Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

James Hester's Blog (23)

Freelance Innovation: The EVOKE Manifesto

We are EVOKE.


We are the best and brightest in every discipline from every walk of life in every part of the world.


We are here to save the world when it is in danger, and to help it to thrive when it is peaceful.


We go to work when those that the world puts in power to care for them either cannot or will not.


We do not live in ivory towers, but rather in houses, flats, trailers, tents and…
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Added by James Hester on May 9, 2010 at 11:19am — No Comments

The Future of the EVOKE Network

As a new-comer to Social Innovation, I was astounded by the way that EVOKE succeeded in amassing such a huge and diverse team of thinkers and doers united under a common set of basic goals. I am grateful for the experience for two reasons: for giving me the inspiration and motivation to think about ways that I myself could make a difference in the world around me, and for creating what is now doubtless an immense database of visions, projects and solutions for the benefit of the rest of the… Continue

Added by James Hester on May 6, 2010 at 7:27pm — 5 Comments

The Survivor Network for Pandemic Management

Vinay Gupta, in his 'Gupta Option' series, wrote a piece called 'Severe Panflu Response Strategies' which can be found here: http://guptaoption.com/6.SPRS.php


The portion I seized upon is:…


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Added by James Hester on May 3, 2010 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

Getting people to act (or not)

Of the 'Five Secrets of Crisis Communication', I found myself most intrigued by Point 2: Covering Risk.


So often I see people being complacent when they shouldn't be, and conversely panicking when they need not do so. The solution presented by Neiman is quite simple and obvious if you think about it, but nonetheless does not get used by leaders and the media as much as it probably should.


If you want people to not be concerned about a situation…
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Added by James Hester on May 2, 2010 at 11:10am — 1 Comment

Storytelling For Social Change

The link below is to a TED Talk given by world-renowned storyteller Mallika Sarabhai.


http://www.ted.com/talks/mallika_sarabhai.html


In it, Ms. Sarabhai discusses how storytelling, that most ancient of human pastimes, has the possibility of being used to effectively get people thinking about major issues affecting the community and the world at large. She claims that, more than a…
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Added by James Hester on April 25, 2010 at 4:54pm — 5 Comments

The 'Three Sisters' Garden

http://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/3sisters.html





The year is 2082. Although I have fought all my life to encourage and inspire people to embrace small-scale, self-sustaining subsistence gardening as a way of regaining control over the

food they eat, this practice has only gained wide acceptance in the last 20 years.

As with all things, it only…

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Added by James Hester on April 23, 2010 at 3:46pm — No Comments

3 Days, and Britain may already start running low on some foods

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/16/flight-ban-shortages-uk-supermarkets

As a follow-up to my inital post, I present this. This is exactly what I was talking about.

Added by James Hester on April 18, 2010 at 10:02am — No Comments

Ushahidi and Leeds: When the Big Flood hits.

The River Aire experiences minor flooding multiple times a year. In recent years, this flooding seems to have increased progressively both in frequency and degree. On at least two occasions in as many years, the museum where I work has been closed down and both the public and workers evacuated as water multiple feet deep lapped up against the base of the building (which is, incidentally, about 15-20 feet or so from the river). As both a worker and resident of this part of the city, I am,… Continue

Added by James Hester on April 17, 2010 at 4:47pm — No Comments

Highlights of Leeds in 2020

I thought I'd make a map highlighting four interesting features of the new, resilient face of Leeds in 2020. The map can be found here:…


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Added by James Hester on April 17, 2010 at 4:21pm — 4 Comments

Green Thumbed Gurkhas: Training Nepalese Women in Sustainable, Organic, Co-Op Agriculture

As both a military historian and a sadhaka (trainee-practitioner) of the Nath tradition of yoga, I have great respect for the people of Nepal. In the spirit of this, the following message has been posted to my LiveJournal, Facebook, and Twitter accounts (abbreviated here, of course). I submit it here for your consideration as well. …



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Added by James Hester on April 9, 2010 at 7:54pm — 1 Comment

Shada Nasser: Fighting Child Marriage in Yemen

I have always had intense respect for people not just fighting against injustice, but doing it in circ***tances and in places in which it is genuinely dangerous for them to do so.



A prime example of someone doing this is Shada Mohammed Nasser, a lawyer in Yemen who for the past few years has undertaken the gargantuan task of bringing about the end of child marriage a country in which it is sadly a deeply-ingrained practice.



