Newsletter Edition | July 2013
Dear Members,

The Global Network on Sustainable Lifestyles (GNSL) has now over 300 members and many new interactive features. It is our purpose to make the GNSL a hub for exchanging ideas and sharing information, experiences, tools, and support YOU in your efforts towards living more sustainably. The GNSL team would like to congratulate Lucas Ivorra Peñafort, from Colombia, whose enthusiastic contribution to the network is an example of the collaborative and learning spirit that the online platform aims to foster. Gracias Lucas!! We truly encourage all our members to get engaged in all the discussions of their interest, to share their experiences, ideas, doubts, and to get active!


...that the outcomes of three multi-stakeholder workstudios on Sustainable Lifestyles are available for discussion?

Discussing and identifying current consumption impacts, sustainable innovations and partnerships to foster change, and future visions of more sustainable lifestyles around the globe: these are the core objectives of a series of workstudios organized and delivered by the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) together with local partners, under the sponsorship of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The workstudios that have taken place so far were held in China, Colombia, the Philippines and Ghana, and the outcomes of three of them, as highlighted below, are already available at the GNSL for download, comments and further discussion.

While exploring the solutions and partnerships for “low carbon future cities” in Wuxi, China (October, 2012), the participants of the workshop also created a vision of low-carbon lifestyle and what impact areas are priorities to be addressed today: employment and work conditions headed the list, followed by urban-rural development, energy generation and use of resources. What are Chinese stakeholders doing on these fields? What do they offer? What could you do? [pdf]

The stakeholders that participated in the Bogota workstudio (December, 2012) also emphasized the use of resources, most particularly the exploitation of natural resources, as a relevant impact area to be addressed today. However, their top priority to address today is related to the education and skilling of its population. Social and entrepreneurial innovations were identified as the key drivers to change the status quo. More than 20 initiatives were presented, including a very thorough review of needs and offers from the different stakeholders, all featuring in the report of the event, available in Spanish and English. Also, the GNSL features now a discussion forum for follow up.

The various stakeholders that joined the workstudio held in Manila (March, 2013) highlighted the fact that the Philippines’ fast-growing economy is based on a non-inclusive and unsustainable model of development, which raised their concern about the need to rethink the negative impacts in three priority areas: urban-rural development, energy generation and resource use. Current sustainable innovations were identified, as well as the opportunities out there to scale-up such innovations and to consolidate an entrepreneurial environment that enables sustainable lifestyles in the Philippines. The vision of a sustainable future in the Philippines in 2050 was mapped out based on the outcomes of the workstudio sessions. This rich material is featured in the report of the event, also available at the GNSL.

The Ghana workstudio (June, 2013) also had several interesting outcomes and the report of the event will be released soon. Nevertheless, the Ghanaian most relevant impact areas to be addressed today are already shown in the following graph, which compares the outcomes of the workstudios held so far:

...the youth is a key driver for living sustainably?

From the 10th to the 20th of May 2013, the organization youthinkgreen hosted its 1st World Youth Sustainability Summit 2013. The youth conference took place in Berlin, Germany, and received over 160 participants from all over the world, such as Namibia, Kosovo, Italy and New Zealand. Most of the participants were students under 20 years old and all of them are environmentally active through either local projects or research and writing activities related to issues such as waste management and sustainable consumption patterns.

As part of the program, the event counted with relevant key note speeches, such as Prof. Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker and Jakob von Uexküll, among others, and parallel thematic workshops. The CSCP Sustainable Lifestyles Team had the great opportunity to collaborate with youthinkgreen and join this enthusiastic young generation for a 3-day workshop during the summit. The workshop sessions had the aim to support them reflecting about their lifestyles’ impacts, their aspirations for a sustainable future and the necessary actions to bridge the gap between today and a better tomorrow. At the end of the day, these young people were able to picture a clearer image of the relevance of their personal actions for transforming our current ways of living and to plan their next steps towards a sustainable future. As an overall outcome of the conference, involved participants and experts elaborated a common position paper where they restated their commitments to a more sustainable way of living as a group and demanded needed actions from different stakeholders.

Some of the summit participants have already joined the Global Network to contribute to our discussions and share their projects and ideas with all of us. We are very happy to offer the Global Network as a platform to enhance synergies and drive forward the inspiring experience initiated in the summit.

...that there will be a sustainably produced smartphone - FairPhone?
Image by Waag Society, some rights reserved

FairPhone is the world’s first collective non-profit technology company developing a phone using minerals mined and sold under equity conditions. Recently, Fairphone undertook a fact finding mission to Katanga, the most southern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.


... to be a bit radical!
Image by, all rights reserved

Olof Soebech, one of our network members, shared with us the inspiring story of Petri Luukkainen, a Finnish film maker who recently released a documentary about an experiment of his: he took all his stuff out of his apartment and stored everything into a storage room. During one year, he could bring back one object per day. The experiment turned out to become a great transformational process regarding material possessions and values in life. What are your material needs? Have you ever thought about challenging current material assumptions? Check it out!


...CONSENSUS Research: Pratice-oriented participatory backcasting approach!

A collaboration between Trinity College Dublin and National University of Ireland, Galway which is examining household consumption practices related to transport, energy, water and food gave shape to CONSENSUS research. So far, the studies comprise examination on how consumption can be measured and evaluated and how sustainable behaviours and incentives are being developed and implemented. What do you think?

Date: August 3, 2013 all day
Location: Bogotá - Colombia

Website and more information

Let’s do it is a world-wide movement born in Estonia back in 2008. The objective was to collect the garbage on the highways, forests and cities in the country; 50,000 people collected 10,000 tons in only 5 hours. Today, the movement spread to 96 countries and 7 million volunteers – 7000XBogota is a city-based project that aims to show how working together for a common objective can make great things happen. On August the 4th, the group will gather to clean up the city and promote more responsible behaviors towards recycling and waste management.

Dates: September 1, 2013 to September 6, 2013
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Organized By: Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

Website and more information

Over 200 organizations will gather at the events of the World Water Week, which this year is themed around Water Cooperation – Building Partnerships. The workshops, seminars and discussions are all focused to deepen knowledge on water-related topics.

Dates: September 19 to September 21, 2013
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Website and more information

Being the third international green building expo, this year presents technologies, materials and solutions for all building-related issues, such as: Building Material & Systems, Building Mechanical & Electrical Services Management, Building Systems, Structure & Substructure, Energy Efficiency & Energy Harvest, Exterior Works & Landscaping, Finishing Product & Materials, Fittings and Interior Finishing.

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