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Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017
Large international study published in Lancet which figured that more important than reducing "bad food" is the focus on eating more "good food" (fruits, nuts, vegetables).

"In 2017, 11 million deaths and 255 million DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) were attributable to dietary risk factors. High intake of sodium, low intake of whole grains , and low intake of fruits were the leading dietary risk factors for deaths and DALYs globally and in many countries. Dietary data were from mixed sources and were not available for all countries, increasing the statistical uncertainty of our estimates."

"This study provides a comprehensive picture of the potential impact of suboptimal diet on NCD (non-communicable disease) mortality and morbidity, highlighting the need for improving diet across nations. Our findings will inform implementation of evidence-based dietary interventions and provide a platform for evaluation of their impact on human health annually."


Funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Agrachina  foodsystems  Research  food  health  Sustainability  Report  Wheat  Nuts_DriedFruit  fruits  Statistics 
8 days ago by eocas
"We are making deep learning easier to use and getting more people from all backgrounds involved through our:

- free courses for coders
- software library
- cutting-edge research community

Our slogan is "Making neural nets uncool again", following an explainer:

Being cool is about being exclusive, and that’s the opposite of what we want. We want to make deep learning as accessible as possible– including to people using uncool languages like C#, uncool operating systems like Windows (wh...
Startupinthecloud  AI  Education  Tutorial  community  Software  Software_Engineering  Research 
8 days ago by eocas
naked capitalism
Seen by some as "socialist blog", by itself as "the world's most Influential finance & economics blog with trenchant commentary, tenacious investigation, insider political & regulatory analysis.".

"Naked Capitalism is an American financial news and analysis blog that "chronicles the large scale, concerted campaign to reduce the bargaining power and pay of ordinary workers relative to investors and elite technocrats".

Under the pen name Yves Smith, Susan Webber, the principal of Aurora Advisors Incorporated and author of ECONned, launched the site in December 2006. She focused on finance and economic news and analysis, with an emphasis on legal and ethical issues of the banking industry and the mortgage foreclosure process, the worldwide effects of the banking crisis of 2008, the 2007–2012 global financial crisis, and its aftermath."

Lifesnippets  Agrachina  blog  Politics  Policy  Finance  Economy  news  Analysis  SocialEntrepreneur  Social  Research  Ethics  via:frauchauchat 
4 weeks ago by eocas
Artist residency portal.

"We are an association of over 650 centers, organisations, and individuals in over 70 countries. Each of our members is dedicated to offering artists, curators, and all manner of creative people the essential time and place away from the pressures and habits of every-day life, an experience framed within a unique geographic and cultural context.

Through Res Artis, organisations become part of a global community of colleagues engaged in dialogue through our face-to-face meetings and virtually through our online presence.

Those interested in attending a residency can use the information and resources on our website, gaining insights into the profiles of our members and staying informed about their events and application deadlines.

Since 1993, through the volunteer efforts of the Board of Directors, dedicated staff and countless partners and friends, Res Artis has grown to become the largest network of its kind, promoting the role of residential art programs as a vital part of the contemporary arts world, stimulating the creative development and mobility of artists, and furthering intercultural understanding."

Fashionmeetsorganic  Lifesnippets  Association  NGO_NPO  Netherlands  artist  community  Collaboration  events  Research  creation  Creative  Inspiration  Innovation  Culture  Directory_Database  curation  Art  Platform  residencies  grants 
4 weeks ago by eocas
Status as a Service (StaaS) — Remains of the Day
An in-depth analysis of social media platforms through the lens of social capital theory and why we should think of them as “Status as a Service” businesses.

Ironical title of a lengthy but brilliant, extremely comprehensive analysis of underlying psychological, societal and economical motives for using and operating social networks.

Startupinthecloud  Lifesnippets  Agrachina  Fashionmeetsorganic  Social_Networks  Social  Analysis  Research  Social_Media  Sociology  Psychology  Ecosystem  Business_Advisory_relevant  blog  Expert 
5 weeks ago by eocas
The global food problem isn’t what you think - The Washington Post
Making a point for 'Nutrition Security'!

"Providing food security to the nearly 10 billion people who will inhabit the globe by 2050 is one of the key issues of the 21st century. Given that reality, you might think the international community would at least be able to agree on how to define the problem.

Unfortunately, you would be wrong.

While a large part of the agricultural research establishment is focused on one aspect of the challenge — calories — another part of the scientific community is focused on a related but different one: adequate nutrient consumption.

To this point, the first group has driven the world’s agricultural research agenda. But a new study I co-authored with a group of international scientists and recently published in Nature Sustainability suggests that calorie fundamentalism is leading us down a dangerous path.

Our group looked at both the question of how much food will be available during the next three decades and the question of whether this food will meet our nutritional needs.
We must shift our emphasis from food security to nutrition security.

A major effort must be made to increase the productivity — the yield per hectare — of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. By enhancing their productivity, we’ll make them more available and affordable. And we’ll see the benefits in a diminished obesity crisis and fewer victims of micronutrient deficiencies."

Written by Gerald C. Nelson, a professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a former senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Agrachina  health  food  foodsystems  Food_Security  Food_Safety  development  NGO_NPO  Research 
6 weeks ago by eocas
Extracts Tables from PDFs.

"If you’ve ever tried to do anything with data provided to you in PDFs, you know how painful it is — there's no easy way to copy-and-paste rows of data out of PDF files. Tabula allows you to extract that data into a CSV or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet using a simple, easy-to-use interface. Tabula works on Mac, Windows and Linux."

Startupinthecloud  tools  Productivity  Research  Java  Office_Tools 
7 weeks ago by eocas
Geoff Lawton - Permaculture, PDC, Online Courses
"Geoff Lawton is a world renowned permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. He first took his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course in 1983 with Bill Mollison, widely considered the “father of permaculture.” Geoff does teaching, consulting, designing, administering and implementing. Some projects:

- consultancy in the environmentally green, Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates
- development work from the Greening the Desert projects in Jordan
- rehydration strategies in the deserts of Hadramaut, Yemen
- housing projects for the Kurds in Iraq after the war, rebuilding an entire village with 53 straw bale houses

[...] courses focused on the practical design of sustainable soil, water, plant, animal, energy, structures, legal and economic systems.

Geoff has established permaculture demonstration sites that function as education centres in all the world’s major climates — information on the success of these systems is networked through Geoff established the Permaculture Research Institute and the website to network mainframe information worldwide."

Agrachina  Permaculture  Consultancy  Education  Rural_Development  Agricultural_Organic_Guide  sustainablecompany  Sustainability  sustainable  environmentalism  farm  farmers_livelihod  book  community  Soil  water  Plant_Protection  Energy  Legal  Research 
november 2018 by eocas
Earth Rights Institute
"Earth Rights Institute (ERI) is designed to be an equilateral knowledge platform, where local people collaborate with academics and development professionals, both local and foreign, by exchanging skills, experiences, and knowledge to solve crucial development issues such as widespread poverty, land right disputes and environmental degradation.

ERI takes an innovative approach to join education, advocacy and research in building ecologically, economically and culturally sustainable communities in some of the world's poorest communities. ERI advocates a model of development that supports the re-localization of development expertise. We believe that in order to empower communities to manage and direct their own development, strategies and expert knowledge must be conceived locally.

We are affiliated with the IU as a United Nations NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) for these UN Departments

- ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council)
- UN Habitat
- UNCSD (United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development)
- UN Finance and Development

[...] offer online courses: 'Become a Leader in Sustainable Development' and 'Course on Land Rights, Land Value Taxation and Commons Rent'"

Agrachina  Africa  USA  NGO_NPO  Platform  Knowledge  knowledgemanagement  Research  Consultancy  Environment  Social  community  Rural_Development  sustainable  Sustainability 
november 2018 by eocas
Collective Responsibility
"Collective Responsibility is a strategic advisory firm founded by Richard Brubaker, one of Asia’s most recognized authorities on sustainability, innovation and responsible leadership.

Founded with the fundamental belief that that a sustainable world can only be achieved through awareness of issues, finding tangibility in business cases, and development of cross-sector collaboration, Collective Responsibility acts as a knowledge base, catalyst and facilitator between stakeholders.

We at Collective view sustainability as a holistic process of action and a change in vision among corporations, from the new entrant workers to the founders and visionaries of the company. Change for a more efficient and productive planet starts with the private sector, and we’re here to help our clients move towards that future through consulting, research, training, and engaging their stakeholders.

Our mission is to:

- Create a knowledge base and catalyze discussion of issues related to the development of civil society, business sustainability and social development in Asia.
- Develop tangible interests, engagement and action on issues of sustainability (economic, environmental and societal).
- Build bridges between local and foreign resources to ensure knowledge transfer, program scalability and growth.
- Develop organizational capacity with the aim to help create stable and profitable enterprises."

Based in Shanghai, China.

Agrachina  Strategy  Shanghai  China  Consultancy  Innovation  Sustainability  changemanagement  Research  Training  Stakeholder_Management  civilsociety  environmentalism  SocialEntrepreneur 
november 2018 by eocas
OpenCV library
"OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision Library) is released under a BSD license and hence it’s free for both academic and commercial use. It has C++, Python and Java interfaces and supports Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS and Android. OpenCV was designed for computational efficiency and with a strong focus on real-time applications. Written in optimized C/C++, the library can take advantage of multi-core processing. Enabled with OpenCL, it can take advantage of the hardware acceleration of the underlying heterogeneous compute platform.

Adopted all around the world, OpenCV has more than 47 thousand people of user community and estimated number of downloads exceeding 14 million. Usage ranges from interactive art, to mines inspection, stitching maps on the web or through advanced robotics."

Startupinthecloud  opensource  Python  Research  AI  VR  InteractiveBeijing  Automation 
october 2018 by eocas
BiiLabs (Blockchain Industry and Innovation Labs) explores a new border of Trusted Economy by using distributed ledger technology. Through DLT, they enable products (e.g. Appliances, Tools, Drones, eBikes etc.) and resources (e.g. computer storage, computational power, WiFi bandwidth etc.) to be leasing-service effortlessly.

"Along with the Machine Economy, over 5 Trillion transactions and microtransactions will be taking place on a daily base by year 2020.

DLT Research
BiiLabs is one of the pioneers of distributed ledger technology (DLT) developers with smart contract engine on top of DAG-based system (Directed Acyclic Graph, aka Tangle) which are just plain regular legal contracts, except their terms are stored on the distributed ledger and they are machine readable, enabling their automatic verification by all peers.

