into the Deep, Mind Matters and the wildlife and walking series Shanks Mare.

On television she presented an RTE 1 series on frugality called ‘Living Lightly’ and regularly presents Ear to the Ground and Countrywide. She recently completely a radio series on traditions in farming called Home Grown.

Darina Allen

Darina AllenDarina Allen, owner of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Co Cork, Ireland, is a teacher, food writer, newspaper columnist, cookbook author and television presenter. This talented food lover is a member of the International SLOW FOOD Movement. She is a best-selling author, and has presented eight series of her cookery programmes Simply Delicious on television in Ireland. A tireless ambassador for Irish food both at home and abroad, Darina has also been instrumental in setting up the Farmers Market movement in Ireland.

Denis Cotter

Denis CotterDenis Cotter is best known for his creative vegetarian cuisine in Cork’s renowned Cafe Paradiso, is an experienced cookery teacher and food consultant as well as the author of four award-winning cookbooks. His first book The Café Paradiso Cookbook was shortlisted for the British Guild of Food Writers Awards. ‘Paradiso Seasons’ won ‘Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World’ at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Barcelona in 2004. His third book ‘wild garlic, gooseberries & me’ was shortlisted for the Andre Simon Awards in 2008. His most recent book ‘for the love of food’ was published by Harper Collins in 2011. 

Rory O’Connell

Rory O'ConnellRory O’Connell founded the Ballymaloe Cookery School with his sister Darina Allen. This award winning chef has worked in many prestigious establishments with prominent chefs such as Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico London and Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons. He has worked with publishers and with RTE. Rory’s passion for refining not just our palates but how we prepare and cook food is still his priority. He provides bespoke cookery classes at his 18th century farmhouse in East Cork. Rory’s much anticipated first book ‘Master It – How to Cook Today’ won the André Simon award for 2013.

Patrick Holden CBE

Patrick Holden CBE

Patrick Holden CBE is the Founding Director of the Sustainable Food Trust, a new organisation established in 2011 with a mission of working internationally to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable food systems. He is Advisor to the Prince of Wales and Patron of the UK Biodynamic Agriculture Association.

This much sought after speaker and campaigner on food issues has spearheaded a number of prominent food campaigns on issues such as BSE, the misuse of antibiotics, pesticide residues and GM food.

As an experienced agricultural practitioner Patrick founded the longest established organic dairy farm in Wales. He also founded British Organic Farmers which has subsequently merged with the Soil Association.  He has also served as a member of the UK Governments working group on the Foresight report into the Future of Food and Farming.

Lily Higgins

Lily HigginsLilly Higgins is a food writer, photographer and author of Dream Deli and Make Bake Love, both published by Gill & MacMillan. Lilly writes regularly for newspapers and magazines including being foodwriter for The Sunday Business Post and Image Interiors & Living Magazine. Having graduated from Ballymaloe Cookery School Lilly went on to teach at the school. Finally using her degree in Design as well as her love of baking and cooking Lilly started a food blog in 2010 which has lead to a career in food writing, styling and photography as well as a year spent running an underground supper club in Dublin. Lilly lives in Cobh, Co.Cork with her partner Colm and two small sons. 

Owen Glynn Smith

Owen Glynn SmithA botanist by training, Owen has been interested in exploring the potential of unusual food crops for many years. He believes that we can widen the range of crops we grow by exploring the potential in lesser known food plants. He founded a seed company, Future Foods which specialised in unusual food plants, worked at Ryton Gardens in the Heritage Seed Library and currently writes about his experiments with novel root crops on his blog Radix (http://radix4roots.blogspot.co.uk). His aim is to set up networks of amateur plant breeders who work to create their own varieties or, as he puts it, “develop the heirlooms of tomorrow”.

Alys Fowler

Alys FowlerAlys Fowler started gardening in her early teens and trained at the Royal Horticultural Society, the New York Botanical Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. She is a presenter for BBC’s Gardeners’ World and has her own BBC TV series The Edible Garden. She writes for The Guardian, BBC’s Gardeners’ World magazine and Gardens Illustrated as well as publishing her own four books, The Thrifty Gardener,  Garden Anywhere, The Edible Garden and The Thrifty Forager..

She continues her passion to fuse traditional gardening with modern eco-friendly culture.

See Alys’s GIY Profile

Mark Diacono

Mark DiaconoAn award winning writer and photographer, who runs the pioneering Otter Farm, and is known for his commitment to sustainable, ethically produced food. Having led the Garden Team at River Cottage and appearing in the TV series, runs courses and events at River Cottage HQ. He has grown interesting food such as; kiwis, sweet cicely, Japanese wineberries, pecans, quince, almonds and Szechuan pepper among them.

