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Accelerating EV research with open source vehicles

Open Source is a phenomenon that emerged in the software industry. Where companies such as Microsoft built their business by locking everything down, open source developers publish the code and let anyone use and improve it. As it turns out, the combined wisdom of thousands of programmers in a user community is often superior to […]

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What we learned this week

The State of the Commons report is always well worth a read. Last year saw 1.2 billion Creative Commons licensed works – images, video, music, or blog posts like the ones here. . Britain has committed £8.6 million in public funds to investigating negative emissions technologies. . I rather like 10:10’s latest project, to crowdfund […]

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Restoring the grasslands with sustainable business

Yesterday I wrote about five business responses to the environment, and how the most ambitious businesses take my mum’s advice and try to leave things better than they found them. Here’s an example of that. The Great Plains cover a huge section of the American continent, and were traditionally covered with grasslands. These grasslands relied […]

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Five business responses to the environment

This week I’ve been reading Doughnut Economics, by Kate Raworth. It’s a fine piece of work which I shall review shortly, but today I wanted to pass on something that I found useful. In a chapter on regenerative business and the circular economy, Kate describes five different responses that businesses might have to the environment […]

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Cassava plastic – good enough to eat?

When I was reading about ocean plastic recently, it was interesting to learn where it comes from. The biggest sources of plastic waste aren’t advanced consumer economies, but middle income countries where consumer goods are widely available, but waste processing systems aren’t yet in place. All sorts of waste is being generated in packaging, but […]

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The electric taxi returns to London – 120 years later

The black cab is one of the iconic images of London. The tradition of  black ‘Hackney Cabs’ goes back centuries, originally pulled by horses of course. In 1897 the first motorised taxi was introduced, and it was electric. It became known as the ‘hummingbird’, and the Science Museum has one of the last few remaining […]

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What we learned this week

Triodos launched its long awaited current accounts this week. They are probably the most ethical banking option in Britain, if you’ve been losing patience with the Co-operative. . Twitter shareholders will vote next week over whether or not the company should consider selling itself to its users, turning it into a user-owned cooperative. I expect […]

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Building of the week: the circular building

No, not circular like the Colosseum or the Albert Hall. Circular as in the circular economy, something I’ve written a fair bit about over the past few years, but not so much in the construction sector. In a circular economy, materials are reused in a closed loop, rather than being thrown away. The only stuff […]

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Talking climate in the language of the right

Britain’s general election is underway, and once again the climate is more or less invisible as an issue. Perhaps that’s not surprising when the incumbent abolished the Department of Energy and Climate Change in her first week in office, but it’s not something I’m hearing much about from the opposition either. Other issues are hogging […]

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Book review: People Power, by Dan Jellinek

I picked up People Power: A User’s Guide to Democracy from the library recently. It promises to explain “how democracy in the UK works, in the hope that if we understand it better, we can help make it work better”. The next day the general election was announced, so it feels like a good time […]

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