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Invitation to take part in food system research in Bristol UK

Bristol and the Southwest Food System Research Bristol and Bath Science Park on the 1st November, 29th November (2011) and 12th of January 2012 10:00 - 16:30.

You are invited to participate in an EU funded modelling of Bristol and the South West's food sector - The CONVERGE project is investigating how we can manage and allocate the earth's resources fairly and make the transition towards a sustainable future. For this research we will be working with local business and organisations affected by the food sector to investigate the potential impacts of things like climate change, population demographics, and rising oil and fertiliser prices on the food system and related industries. We do this through workshops - our first workshops took place last month in Reykjavik in Iceland - a country with a high dependence on imported goods. Through these workshops we will develop a vision for a sustainable food system, and produce a realistic computer model of how a sustainable local food system could operate in Bristol including production, employment, import, export etc. 

First stakeholder workshop held in Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland 28. Sept. 2011

– The first workshop with stakeholders in the Converge Project was held today in Reykjavik, Iceland. Twenty-three individuals from all walks of life attended the full-day workshop, the first of three such meetings in Iceland.

The participants came from many different parts of the food production sector, Innovation Centre, civil society organizations, consulting, government, waste sector as well as consumers and members of the public interested in nutrition and food culture. The focus was on sustainable food production and consumption in Iceland.

The group made some very solid first steps towards a vision for a sustainable food system and a practical implementation plan which the stakeholders will be able to take with them at the end of the project. For more information on the workshops please visit www.convergeproject.org/workshopinfo

CONVERGE Seminar Series - resources from the events

The CONVERGE seminar series has been running since May of this year with 3 seminars having taken place so far. Here are some resources from the 3 seminars - The seminars feature lectures and discussions with leading practitioners, researchers and businesses on questions central to the CONVERGE project’s research.

Seminar - Fairness, sustainability and human numbers - Does it add up?

This event has now occured - listen to a podcast from the event.

13th July 2011 18:00 -20:00 St Nicholas House, 31-34 High Street, Bristol, BS12AW

All environmental problems become harder - and ultimately impossible to solve -  with ever more people - David Attenborough

Self interest vs self preservation - What are the rights of future generations?

This event has now passed - View slides from this seminar, listen to podcasts.

15th June 2011 18:00 -20:00 St Nicholas House, Bristol, BS12AW

How will resource scarcity affect industry in Bristol?

This event has now taken place: - View slides from this seminar, discuss this on TED or on linkdin


The CONVERGE project invites you to the first of a series of events from the CONVERGE Rethinking Globalisation seminar series.

We launch the series on May 25th (13:00 - 16:00) in Bristol with a session on the latest research into resource burn-off rates, and how they may affect industry in Europe. We will look at how some resources may be substituted and at examples of companies who have dealt with changes to their access to resources. Following this we will have a discussion session on the impacts this could have on industry in Bristol in the future and on opportunities for partnership and further research.

50 open source machines for civilisation

After realising that the tools he needed for his ecological farm and settlement didn't exist yet Marcin Jakubowski set about developing the 'global village construction set'. The  Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is a modular, DIY, low-cost, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts.

These blueprints for civilisation can be found published as 3d designs, schematics, videos and budgets on website Open Source Ecology - http://opensourceecology.org/index.php. This represents an incredible step into the world of collaborative innovation towards the hardware needed for sustainability.

Send a letter for Future Generations


We have now learned with concern that the role of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations –and its associated constitutional guarantee of environmental rights –are currently under review as part of Hungary’s ongoing constitutional reform process.  

Please join us in writing a letter to Mr Jozsef Szajer, Vice-Chairman of European Peoples’ Party (EPP) Group urging him to reflect on the loss of genuine global leadership that would result from any decision to weaken Hungary’s Constitutional provisions in relation to the right to a healthy environment and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations. (Photo by Julia Davies)

Hungarian draft constitution undermines the rights of future generations


In Hungary the long term interests of the country are being endangered by a draft constitution which will abolish the right to a healthy environment and its representation via the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations. The removal of the green ombudsman’s institution is promoted by the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union in hope of increasing short term economical and administrative advantages. Sándor Fülöp, the Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations explains that the draft of the new Constitution, prepared by the governing parties, would in an internationally unprecedented manner abolish the fundamental right to a healthy environment and weaken significantly the institutional protection.

Video: Developing an Interconnected Worldview

Concepts like Contraction and Convergence depend on understanding the world as an interconnected whole. And in fact people do understand the concept when thinking about it abstractly. But to really have an interconnected worldview, an abstract notion of interconnectedness has to be combined with a concrete understanding of how the larger system affects and is affected by you. It has to become an embodied understanding.

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