Customized API
Based on DLT, BiiLabs is delivering the service including digital ID, ledger and settlement, micro-payment, digital forensics and many more, by providing and securing the sandbox for testing.

Transaction Security
With the distributed system, all data would be cryptographically secured on multiple nodes so that even sensitive data can be transmitted safely and soundly in a quantum-proof system.

Scalability in Business
BiiLabs enables micro- and nano-transactions to be recorded with the application of distributed ledger technology and provides developers with an innovative set of tools for IoT applications."

From Taipeh / Taiwan.

Startupinthecloud  IoT  Taiwan  machine-learning  Service_Provider  Platform  Research  Payment  Security  decentralization  Framework 
october 2018 by eocas
GreenWaves Technologie
"GreenWaves Technologies is a fabless semiconductor company based just outside Grenoble, France. We were formed in 2014 with the mission of revolutionizing intelligent sensors and devices. We have developed GAP8, an ultra-low power IoT Application Processor. GAP8 enables devices to interpret and act on image, motion and sound data at low energy levels. It allow years of operation on batteries bringing low installation and operation costs.
GreenWaves is one of a growing group of semiconductor design companies that is committing to Open Source projects. We believe that this both advances innovation and provides customers with confidence in their decision to commit to our products. We are actively participating in two Open Source projects that provide some of the components in GAP8’s design and without which GAP8 would not exist, the RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and Parallel Ultra Low Power (PULP) projects."

Startupinthecloud  IoT  Open_Hardware  opensource  Energy-saving  France  Switzerland  Research 
october 2018 by eocas
PULP platform
"The Parallel Ultra Low Power (PULP) Platform started as a joint effort between the Integrated Systems Laboratory (IIS) of ETH Zürich and Energy-efficient Embedded Systems (EEES) group of the University of Bologna in 2013 to explore new and efficient architectures for ultra-low-power processing.
Our aim is to develop an open, scalable hardware and software research and development platform with the goal to break the energy efficiency barrier within a power envelope of a few milliwatts, as well as satisfy the computational demands of IoT applications requiring flexible processing of data streams generated by multiple sensors, such as accelerometers, low-resolution cameras, microphone arrays and vital signs monitors.
PULP includes a state-of-the-art microcontroller system and a multi-core platform able to achieve leading-edge energy-efficiency and widely-tunable performance. Compared to single-core microcontroller units, a parallel ultra-low-power programmable architecture allows meeting the computational requirements of IoT applications, without exceeding the power envelope of a few milliwatts typical of miniaturized, battery-powered systems.
We have intentionally taken an open-source approach from the very onset of the project and so far, we have released efficient 32 and 64bit implementations based on the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture, peripherals and complete systems starting from simple micro-controllers, to the state-of-the-art OPENPULP release which sets a new bar for low-power multicore IoT processors. Additionally, PULP supports multiple application programming interfaces such as OpenMP, OpenCL and OpenVX that allow agile application porting, development, performance tuning and debugging."

Startupinthecloud  Open_Hardware  opensource  Platform  Technology  Switzerland  Italy  IoT  System  development  Energy-saving  Research  Media 
october 2018 by eocas
"IDDRI is an independent policy research institute and a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform that identifies the conditions and proposes tools to put sustainable development at the heart of international relations and public and private policies."

One of their studies (in French):
An agro-ecological Europe: multifunctional agriculture for a healthy food system

Based in Paris / France.

Agrachina  Policy  Sustainability  sustainable  development  Research  Research_Institutes  Platform  France  europe  Food_Security  Agroecology 
october 2018 by eocas
SMART (by Sustainable Food Systems GmbH)
About (from FIBL):
"The term "sustainability" is used inflationary and inconsistently. Hundreds of sustainability frameworks have been developed and more and more companies have "sustainable" products on offer. For consumers and buyers it is very difficult to tell whether a farm or a company are actually operating sustainably or not. In addition, farmers and companies in the agricultural and food sector face the question how to assess their sustainability performance in a comparable way and to communicate it in a credible way, without pursuing green-washing.

Therefore the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL has chosen to develop SMART – Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment RouTine – a method that allows farms and companies in the food sector to assess their sustainability in a credible, transparent and comparable manner. SMART is the world’s first tool, which is fully consistent with the SAFA-Guidelines (UN FAO Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture systems) and provides an efficient manner to apply them in practice.

However, SMART is not a new standard, certification system or label but solely an analysis and assessment instrument. It therefore does not compete with existing standards and certificates, but is a useful supplement.

In order to provide SMART sustainability assessment services FiBL founded the spin-off Sustainable Food Systems GmbH (SFS) which now is the owner of the lincense rights and rights of use of SMART. The SFS is owned by FiBL Switzerland, Germany and Austria."

Agrachina  Standardization  Sustainability  semanticweb  Framework  Declaration  Comparison  Research  sustainablecompany  NGO_NPO  certification  Switzerland  Germany  austria  Organic  Organic_Certification  Organic_Agriculture  Organic_Education  Transparency  Label 
october 2018 by eocas
Open Apparel Registry (OAR)
"The mission of the Open Apparel Registry is to maintain an open-source, neutral and publicly accessible database of every facility in the global apparel and footwear sector, for the purposes of enabling industry collaboration and improved identification of factories. This improved identification will be facilitated by the unique OAR ID allocated to each facility."

The OAR was developed by supply chain transparency platform Sourcemap, and funded by the C&A Foundation, sourcing data from organisations like the Fair Factories Clearinghouse and dozens of brands such as Gap and Nike. Dr Leonardo Bonanni Founder and CEO of Sourcemap Inc., noted: “the OAR’s aim is to provide a reference and to streamline supply chain mapping. We hope it serves as a reference for not only brands and NGOs, but for researchers and start-ups aiming to inform the public about the performance of various apparel brands and their products.”

Fashionmeetsorganic  Agrachina  Directory_Database  Manufacturing  Database  Apparel  Shoes  Industry  NGO_NPO  Research  Fair_Trade  SupplyChain  Sourcing 
october 2018 by eocas
Design Library (aka: Hangzhou "Material Library)
"YUHANG RONG DESIGN LIBRARY is built by PINWU Design Studio and Yuhang Government in Hangzhou China. It focuses on Chinese traditional handcraft research and each material deconstruction from the craft. The Library offers designers Chinese traditional materials such as bamboo, paper, clay, porcelain, copper, silver, silk, etc. Remains of ancient Chinese folk culture are still to be found, hidden in villages. The library is passionate collecting the knowledge from the old craftsman."

Fashionmeetsorganic  Agrachina  artisanal  material  fabric  Sustainability  bamboo  Culture  exhibition  rural  Research  design  China  Zhejiang 
october 2018 by eocas
"EU-project which will be run by FiBL Switzerland as well as IFOAM EU aims at fostering the development and facilitating the adoption of cost-efficient and environmentally safe tools and technologies, to phase out the dependency on and use of inputs considered contentious in organic farming systems. In addition to that, organic farming targets to manage ecological processes whilst lowering dependence on off-farm inputs.
- Reduce the use of copper and mineral oil in plant protection
- Identify sustainable sources for plant nutrition
- Provide solutions to support livestock health and welfare
Involving actors from research, farming, advisory services and industry from the very start hence implementing a truly multi-actor approach."

Agrachina  European_Union  europe  Research  Switzerland  Technology  Sustainability  Plant_Protection  Fertilizer  Livestock  farming  Organic  Organic_Agriculture  Organic_Education  Education  advocacy 
august 2018 by eocas
UABB (Bi-City Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism Architecture) | 深港城市建筑双城双年展
"Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) is currently the only biennial exhibition in the world that is based exclusively on the set themes of URBANISM AND URBANIZATION. Co-organized by the two neighboring and closely interacting cities of Shenzhen and Hong Kong, UABB situates itself within the regional context of the rapidly urbanizing Pearl River Delta, concerns itself with globally common urban issues, extensively communicates and interacts with the wider public, is presented using expressions of contemporary visual culture, and engages in international and avant-garde dimensions as well as discourses of public interest."

Fashionmeetsorganic  Agrachina  shenzhen  Guangdong  HongKong  community  Architecture  urban  Urbanism  Urbanization  NGO_NPO  Innovation  design  government  Governance  Communication  Service_Provider  Platform  events  Economy  Industry  Research  Directory_Database 
july 2018 by eocas
Shenzhen Center for Design (SCD) | 深圳市城市设计促进中心
"SDC was founded by the Urban Planning Land and Resource Commission of the Shenzhen Municipality and is a non-profit organization with its mission set as “to encourage and promote innovations in the design of urban spaces and environment”. Its goals are: to integrate resources from the governmental, the industrial, and the academic fields; to establish a database of design ideas and thoughts around the urban developments in Shenzhen; to offer services for designers such as communication channels, trainings,and promotion opportunities; to fully enhance and uplift the design quality of urban developments in Shenzhen; and to stimulate the transformation of Shenzhen ‘s economy to produce a better innovation industry."

For example UABB (深港城市\建筑双城双年展 Bi-City Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\ Architecture) grew out of SCD's activities.

Fashionmeetsorganic  Agrachina  shenzhen  Guangdong  HongKong  community  Architecture  urban  Urbanism  Urbanization  NGO_NPO  Innovation  design  government  Governance  Communication  Service_Provider  Platform  events  Economy  Industry  Research  Directory_Database 
july 2018 by eocas
Weight training, aerobic physical activities, and long-term waist circumference change in men
"Among various activities, weight training had the strongest association with less WC (waist circumference) increase. Studies on frequency/volume of weight training and WC change are warranted."

Lifesnippets  health  sport  Research  Research_Papers  Study  Report 
july 2018 by eocas
Permaculture or Spermaculture?
"... permaculture as a “young movement” that lacks self­-­­­­aware­­ness and criticism in many ways. While Bill Mollison founded and introduced permaculture as a scientific movement, today’s generation of permaculturists are continually pushing for the inclusion of social dynamics, including gender dynamics, in discussions. If it’s care of the earth, care of people, and sharing the surplus, human dynamics have to be a part of that and the social analysis needs to be a part of that."

Lifesnippets  Agricultural_Development  Sustainability  Permaculture  Gender  Research  Social  Sociology  Philosophy 
june 2018 by eocas
calibre - E-book management
"It can view, convert, edit and catalog e-books in all of the major e-book formats. It can also talk to e-book reader devices. It can go out to the internet and fetch metadata for your books. It can download newspapers and convert them into e-books for convenient reading."

