Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Jean Frankly's Blog (22)

Competition vs. Collaboration: Limitations of Evoke?

The concept behind the Evoke game is fascinating. It's proven to be an effective way to share information and ideas about critical problems facing the world.

Tapping into the gamer mentality for social change is a compelling experiment. But then I read comments like "Delta Team is the Heart of Evoke." (what??) and "It's just a game."

I think the "drama" on this site is heightened by the preoccupation with earning points. Sure, points are an effective (extrinsic) motivator. But… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on May 13, 2010 at 2:01pm — No Comments

Giant Kites as Free-Flying Wind Turbines - LEARN3

Saul Griffith dreams of giant kite turbines creating huge amounts of

clean, renewable energy.

Wind is the second largest renewable resource after solar. But the majority of wind power is in high altitudes, well above 300 feet - beyond the reach of today's wind turbines. We don't have a technology (yet) capable of tapping into this rich source of wind energy.

This idea was described by Miles L. Loyd in his paper "Crosswind Kite Power". He… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on May 10, 2010 at 3:51pm — 1 Comment


Here is my (growing) list of favorite Evoke blogs. It's difficult to chose because there are so many wonderful contributions on this site.

The list simply reflects my personal interests and is far from complete. I should have started it earlier, and must now rely on my limited memory.

Some ideas that I don't want to forget:


Added by Jean Frankly on May 8, 2010 at 3:53pm — No Comments

Tag Cloud (Interests) on My Profile page - Evoke 2

A tag cloud on the My Profile page - where your most popular tags appear in a large font - would be a good feature for Evoke 2.

A visual tag cloud is a great reflective tool that reveals your interests, what's on your brain. It can also encourage you to broaden your interests if you find yourself stuck on one or two themes.

Added by Jean Frankly on May 8, 2010 at 9:11am — 1 Comment

Evoke 2: Team-based, long-term missions for greater impact - LEARN10

Key challenges for Evoke in Season 2:

1) Turn ideas and research into reality.

2) Get Evoke agents to work together to increase their effectiveness.

Agents could sign up for small teams which focus on a specific problem of their choosing. Some missions would be short, lasting a week.

Other team-based missions would be longer, lasting a number of weeks. The goal is to turn ideas and research into real outcomes. Progress reports and activities along the way… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on May 8, 2010 at 2:32am — 1 Comment

Everyday wish list: Shower head with a pause button

My everyday wish list includes a shower head that not only saves water (this is common) - but has a "pause" button.

You could stop the water flow at any time (e.g., while shampooing your hair) and then restart the water flow -- at the same temperature.

Some people suggest you turn a shower on and off while you're using it, to save water. If you're fortunate to live where water supply is not an issue, that sudden blast of cold water (while the temperature readjusts) prevents… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on May 2, 2010 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

Reaching the ma**** through Opinion Leaders in the next pandemic flu - IMAGINE9

Scenario: A pandemic flu reaches my part of the world in the 2011.

I would organize "opinion leaders" from many diverse groups to spread the message online. Individuals would be chosen based on their demonstrated commitment to serving the social good, not celebrity status.

The goal is to reach as many people as possible, and spread reliable information about the pandemic flu - including the URL of a "dark site".

This group of opinion leaders would be diverse and… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on May 2, 2010 at 4:41pm — No Comments

Water Relay across my country (similar to the Olympic Torch Relay) - IMAGINE4

On World Water Day 2020, I would organize a Water Relay (similar to the Olympic Torch Relay) across Canada.

On the East Coast of Canada, a hand-held bottle would be filled with water from the Atlantic Ocean. The bottle would filter unclean water (LifeSaver bottle).

Then a human chain of Canadians would run, walk, or cycle, passing this bottle of pure water from… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on May 2, 2010 at 3:18pm — No Comments

Making a difference without trying - and trying to make a difference - IMAGINE8

It's curious how we can influence and inspire others - without even trying.

