At the University of Minnesota Dr. Nate Hagens teaches an honours course called “Reality 101: A Survey of the Human Predicament.” Hagens operated his own hedge fund on Wall Street until he glimpsed, “a serious disconnect between capitalism, growth, and the natural world. Money did not appear to bring wealthy clients more well being. ”Reality 101 addresses humanity’s toughest challenges: economic decline, inequality, pollution, biodiversity loss, and war. Students learn about systems ecology, neuroscience, and economics. “We ask hard questions,” says Hagens....

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Small businesses can be underappreciated and under-supported, and that’s a shame. After all, when a downtown is filled with cool coffee shops, locally owned restaurants, microbreweries, and quirky boutiques—together with plenty of strong non-retail players like architects, ad agencies, and attorneys—that downtown is often the heart and soul of a vibrant community. A strong small business presence—especially one that thrives in the context of a busy, livable, walkable downtown—is what gives a community its character. It creates that sense of...

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Pyrowave, which uses its unique microwave technology to process plastic waste, will receive a $1-million investment under Export Development Canada’s (EDC) new Cleantech Co-Investment Program. The program aims to catalyze growth in smaller, early-stage Canadian clean tech companies with the potential to break into overseas markets. Pyrowave’s patented product breaks down plastic items, like Styrofoam cups or food containers, back into their original compounds. They can then be sold back to companies that want to re-make those same plastic products,...

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If the Cornwall Innovation Centre (CIC) gets its way, the city and SDG will become the epicentre of training for jobs in the agriculture technology — or agritech — industry in Ontario. The centre has decided to open a new institute at the Nav Centre to provide people with the knowledge required to land cutting-edge agritech jobs with salaries that can run up to $80,000 or $90,000. Oh, and by the way, the training is free. On Friday morning the...

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKV5v3BQoEo&w=560&h=315] Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming and reach the point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis. Hear from Project Drawdown on how its team of PhDs developed the plan, based on existing solutions and technologies, and how businesses can act on these opportunities now to put carbon back where it belongs

A major organic seed, feed and milling company headquartered in eastern Ontario is going to close its doors after hitting financial trouble in the midst of a more competitive industry. Tom Manley, president of Homestead Organics, said the 30-year-old company will be closing its doors in a matter of days because of pressure from its creditors and banks. The company started in Berwick, Ont., a town halfway between Ottawa and Cornwall, and, over the course of the last four years,...

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What happens when you eat the wrong food over and over again? We call it “leakage.” Leakage is when capital exits the economy rather than remaining in it. Our current food system as designed (or left un-designed) is a constant source of leakage for our cities and a missed opportunity for urban planners. What if city designs included space for urban farming to provide a percentage of the calories required by their inhabitants? What if the community saw urban farming...

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These are among the pieces that appealed the most to Transition Cornwall+ readers in 2017. Maybe you missed a few, or worth another read as we head into a new year? #10: The Monster Footprint of Digital Technology The power consumption of our high-tech machines and devices is hugely underestimated. #9: Truly Sustainable Economic Development For those of us thinking about ways to foster local, sustainable, green businesses, here are some wise words. #8: What Kind of Housing Do Aging Boomers Need?…the...

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Could Eastern Ontario become the next winery tour location like the Niagara Region or Prince Edward County? It is possible with the opening of a new winery, Stone Crop Acres Winery. Owner Norene Hyatt-Gervais said she has been working on opening up the new winery for a number of years. Right now it is just a vineyard and winery, but Hyatt-Gervais said they have plans to make the vineyard into an event location hosting weddings and other events. There is...

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…nine different ideas for promoting entrepreneurship, within both government and the private sector. A strong town needs strong local businesses. Local businesses provide jobs and opportunities for wealth creation. They can become a draw, encouraging visitors from outside your community, as well as a way for community members to support each other by buying local. Only with a thriving locally-based economy—one that isn’t owned or propped up by someone six states away—can we succeed in creating sustainable jobs and lasting...

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