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.

Find Out More

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
Read more here…

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

Find out more

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

Show Your Support ~ BackTrack Classroom & Gallery

offers young people who have lost their way an opportunity to reconnect with their education and training, to become work ready, find jobs, lead happy and productive lives and participate fully in the community.

BackTrack have recently expanded their Armidale work to include a two-day per week school with real teachers working with real kids toughing it out the best they can in a real world.

In the same space a gallery is also being created. This will display and sell some of the cracking art and welding gear made by young rookies working with talented artist and youth worker Matt Pilkington.

The classroom/gallery in true BackTrack style is a shed ~ hot in summer and likely to be near freezing in winter.

That is unless some urgent funds are secured to upgrade the facility.

If you are willing to vote your support for BackTrack’s newest initiative they will go into the running for a $10,000 grant from Community Mutual Group. This will go a long way to covering the costs for the upgrade… and making a real difference to the lives of many young people finding their way again. BackTrack has a real track record in achieving such results.

To show your support, simply go to the Heart of the Community, join the website site and make your vote for the BackTrack Classroom & Gallery.

Starfish is currently working with BackTrack to expand their work across multiple communities and locations. See here for more details.

More details about BackTrack here

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.

Find out more…
Source: PlanetArk

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.

Read more

King of the Trees

[frame src=”” width=”300″ height=”IMAGE_HEIGHT” lightbox=”on” title=”King of the Trees ~ Source: Australia Network News” align=”right” ] The 57-year-old Taiwanese entrepreneur made his fortune in transportation and property, but his real mission in life is to reinstate at least some of the forests that once covered most of the island.
“It was just a simple idea I had,” said Mr Lai from a hillside near his native Taichung city in central Taiwan.

“If I was to safeguard Taiwan, I would have to plant trees.”

For the past three decades, Mr Lai has bought and planted thousands of trees every year, often with his own hands.

Today his efforts can be seen in the form of 130 hectares of mountainsides near Taichung covered with 270,000 deep-rooted trees, representing indigenous species such as Taiwan incense cedar and cinnamomum micranthum.

Find out more…
Source: Australia Network News

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.

Find out more…

Source: Great Transition Initiative