Mark’s book Veg Patch: River Cottage Handbook Number 4 was named Practical Book of the Year at the Garden Media Guild Awards 2009 and A Taste of the Unexpected won the Guild of Food Writers’ Book of the Year 2011.

He has just publiched A Year at Otter Farm, inspiring recipes through the seasons

See Mark’s GIY Profile

Michael Kelly

Michael KellyMichael Kelly is a journalist, author and founder of  GIY. Michael is an Ashoka Fellow, a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland awardee and a recipient of the inaugural 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund Award. He is a member of the TASTE Council of Ireland.

He writes columns on growing your own food for The Irish Independent, The Evening Echo and Food & Wine Magazine. His bestselling first book, Trading Paces (O’Brien Press) was published in April 2008. His second book, Tales from the Home Farm was published in late 2009. Michael is a passionate speaker on food issues, self-sufficiency, sustainability and growing your own food.

GIY Profile of Michael Kelly

Sally McKenna

Sally McKennaSally McKenna is one half of the team that publish the McKennas’ Guides. Working with her husband, John McKenna, the guides include books, apps, an internet magazine and a website. In 2013 Sally wrote and published Extreme Greens: Understanding Seaweed, described by Joanna Blythman as “fascinating, highly informative, extremely digestible and intriguing [a book] that will hold your attention from page one.”

Fiann Ó Nualláin

Fiann Ó NualláinFiann Ó Nualláin is an author, horticultural therapist and awarding garden designer. He has constructed gardens for Failte Ireland, Bord Bia, GiY Ireland, Notice Nature, The British wildlife trust, The craft council of Ireland, the Asthma society of Ireland and Unicef Ireland and has developed horticultural outreach programmes and both greenskills and FETAC-training systems for Dublin City Council, the HSE and FAS.

An advocate of gardening for health and a functional foodie he blogs at theholisticgardener.com and contributes articles to various health and gardening magazines. Fiann co presents RTEs Dermot’s secret garden. His latest book The Holistic Gardener, a gardener’s first aid, was published in spring 2014.

See Fiann’s GIY Profile

Klaus Laitenberger

Klaus LaitenbergerKlaus Laitenberger, is the former head gardener at Rossinver Organic Centre and co-ordinator of the restoration of Victorian gardens at Lissadell House.  Also, a writer, trainer, mentor and consultant in organic horticulture with over twenty years gardening experienc in the UK and Ireland.

Last year he completed his PgDip in Organic Farming. His first book, Vegetables For the Irish Garden, is the number one selling book on the GIY website and a must-read for Irish veg growers.  HIs second book Vegetables for the Polytunnel and Greenhouse, was published in Spring 2012 . This is Klaus’ 4th GIY Gathering – his previous masterclasses were “standing-room only”!

Kitty Scully

Kitty ScullyGrowing up on an organic mixed farm in Co Laois, Kitty Scully became interested and passionate about home grown food at an early age. Kitty has completed a Diploma in Organic Horticulture & Sustainable Living and recently achieved first class honours in an MSc in Organic Horticulture amidst a busy gardening, writing and teaching career.

Best known for her RTE 1 series’ How to Create a Garden’, Kitty also writes a weekly vegetable gardening and foraging column for the Irish Examiner. In 2009, gaelic speaking Kitty contributed to TG4’s gardening programme, An Garraí Glas and in 2010 she visited community gardens around Ireland, co presenting RTÉ’s Corrigan Cooks Naturally. Kitty is now the Food Grower at Airfield House in Dundrum, a fabulously newly designed productive yet pretty space in  Airfield where Kitty and the team share their passion and commitment to the production and consumption of local, seasonal home grown food.

Paul Clarke

Paul Clarke

A wise person once said ‘It is not so much about what planet we shall leave to our children but rather what children we shall leave to the planet’. If we get things right at school, then maybe we have a chance of making things better in the future.

Which is where Paul Clarke comes in.

Combining an impressive academic understanding of the world of school and system leadership with a string of books and publications to his name, Paul is also a world-recognised and award-winning authority in the area of sustainability. Down-to-earth, practical and approachable, he has worked extensively across the world in places such as Uganda, China, Australia, Pakistan and Canada combining his scientific environmental endeavours with development work in some of, quite literally, the most hard-to reach communities on the planet.

A professor of education at St Mary’s University in London, he is also a visiting professor at the University of Southampton and at Long Island University in Vancouver where he works in collaboration with leading minds in the area of education and sustainability. Paul is a founder member of the Millemont Ecorestoration centre in Paris, from where he runs his school-of-sustainability project.

