Starfish Appointed to facilitate Northern Inland Sustainable Business Network

[frame src=”” width=”IMAGE_WIDTH” height=”IMAGE_HEIGHT” lightbox=”on” title=”Armidale Dumaresq Council Property Manager, Andrew Strudwick discusses the gains from energy management with NISBN Steering Committee member and Regional Manager for AusIndustry, Tim Cotter and NISBN Co-Facilitators, Elizabeth Gardiner and Adam Blakester from Starfish Enterprises.” align=”left” ]

Starfish has been appointed to facilitate the delivery of sustainability programs, technical assistance and support for business throughout the Northern Inland region of NSW. This work will be led by Adam Blakester and Liz Gardinder.

The Northern Inland Sustainable Business Network (NISBN) currently has 120 Members. Starfish’s role will be to both support existing members and encourage new members. NISBN provides practical training and technical assistance in areas of energy, water and waste efficiency as well as providing valuable information about business sustainability programs, funding and case studies.

Armidale Dumaresq Council provide a solid example of the benefits of NISBN Membership. Their participation in the Sustainability Advantage Program over the last three years provided energy management results from behavioural and technology changes that turned a 45 percent increase in electricity charges into a 20 percent decrease.

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Starfish’s Role

Ten Ideas Driving the Future of Social Entrepreneurship

[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″]””Nobody ever comes out and says they are in favor of starving children, or inadequate sanitation, or war and conflict. And yet they persist. So how is it that if no-one is for these things, and everyone is against them, these problems continue?” ~ Ray Suarez[/quote]The 10th Annual Skoll World Forum, brought together several hundred of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and served as a useful barometer for how the climate of social enterprise is changing.

So 10 years in, what’s the current thinking? What new big idea now dominates the agenda and concerns of the Forum participants? And where do they think this field is going? Here’s their Top Ten Ideas which will drive the future of social entrepreneurship:

  1. It’s about Changing the System
  2. Change is accelerating
  3. To solve our problems, we need more problem-solvers
  4. It starts with young people
  5. Scale through collaboration
  6. Technology is driving creative disruption
  7. Power is moving from the few to the many
  8. The silos are breaking down
  9. Here comes the social intrapreneur
  10. When you pass the torch on, light many fires


Source: Fast Company
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Come on Inland ~ Fixing the hole in Australia

[frame src=”” width=”650″ height=”IMAGE_HEIGHT” lightbox=”on” title=”Fixing the hole in Australia’s Heartland | Desert Knowledge Australia” align=”left” ]

Fixing the hole in Australia’s Heartland | Desert Knowledge Australia

During Starfish’s work on the Northern Inland Regional Development Plan it became clear just how little attention is given to inland Australia.

It was during this work that the idea of asking Australians to ‘come on inland’ first emerged. There was a clear opportunity for tourism, relocation for business and lifestyle as well as a range of sustainable development opportunities which were unrealised due to this lack of attention to inland Australia.

This idea has now grown, under the leadership of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland, into a full blown campaign.‘Come on Inland’ promotes the Northern Inland as a desirable region to relocate business and families. It is an umbrella brand for each of the 13 Local Government Areas to work under and attract further development in their area.Come on Inland

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Come on Inland
Fixing the hole in Australia’s Heartland | Desert Knowledge Australia

Community Ownership Transforming our Energy Systems

Cooperatives Driving the New EconomyCharles Cotton never gave much thought to the fact that he owns a piece of Jackson Energy Cooperative, the utility that delivers power to his home in Berea, Ky. His grandparents used to go every year to the co-op’s annual meeting and cook-out, where member-owners elect representatives and vote on cooperative business, but Cotton himself has never gone. He uses Jackson Energy simply because it’s the only utility serving his region.

But last November, Cotton’s membership paid off in a way he hadn’t expected: The cooperative gave him an energy upgrade, installing a plastic moisture barrier underneath his house and replacing his old furnace with an efficient heat pump. Cotton’s home now feels warmer and his electric bills have dropped significantly, but he never paid a dime up front.

Jackson Energy’s status as a cooperative led directly to Cotton’s retrofit.

Starfish’s community energy initiatives: Farming the Sun, New England Wind, North Coast Energy Forum
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Source: Yes!

Feldheim ~ Germany’s energy self-sufficient village

Nations as diverse as North Korea and the United States have sent delegations to visit a tiny village in former East Germany to see how it has transformed the way it uses energy.

A 60-minute drive south of Berlin and home to about 125 people, Feldheim is Germany’s first and only energy self-sufficient village and attracts both international energy experts and politicians.

“We’re seen as pioneers and the world wants to know whether they can duplicate our success,” said Joachim Gebauer, a 55-year-old former teacher who guides visitors through the remote hamlet.

“No coal or gas is burned here, it’s all clean.”

Instead, Feldheim is powered by a mix of 43 wind turbines, a woodchip-fired heating plant and a biogas plant that uses cattle and pig slurry as well as maize silage.

Local energy costs of 16.6 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) are just a little more than half of the 27-30 cents Germans pay on average, according to the New Energies Forum Feldheim, an information center.

Starfish is working with the New England High Country and NSW North Coast regions to create sustainable energy systems with high levels of local community ownership. See New England Wind, Farming the Sun and North Coast Energy Forum.

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Source: PlanetArk

Economics word cloud from ABS analysis of Australia's 55 regional development plans

Australia’s Regional Development Priorities

The Australian Bureau of Statistics have completed an analysis of Australia’s regional development priorities and challenges. This analysis has been based upon the 55 regional development plans prepared from each of the members of Regional Development Australia.

The findings from their analysis include:
– the need to diversify regional economies
– recognition of climate change as a key challenge
– the priority for meeting education and health needs
– youth development being a priority
– infrastructure needs are paramount

Starfish facilitated the large-scale participatory planning for the Northern Inland (NSW) Regional Development Plan.

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North Coast Energy Forum: Lismore

CLAIM THE DATE ||| 31 May 2013 |||

The North Coast Energy Forum is back this year and will be holding a day-long forum in Lismore 31 May. The goal of this grassroots initiative, founded in 2010, is to help the North Coast “grow its own” sustainable energy system.

“After two highly successful events in Bellingen in 2010 and Mullumbimby in 2011 we thought it was time to take a step back and see how things developed locally”, said forum convenor Mark Byrne.

Starfish is a long-term partner of the Forum, a member of the Organising Committee and Forum Facilitator.

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Great Transition ~ Game On

The Great Transition Initiative (GTi) is one of the world’s most insightful and visionary networks of thinkers working to navigate this time of incredible change and the necessary shift to a sustainable, healthy and equitable way of life.

Today GTi have launched their latest work, Game On: The Basis for Hope in a Time of Despair.

In a world at risk, those attuned to the dangers can feel a powerful temptation to sound apocalyptic alarms to awaken the somnolent. Arousing fear, though, without offering a compelling vision of a better path, awakens only dispiriting anguish and despair. This pessimism is not so much wrong as disempowering.

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Source: Great Transition Initiative