Practical Solutions

Bernard Lietaer

Economist and Author, "The Future of Money"

This page provides information about the most urgent actions to be taken now that the banking crisis of 2008 has hit. Whatever governments do for the banks, credit will be a lot harder to obtain for businesses, for many years to come. The trickiest aspect of the current situation is the simultaneous, global nature, of the banking crisis. Please, get ready now for an unprecedented rough ride for as long as one decade. What all this means in practice is that we have now entered the period of an unprecedented convergence of the four planetary issues - financial instability, climate change, unemployment and the financial consequences of an aging society - that was described in the 2001 book, The Future of Money.

Buckminster Fuller Institute

The Buckminster Fuller Institute is dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of solutions which radically advance human well being and the health of our planet's ecosystems. We aim to deeply influence the ascendance of a new generation of design-science pioneers who are leading the creation of an abundant and restorative world economy that benefits all humanity.

Our programs combine unique insight into global trends and local needs with a comprehensive approach to design. We encourage participants to conceive and apply transformative strategies based on a crucial synthesis of whole systems thinking, Nature's fundamental principles, and an ethically driven worldview.

By facilitating convergence across the disciplines of art, science, design and technology, our work extends the profoundly relevant legacy of R. Buckminster Fuller. In this way, we strive to catalyze the collective intelligence required to fully address the unprecedented challenges before us.


Catalyzing the vanguard of a design science revolution

An annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems. The Buckminster Fuller Challenge attracts bold, visionary, tangible initiatives focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. Winning solutions are regionally specific yet globally applicable and present a truly comprehensive, anticipatory, integrated approach to solving the world's complex problems.

For more information about the Challenge, visit

Ciclo Sustainable

Ciclo [SEE-kloo, Portuguese for Cycle] functions as a training ground and dissemination point for permaculture ideas and practical skills.  We fund and find volunteers and beneficiaries for projects ranging from tree planting to super-adobe to rainwater capture to solar panels and beyond.

Our staging grounds are the Cerrado in Brazil (see ?Meet the Cerrado? to the right), an at-risk environment with a wealth of biodiversity, and our home in the US - New York.  No matter where you are, learning broad concepts and then distilling them down to locally appropriate iterations is the key.

Our approach is highly participatory.  Rather than simply requesting funding and encouraging armchair environmentalism, we invite people to get involved.  Volunteers from all over enjoy the benefits of hands on learning, practicing and experimenting with permaculture ideas, and being rejuvenated through the wonders of nature.  Those who can?t stop by we keep involved through photos, videos, and tips they can apply at home.  We involve local communities in assessing strengths and needs, teaching and learning.

Ciclo Sustainable & Kiahkeya present

Introduction to Permaculture and Plant Knowledge Retreat / -- contact: [email protected] or find Ciclo on Facebook

Introduction to Permaculture and Plant Knowledge Retreat

This course is an introduction to Permaculture and some of its principles. Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies. (Terms where coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, and stands for Permanent Agriculture, or even the broader Permanent Culture).

In this course you will have an introduction to basic concepts of Permaculture such as rainwater harvesting, Agro forestry, Solar Heating of water and ecological construction methods such as Super Adobe and Ferro-Cement. The courses will be taught by João Amorim, Sandesh Antunes and Namaste Messerschmitt.

Plant Medicine ceremonies are offered before and after the workshop. We believe that taking care of the inner world is as important as taking care of the outer world, and there for we think your experience will be strengthened by being a part of those. The ceremonies will be held by Healers Hernado Villa, from the Kofan tradition in Colombia, and his partner Kathi von Koerber from South Africa.

You will be immersed in a 350 Acres Sanctuary, with springs, waterfalls, Mountains, Parrots, Macaws and all kinds of Plants and animals.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.

We provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.

Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright, so you can modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs. We?ve collaborated with intellectual property experts all around the world to ensure that our licenses work globally.


In 1998, on return to his homeland, Andre Soares and Australian born Lucia Legan co-founded the now prominent Ecocentro IPEC. Ecocentro IPEC (Instituto de Permacultura e Ecovilas do Cerrado) is situated in a beautiful valley in Pirenopolis in the state of Goias, Central Brazil.


Ecocentro IPEC begun on 40 acres of bare degraded cattle pasture. The first task was to evict the residents from the original farmhouse, over 300 bats and quite a few rats. Second was to secure water from the natural spring and create a water tank for drinking water.