He also makes a very good coffee, a story which he might tell at the Gathering…

One experiment which he is cultivating at the moment is focused on worms and coffee grinds, all undertaken and inspired by the spirit of Charles Darwin who spent his lifetime studying the behaviour of worms and their place in the ecosystem.

Trevor Sargent

Trevor Sargent

GIY Profile of Trevor Sargent

Paddy C. Courtney

Paddy C. CourtneyPaddy C. Courtney is an actor and writer from Dublin. He wrote and stared in the multi IFTA nominated six-part comedy drama ‘Paddywhackery’ for TG4. He has made cameo appearances in Channel 4’s ‘Shameless’ and BBC 1’s ‘Inspector George Gently.’  He also writes columns for The Irish Independent, The Herald and The Irish Field.  Best known as a stand up comedian, he hung up his microphone in 2011 to concentrate on his new career as a writer and actor. It was also the same year he acquired a small plot at Malahide Allotments (Malahideallotments.ie), where he currently learns how to grow his own food while constantly battling slugs and weeds. Paddy says “I love every minute I’m on my plot as I find it very therapeutic for my mind, body and soul, and more importantly, I get to create and develop new characters for the stories I’m writing.”


Business incubator model applied to farming

Posted on August 4, 2014 by Comments are off

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — A physicist from Armenia, a juice-maker from Bermuda and a Burmese sushi chef are crafting new careers in agriculture under a program that applies the business incubator model to farming.

The Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming is one of dozens of incubator farms springing up around the country to nurture the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs. The projects help would-be farmers get started by providing a plot of land, shared equipment, mentoring on business planning and marketing, and the opportunity to build a track record of success that will help them qualify for startup loans when they’re ready to launch their own farms.

“It’s giving me an opportunity to implement business ideas that I hadn’t had a chance to before,” said Damon Brangman, 43, an immigrant from Bermuda who wants to grow his own vegetables for the mobile juice business he runs with his wife in Ithaca. “I’m looking to buy or lease land, but there’s more risk and cost involved. This was more within my reach.”

The 10-acre farm in Ithaca, in New York’s Finger Lakes region 140 miles west of Albany, is now in its second growing season with Brangman and two other farmers tilling quarter-acre plots that they can use for three years. Surik Mehrabyan, 54, came to upstate New York with a contract for physics research at Cornell University, but after it ended, he wanted to return to the agrarian lifestyle he grew up with in Armenia.

“My goal is to understand what to grow to make a living,” Mehrabyan said as he spaded stony soil to build a raised bed in his plot at Groundswell. “All the time, I’m doing different experiments and finding markets, planning. For me, it’s most important to get established with buyers before I invest in land.”

Ye Myint, 47, a native of Myanmar, is growing sushi cucumbers and greens such as gongura and water spinach, which are popular in Asian communities. “I have a deal with a Burmese grocery store in Syracuse to buy gongura,” said Myint, who makes sushi for the Cornell University food service.

There are about 105 incubator farms in 38 states, many of them still in the planning stage or just a few years into operation, according to the National Incubator Farm Training Initiative at Tufts University in Massachusetts. The program, launched in 2012, advises new incubator farms and helps farmers connect with them.

More than half the farms serve immigrants and refugees, but others nurture a range of new farmers including young people, career changers and retirees.

In 2008, new grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program spurred a number of incubator programs into existence. The USDA program was a response to the rising average age of U.S. farmers and the 8 percent projected decrease in the number of farmers from 2008 to 2018. The 2014 farm bill includes $100 million for the program.

“The barriers to getting into this industry are so large that we have to come up with new strategies to get people on the land,” said Jennifer Hashley, project director of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, parent organization of the Incubator Training Initiative.

A network of mentor farmers is key to the success of the incubator farm, said Joanna Green, director of the Groundswell Center. “The farmers we work with are really interested in helping the next wave get started and succeed,” Green said. Groundswell’s oversight team also includes advisers from Cornell’s horticulture department and farm credit organizations.

The New Entry incubator program requires farmers to pay startup costs including a $175 fee for a quarter-acre plot, plus the cost of their seeds, nursery pots and other supplies. Farmers must take a farm business planning course and write a plan that will be refined at the end of the growing season. In the first year, some earn only enough to recoup startup costs, while others may earn as much as $10,000.

“It depends on what they grow, how much time they put into it and what their market is,” Hashley said.

20 years from now?