GUI with regex search but also can be used by CLI.

A lighter alternative (which is also written in Python) is 'Ebook Viewer' (

It is cross platform, running on Linux, Windows and macOS. For Android there exists the paid app 'Calibre Companion' ( which can sync to library on desktop. There's a simple alternative E-Book (epub) reader for Android called 'Document Viewer' ( yet that one can't sync.

Startupinthecloud  Lifesnippets  book  Research  Management  Python  Knowledge  knowledgemanagement  Content_Aggregation  Content_Curation  Information_Systems  opensource  tools  Software  Analysis  Application  Productivity  Media  media:document  RSS  filetype:pdf  File  Filesync 
april 2018 by eocas
ODNS: Oblivious DNS
A new design of the DNS ecosystem that allows current DNS servers to remain unchanged and increases privacy for data in motion and at rest. In the ODNS system, both the client is modified with a local resolver, and there is a new authoritative name server for .odns. To prevent an eavesdropper from learning information, the DNS query must be encrypted.

Conclusion from introductory article*:
"The past several years have seen much (warranted) concerns over the privacy risks that DNS queries expose. Existing approaches that allow users to use alternative DNS resolvers are a helpful step, but in some sense they merely shift the trust from the user’s ISP to another party. We believe that a better end state is one where the user doesn’t have to place trust in the operator of any DNS recursive resolver. Towards this goal, we have built ODNS to help decouple clients’ identities with their corresponding DNS queries, and have implemented a prototype."


Startupinthecloud  decentralization  network  Research  Innovation  Safety  Security  Privacy 
april 2018 by eocas
Recoll text search finds your documents
"Desktop search tool that provides efficient full text search (from single-word to arbitrarily complex boolean searches).
Recoll was designed not to require a permanent daemon but on Linux systems it can make use of inotify. Recoll updates its index at designed intervals (for example through Cron tasks) but if desired, the indexing task can run as a file-system monitoring daemon for real-time index updates."

Scope exmple:
Recoll will index an MS-Word document stored as an attachment to an e-mail message inside a Thunderbird folder archived in a Zip file.

Runs on Linux, macOS, MS Windows and Unix.

Startupinthecloud  Knowledge  knowledgemanagement  Research  Python  DMS  File  filetype:pdf  filetype:doc  Analysis  Database  Messaging 
april 2018 by eocas
European Citizen Science Association - For evidence-based sustainable development
ECSA's mission is to connect citizens and science through fostering active participation.

"The European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) is a non-profit association set up to encourage the growth of the Citizen Science movement in Europe in order to enhance the participation of the general public in scientific processes, mainly by initiating and supporting citizen science projects as well as performing research on citizen science.
ECSA draws on +200 individual and organizational members from over 28 countries across the European Union and beyond, having become a European reference network of Citizen Science initiatives. ECSA field of activities:

- H2020 projects (
- Contributing to policy briefs
- Open science policy platform
- Development of principles for good practice in citizen science.

Strategic competencies:

- Promoting Sustainability through Citizen Science,
- Building a Think Tank for Citizen Science,
- Developing Participatory Methods for Cooperation, Empowerment and Impact.

Our Mission is to connect citizens and science through fostering active participation."

Registered NPO in Berlin / Germany.

Agrachina  Lifesnippets  Startupinthecloud  Knowledge  knowledgemanagement  Innovation  Sustainability  sustainable  development  decentralization  Research  Platform  Germany  NGO_NPO  Biodiversity  climatechange  Environment  environmentalism  Legal  community  democracy 
april 2018 by eocas
Communication research centre based in Treviso, Italy. The range of disciplines is including design, visual communication, photography, interaction, video, music, social & environmental sciences and journalism.

They aim to inspire a specific creative category of young (> 26 years) “social catalysts” who, at the end of their experience at the centre, will continue their work independently. Such as Beijing-based photographer & e-commerce platform (iLiangcang) founder Peng Yangjun (

Fabrica belongs to the Benetton Group (clothing) and is also publishing the iconic COLORS magazine (

Fashionmeetsorganic  Lifesnippets  Agrachina  Italy  Research  Research_Institutes  Magazine  Communication  agency  Consultancy  photography  design  Social  environmentalism  Creative 
april 2018 by eocas
scikit-learn | machine learning in Python
"Machine Learning in Python:
- Simple and efficient tools for data mining and data analysis
- Accessible to everybody, and reusable in various contexts
- Built on NumPy, SciPy, and matplotlib"

Startupinthecloud  machine-learning  Python  Data  Research  Analysis  Software  Software_Engineering  Programming  Education 
march 2018 by eocas
Kaggle: Your Home for Data Science
"The world's largest community of data scientists. Join us to compete, collaborate, learn, and share your work.
Kaggle is a platform for data-related competitions. The platform allows companies, researchers, government and other organizations to post their modeling problems and have data professionals and researchers test & compete to produce the best solutions."

Startupinthecloud  Data  Database  datasource  Data_Warehouse  Research  Big  Platform  Collaboration  Education  Performance 
march 2018 by eocas
ClimateWorks Foundation
"ClimateWorks Foundation is a team of researchers, strategists, collaborators, and grant-makers who are committed to climate action and believe in the power of collective philanthropy.

A non-governmental organization that works globally, ClimateWorks collaborates with funders, regional and research partners, and other climate leaders to strengthen philanthropy’s response to climate change."

Their portfolio consists of:
- Cross-Cutting Strategies
- Clean Power
- Oil
- Energy Efficiency
- Forests & Land Use
- Non-CO₂ Mitigation

Based in California / USA.

Agrachina  Sustainability  NGO_NPO  climatechange  Research  Fundraising  USA  Clean-Tech  Energy  Energy-saving  Forestry  Land_Grab  Fossil_Fuels 
march 2018 by eocas
Circular Economy Lab
"Our mission is to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, circular economy in Canada and beyond.

Launched by The Natural Step Canada in 2016, our unique process brings together public and private sector leaders from different sectors and value chains to co-develop and implement circular economy solutions. These solutions ultimately eliminate waste, improve productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster value-creation and innovation.

We work collaboratively with our partners to:

- Define the circular economy opportunity: We help governments and businesses understand the opportunities, barriers and strategies for advancing the circular economy within their organizations, their value chains and the province as a whole.

- Accelerate promising ideas: We work with our partners to identify, incubate and scale circular economy initiatives. These include:
- Strategic, collaborative initiatives to address systemic barriers that individual organizations can’t tackle alone
- “Innovation moonshots” with the potential to transform the economy,
New or improved circular products, services, policies, business models and strategies.

- Build momentum for change: We increase circular economy awareness, understanding and commitment through strategic research, communications, education and engagement activities for stakeholders across Canada.


CEIL uses the proven Sustainability Transition Lab (STL) process developed by The Natural Step Canada. The STL process brings a genuinely new, pioneering approach to dealing with complex problems that require new levels of public, private and not-for-profit sector collaboration. Its innovation and strength lies in combining three areas of practice that have each been successful in their own right:

- A science and systems-based approach to sustainable development that has been rigorously tested and refined over 25 years of international application in businesses, governments and communities,
- The change lab methodology that emerged from the hard-won negotiations that ended South Africa’s apartheid, and
- Leading edge, proven public engagement strategies anchored in network theory and digital media.

Agrachina  Sustainability  circulareconomy  NGO_NPO  Canada  community  Communication  Platform  Research  Recycling 
march 2018 by eocas
OpenCog Foundation
"Open-source software project aimed at directly confronting the AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) challenge, using mathematical and biological inspiration and professional software engineering techniques.
OpenCog is a framework for developing AI systems, especially appropriate for integrative multi-algorithm systems, and artificial general intelligence systems.
The OpenCog Foundation is a non-profit organization, founded in 2011 as a formal entity to foster research, guide the development of the project, and encourage the adoption of the framework in universities and research centers around the world.

OpenCog is currently being used at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to power the next generation of intelligent game characters. The framework is also being used to control Nao robots at the BLISS lab at Xiamen University, China, to enable them to learn about their environment and communicate more effectively with humans.
No challenge today is more important than creating AGI, with broad capabilities at the human level and ultimately beyond."

Startupinthecloud  AI  Framework  NGO_NPO  Research 
march 2018 by eocas
World Resources Institute
"WRI is a (Washington / USA-based) global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States. Our more than 700 experts and staff turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being.
We envision an equitable and prosperous planet driven by the wise management of natural resources. We aspire to create a world where the actions of government, business, and communities combine to eliminate poverty and sustain the natural environment for all people.
Our "count it - change it - scale it" Approach:

1. Count It
[...] analysis identifies risks, unveils opportunities, and informs smart strategies.

2. Change It
We use our research to influence government policies, business strategies, and civil society action. We test projects with communities, companies, and government agencies to build a strong evidence base. Then, we work with partners to deliver change on the ground that alleviates poverty and strengthens society.

3. Scale It
We work with partners to adopt and expand our efforts regionally and globally."

p.s. Well-balanced article about sustainable fashion:

Agrachina  NGO_NPO  USA  Research  China  Sustainability  Environment  environmentalism  Analysis  civilsociety  community 
february 2018 by eocas
Natural Factory
"Collects examples to inspire us to ‘let nature be our factory’ in contemporary, sustainable ways. It’s a diverse selection of interesting examples to get the creative thoughts going, rather than an exhaustive academic database.

Designers, makers, architects, engineers … anyone involved in creating the things we need; are there ways you can better harness the waste-free circular economy offered by natural processes and organisms to create radically more sustainable solutions? This might be looking for contemporary ways of using natural materials, or even better innovating ways to ‘grow’ entire products – really letting nature be our factory.

Entries include drones grown from mushroom mycelium, bacterially produced biodegradable plastics and boutique furniture grown in a carbon-negative ‘orchard’, as well as more familiar natural materials and traditional craft processes which could be re-purposed or developed.

We are also including entries from the rapidly developing field of biotech / bio-hacking, which some believe holds the potential to provide materials and processes sustainably by interfacing with or carefully modifying living organisms (the jury is out on the long-term sustainability in some cases, but better to engage and be aware).