Seven years later, Ecocentro IPEC presents practical solutions with over 15 ecological buildings, composting toilets, water treatment system, ecological gardens, food forests, and renewable energy systems. Through the dedication of community members, students, adventurers and volunteers working together, Ecocentro IPEC has become one of the most important reference centers for sustainable living in Latin America, demonstrating that another future is possible.

Ecocity Builders

We are a non-profit organization dedicated to reshaping cities, towns and villages for long term health of human and natural systems. Our goals include returning healthy biodiversity to the heart of our cities, agriculture to gardens and the streets, and convenience and pleasure to walking, bicycling and transit. We visualize a future in which waterways in neighborhood environments and prosperous downtown centers are opened for curious children, fish, frogs and dragonflies. We work to build thriving neighborhood centers while reversing sprawl development, to build whole cities based on human needs and ?access by proximity? rather than cities built in the current pattern of automobile driven excess, wasteful consumption and the destruction of the biosphere. Richard Register is one of the world's great theorists and authors in ecological city design and planning. He is also a practitioner with three decades of experience activating local projects, pushing establishment buttons and working with environmentalists and developers to get a better city built and running.


What is
Evolver is a new social network for conscious collaboration. It provides a platform for individuals, communities, and organizations to discover and share the new tools, initiatives, and ideas that will improve our lives and change the world. Evolver promotes sexy sustainability, yoga glamour, and shaman chic.

Are you an evolver?
Evolvers are hope fiends and utopian pragmatists. We see the creative chaos of this time as a great gift and opportunity to rethink, reconnect, and reinvent. Evolvers appreciate pristine mountains, open source economics, and the precocious laughter of small children. Evolvers belong to the regenerative culture of the future, being born here and now.

Fungi Perfecti

Fungi Perfecti® is a family-owned, environmentally friendly company specializing in using gourmet and medicinal mushrooms to improve the health of the planet and its people. Founded by mycologist and author Paul Stamets, we are leaders in a new wave of technologies harnessing the inherent power of mushrooms and mycelium worldwide. Fungi Perfecti is Certified Organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the European Organic Verification Program. In business since 1980, we offer an ever-expanding product line for the mushroom enthusiast: ready-to-grow mushroom kits, MycoMedicinal? mushroom products, mushroom cultivation and identification guides, gifts, cultivation tools and more.

The Stamets Cultivation Seminar--November 6 & 7, 2010
Detailed Description
We conduct in-depth workshops on mushroom cultivation, emphasizing a hands-on approach at our gourmet mushroom research station. Participants learn tissue culture, spawn generation techniques, substrate preparation, inoculation techniques, and strategies for maximizing yields. Each participant receives seven select mushroom strains for their own personal use. (The cultures alone have a value in excess of $800.00.) The cultivation of Shiitake, Oyster, Enokitake, King Stropharia, Reishi, Maitake and many others are covered in detail. Registration is on a first-come basis. Food and lodging are not included (continental breakfast, lunch, coffee and other beverages will be provided both days). Required textbooks are The Mushroom Cultivator and Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms (not included). These informationally intense courses are taught personally by Paul Stamets and the experienced staff of Fungi Perfecti. Further information will be sent upon registering. Since space is limited, early registration is strongly advised (many seminars sell out six months in advance). Registration must be reconfirmed two weeks prior to seminar. Please note: due to an overwhelming amount of last-minute cancellations during our 2009 season we have changed our seminar policy. 50% ($400.00) of the tuition for the Stamets Seminar is non-refundable.

Groundwork Hudson Valley is an environmental justice non-profit that works with communities to improve their physical and social environment. This is done by collaborating on projects, among them: turning dangerous vacant lots into community gardens, planting trees, replacing graffiti with murals, and forming alliances within the community. Some of these projects are done through school programs and many of them are intergenerational. We are dedicated to environmental stewardship and community empowerment. All of our projects engage local residents in hands-on projects, from design to planting.

Growing Energy Labs, Inc.

Growing Energy Labs, Inc. (GELI) is a consultancy for evaluation, modeling, design, engineering, hardware & software production, installation and education of balanced energy systems for all applications.

EA: Energetically Aware; Energy Aware; Energetic Awareness; The fundamental action after notion; The layer of abstraction beneath clock speed; Core Philosophy for Electronics and Communication

Rain Forest Foundation

Our mission
The mission of the Rainforest Foundation is to support indigenous and traditional people of the world's rainforests in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights by assisting them in: Securing and controlling the natural resources necessary for their long term well being and managing these resources in ways which do not harm their environment, violate their culture or compromise their future; and developing the means to protect their individual and collective rights and to obtain, shape and control basic services from the state.