Posted on July 31, 2014 by Comments are off

from: http://revistagalileu.globo.com/Tecnologia/noticia/2014/07/evolucao-tecnologica-como-sera-nossa-vida-daqui-20-anos.html

span class=”notranslate” onmouseover=”_tipon(this)” onmouseout=”_tipoff()”> I ask a few seconds of reflection for the following: the set of phone you have in your pocket has the processing power and storage capacity several times greater than the giant computer that you used to enter the ICQ . Incidentally in 2003, its Cell is more powerful than the computer that NASA took the Apollo 11 to the Moon

The speed at which technology advances is observed by Moore’s Law , “a prophecy” 1965 the then president of Intel, Gordon Moore. Moore’s Law says that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every 18 months, and this pattern holds since. In 2001, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has extended the theory of Moore, saying that whenever a technology finds a kind of barrier that stops or slows down their development, comes another technology that breaks this barrier. Kurzweil believes that humanity must attain technological singularity in 2045 - the singularity is the the name given to the time when civilization reach so fast, advanced technological levels and change deeply the paradigms of society as a whole, that artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence, and our limited mind today is unable to predict exactly what it will mean.

Technological developments, then, is not linear, and you can not wait for the next 20 years we proceed much as in the 20 years that have passed Indeed, the world will be completelydifferent:. Taking into account the projection of Moore and analyzes Kurzweil, who is one of the most respected futurists in the world, in 18 or 20 years the technology will be hundreds of thousands of times more advanced than it is today ( take a look at this chart to understand the size of the thing ). So it is very difficult to predict the paradigms that are broken in this period.

But there are those who are trying – people who even had success in the past in beating about where we technologically today. The PEW , research institute on the internet, talked to experts about the possibilities for the internet in the coming years. The site Edge.org interviewed Kevin Kelly, editor of Wired magazine and one of the most respected analysts on the future of technology. And we searched the vast material collected in these interviews in search of the answer: how different our lives will be in 20 years because of technological change?

Wearables You must have heard that category of gadgets – it lacks a proper translation in Portuguese. The term literally translates as “wearable” and it fit devices like clocks from Samsung and Apple, Glass, Google, and bracelets that record physical activities such as Fitbit. According to experts, this is where we bring in the earliest science fiction films. They will cheapen, become popular and will incorporate augmented reality capable of changing our everyday lives and how the technological resources related applications. Imagine seeing reality with layers of data – view at your glasses, the distance from where you are to where you want to go, with coordinates live? The possibilities for how these gadgets are quite large.

The scarcity of attention “We spend four, maybe five years studying and training to learn to read and write, and this learning process affects the connections in our brain. (…) It may be that we learn to manage our attention, to think critically, (…) all this ‘technological literacy’, we have to spend years training and studying. Maybe demande training, study, “says Kevin Kelly, editor of Wired magazine. Other experts agree: attention and the ability to focus on something for an extended period are rare commodities, and maybe still do not know, but it is necessary to study and devote time to adapt our brains to this context hyperlinks and cross-references between content we consume without letting it interfere with the concentration and absorption of information.

Internet of Things The Internet is still, for us, something in which we are connected or not. Ie, there are times when we are on the network and at times when we are completely disconnectedin 20 years, the relationship between us and the network will be similar to the way we deal with electricity:. It simply exists and permeates our daily lives. Do not talk about, do not analyze their impact and assume that it is simply time there. Just noticed that it did not exist when we have more. The same way that electricity, it is expected that the internet becomes so cheap that it will spread and reach even the poorest regions.

One of the experts said, anonymously: “. The internet and humanity are one thing, pro good or bad pro The internet of things will be the most useful innovation, and the one that will catch people by surprise.” Over the next 20 years, the internet will be part of practically everything we have and everything will integrate online – from the front of your home on your bike, your camera, your refrigerator, table lamps and door dinner.

Forget privacy If you think you have a problem with privacy, be aware that most analysts say is no going back. And instead of worrying about being in unmonitored, we give up fight for the impossible and try to lessen the impact of this new reality. How? Requiring more transparency(thus making sure who is monitoring us, when and why) and blind trading periods, a time frame to be free from the constant vigil.

The technology solves problems but creates others “Most of our problems today is tecnogenic, or were created by technology,” said Kevin Kelly. And most of the problems of the future, he says, will be created by technologies we are developing today .This happens since the first technological advancements – when, for example, man has developed a hammer made of stone, it has been used as a tool to produce other things, but also was used to injure people more effectively. And Kelly says that using a hammer to one thing or another is a matter of choice, but before inventing the hammer, this choice did not exist. “Technology continues to give means to do good and evil, and is expanding both possibilities, but the fact that we have a new choice every time is a good thing too.”

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