This is a voluntary project started by designer/maker/biologist friends from from several countries interested in exploring this field together.
Supporting organisations:
- MakerBay Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Polytechnic University Materials Research Centre (MRC)
- Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL)"

Agrachina  Sustainability  NGO_NPO  China  HongKong  shenzhen  Research  Database  Innovation  Architecture  natural  waste  circulareconomy  Biodiversity  Bio-based_Chemicals 
january 2018 by eocas
Blockchain for Social Impact (BSIC)
"BSIC incubates, develops, and implements confederated blockchain products and solutions that can address social and environmental challenges across the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
We aim to inspire, federate, and create bridges between NGO’s, and government agencies, foundations, impact investors, philanthropists and technologists by focusing on the following focus sectors:

Financial Inclusion
Supply Chain
Identity & Vulnerable Populations
Energy & Environment

We promote the creation of Ethereum blockchain solutions and applications which address social and environmental issues. By working to shift economic and social paradigms through blockchain technology, we increase the economic prosperity of individuals and communities.

We are currently pursuing opportunities in each of the below areas:

Research and publications
Annual Conference
Speaking Opportunities

The Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition is an initiative of ConsenSys, a venture production studio based in Brooklyn, NY."

Startupinthecloud  Agrachina  incubator  Business_Advisory_relevant  Business_Planning  Business  blockchain  Social  Environment  NGO_NPO  foundation  Investor_Relations  Fundraising  Finance  SupplyChain  Sustainability  Consultancy  Conference  Research  Tech  Venture_Capital 
january 2018 by eocas
"Ashoka is an international organization that promotes social entrepreneurship by affiliating individual social entrepreneurs into the Ashoka organization. Their stated mission is "to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector: one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world's citizens to think and act as changemakers."

Excerpt final paragraph from their About:
"Looking ahead, Ashoka is identifying emerging opportunities where society is reaching a tipping point that will make it possible to solve critical problems through widespread systemic change. It does this by helping entrepreneurs work with each other, and with partners in business, government, academia, and other influential institutions to draw on and demonstrate the power of collaborative entrepreneurship."

Started 1980 by Bill Drayton. Based in Arlington / Virginia / USA with Swiss office in Geneva. Active in 93 countries with ~3000 fellows. Their fellowship program consists of the following main criteria:

1. The Knockout Test: A New Idea
2. Creativity
3. Entrepreneurial Quality
4. Social Impact of the Idea
5. Ethical Fiber (evaluate candidates with rational analysis whether they can be trusted)

In 2015 started a Swiss Changemakers Program ( which evolved into UBS Global Visionaries (

Furthermore they have established an Ashoka Support Network:

Agrachina  NGO_NPO  USA  foundation  Switzerland  Social  entrepreneurship  Business_Model  Innovation  Creative  Ethics  incubator  community  government  Research 
january 2018 by eocas
Designing Regenerative Cultures - book by Daniel Christian Wahl
"This is a ‘Whole Earth Catalog’ for the 21st century: an impressive and wide-ranging analysis of what’s wrong with our societies, organizations, ideologies, worldviews and cultures – and how to put them right. The book covers the finance system, agriculture, design, ecology, economy, sustainability, organizations and society at large.

In this remarkable book, Daniel Wahl explores ways in which we can reframe and understand the crises that we currently face and explores how we can live our way into the future. Moving from patterns of thinking and believing to our practice of education, design and community living, he systematically shows how we can stop chasing the mirage of certainty and control in a complex and unpredictable world.

The book asks how can we collaborate in the creation of diverse regenerative cultures adapted to the unique biocultural conditions of place? How can we create conditions conducive to life?"

Agrachina  book  Sustainability  design  Culture  Cultivation  Eco  Ecobalance  Ecology  Environment  environmentalism  Research  material  climatechange  Permaculture  Organic_Agriculture  Education  Organic_Education 
december 2017 by eocas
On the dangers of a blockchain monoculture
Article argues about definition issues, architectural shortcomings and hype symptoms of Bitcoin and its underlying Blockchain technology.

The writer sees alternative decentralized ledger protocols as necessary innovation to overcome Bitcoin's shortcomings and shortlists the following:

- Interledger (protocol for making payments across different payment networks)

- StellarSCP (distributed consensus algorithm designed for Internet-scale operation, which provides global agreement among localized “quorum shards”)

- Bitcoin-NG (decoupling leader election from the publishing of transactions for proof-of-work)

- Cothority & Google's Trillian (framework for building collective authority systems using a Merkelized log ala Certificate Transparency, a consensus witness protocol algorithm, and consensus threshold signatures. Allows auditable decentralized trust and consensus which can be used for many of the same things people are pitching “blockchain technology” for without the need for a mining-costly proof-of-work-based “consensus by lottery”)

"The most interesting ideas I’m seeing are coming from people who describe their protocols as requiring no blockchain.

I worry the media are giving undue attention to questionable ideas simply because there’s a lot of “buzz around blockchain”.

I worry that the hype surrounding the “blockchain” might lead those who award research budgets to favor blockchain-based solutions over those that are blockchain-free.

I worry financial institutions might pick a “blockchain”-based solution where a blockchain-free solution might be by all quantitative metrics better in every regard, simply because they’ve heard what a big deal “blockchain” is.

But perhaps my concerns are overblown, and this is just a giant semantic argument. Maybe “blockchain technology” is just becoming a meaningless all-encompassing umbrella term for decentralized protocols."

Startupinthecloud  blockchain  Technology  Research  decentralization  Analysis  Market_Report  Communication  Software_Engineering  Payment  Security 
december 2017 by eocas
" *Building a Global Nervous System* -> Ceptr is one of those audacious, world-changing projects which can't be summarized into a shiny catch-phrase, but here are some anyway. Ceptr is a:

- Cooperative framework for distributed applications
- Quantum leap in large-scale collective social intelligence
- Peer-to-Peer platform for building new Commons
- Pluggable protocols that let everything talk to everything
- Organically organized computing architecture of fractal receptors

"Breakthroughs in our capacities to communicate and coordinate restructure society. Language birthed culture and hunter-gatherer tribes. Writing forged kingdoms and agriculture-age empires. Printing enabled nations and industrial-age economies. The Internet launched a new restructuring of society, but is constrained by computing tech designed for centralized control. Learning from nature's blueprints, Ceptr provides an evolvable, fully distributed framework for coordination and sense-making on all scales."

Ceptr is the underlying base for these sub-projects:

- Holo Cryptocurrency -> Infrastructure for Global Scale and Stable Value

- Holochain -> Scalable, agent-centric, distributed computing

- Mutual Credit Cryptocurrencies: Beyond Blockchain Bottlenecks

- Pcubed (Plugable Protocol for Protocols) -> Fundamental Interoperability through Self-Describing Protocols

- Sovereign Accountable Commons -> Surpassing Smart Contracts for Social Coherence

- Fallacy of Individualism -> Hacking Social Compulsion for Commonwealth

- Grammatic Capacities and the Evolution of Complex Adaptive Systems

- A Fractal Virtual Machine System Framework as New Networked Global Nervous System

- Network Intelligence (Neural Internetworking) -> From Shared Network Storage to Distributed Associative Memory

- Holoptinets -> Large-Scale Self-Reflective Functional Intelligence

- Ceptr Revelation -> Applying the patterns of living systems to upgrade social intelligence

Startupinthecloud  Agrachina  decentralization  Platform  opensource  Framework  Research  blockchain  Virtualization  Application  plugin  Software_Engineering  Security  Economy  e-commerce  Technology 
december 2017 by eocas
"Venture production studio building decentralized applications and various developer and end-user tools for blockchain ecosystems, primarily focused on Ethereum.

The ConsenSys “hub / formation” coordinates, incubates, accelerates and spawns “spoke” ventures through development, resource sharing, acquisitions, investments and the formation of joint ventures. These spokes benefit from foundational components built by ConsenSys that enable new services and business models to be built on the blockchain. In addition to the development of internal projects and consulting work, ConsenSys is interested in the identification, development and acquisition of talent and projects on an ongoing basis."

- Balanc3; A smart contract powered Triple-Entry Accounting system (EtherSign and IPFS).
- BoardRoom;organization governance.
- DAOWars; Creating smarter AI.
- dAppstore; Marketplace for decentralized applications (‘Ðapps’).
- EtherEx; e-monetary exchange.
- EtherLoan; Decentralized crowd-lending platform.
- EtherPoker; Online poker where players never have to deposit money on a site, the shuffle is provably random, and cards are cryptographically secure.
- eSign; Signing and managing smart contracts.
- Grid+; Give consumers direct access to wholesale electricity markets.
- Gnōsis; Complex predictions made easy.
- HunchGame; Platform for trend setters and gossip gurus.
- Inflekt; Tribal network and events management platform.
- Ujo; Returns more value to content creators and their customers.
- WeiFund; Crowdfunding campaign platform that uses smart contracts.
- ConsenSys Supplychain; Empowering supply chain with smart contracts.

Core components (backend services for dApps & platforms):
- Benefactory; Smart contracts for nonprofit foundations and donators.
- BlockApps; Full stack application platform.
- BTC Relay; Verify ETH transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
- INFURA; Provides the world with secure, stable, fault tolerant, and scalable Ethereum and IPFS nodes.
- LightWallet; HD wallet to store private keys encrypted in the browser to allow you to run Ethereum dapps even if you’re not running a local Ethereum node.
- MetaMask; Browser extension that enables access to web Dapps through browser.
- Nethereum; .Net integration library for Ethereum.
- ProvID; Know-Your-Customer address verification on Ethereum.
- Regis; Register, track and transfer the ownership of digital assets.
- RepSys; Reputation system that is embedded in Dapps including uPort.
- Stabl; Enables dApps to hold and manage stable smart contract values, protecting users from ETH price volatility.
- Truffle; Development framework written in Javascript ES6 to create, compile, deploy, and test dApps.
- uPort; Enabling self-sovereign identity and digital assets.
- ethereumjs-accounts; In-browser Javascript module for managing Ethereum accounts and signing transactions remotely, without a local RPC node.
- ethereumH; Haskell Ethereum Client is a secure, scalable gateway for dApps.
- ethereumJ: Java Ethereum Client hosts Java Virtual Machine who runs a fully-featured Ethereum node.

- Microsoft; Blockchain-as-a-Service (ETH BaaS) including developer tools Ether.Camp and BlockApps.
- TransActive Grid; Joint venture (with LO3 Energy) to provide business logic layer with real-time metering of local energy generation. Enables real-time purchase and sale of spot delivery, as well as futures and options on delivery, which can be traded on an open, decentralized energy trading exchange.
- CO-TRICITY; Partnership with Innogy Innovation aiming to create a market between homeowners who produce solar powered energy and local businesses.
- SingularDTV; Production and distribution platform, creating broadcast quality original film and television content.
- Ubuntu; Functionality such as Ethereum-verified Digital ID.

