Archive for the ‘Radiate’ Category

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October 23, 2011 1 comment

Blog Action Day: A Solution for Food Deserts

October 16, 2011 3 comments

Smiling Kid

It’s commonly known that food can affect our emotional state.  I’m sure we all can think back to a moment, perhaps in our childhood… perhaps just yesterday, when we took the first bite of some delectable treat and couldn’t help but smile as the flavors swirled around our tongue.  If you happened to be in the company of a friend, you probably even passed some over while exclaiming “you HAVE to try this,” although you secretly wanted them to take as small a bite as possible.

So, in thinking about Blog Action Day 2011’s topic of food, I thought it aligned quite well with the “radiate joy” part of this blog’s mission.  Of course, it’s also commonly known that our world faces an uncertain future when it comes to food security.  Just within the past week, I’ve heard a couple of stories in main stream news regarding changes we can and should make now to ensure that in the future we can support the food needs of 9 to 10 billion people on our planet.   The question remains: what are the design solutions that will empower people around food so they can continue to radiate in joyous situations like the one above?

American Food DesertsPerhaps the most important thing we can do is ensure that everyone has access to healthy, affordable food. In our country alone, it is estimated that roughly 13.5 million people live in a “food desert,” which means that they do not have easy access to healthy, affordable food in biking or walking distance from their home.  for more information about the problems of food desserts, check out the Fast Com. Design Blog post: The “Food Deserts” That Keep Americans Fat.

One step towards addressing the needs of those living in food deserts is currently in pilot testing by a team of Bainbridge Graduate Institute students here in Seattle and is so far receiving a lot of praise: Stockbox Grocers!

Stockbox Grocers

(c) Patrick Robinson / West Seattle Herald

Stockbox Grocers responds to this need with a miniature grocery that’s tucked inside a reclaimed shipping container and placed into the parking lot of an existing business. We innovate on the espresso stand model to build stores throughout urban communities, and provide fresh produce and grocery staples to those who currently without access to good food, where they live.

I am hopeful that this innovation will start to make a sizable dent in our food desert problem here at home and can’t wait until they begin to scale.  If you’re interested in learning more about Stockbox, just drop by for a visit to the their Delridge store if you’re in the Seattle area.  Otherwise, follow them on Facebook and Twitter

The Great Prosperity vs. The Great Regression

September 8, 2011 4 comments

The below infographic, posted by the New York Times on September 4 2011, illustrates a striking picture of the wealth gap in the United States and shows how the last three decades have greatly varied from the the previous three.  While not the only solution for this problem, higher taxes for the wealthy would be a good start to shifting back to a more sustainable and “happier” wealth gap.

As many studies have suggested, societies with smaller wealth gaps generally claim to be happier… even the wealthy!   As one Live Science article states, “If we care about the happiness of most people, we need to do something about income inequality.”  How about we start in this country by encouraging our senators and representatives (both Democrat and Republican alike) to end the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and set us on a course for a happier tomorrow.  After all, even Warren Buffet thinks we should Stop Coddling the Super Rich!

(click to enlarge)

Bill Marsh/The New York Times Sources: Robert B. Reich, University of California, Berkeley; “The State of Working America” by the Economic Policy Institute; Thomas Piketty, Paris School of Economics, and Emmanuel Saez, University of California, Berkeley; Census Bureau; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Federal Reserve. Copyright 2011 The New York Times Company.

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