Category - Forum
in the immediate future, we’re recruiting rising young scientist stars in the Midlands for a series of brief video interviews over the next few months.
Know someone, perhaps a PhD or postdoc researcher doing interesting stuff? Do encourage them to get in touch with me here.
Continue reading “The scientists, the scenarios, the forum: What’s coming up”
Nearly two years ago, I wrote a blogpost about why The New Optimists Forum took food as its topic for the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project.
I’m pretty used to good things happening as a result of putting scientists and other well-informed people in a room together, especially if you give ‘em tasty food and an important topic to bend their minds upon.
Continue reading “The brilliant impact of the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project to date”
Linda Hindle‘s presentation at the Birmingham Sustainability Forum was about tackling childhood obesity – incredibly, one in four children in Birmingham are obese by the time they leave primary school.
- making sure Birmingham’s environment encourages participation in physical activity and enjoyment of healthy food
- changing behaviour so that children make the choice to be more active and eat healthy foods
- Birmingham families should have access to local opportunities for physical activity and healthy food
Continue reading “Linda Hindle on tackling childhood obesity, at Birmingham Sustainability Forum”
Adrian Morley gave a presentation at the Birmingham Sustainability Forum about the Food-Smart City Project. You can read the full presentation above – in it, Adrian talks about what a food-smart city is and the goals of the project. It aims to forge relationships between West Midlands universities in support of “economic, social and cultural well-being.”
The presentation covers a lot of interesting points, including the key considerations and aims which factored into its development. But the priorities are particularly worth noting:
- teach children where food comes from, how to grow/cook food, and what healthy diet consists of
- make sure every adult can cook a healthy meal which is quick, low-cost and tasty
- tackle barriers to healthy eating especially for people on low incomes
- halt childhood obesity
- radically reduce food waste
- encourage participation in individual and community growing projects
- ensure institutions and businesses serve healthy food to staff and customers
- encourage entrepreneurs to get involved in the local food industry
Continue reading “Roger Harmer on the development of a Birmingham Food Charter, at Birmingham Sustainability Forum”
Birmingham Food Council: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this city were renown for being a place where children eat well?
I suspect that the origins of the Birmingham Food Council began with this unprepared, off-the-cuff remark I made at the end of my presentation on What it takes to feed the city made at the Birmingham Sustainability Forum a year ago in September 2012:
Continue reading “Birmingham Food Council: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this city were renown for being a place where children eat well?”
We’ve finished the presentations and broken out into table discussions to talk about the issues mentioned by each of the four speakers:
- Roger Harmer, who drew up the Birmingham Food Charter
- Kate Cooper, chair of the Birmingham Food Council
- Adrian Morley from the Food-Smart City project
- Linda Hindle, Birmingham Public Health Consultant Dietician
Continue reading “Round table discussions at Birmingham Sustainability Forum”
The underlying assumption behind the whole evening was that “saving energy” is paying less to heat our homes and is a Good Idea, that energy efficiency leads to reductions in demand. But is this so?
Oxford economist Dieter Helm in his book The Carbon Crunch suggests not.
Continue reading “Paying less to heat and power our homes – a good idea or not?”
In response to the significant and systemic inequalities in Birmingham, here’s a suggestion:
What we can do in here is invest in activities where cues for social status, high income in particular, are irrelevant. That’s not to say we’ll all be equal in such environments — far from it. We’ll have grounds for different inequalities.
And here’s why it matters, and how it might work.
Continue reading “Escaping the inequality trap: Grounds for new inequalities”
The New Optimists Forum July Update is now on-line.
The 70 or so people involved, over half of whom are regional scientists, have already made a remarkable difference — summed up in the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project Report (which contains all four of the previously published mini-reports).
Continue reading “July Update: What’s happened & what next on TNO Forum”