Non-profit affiliations:
- Smart Contracts Foundation (SCF); Organizations, companies, and others in the blockchain space which will define standardized frameworks and interoperability on various kinds of dApps.
- Ethereum Foundation (Stiftung Ethereum); Non-profit organization in Switzerland, to maintain specfications and protocols, and managing resources to build out the Ethereum and decentralized technology ecosystem.
- Cryptocurrency Research Group (CCRG); Cross-disciplinary research network focused on studying cryptocurrencies and other decentralized consensus technologies.
- Code to Inspire; Educating Afghan female students by improving their technical literacy and teaching them how to code so that they can find future employment as freelancers.

Founded by Martin Köppelmann who was also into predication analysis platforms Fairlay and Gnosis.

Offices in San Francisco, New York City, Dubai and London.

blockchain  Agrachina  Startupinthecloud  Ecosystem  Venture_Capital  Investor_Relations  Fundraising  Switzerland  USA  UK  decentralization  development  Software  Software_Engineering  Programming  Accounting_Software  Organization  Application  Legal  Energy  Communication  community  NGO_NPO  events  Crowdfunding  SupplyChain  Storage  Database  Javascript  haskell  Education  Rural_Employment  Research  foundation  Innovation 
october 2017 by eocas
CASVI - China Alliance of Social Value Investment-Shenzhen (社会价值投资联盟)
"First licensed non-profit-organization specializing in social value (impact) investment promotion in China. Initiated by 50 prominent institutions led by YouChange Social Entrepreneur Foundation, United Nations Social Impact Fund, Investment Association of China, Tsing Capital Investment.
The pursuit of social value, sustainable returns and measurable evaluation should be attached with the same importance, and the economic incentives and social goals should be combined. Hence, the enterprises, social organization, masses and government can be encouraged to work effectively and jointly push forward the sustainable development of the economy and society.
social issues like polarization between the rich and the poor, environmental protection, climate change
effective approach is to unite the government, market and social departments for joint social innovation action, and guide the good capital or patient capital to enterprises or organizations which are adept in identifying social issues and provide sustainable solutions. Only in this way can the antagonism between the society and commerce be broken, and a new social ecological system developed.
Supply-demand analysis framework report on the diversified subjects and mechanisms that promote social value investment in China."

Key elements:
- Implementation rules for the government to purchase public service from the society
- Infrastructure construction in relation to social value investment market
- Researches on the concept framework and ecology of social value investment
- Responsible consumption and procurement should be advocated
- Social value investment should be introduced to the reform of state-owned enterprises and public institution.
- Laws and policy systems concerned should be improved, market players and service organizations (incl. Advisory Committee) should be developed.

Investment fields:
- Inclusive Financing
- Intelligent Manufacturing
- Green Agriculture
- Health & Pension
- Green Energy
- Education Quality

Three-A Model for social value investment:
1. Aim,
2. Approach,
3. Action.

Policy recommendations in consideration of:
- Definition difficulty,
- Imbalanced participants,
- Incomplete chain development
- Undefined system framework
- Inadequate tools

Based in Shenzhen.

China  Agrachina  Investor_Relations  Fundraising  Business_Advisory_relevant  NGO_NPO  Social  SocialEntrepreneur  development  Sustainability  Environment  goodgovernance  Policy  Research  Finance  Manufacturing  Green-New-Wave  Greentech  GreenArchitecture  Energy  Education  Innovation  Ecology 
october 2017 by eocas
"AidData is a research lab at William & Mary's Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations. We equip policymakers and practitioners with better evidence to improve how sustainable development investments are targeted, monitored, and evaluated.
Who is doing what, where, for whom, and to what effect?
Generating and publishing more sectorally and spatially precise data on bilateral and multilateral aid projects.
Features / Datasets:
- Tracking Underreported Financial Flows
- Geospatial Impact Evaluation / Natural Resource Concessions
- SDG Coding
- Geocoding
[ ...]
Special focus on China and Africa. Dedicated report:
"AidData releases first-ever global dataset on China’s development spending spree - More than USD $350 billion in foreign aid and other forms of state financing that China committed to five major regions of the world."

Excerpts China report:
- Chinese government considers its international development finance program to be a "state secret"
- China's official financing, including foreign aid, concessional and non-concessional state financing, to 140 countries
- A clear majority of U.S. spending (USD $395) was in the form of official development assistance (ODA), "the strict definition of aid," while the bulk of Chinese spending focused on other official flows (OOF), which is primarily intended for commercial projects
- Infrastructure dominates the majority of Chinese funds, particularly transportation
- Many top recipients are members of the Belt and Road Initiative
- Risky to run into repayment difficulties by lending money to countries where World Bank's indicator for rule of law is critical

Top 10 recipients of official Chinese development aid:
- Cuba ($6.7b)
- Cote d'Ivoire ($4b)
- Ethiopia ($3.7b)
- Zimbabwe ($3.6b)
- Cameroon ($3.4b)
- Nigeria ($3.1b)
- Tanzania ($3b)
- Cambodia ($3b)
- Sri Lanka ($2.8b)
- Ghana ($2.5b)

gis  development  Africa  China  Agrachina  Startupinthecloud  datasource  Data  NGO_NPO  Policy  Politics  research  open-data 
october 2017 by eocas
Spiral Dynamics – A Way of Understanding Human Nature
Intro (
"The Spiral Dynamics model is derived from the original thinking of Dr. Clare W. Graves. He saw human nature emerges along a developmental path from one equilibrium state to the next. These can be viewed as stages wherein each layer adds new elements to all that came before; in turn, each stands in preparation for a next phase which may or may not come. Every "level of human existence" offers a particular viewing point for the real world as defined by its unique set of perceptual filters. These diverse reality views lead to very different decision-making approaches, organizing principles for business, economic and governance models, and ideas of what appropriate, effective living means."

"Graves identified what people seek out in life at each level of psychological existence as follows:

Level 1 BEIGE (A-N) existential: survival, biogenic needs satisfaction, reproduction, satisfy instinctive urges

Level 2 PURPLE (B-O) animistic: placate spirit realm; honour ancestors; protection from harm; family bonds

Level 3 RED (C-P) egocentric: power/action, asserting self to dominate others, control, sensory pleasure

Level 4 BLUE (D-Q) absolutistic: stability/order, obedience to earn reward later, meaning, purpose, certainty

Level 5 ORANGE (E-R) multiplistic: opportunity/success, competing to achieve results, influence, autonomy

Level 6 GREEN (F-S) relativistic: harmony/love, joining together for mutual growth, awareness, belonging

Level 7 YELLOW (G-T) systemic: independence/self-worth, fitting a living system, knowing, good questions

Level 8 TURQUOISE (H-U) still developing global community/life force; survival of life on a fragile Earth; consciousness"

A future generation of researchers of Grave's theory have applied it to become the core of their consulting business called NVC Consulting (

Grave's model differentiates with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Myers-Briggs model.

Lifesnippets  Psychology  Analysis  Social_Networks  Sociology  Research  Thesis  Communication  community  Ecosystem  Humanitarian  Consultancy  Consulting 
october 2017 by eocas
Global Policy Toolkit on Public Support to Organic Agriculture
Complete global overview of policies supporting organic agriculture has been compiled in September 2017 (first time ever!). It includes tools for advocates and policy-makers and is called ‘Global Policy
Toolkit on Public Support to Organic Agriculture’.

"these guidelines make the cornerstone of the toolkit and present the fullest possible compilation of facts, arguments and tips of the full panel of policy measures that can be conceived to support organic agriculture. Most of the sections of this main report are also broken down into separate documents, for easier download and use. The report is targeted to policy makers and policy advocates. IFOAM-Organics International also developed a special Sub-Saharan African version of the main report, which focuses on the information most relevant in the context of Sub-Sarahan African countries."

Main report (247 pages):

Agrachina  Legal  Policy  Organic  Organic_Agriculture  Organic_Certification  Africa  Sustainability  Report  Research  Research_Analytics_Organic 
september 2017 by eocas
A Magna Carta for Inclusivity and Fairness in the Global AI Economy
Excerpt of analysis:
"Advancements in intelligent machinery may force us to codify the processes by which decisions are made. Should your self-driving Uber be allowed to break traffic regulations in order to safely merge onto the highway? To what extent are algorithms as prone to discriminatory patterns of thinking as humans – and how might a regulatory body make this determination?"

"- Machine meritocracy
- Balance of power
- Machine decisions
- Personal choice [not needed anymore, depriving us of encounters and friction]
- Polarization [reinforcing our beliefs and values without the random opportunity to check them]
- Who makes judgements?
- Discrimination and bias"

"A new charter of rights

Therefore, we propose a Magna Carta for the Global AI Economy — an inclusive, collectively developed, multi-stakeholder charter of rights that will guide our ongoing development of artificial intelligence and lay the groundwork for the future of human-machine co-existence and continued, more inclusive, human growth. Whether in an economic, social, or political context, we as a society must start to identify rights, responsibilities, and accountability guidelines for inclusiveness and fairness at the intersections of AI and human life. Without it, we will not establish enough trust in AI to capitalize on the amazing opportunities it can and will afford us."

AI  Startupinthecloud  Ethics  Economy  Research  Report  Information_Culture  Information_Science  Information_Society  Information_Systems  Information_Technology  Politics  Policy  Philosophy  Legal 
september 2017 by eocas
Experts: China won't meet 2030 air quality standards by solely enforcing end-of-pipe controls (Original: 专家:仅靠末端控制,2030年空气质量无法达标)
Summary by Lauri Myllyvirta from Greenpeace China:
"Important Qinghua study: 30% of Chinese cities can't meet air quality standards with end-of-pipe controls only - China needs to cut coal to 35% of total energy, end small-scale coal use, cut heavy industry output by 25% and CO2 by 17% to meet even current air quality standards."

China  Agrachina  Energy  Energiemix  Standardization  Environment  Policy  Research  NGO_NPO  coal  Renewable_Energy  Industry  Air  Pollution 
september 2017 by eocas
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
"Established in 1994, the United Nations to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found. In the 10-Year Strategy of the UNCCD (2008-2018) that was adopted in 2007, Parties to the Convention further specified their goals:

'to forge a global partnership to reverse and prevent desertification/land degradation and to mitigate the effects of drought in affected areas in order to support poverty reduction and environmental sustainability'

The UNCCD secretariat facilitates cooperation between developed and developing countries, particularly around knowledge and technology transfer for sustainable land management.

