Monday, April 03, 2006

ACDC 2006 - Day 2 (3/24): Crafting Big Ideas

Jane Olson, Chairman, Human Rights Watch

Jane Olson

- Human Rights Watch, chairman
- 30 yrs documenting and photographing human rights abuse and suffering
- advocacy + marketing + straight ahead journalism

!The craft of inspiring people to care, motivating people to action

Focused on Yugoslavia, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia Herzegovinia

!Needed to instil in audiences the sense of human faces
- tell stories, instead of battering people w/ facts
- knitting together helped women refugees to open up to share stories (horrors of watching their men and children killed, being raped, etc.)
- 1992, story of refugee who undid her sweater in order to darn socks, which she gave to Jane, led to yarn drive, knitting supplies for Bosnia, 30 tons of materials being sent
= !Never doubt that one person can make a difference

"Fatima" - former model, survived war, started fashion collective
- in order to survive, had to forgive
- started Women Survivors of War Crimes: _survivors_, not victims!
- no revenge
- made clothes out of burlap, had fashion shows w/ refugees as models
!It's what you do w/ what you have that makes a difference

!Creative arts can help so much with healing - reawakens instinct to survive
- like Martha says, "It's a good thing."

Bill Gross
- Founder, Idealab and Energy Innovations, Inc.

Talked about making solar collectors affordable

1. Choose your angle
- focused strategy
- state goal clearly, then divide the solution paths into divergent strategies
- (e.g., solar is 4x more expensive than traditional energy ... reduce cost of solar energy by 4x = don't use silicon, make silicon cheaper, use less silicon)
- solution only uses 1/25 as much silicon as traditional product = cost-effective w/ subsidies (CA) today!

2. Use the force
- smaller sized unit (< 8ft) allows mass production (vs on-site construction)
!- listen to constraints
- Edison: "I haven't failed, I've found many ways that don't work."

!3. Most things fail - fail often fast
- rapid prototyping

4. Healthy disregard for impossible
- don't give up, but read the signals

Maurice Cox

Maurice Cox, Instigators, Agitators and Risk-Takers
- asst prof, Architecture, U of VA
- former mayor, Charlottesville, VA

!Design as a tool for civic discourse
- create dissatisfaction w/ way things are?
- engage the public in our discourse

!-Access to design as inalienable right

Led effort to reshape Charlottesville
- more urban density, more pedestrian traffic, in response to "reversion" (renouncing city status to revert to township)

City as artifact, organism
- must be crafted as a whole
- what would density look like

Imagine a city w/ no parking lots
- but must get a handle on zoning rules
- took 3 yrs to change zoning law: abandon exclusive commercial zone, become mixed-use zone
- More complex at center of city, allows for more density, multiple-use

!You don't like the rules, break them
- but have a good reason, bring lots of people with you

Reinforce public realm
- anchored by extraordinary public works
- e.g., transit ctr + amphitheater + city hall

Monument to free expression: Public chalkboard, 7' H x 70' L, right in front of City Hall, w/o censorship, backdrop for artwork, manifestos, public protest
- create a point for conflict in public space
!- What about fears of abuse?: "For every lewd comment, there will be 20 who respond against it"

Kickstart Moneymaker Pump

Martin Fisher
- cofounder, CEO, KickStart: Tools to End Poverty

- small ideas for solving big problems

Design to End Poverty
- poverty is world's biggest problem

- End of cold war turned subsistence and controlled economies (that got subsidies from the US and USSR) into cash-based economies (no subsidies)

Solution: People
- need help identifying profitable business models
- accessing right equipment

Focus on East Africa
- to end poverty, we have to solve rural poverty
- $95 manual pump
- bang for buck = 20/1; $1 donated = $20 in new profits and wages in first 4 yrs of operation
!- built supply chain where everyone (mfr, retailer, farmer) makes money
!- marketing subsidies until tipping pt., stop mktg, leaving a sustainable business

Hip Pump (hand pump is tiring)

!But "we're not trying to sell pumps, we're trying to get people out of poverty"

You're working w/ mkt forces, institutional forces, democracy forces

Panel Discussion

- engage discourse, broad participation, "you have no choice"
- process of exclusion
- "rebuilding will not be successful until people are engaged"
- meet them where they are
- tap desire to change their world
- motivation and reasons behind change must be supported by broad base before setting into law

- power of leadership
!- individual act shows others they all have power
- survivor spirits come to the fore; empower them w/ framework, tools, resources, support
- individual stories vs mass data

- microfinance not solution in Africa due to lack of social network to support it
- no village ctrs, farmers tend to live, work on their own farms
- KickStart pumps use pressurized irrigation (direct to root, more efficient) vs flood irrigation (US, surface, inefficiency via evaporation)

- city regulations changing to allow solar
!- what if we combine solar energy and plug-in hybrids!