When you act true to your deepest values or pursue an undertaking with total commitment, people tend to stop and notice. Chances are you don't realize what's happening because you're so immersed in what you're doing.

You're doing something special. Your actions may impart a lesson that is remembered - long after you are forgotten. And that's okay.

Sometimes you try to influence or help a… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on May 2, 2010 at 1:46am — 1 Comment

Ancient Wells in the Desert - Water & Future Desertification

How do you find water in the desert, arid climates, and future deserts (desertification)?

Ancient wells (khettaras) in Morocco:

An ancient solution to creating a reliable water supply in the desert was developed in Iran more than 3,000 years ago. Qanats are man-made subterranean tunnels that lead groundwater to the surface for irrigation. Today these wells are found in the… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on April 30, 2010 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

Ushahidi for Mass Public Transit breakdowns (and reducing our reliance on cars) - LEARN7

This is not a disaster. But when the public transit system (especially the subway) breaks down, parts of my city grind to a halt. The transit system backs up quickly. People are stranded on street, or face a long walk to their destination.

What happens when the subway breaks down

Who is most affected by transit breakdowns in my city?

  • People who rely on the subway or buses to get to work or school.
  • People on a fixed income who need affordable transportation.
  • People who are…

Added by Jean Frankly on April 28, 2010 at 12:38pm — No Comments

Transparent Technologies: Our Collective Imagination - LEARN1

My favorite secret for social innovation: "Create “transparent” technologies, ones that are easily understood by the users, and promote local innovation."

A transparent technology (tool or solution) feels natural, makes sense because it works simply, and becomes an extension of the people it's designed to serve.

More importantly, people will make a transparent technology their own. They will shape it,…


Added by Jean Frankly on April 28, 2010 at 12:37pm — 3 Comments

Powdered Fruit Drinks, Anyone? (breaking a bad habit; suggestions welcomed)

I drink a lot of fruit beverages. During warm weather, my household consumes a large carton/bottle about every two days.

Sure we recycle the cartons and plastic bottles. But I realized the total number of cartons/bottles per year - from just one household - is ridiculous. It's far too much packaging!

Where can I find FRUIT DRINKS that are:

  • Good tasting (we drink a lot of this stuff)
  • Powered (minimal packaging, I can…

Added by Jean Frankly on April 24, 2010 at 3:07pm — No Comments

Recycle (Re-use) to Help Your Local Charities

Short on cash and time, but want to help your local charities?

Many local charities will accept functional items you no longer need as "gifts-in-kind". It just takes a bit of research. Check their websites to find out exactly what items you can donate.

A year ago, I discovered a vast array of items are accepted and re-used by charities I knew and trusted in my city (Toronto, Ontario). For example:

  • Art work
  • Books
  • Building…

Added by Jean Frankly on April 21, 2010 at 1:51am — No Comments

Drip Irrigation: Farming with Less Water - LEARN4

How can poor farmers grow their crops using less water and fertilizer?

Drip irrigation (also: trickle irrigation or micro-irrigation) saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of values pipes, tubing and emitters.

I first read about drip irrigation in the book "The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World". It… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on April 20, 2010 at 1:23am — 2 Comments

FoodShare: Strengthening the Community - ACT2

I'm a long-time supporter of FoodShare in Toronto, Canada. While food banks are necessary, organizations like FoodShare empower people through education, grassroots efforts, and smart local economics. Their wholistic approach looks at the entire food system - how food is produced, distributed and consumed.

Some of FoodShare's initiatives:

  • Good Food Box - People buy boxes of fresh, healthy foods at cost from local…

Added by Jean Frankly on April 19, 2010 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment

Dinner Re-imagined - IMAGINE2

Today was a near-record hot day for March. No snow on the balcony for weeks.

It's dinner time and the solar-powered grill is heating up nicely. I'm the food prep expert (I like to chop stuff) and Jim handles the final cooking.