As the dynamics of land, climate and biodiversity are intimately connected, the UNCCD collaborates closely with the other two Rio Conventions; the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to meet these complex challenges with an integrated approach and the best possible use of natural resources."

One of their strategic communication platforms is the Global Land Outlook (GLO) which in 201709 published an extensive report:

UNCCD's 13th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification (COP13) also took place in 201709 in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China.

Agrachina  Desertification  Land_Rejuvenation  erosion  Policy  China  innermongolia  Environment  Sustainability  development  Rural_Development  environmentalism  Biodiversity  climatechange  Research  Research_Papers  Research_Report_Database 
september 2017 by eocas
China Policy

"China Policy is a globally recognised research and strategic advisory, headquartered in Beijing.

Building strategic thinking on policy process and risk, we work with corporate clients, governments, multilateral agencies, universities and non-profits.

Our strength lies in our macro approach, the breadth of our Chinese-language evidence base, and our principals’ decades of first-hand China experience. We see emerging patterns, identify the interests driving them, and extrapolate trends.

Our analysis supports our clients’ strategic decisions. On our evidence:
- A resource MNC tests its long-term market movement assumptions
- A financial services provider has early warning of regulatory shifts
- An agricultural industry association maps future Chinese demand
- A global conservation foundation recasts its engagement strategy
- A national broadcaster grounds its China coverage
- A university tracks R&D trends to promote cross-border commercialisation
- A government agencies monitor legislative moves affecting national interests"

Agrachina  Policy  Research  Research_Institutes  Research_Papers  Research_Report_Database  Sustainability  China  China_Agricultural_Market_Analysis  China_Economy_Reports  China_Investment  Business  Strategy  agency 
september 2017 by eocas
Biofuel Breakthroughs Bring 'Negative Emissions' a Step Closer
Article about research by Andrew Hopkins for creating energy of algae by pyrolysis with biochar as byproduct for agricultural usage.

"All this brings us tantalisingly close to large-scale char production, for its own sake. The very same research that delivers commercially viable second generation biofuels could presumably be redirected to maximise the yield of char. Biofuel would then be a byproduct, rather than the primary goal.

Unfortunately, the market for char is not yet sufficiently developed to make this a commercial proposition. A significant price on carbon could change all this. If we are serious about achieving negative emissions, that may be the price we need to pay. And who knows, once the benefits of char as a soil additive becomes better established, the commercial value of char may be such that the a price on carbon will no longer be necessary.

Could char production on a massive scale have unwanted side effects? We know that fresh biochar in the soil can deactivate herbicides rapidly leading to poor weed control. These results suggest that biochar use will need to be carefully managed in agricultural situations that rely on herbicides applied to the soil. The net agricultural benefits appear, however, to be overwhelming."

algae  Agrachina  coal  pyrolysis  Energy_Production  Energy  Bio-based_Chemicals  Biochar  Biofuels  Biomass  Biopesticide  Research  Herbicide  GMO 
september 2017 by eocas
ISRIC | World Soil Information
"Our vision is a world where reliable and freely-available relevant soil information is properly used to address global environmental and social challenges.

Our mission is to be a custodian of global soil information we produce, gather, compile and serve quality-assured soil information together with our partners at global, national and regional levels. We stimulate the use of this information to address global challenges through capacity building, awareness raising and direct cooperati...
gis  soil  soil_conditions  agrachina  research  database  Data  datasource  open-data 
september 2017 by eocas
SoilGrids — global gridded soil information
"A system for automated soil mapping based on global compilation of soil profile data and publicly available remote sensing data.

SoilGrids is a system for automated soil mapping based on state-of-the-art spatial predictions methods. SoilGrids predictions are based on globally fitted models using soil profile and environmental covariate data. Currently, serves a collection of updatable soil property and class maps of the world at 1 km / 250 m spatial resolutions produced us...
agrachina  soil  research  gis  database  open-data  machine-learning  Soil_Conditions  opensource 
september 2017 by eocas
Coin Center
"Based in Washington D.C., Coin Center is the leading non-profit research and advocacy center focused on the public policy issues facing cryptocurrency and decentralized computing technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Our mission is to build a better understanding of these technologies and to promote a regulatory climate that preserves the freedom to innovate using permissionless blockchain technologies.

We do this by producing and publishing policy research from respected academics and experts, educating policymakers and the media about blockchain technology, and by engaging in advocacy for sound public policy."

blockchain  policy  politics  legal  ngo_npo  research  decentralization  finance 
september 2017 by eocas
Why Cotton Inc. is supporting GMO cotton
"test organic vs. conventional agriculture. The organic systems in the USDA test revealed that organic:

Has more-fertile soil.
Uses less fertilizer and much less herbicide.
Uses less energy.
Locks away more carbon in the soil.
Are more profitable for farmers.

In addition, organic farms preserve natural resources and biodiversity

The conventional systems:

Have higher yields.
Are best at reducing erosion (when a no-till system is used).

What about the promise of reduced chemical dependence on pesticides and herbicides?

It was always thought that pests would eventually evolve and develop a resistance to Bt. It wasn’t a question of whether resistance would happen, but how quickly it would evolve."

Organic_Agriculture  GMO  Cotton  Organic  farming  Research 
august 2017 by eocas
Platform to query relational databases as Virtual RDF Graphs using SPARQL.

- SPARQL 1.0 support
- Intuitive/powerful mapping language
- DBMS support
- Compatible with DBMS federation tools
- Providers for Sesame and OWLAPI
- Integrated with Protégé
- SPARQL end-point

semanticweb  research  Database  Visualization  Analysis  import_startupinthecloud  Startupinthecloud 
november 2016 by eocas
Why insect pests love monocultures, and how plant diversity could change that
"Left to its own defenses, a farm field growing a variety of plants tends to attract fewer insect pests than a field growing just one type of crop. While scientists and farmers have noted that difference for years, the reasons behind it have been poorly understood. A new study explains that much of it may have to do with the nutritional needs of insects. Returning plant diversity to farmland could be a key step toward sustainable pest control."

biodiversity  farming  Plant_Protection  GMO  research  analysis  import_agrachina  Agrachina 
november 2016 by eocas
Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops
The article compares the higher yields, in absolute numbers and also the increase rate, of farms in Europe (without GMO) and those in the US.

The article concludes:
"Newer genetically modified crops claim to do many things, such as protecting against crop diseases and making food more nutritious. Some may be effective, some not. To the industry, shifting crucial crops like corn, soybeans, cotton and rapeseed almost entirely to genetically modified varieties in many parts of the world fulfills a genuine need. To critics, it is a marketing opportunity."

GMO  research  analysis  European_Union  import_agrachina  Agrachina  usa 
november 2016 by eocas
Capturing the Rains: A Comparative Study of Chinese Involvement in Cameroon’s Hydropower Sector
Working paper by Yunnan Chen and David Landry from the SAIS China Africa Research Initiative.

"[...] could contribute to energy infrastructure and security. However, many of China’s hydropower projects remain controversial both domestically and overseas due to their social and environmental impacts, and perceived lack of transparency. This paper compares two partially-complete hydropower projects in Cameroon financed and constructed in the last five years: one financed by China Eximbank, the other financed by a multilateral consortium led by the World Bank. The single country case study offers an opportunity to evaluate the projects’ tendering, approval, and implementation processes by the Cameroonian government, and to examine how the different financing arrangements have influenced implementation and approaches to environmental and social impacts and mitigation. Although both projects show similarities in their adherence to domestic laws and organizational regulations, the degree and rigor of implementation and the involvement of financiers in the process differs considerably."

import_simplenote  Agrachina  Research  China  Africa  Energy  Energy_Production  cameroon  Social  Environment  Finance 
november 2016 by eocas
Science, Technology, and the Politics of Knowledge- The Case of China’s Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centers in Africa
By China Agricultural University, Beijing, China and Research for Development Trust, Harare, Zimbabwe.

"• The mismatch between policy design and implementation of Chinese African Technology Development Centres (ATDCs) is examined.

• Ethnographic data from four ATDCs in African countries are used to examine day-to-day negotiations over knowledge and politics.

• The ATDCs are seen as an embodiment of a “traveling technocratic rationality”, rooted in the history of Chinese agricultural policy.

• The ATDCs provide possible alternative development pathways for agricultural technology cooperation in Africa."

import_simplenote  Agrachina  Technology  China  Africa  Zimbabwe  Research  Policy  Knowledge  Agricultural_Development 
october 2016 by eocas
"Goal of the project is to construct an ontology that will model Idea Management Systems. However, we also devote to study in detail the appliance of the data schema onto existing systems and exploiting it to achieve real, measurable benefits.
providing rebust data integration capabilities and additional data analysis tools though rich metadata descriptions. Both of those features are derived from the use of Semantic Web technologies to interconnect data inside the Idea Management Systems with assets published by other systems and across the World Wide Web."

Has an applicable Idea Management System called 'IdeaStream'. It collects ideas from communities via web form to submit ideas structured into various description parts (e.g. idea title, problem description, solution etc.) and attach any desirable content (e.g. images).

It sets up on Drupal CMS as module.

The GI2MO project is an initiative of GSI group of the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM).

Innovation  research  Knowledge  Management  Information_Science  Information_Society  Information_Systems  semanticweb  Analysis  Management  CMS  import_startupinthecloud  Startupinthecloud 
october 2016 by eocas
The Role of Linked Data and Semantic-Technologies for Sustainability Idea Management
"Idea Management Systems (IMS) manage the innovation lifecycle from the moment of invention until ideas are implemented in the market. During
the lifecycle the IMS supports collaboration, allows idea enrichment with comments, contextual data, or connected to other relevant ideas. Semantic technologies can improve the knowledge management capabilities of IMSs allowing relevant information to be easily linked to ideas.

Many Enterprises concerned with sustainability encourage employee’s participation as a means to boost creative innovation within their Sustainability Initiatives. However little work has examined the role of an IMS within Sustainability. In this paper we analyse the impact of a semantic-enabled IMS within a
sustainability innovation process. In particular, how ideas can be enriched with contextual Linked Open Data (LOD), especially Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) data, to improve the understanding, implication and value of the idea from the sustainability perspective."

