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Green Manufacturing event Wednesday, 9.12., at the Junction

https://www.facebook.com/cambridgepivotalfest, Twitter @campivotalfest

Michelle Golder writes:

The questions we are seeking to address (or more accurately, provide a forum for discussion of) include:

What might green commerce in a changed world look like?

If there is such a thing as clean manufacture, how far are we from being able to achieve it in a practical sense?

What is the roadmap by which today's entrepreneurs can move forward with clean, green technology and commerce?

The thoughts I'd like to arouse: I'd like to inspire people to start now with their initiatives toward revolutionary new ways of creating goods. I'd like to pick apart the idea that mitigation of climate change must inevitably result in economic meltdown. I'd like to engage people with the central idea that I think both Gavin and Chris share, which is that the earth itself provides us with the necessary energy to be as creative as we ever were, once we wean ourselves off fossil fuel based manufacture.

But I'm very far from being an expert in these areas. I'm a very ordinary person, who has a car, likes to eat well, enjoys shopping...and I'd like to also introduce people like myself to the fact that there are alternatives out there. The media and our leaders can give the impression that there is no way forward.

We imagine our audience to be thinking people who want to engage with creating a positive future and explore the ways this might be done. If you don't think we are succeeding in giving a clear enough message with the blurb below, I'd be very interested in your thoughts.

Join two pioneers in green manufacture as they rethink the way we make the objects around us.

Gavin Munro, an artist and designer, constructed buildings and furniture with materials from driftwood to straw bales before he had an epiphany - why wait 40 years for a tree to grow big enough to make furniture?

Why not just grow a chair?

Chris Forman, a post-doc whose background is in theoretical physics, biophysics and nanotechnology, uses the idea of iPods growing on trees to explain how biology makes its own versions of batteries, displays and processors, using tiny nanoscale components.

Chris Forman writes:

Biology is sustainable in the sense that any unstable processes that emerge tend to die out quickly leaving a network of stable processes behind.

It makes sense to hack the stable processes that biology has given us for free to see if we can use them for our own ends. Thus creating an intrinsically sustainable economy while retaining backwards compatibility with biological systems. To have our cake and eat it.

Both myself and Gavin have a clear, positive and radical vision about how copying biology could make things more sustainable and we hope to inspire others in a positive way about changing the way we do things.

So for me the event is about communicating one particular vision of how human technology could be made more sustainable, with a practical, cool, artsy example that people can relate to and a more theoretical look at the scope of this way of doing things that is presented in an engaging and accessible manner. Using iPods as a hook to explain the similarities between engineering and biology.

In fact I present this talk to engineering students at cambridge as a way of introducing them to biology and I have been told several times it was the best lecture they've ever had...

It would be great if the event included an example of people that do and make things on a daily basis! People who like to tinker and try things out!