Sipping on the latest organic white wine from the nearby Niagara region, we relax after a long working day and start puttering around the kitchen.

Tonight's dinner is simple and tasty. Yesterday's finds from the local farmer market includes some… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on April 19, 2010 at 6:02pm — 2 Comments

Good Food Box: Sustainable Nutrition - LEARN2

The Field-to-Table program is a not-for-profit healthy food delivery system for Toronto’s low-income citizens, operated by FoodShare since 1992. It's a smart wholistic approach to food distribution that is community-based and market-driven in a way that supports local farmers.

Here's how the Good Food Box project… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on April 19, 2010 at 5:23pm — 2 Comments

Donate Airline Miles (before they expire) - ACT5

I donated airline miles (Aeroplan) to Médecins Sans Frontières. They provide universal medical relief for people in world crises.

It's easy and fast. Don't let those unused miles and points expire!

Take action:

  • Visit the websites of your loyalty/reward programs. Look for ways to donate (use) miles or points.
  • Visit the websites of your favorite charities. Check if they accept miles or points as a…

Added by Jean Frankly on April 19, 2010 at 4:54pm — No Comments

Energy: Earn While You Burn - ACT3

In an ideal world, we could convert our physical activity (walking, running, exercising, etc.) into stored energy. Gym equipment would have energy storage cells. Also, wind energy passing through (electric) cars and transportation vehicles would be captured and converted.

Healthier active people. Clean(er) renewable energy.

Updates: According to Evoke Agent… Continue

Added by Jean Frankly on April 18, 2010 at 6:00am — No Comments

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Sophie C. commented on Asger Jon Vistisen's blog post Stinging Nettle
"I love that you've brought this to attention. An extensive database of uncommon but resistant and hardy plants/foods could be developed and organized by climate. Ease of growth and processing should also be taken in to account. I will try to…"
Aug 19, 2020
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Fourth of July on the Lake

This past weekend was the annual celebration at the lake house in Connecticut. It is amazing that the lake is still so clear and beautiful after all these years. The watershed association has done a wonderful job protecting these waters from the damaging effects of development.The wood grill was finally ready to cook on, so we didn't miss the propane tank fueled grill anymore. The food actually tasted fresher than in the past and was easy to keep fueled.Dad was very proud of the solar hybrid…See More
Jul 6, 2020
Asger Jon Vistisen posted a blog post

Stinging Nettle

In this blog post I will focus on a plant that is abundant in our nature, and which is immensely nutritious. It's of course the Stinging Nettle. Let's start with the chemical constituents of this plant:37 % Non-Nitrogen-Extracts19 - 29 % Ash9 - 21 % Fiber4 % Fat22 % ProteinOnce the leaves are drid, their protein content can reach an astounding 40 %, which is much higher than beef, which even under the best of circ**stances can never exceed 31 % protein. In addition the Stinging Nettle consists…See More
Apr 13, 2020
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The meal

It is 7'oclock, I was late home from work due to an assignment that i wanted to get ahead on. By the time I get home I am feeling extremley tired and I cannot be bothered to make a proper meal. I walk to the fridge and open it to see what there is for me to eat. All of the out of date foodstuffs have been automaticaly thrown away by the fridge, they will be recycled tomorrow as animal feed or something. I see i have organic local eggs and some local cheese. Foods are vacc** sealded for easy…See More
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FutureToday is 2020/1/1. It is just like yesterday. The war is still continuing. It has started since 2010. In 2010, that year was a horrible year. Almost every energy ran out. Every country’s governments were crushed down at the same time. There were riots everywhere. All of the big company’s bosses were killed xdeadx in the riots. Troops fought each other everywhere. Food was bought up xawayx at once. There were no more food supplies in any shops. The economy was all crushed down. All the…See More
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The exchange works directly for state and public workers and servants. It gives them credit in exchange for the amount of public work they contribute to the community. The more constructive they are based off a base rate the more credit they recieve.
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