Research_Papers  research  Knowledge  Management  Innovation  Sustainability  Management  Data_Warehouse  Information_Science  Information_Society  Information_Systems  semanticweb  import_startupinthecloud  Startupinthecloud 
october 2016 by eocas
Journal of Social Media for Organizations JSMO
"Created as an open-access, peer-reviewed, electronic journal. It seeks to strike a balance between social media technology and the behavioral research that investigates how people use social media for the good of an enterprise. JSMO focuses on high-quality empirical investigations, analyses, theories, and case studies in social media development and usage.

They look for ways that social media can internally improve their employees' collaboration, information dissemination, organizational responsiveness, product quality, expertise finding, and organizational cohesion; and externally enhance relationships and interactions with and among customers, stakeholders, or interest groups. Research and technologies showing the effectiveness of different approaches for designing, developing, evaluating, and using social media are welcome."

Subordinated and finance by MITRE, a USA government research organization (note: especially in hindsight to defense / military).

research  Research_Papers  Tech  News  Social_Media  Social_Networks  Enterprise_Architecture  Use_Cases  NGO_NPO  Organization  Information_Science  Information_Society  Information_Systems  import_startupinthecloud  Startupinthecloud 
october 2016 by eocas
"FOSSASIA is the premier Free and Open Source technology organization in Asia for developers, designers, start-ups, and contributors. Projects at FOSSASIA range from open hardware, to design, graphics and software. FOSSASIA was established in 2009. The annual FOSSASIA took place in Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore. FOSSASIA meetup groups exist throughout Asia."

Community  research  Data  Open_Hardware  Software  import_startupinthecloud  Open_Data  Startupinthecloud  opensource 
october 2016 by eocas
Health effect of agricultural pesticide use in China: implications for the development of GM crops journal article by Chao Zhang (Beijing Institute of Technology), Ruifa Hu, Jikun Huang & Xusheng Huang. Funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

"It is notable that the adoption of GM glyphosate-tolerant crops increases glyphosate use but reduces non-glyphosate herbicide use; and adoption of GM insect-resistant crops significantly reduces insecticide use. While the health hazard of pesticide use has been well documented, little literature evaluates the health effects of different pesticides related to GM crops in an integrated framework. This study aims to associate the uses of different pesticides related to GM crops with the blood chemistry panel and peripheral nerve conduction of Chinese farmers. Pesticides used by farmers were recorded and classified as glyphosate, non-glyphosate herbicides, chemical lepidopteran insecticides, biological lepidopteran insecticides, non-lepidopteran insecticides and fungicides. The multivariate regression results show that none of the examined 35 health indicators was associated with glyphosate use, while the use of non-glyphosate herbicides was likely to induce renal dysfunction and decrease of serum folic acid. The use of chemical lepidopteran insecticides might be associated with hepatic dysfunction, serum glucose elevation, inflammation and even severe nerve damage. In this context, if GM crops are adopted, the alterations in pesticide use may benefit farmer health in China and globe, which has positive implications for the development of GM crops."

Note this republication:

research  agriculture  Pesticide  China  GMO  journals  technology  Health  farming  Herbicide  import_agrachina  Agrachina 
october 2016 by eocas
NSFC - National Natural Science Foundation of China - 国家自然科学基金委员会 - Guójiā zìrán kēxué jījīn wěiyuánhuì
"NSFC is an institution directly under the jurisdiction of the State Council to administrate the National Natural Science Fund. In accordance with the government's strategies and plans for the development of science and technology, NSFC is responsible for directing, coordinating and making effective use of the national natural science fund to support basic research and stimulate free exploration, identify and foster scientific talents , as well as to promote progress in science and technology and the harmonious socioeconomic development for the nation."

The leading council members are professors of solid mechanics, molecular biology and genetics, physical chemistry, metallurgy and chemical engineering, geochemistry, computer software and electronic engineering and materials science.

research  Research_Institutes  NGO_NPO  China  Pesticide  GMO  import_agrachina  Agrachina 
october 2016 by eocas
GMOs=Monoculture=Bio-disaster? Time to revise simplistic ideological narrative
Pro-GMO propaganda in disguise of being "the voice of science" [asserting that GMO proponents are misleading].

Written by Andrew Porterfield at the NGO 'Genetic Literacy Project' whose slogan is "science not ideology" and mission "What benefits do advances in genetics offer? What are the potential pitfalls?"

Their Glyphosate-blogroll ( publishes new posts almost daily with consistently pro-Roundup positions regarding usage and also regulations. Including from China such as Chao Zhang's report (originally published in journal as 'Health effect of agricultural pesticide use in China: implications for the development of GM crops').

The NGO's 'Genetic Literacy Project' executive director is Jon Entine, media science advisors are Kevin Davies and Elizabeth Finkel, science & risk communication advisors are Geoffrey Kabat and Gary L. Kreps, human genetics advisors are Henry Harpending, Caroline Lieber, Ariella Oppenheim, Sharon Terry and food security advisors are Peggy G. Lemaux, C.S. Prakash, Chavali Kameswara Rao and legal and ethics advisors are Laurie Zoloth.

GMO  Press  research  NGO_NPO  Pesticide  policy  politics  China  import_agrachina  Agrachina  usa 
october 2016 by eocas
FarmBot Genesis
"Genesis is designed to be a flexible FarmBot foundation for experimentation, prototyping, and hacking. The driving factors behind the design are simplicity, manufacturability, scalability, and hackability.
Tracks are one of the components that really differentiate FarmBot technology from traditional free-driving wheeled tractors. Tracks provide great precision and allow the the FarmBot to return to the same position repeatedly. Any type of packing structure of plants can be created and managed. Tracks take up less area than paths for tractor wheels and do not compact the soil".

technology  farming  research  import_agrachina  Agrachina 
october 2016 by eocas
The Natural Step - Accelerate the transition to a sustainable society
NPO founded in founded in Sweden in 1989 by Karl-Henrik Robèrt.

They attempt to draft the following definition of sustainability:

"The Four System Conditions of a Sustainable Society - A Science-Based Definition of Sustainability:

-> Framework For Strategic Sustainable Development revolves around a robust, science-based definition of sustainability. “Robust” means that the principles contained in this definition are both necessary and enough to achieve sustainability. They are also applicable to any activity at any scale and they don’t overlap (each principle covers its own domain).
Scientifically ... four system conditions ... basic sustainability principles:

In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing …

1. … concentrations of substances from the earth’s crust (such as fossil CO2 and heavy metals),

2. … concentrations of substances produces by society (such as antibiotics and endocrine disruptors),
3. … degradation by physical means (such as deforestation and draining of groundwater tables),

4. ... in that society … there are no structural obstacles to people’s health, influence, competence, impartiality and meaning."

They developed the ABCD PROCESS to help interested companies to apply the rules for sustainability to their core business model, to improve long-term value creation. Steps:

A. Awareness: ‘whole-systems’ definition to build a vision

B. Baseline assessment: Conduct a sustainability ‘gap analysis’ of the major flows and impacts of the organisation. Assist organisations to identify critical sustainability issues, their business implications, and strategic opportunities for change.

C. Creative solutions: Innovative ways to realize vision by re-shaping mission, strategy and organization.

D. Devise a plan: Milestone plan with first steps, “low hanging fruits” and longer term planning."

Have branch offices and partners in Sweden, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand, China, Israel, Germany.

In Switzerland their org
Sustainability  Ecobalance  Ecology  environment  environmentalism  NGO_NPO  Switzerland  Sweden  Consultancy  research  Report  Netherlands  Germany  China  Israel  civilsociety  Business_Advisory_relevant  Business_Model  SocialEntrepreneur  import_agrachina  Agrachina  Business_Planning 
september 2016 by eocas
Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion
"The clothing industry employs 25 million people globally contributing to many livelihoods and the prosperity of communities, to women’s independence, and the establishment of significant infrastructures in poorer countries. Yet the fashion industry is also a significant contributor to the degradation of natural systems, with the associated environmental footprint of clothing high in comparison with other products.

Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion recognizes the complexity of aligning fashion with sustainability. It explores fashion and sustainability at the levels of products, processes, and paradigms and takes a truly multi-disciplinary approach to critically question and suggest creative responses to issues of:

• Fashion in a post-growth society

• Fashion, diversity and equity

• Fashion, fluidity and balance across natural, social and economic systems"

Written by Kate Fletcher (also wrote 'Craft of Use - Post-Growth Fashion' and 'Sustainable Fashion and Textiles') and Mathilda Tham (Lecturer in Design, Co-Programme Leader Design Futures and Metadesign at Goldsmiths, University of London)

sustainability  sustainable  fashion  sourcing  Eco  apparel  dying  environment  Tutorial  Education  research  clothing  Pollution  import_fashionmeetsorganic  Manufacturing  Fashionmeetsorganic 
september 2016 by eocas
Today's Fight for the Future of Fashion - Is there room for fast fashion in a Beautiful China?
Report summary:
"Water risks faced by the global fashion industry against a backdrop of a Beautiful China “where the sky is blue, the land is green and the water runs clear”. Also explored are opportunities and the “future of fashion”.

Key risks and opportunities covered in the brief are:

Dirty thirsty fashion: a clear target in ‘Beautiful China’;
Short-term risks: Water Ten Plan;
Stricter enforcement: new environmental law & policies;
Long-term risks: high raw material exposure, soil clean-up & ‘Made In China 2025’;
High reputational risk: continued NGO pressure & the new Chinese consumer;
Brand rankings on sustainability: leaders & laggards; and
The future of fashion: closing the loop & who can help.
There are clear short and long term business & financial impacts for the global fashion industry in a Beautiful China, but opportunities are also abound. Get updated and on top of these and find out what this means for OEMS and brands now!"

fashion  textile  China  sustainability  research  environment  Pollution  Legal  cotton  India  leather  import_fashionmeetsorganic  Agrachina  Manufacturing  NGO_NPO  Fashionmeetsorganic 
august 2016 by eocas
ALIGNED - Aligned, Quality-centric Software and Data Engineering
"... demand to extract, process and publish web data ... However, converting Big Data sources into high-quality, structured knowledge for use in business processes is usually considered data engineering.

