Tag Archives: innovation

FlyKly – future mobility

I’ve been interested in alternatives to cars for urban mobility for years. Several earlier posts have covered new and interesting ideas. The latest development to catch my eye is the FlyKly smart bike conversion. Rather than a new idea, FlyKly is an evolution and confluence innovation bringing together pedal assistance, smart-phone control and social media in one elegant retro-fit package.

...missing image?

FlyKly integrates everything in the hub – you control it with an App!

Check out the video:

The project is currently seeking crowd funding. Interested?

Click through to the FlyKly web site for more.

Related posts:

Parallel Universe, 20’s plenty, Parallel Universe reprised


Community Based Renewable Energy Programs

City of Victor Harbor

Victor Harbor South Australia

I’ve been inspired recently by genuine grass-roots community initiatives to regain control of their energy security as a buffer against increasing costs and supply disruptions through investment in cooperative style renewable energy.  The City of Victor Harbor in South Australia in particular has made an impressive start – more below, but first some background.

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Five Tips for Low-Impact Living

There is a lot to think about when trying to live a low-impact lifestyle particularly if as I do you live in an affluent western society.

Without doubt our western lifestyle has evolved into something of a monster rapaciously consuming resources and spewing out pollutants at an exponentially increasing rate.  We know this is unsustainable, but how can you or I make any real difference?  Easy. Change happens when something better comes along. That ‘something better’ doesn’t just appear by magic it is pioneered by innovators and early adopters until eventually the idea reaches a tipping point, then everyone is into it.

After 25 years of studying and practicing architecture I’ve distilled five principles that underpin low-impact (maybe even sustainable) living principles for built environments.

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Base-load Solar Power?

The Question:

What steps are needed to make solar energy a cost-effective, base-load energy source?

(from North America)

My Answer:

Broad definitions of ‘solar’ and ‘baseload’ are necessary to best answer the question. Solar is not limited to photovoltaic panels and base-load (demand) is not necessarily a given, it can also be managed through increased systems efficiency. Continue reading

Out of the Blue – a new model for a resilient economy:

10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs Returning to business as usual as soon as possible was the mainstream mantra after September 2008; such was the shock of the collapse. A crash like that is never an easy time for considered reform and few countries had the resources to make any serious attempt in any case, so invested were we all in the good old days of cheap abundant energy and exponential growth. August 2011; here we go again?

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20s Plenty for Us

What a delight to stumble across the website of 20’s Plenty for Us!

My hypothetical Parallel Universe turns out to be in the UK…

In March 2010 when I first wrote about an imaginary futuristic world where the maximum speed of any powered road transport device is 30-km/h within urban areas the notion seemed plausible to me, but most readers politely suggested the idea would remain a dream.  It turns out that dreams can come true:  The 20’s Plenty for Us movement in the UK (20 mph = 32-km/h) appears to be gaining some real traction.

Already 5m residents live in towns which are adopting or have adopted this policy. Most importantly, through democratic debate those communities have decided that “20s Plenty Where People Live”. And it is those same communities who have then changed their behaviour to drive slower in residential streets and where people walk and cycle.

via 20s Plenty for Us.

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Alternatives to Alternative Energy?

Have we been barking up the wrong tree with alternative energy policy, research and development?  Ted Goranson, scientist, author, philosopher and architect seems to think so.  In his recent (April 2011) article on the subject he argues that there has been too much focus on funding shovel-ready projects, which really only aim to make sub-optimal schemes less troublesome.  We need a game changer he claims, such as the integrated circuit, radio or electricity were.  Such a paradigm shift requires a space-race scale investment in basic science. Continue reading

Population: What’s the big idea?

Hans Rosling TED 2010

What is a sustainable population for our planet?  The population question has always been the elephant in the room for me when it comes to the sustainability debate.  Sitting here before a computer in an affluent western economy, who am I to wail and moan about threats to my comfort from an increasing global demand for a lifestyle like mine?

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On cars and neighbourhoods – parallel universe reprise

Last year in my post “parallel universe number one” I wrote about an imaginary world where the maximum speed of any powered road transport device is 30-km/h within urban areas.  As a consequence the urban experience there is surprisingly different to that of our universe.

The post was never intended to be a learned discourse, rather I use a narrative style to make the points.  A recent question on sustainable transport caused me to revisit it and I’m pleased to report that even after nearly a year the scenario still looks like a valid alternative to me!

I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts, if you can spare the half hour or so to read the original post.

Keep an eye out for Peda Pods too:

100% people power

Interviewed by Willi Paul @ PlanetShifter.com

In the short time I’ve been participating in the Linked In networking forum I’ve connected with some diverse and amazing people from all over the world.  These people have self-identified with certain interests in sustainability and ways toward a more positive resilient future.

A stand out contact is Mr Willi Paul from Northern California who launched his Planet Shifter initiative on Earth Day 2009.  Willi is proof positive that there are people out there doing marvellous things to help make our future look more optimistic.  I was honoured and delighted when he asked me to be interviewed and thereby join the extensive ranks of folks on similar journeys.

You can view the interview at:

The PlanetShifter.com Magazine & Networks Interview with John Cameron:

Consider this: ‘Is it wrong to assume that a huge step to finding solutions to global problems, and averting future crises, will be taken if we can think in the spirit of community and fraternity, not as individual entities? When we accept that this is a world of people all alike, of families all alike, of communities all alike – of countries facing the same challenges – of human beings ultimately seeking the same thing – then we will truly be in a position to foster well being, security and happiness’ The King of Bhutan (2008). The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is the home of the Gross National Happiness index.