She achieved wide public recognition and accolades… Continue

Added by James Hester on April 9, 2010 at 7:21pm — No Comments

Thriving Local Currency in Massachusetts

http://www.berkshares.org/



I admit fully to a bias for this as a 'Mass-h***' myself, but it's still quite interesting. The BerkShare is a local currency currently in circulation on a wide scale in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts. The BerkShare was launched in 2006 and is accepted by businesses of all types in the region. The above website includes not only a history of the currency, but also a comprehensive list of all businesses and… Continue

Added by James Hester on April 4, 2010 at 9:31am — 9 Comments

I'll Drink to That

March 24, 2020



This one has been in the works for a while, and I'm really surprised we've managed to keep it under wraps for the wh*** time. But the look on the the world's collective face will be well worth the effort to keep it a surprise.



After literally a year of planning, bargaining, and otherwise navigating the cantankerous bureaucracy that is international politics, my team and I have managed to take an impossible pipe-dream and make it into a reality.



A… Continue

Added by James Hester on March 29, 2010 at 6:53pm — 2 Comments

Water Wheels that actually get you somewhere

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/01/a_bicycle_that.php



The above link is to an article and video about a fascinating piece of tech that I was told about a while back.



Whether in times of disaster or in areas of the world with poor water/sanitation access, people often have to travel significant distances for water. After the time and effort in getting the water, it needs to be boiled or otherwise… Continue

Added by James Hester on March 25, 2010 at 7:26pm — 1 Comment

BYOB (Bring Your Own Battery) Party 2020

I was first introduced to the concept of off-the-grid parties at the annual Dark Mountain Festival, which held an off-the-grid club night which has become a real hit for festival goers. Inspired by this, I've been organizing a BYOB (Bring Your Own Battery) Party every summer in the hunting cabin owned by my wife's family in western Pennsylvania. The mains are switched off for the day, and everybody is charged with bringing their own power to contribute to the energy potluck that will keep the… Continue

Added by James Hester on March 22, 2010 at 10:00pm — 2 Comments

Black h*** sun, won't you... power my house

This project is probably a long way off, but awareness and support generated by the public is what will help it keep going until it's potential can be realized.



It sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, but it's not. Check out this article here:

http://www.physorg.com/news174893601.html



Basically, scientists in a lab in China have succeeded in creating a small version of a black h***. Obviously this was done… Continue

Added by James Hester on March 21, 2010 at 7:05pm — 2 Comments

March 2020 Spring Feast

The urban homesteaders of Clarion have developed a tradition over the years of coming together at the turning of the seasons for a big pot-luck feast in which everyone cooks something using ingredients that they've produced themselves (or bartered with other members of the group, since everyone has certain specialties that others don't). Not only is it a lot of fun and a promise of fantastic food, but it also gives us all the chance to swap recipes and get ideas for growing/production from each… Continue

Added by James Hester on March 21, 2010 at 6:44pm — No Comments

Food Security: The Collapsonomics Way

Whether or not this is considered a major problem to food security in the UK, or a viable solution to this issue, is perhaps and issue for debate. Some might consider it a more valid outlook than others. But it's something that I do think about frequently and think that it at least makes for good material to debate.



Looking through a lot of recent reports by the UK government on food security in the country, the powers that be seem fairly confident in our ability to weather any type… Continue

Added by James Hester on March 20, 2010 at 4:08pm — No Comments

Urban Harvesting

I was first made aware of this initiative this past summer when I was still living in York. Basically, people explore a city and its surrounding areas to find edible plants (most usually fruit bushes and trees) that are either uncultivated on public land, or is on private land (but the owner has given permission to harvest it since they have no use for it). They then spread the word so that others can share in the bounty of these plants that would otherwise sit uncultivated with their fruit… Continue

Added by James Hester on March 20, 2010 at 3:18pm — 2 Comments

I finally took the plunge

So after literally months of talking about it, browsing websites for products and specs, and talking to people about their thoughts on various models, I finally just decided to dive straight in and experiment with taking my mobile phone off the grid once and for all.



It started with my discovery last night that there was in fact a Maplin electronics store roughly a 25 minute walk from where I live. As I was heading into town for groceries today anyway, I figured I'd duck out a little… Continue

Added by James Hester on March 20, 2010 at 1:52pm — 7 Comments

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