ALIGNED will develop models, methods and tools for engineering information systems based on co-evolving software and web data. Tools for model-driven software evolution based on Linked Data sources, runtime data quality analytics, human data curation and process integration will aid more efficient governance, increased agility and higher productivity."

research  Community  Standardization  XML  SEO  semanticweb  Data_Warehouse  Database  Software_Engineering  Big  Data  Information_Science  Information_Society  Information_Systems  Governance  Application  Development  Productivity  import_startupinthecloud  Startupinthecloud 
august 2016 by eocas
Genetically modified Golden Rice falls short on lifesaving promises
By Glenn Davis Stone, Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

"GMO activists not to blame for scientific challenges slowing introduction, study finds
In a recent article [ 'Disembedding grain: Golden Rice, the Green Revolution, and heirloom seeds in the Philippines' ] in the journal 'Agriculture & Human Values',
Stone and co-author Dominic Glover, a rice researcher at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex, find little evidence that anti-GMO activists are to blame for Golden Rice’s unfulfilled promises.
The rice simply has not been successful in test plots of the rice breeding institutes in the Philippines, where the leading research is being done. It has not even been submitted for approval to the regulatory agency, the Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).
Since 2013, Stone has directed a major Templeton Foundation-funded research project on rice in the Philippines. His research compares Golden Rice to other types of rice developed and cultivated in the Philippines. These include high-yield “Green Revolution” rice strains developed in the 1960s in an effort to industrialize rice farming, and ‘‘heirloom’’ landrace varieties long cultivated on the spectacular terraces of the Cordillera mountains of northern Luzon.
it is still unknown if the beta carotene in Golden Rice can even be converted to Vitamin A in the bodies of badly undernourished children. There also has been little research on how well the beta carotene in Golden Rice will hold up when stored for long periods between harvest seasons, or when cooked using traditional methods common in remote rural locations."

This post possibly is also an indirect response to the Pro-GMO campaign "107 Nobel laureates sign letter blasting Greenpeace over GMOs".

GMO  Rice  research  Greentech  Philippines  Bangladesh  nutrition  food_safety  import_agrachina  Agrachina 
august 2016 by eocas
The Oppressive Gospel of ‘Minimalism’
"as an outgrowth of a peculiarly American (that is to say, paradoxical and self-defeating) brand of Puritanical asceticism, this new minimalist lifestyle always seems to end in enabling new modes of consumption, a veritable excess of less. It’s not really minimal at all.
Whiteness, in a literal sense, is good. Mess, heterogeneity, is bad — the opposite impulse of artistic minimalism.
But time often proves aesthetic permanence, as well as moral high ground, to be illusory.
it takes a lot to be minimalist: social capital, a safety net and access to the internet.
We misinterpret material renunciation, austere aesthetics and blank, emptied spaces as symbols of capitalist absolution, when these trends really just provide us with further ways to serve our impulse to consume more, not less."

Unfortunately the author Kyle Chayka doesn't name alternatives [from sustainability point of view].

design  Trends  research  news  Aesthetics  style  styleconsulting  interior  international_blogger  import_fashionmeetsorganic  Lifesnippets  Fashionmeetsorganic 
august 2016 by eocas
Henry Luce Foundation

"Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., to honor his parents who were missionary educators in China.
Broadening knowledge and encouraging the highest standards of service and leadership.
Seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities.
Grant-making programs:
American Art;
Luce Scholars;
Higher Education;
Religion in International Affairs;
Public Policy;
Women in science, mathematics and engineering.
Asia Program pursues two interrelated goals. One is fostering cultural and intellectual exchange between the United States and the countries of East and Southeast Asia. The second is creating scholarly and public resources for improved understanding of Asia in the United States."

For example 'China-Africa Knowledge Project' ( ) gets funded by HLF.

Fundraising  NGO_NPO  China  investor_relations  Research_Institutes  research  Innovation  policy  community  import_agrachina  Agrachina  usa 
august 2016 by eocas
China-Africa Knowledge Project Resource Hub
"The China-Africa Knowledge Project Resource Hub is a one-stop shop for researchers and practitioners working on the China-Africa relationship.

As the primary platform for the work of the Social Science Research Council’s China-Africa Knowledge Project, this site actively builds generative connections between scholars across disciplines and regions while organizing a growing and fragmented body of knowledge and connecting it to important trends in the social sciences relevant for understanding China and Africa’s new international relations.

As host to the Chinese in Africa / Africans in China Research Network, it widens the reach of existing cross-regional communities of knowledge."

Headquarter in NY, USA. Funded by Henry Luce Foundation.

research  Research_Report_Database  Research_Institutes  Research_Agriculture_Investments  Africa  China  China_Agricultural_Market_Analysis  China_Economy_Reports  China_Investment  investor_relations  Media  datasource  Social_Networking  civilsociety  SocialEntrepreneur  Report  Expert  Project_Information_Platform  platform  import_agrachina  Information_Platform  Agrachina 
august 2016 by eocas
China Africa Project
"The China Africa Project is a multimedia resource dedicated to exploring every aspect of China’s growing engagement with Africa. Through a combination of original content and curation of third-party material from across the Internet, the CAP’s objective is purely informational. None of the blog’s authors or producers have any vested interest in any Chinese or African position."

Main categories are:

Culture 文化
Development 发展
Diplomacy 外交
Economy 经济
Media 媒体
Military 军事
Resources 资源
Immigration 移民

politics  Africa  China  Social  Media  research  platform  Report  Market_Report  Publicity  publication  import_agrachina  Information_Platform  Agrachina 
august 2016 by eocas
The Plutonomy Is Doing Fine
"The poor are fundamentally in Africa, India, and Asia-Pacific (mainly Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Vietnam), while the wealthy are in the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific (i.e. Japan). China has more people in the middle section of the wealth distribution than at the extremes.
71% of the population holds 3% of the wealth. The top 0.7% of the population holds slightly more than 45% of total wealth.
The U.S. has added more people at the top, while Japan and Europe have lost a few.
We estimate that there are 123,800 UHNW (Ultra-High Net Worth) individuals worldwide, defined as those whose net worth exceeds USD 50 million. Of these, 44,900 are worth at least USD 100 million and 4,500 have assets above USD 500 million. So about 4,500 with a net worth above $500 million."

Politics  statistics  Research  Economy  Ethics  Sustainability  equality  import_lifesnippets  Lifesnippets 
july 2016 by eocas
Statement: No scientific consensus on GMO safety - ENSSER
ENSSER (European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility) collected in 2013 300 signatures of scientists who claim that there is no consensus yet on GMO safety.

" As scientists, physicians, academics, and experts from disciplines relevant to the scientific, legal, social and safety assessment aspects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we strongly reject claims by GM seed developers and some scientists, commentators, and journalists that there is a “scientific consensus” on GMO safety and that the debate on this topic is “over”.
The list of their objections to the claim of scientific consensus are structured as follows:

1. There is no consensus on GM food safety

2. There are no epidemiological studies investigating potential effects of GM food consumption on human health

3. Claims that scientific and governmental bodies endorse GMO safety are exaggerated or inaccurate

4. EU research project does not provide reliable evidence of GM food safety

5. List of several hundred studies does not show GM food safety

6. There is no consensus on the environmental risks of GM crops

7. International agreements show widespread recognition of risks posed by GM foods and crops

Excerpt of conclusion:

Whether to continue and expand the introduction of GM crops and foods into the human food and animal feed supply, and whether the identified risks are acceptable or not, are decisions that involve socioeconomic considerations beyond the scope of a narrow scientific debate and the currently unresolved biosafety research agendas. These decisions must therefore involve the broader society. They should, however, be supported by strong scientific evidence on the long-term safety of GM crops and foods for human and animal health and the environment, obtained in a manner that is honest, ethical, rigorous, independent, transparent, and sufficiently diversified to compensate for bias. "

Updated list as of 2015:
GMO  food_safety  food_security  research  Research_Analytics_Organic  Research_Institutes  Report  Research_Report_Database  Publicity  publication  Sustainability  European_Union  Legal  policy  Health  Food_Trade  food  security  Organic_Food_Labeling  import_agrachina  Agrachina 
july 2016 by eocas
Farming Systems Comparison in the Tropics
"Project implemented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), aims to establish a scientific basis for discussions on the performance and potential of conventional and organic agricultural production systems in the tropics. It has been running since 2007. In Kenya, India and Bolivia long-term farming systems comparison field trials have been established in concert with participatory on-farm research on technology development, focusing on a different cropping system in each country."

Media release from 201607:
"Organic agriculture improves profitability and soil fertility in Kenya - First results from a long-term study in Kenya show the potential of organic farming to improve the soil fertility and economic profitability compared to the conventional approach.

The positive impacts of organic agriculture on productivity and profitability, soil fertility, plant health, biodiversity, resource use efficiency and climate change mitigation have already been established under temperate environments (e.g. DOK-trial ). Though, these facts are yet to be proven under tropical conditions and SysCom project aims to fill this knowledge gap by evaluating the performance of different farming systems over long-term. The first results after 6 years of cultivation in Kenya show the strong potential of organic and emphasize the need to continue observing the performance in mid and long-term."


Funded by: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (DEZA), Liechtenstein Development Service, Coop Sustainability Fund, Biovision Foundation.

research  Africa  Kenya  Bolivia  india  Research_Analytics_Organic  Research_Institutes  Switzerland  Sustainability  Organic  Organic_Agriculture  Organic_Farming  Organic_Food_Project  Organic_food  organic_education  farming  farmers_livelihod  technology  Soil  Soil_Conditions  Plant_Protection  biodiversity  climatechange  Cultivation  import_agrachina  Agrachina 
july 2016 by eocas
Können Kleinstbauern eine Milliarde Menschen ernähren? (Can smallholder farmers feed a billion people?)
"Examplary farm: 0,7 hectares, 200 chicken, some goats, Arabicum flowers, tea and tamarillos (tree tomate - Baumtomate. Supported by Swiss foundation BioVision.
Another: Corn, beans, peas, avocados, pumpkin, oranges, bananas - mixed cultivation / intercropping. Composting with worms that are sponsored by International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE).
Syngenta doesn't sell GMO seeds in Africa in order for them to increase their options, lessening dependencies.
Swiss organic farming research institute FIBL (supported by DEZA Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Coop) performed a 2007-2016 research in Kenya which compared intensive (chemical ferfilizer and pesticide) with organic. They found that intensive was more economic during the first five years and organic more after the sixth year, because lower costs and increased soil fertility. A similar study in India and Bolivia with cotton and coffee showed similar results."

Smallholder  Africa  Kenya  Farmer_Community  farmers_livelihod  farming  Sustainability  government  education  fruits  Fruit_Vegetable_Trade  Switzerland  foundation  Pesticide  compost  Organic  Organic_Agriculture  Organic_Farming  organic_education  urban  gardening  farm-to-table  NGO_NPO  GMO  Seeds  research  Soil  Soil_Conditions  import_agrachina  Startupinthecloud  Orcharding  Agrachina 
july 2016 by eocas
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