TED Conversations

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  • Jul 30 2011: Adam,
    I am encouraged by the intriguing conversation you started and applaud your courage in posting such a thought provoking question in this forum. I hope this conversation will have some specific positive results in the activities Shell and other O & G energy companies engage in.
    I am working with a small group of people from diverse backgrounds who are seeking to create new urban environments designed to be sustainable and extensible built from the initial economic engines of mining and O & G production. Using the O & G initial economic engine to attract a diverse and sustainable economy which will break the typical boom-to-bust cycle and result in a collective of communities which act as regional economic centers for scalable growth planned to blend the needs of economy, cultural identity, open governance and maintainable environmental support.
    Where megacities approach eventual collapse through an entropic cycle of ever faster and dense adaptation, our approach uses local environmental support as a governing factor to maximum size and impact and is used to spawn a new supporting center which eventually creates a balance of habitation to ecology and food production.
    Mr. West might have us believe that cities are optimized as megaliths of concentrated development and power, but if we look at past history, I think we find that great cities were magnets of power because the people drawn to them contributed to their success. And survive when they meet needs of a region and continue to support economic growth.
    We would invite Shell and the other multi-nationals to join with us to create scalable communities built around initial economic activity based on O & G production and the reformulation and technologies of Gas to Liquid processes at a local level so keep much of the economic value in the communities where the gas is produced and to be a partner in developing a scalable, repeatable urban growth process that benefits all of us.
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      Jul 31 2011: Hi Andrew, I'm interested to learn more details about your model for scalable self-sufficient growth. Are you proposing modular, highly decentralized energy production with size constrained by some ecological footprint analysis?
      • Aug 1 2011: Eric, our plans are to use existing technologies to scale up and then modify the physical environment as the economic picture changes. Our strategies include more than just energy, but all the other physical infrastructure elements as well as social components such as schools, government and cultural centers. Our strategy relies a lot on electronic connectivity and efficiencies of self-monitoring systems in the infrastructure to help community leaders take action when certain flagged event occur. This is an effort to transform community governance, community involvement and education / economic development. Pretty tall order stuff, but what we feel can, should, needs to be done.

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