Reality Sandwich

Reality Sandwich is a web magazine for this time of intense transformation. Our subjects run the gamut from sustainability to shamanism, alternate realities to alternative energy, remixing media to re-imagining community, holistic healing techniques to the promise and perils of new technologies. We hope to spark debate and engagement by offering a forum for voices ranging from the ecologically pragmatic to the wildly visionary (which, to our delight, sometimes turn out to be the one and the same). Counteracting the doom-and-gloom of the daily news, Reality Sandwich is a platform for voices conveying a different vision of the transformations we face. Our goal is to inspire psychic evolution and a kind of earth alchemy.

For the launch of the site, we've assembled dozens of regular contributors who will post a variety of content, including thought pieces and essays, short news stories, video clips, and audio podcasts. As Reality Sandwich develops, we will become much more than a traditional online magazine. Reality Sandwich will merge media with a social network that facilitates connections between the members of our international community. As our features present visionary ideas and new tools for sustainable living, the social network will support our members in using these new concepts and techniques in their own lives, as well as facilitating discussions about their own journeys of discovery.

The Regenerative Design Institute

The Regenerative Design Institute (RDI) is a non-profit educational organization with the vision that all people can live in a mutually enhancing relationship with the earth. We envision a world in which people, inspired by nature, create and maintain healthy and abundant livelihoods that enhance fertility and biodiversity on the planet. We envision humans as a positive, healing presence on Earth, creating more abundance on the planet than would be possible without them.

Our mission is to serve as a catalyst for a revolution in the way humans relate to the natural world. As we continue to develop Commonweal Garden into an educational center and demonstration site in permaculture and regenerative design, we serve as an inspiration of possibility for how people can live in a mutually enhancing relationship with the Earth. Through our programs and courses, we teach the skills and technology people need to become community leaders and create healthy solutions to the current environmental crisis.

Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer and speaker. Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses and diverse yield perennial farms.

The Science Barge

The Science Barge - ?The Science Barge is not only an invitation to ideas and learning, but to change.?


The Science Barge is a prototype, sustainable urban farm and environmental education center. It is the only fully functioning demonstration of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production in New York City. The Science Barge grows tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce with zero net carbon emissions, zero chemical pesticides, and zero runoff.

Time Interchange of New York (TINY)

TINY ? Time Interchange of New York
Time Interchange of NY (TINY) is a community time-bank started by a small group of interested New Yorkers. In its first two months its membership jumped to nearly 300. Timebanking is widely recognized for its benefit during social crisis (which the global financial crisis certainly qualifies as); TINY is an experiment to see if timebanking, which has been used to great effect in small town settings and smaller cities, can work in a city with a population in the millions. We believe it can; please join us.

Todd Ecological

In 1989 Dr. John Todd, an internationally recognized inventor and a pioneer in the design and construction of ecological wastewater treatment systems, decided it was time to offer a cost-effective, renewable or what is now commonly referred to as ?green? solution to the growing global wastewater crisis.

The company Dr. Todd founded, John Todd Ecological Design, has constructed dozens of Eco-Machine wastewater treatment systems based on Dr. Todd?s visionary ecological philosophy and award-winning practical designs in eleven countries on five continents around the world.

Today, headed by Jonathan Todd, John Todd Ecological Design commercializes Dr. Todd?s discoveries with an approach that is well suited for reuse applications in municipal and a variety of commercial wastewater environments including commercial residential designs. Many of our installed systems are zero discharge systems; all the treated water is reused on site.

Our services include comprehensive construction design, consulting, and facility operations services to public and private clients throughout the world. We provide clients with cost-effective aesthetic solutions to wastewater and storm water treatment, aquatic environment management, and bio-solids conversion.

John Todd Ecological Design is a pioneer in the use of natural systems for the removal of chemicals, petroleum hydrocarbons, endocrine disruptors, and other detrimental water pollutants. We envision the remediation of impaired natural water bodies and soils as a major part of our future work.

New Life Magazine

"Americas Guide to a healthy mind body and spirit," NewLife Magazine features articles that range from healthy lifestyles, to organic foods, to spirituality, to yoga, and everything in between.

NewLife Magazine organizes NewLife Expo, which will take place on October 15th through October 17th at the Hotel New Yorker in New York City. Please visit the NewLife Expo website for more information.