Hala Chaoui

Toronto, Canada

About Hala

An idea worth spreading

Innovative technologies for organic farming

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Noface
Hala Chaoui
Posted 2 months ago
Alison Gopnik: What do babies think?
As a new mom I am thrilled to have listened to this talk. My instinct tells me the more I go with the flow, and don't stiffle my toddler with too many rules, the more he and I will enjoy his childhood. Learning about a baby's "lantern of consciousness" makes me see why laid back parenting can be rewarding; babies are butterflies, not catterpillars!
Noface
Hala Chaoui
Posted 3 months ago
Simon Anholt: Which country does the most good for the world?
First, like many in the west you have a distorted, prejudiced view of Lebanon. Lebanon has a higher education rate and schools per capita than the US or canada. It also started resisting western manipulations into divide and conquer wars ("civil war") in 1989, after massive peaceful marches where we expressed national sentiment. This was the Lebanese spring, completely blacked out by western media. I was there when reporters switched off their cameras as we did something constructive. The citizenry movement grew since, and is now the second block in our parliament. I did migrate, and it confirmed to me that Lebanon has potential that no other country has.
Noface
Hala Chaoui
Posted 4 months ago
Simon Anholt: Which country does the most good for the world?
Please oh please advise Lebanon! We're not as the stereotype says, we have a citizenry movement (and party) seeking equal rights. As a result of newfound national sentiment we don't fall for civil war schemes anymore. Still there is a gap between our goals and achievements, and looking inwards might be the reason!
Noface
Hala Chaoui
Posted over 2 years ago
Melinda Gates: Let's put birth control back on the agenda
This is brilliant, because it gives an overview of the history of birth control. It's particularly not ethnocentric since it shows how regardless of ethnicity all women have the same ambition, to parent well, which means parenting fewer children. Melinda Gates has a lot of soul, I have a new-found respect for her and her husband's social work.
Noface
Hala Chaoui
Posted over 2 years ago
José Bowen: Beethoven the businessman
nice! Especially the point about schools. Khan academy is already turning basic education into a freeware, and here's there TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html
Noface
Hala Chaoui
Posted over 2 years ago
Amory Lovins: A 40-year plan for energy
Great talk, I wish I was working at your institute! I think part of efficient energy use is turning organic waste to an odourless organic fertilizer, to new food, and all on site. By on site I mean in or near the kitchen where it was generated, inside a condo, an apartment, house or institution. The technology to make it effortless (and side-effect-free) to turn waste to fertilizer is emerging (urbanfarmsorganic.com). The micro edible gardens that benefit from this fertilizer would be inside the apartment, on its walls, suspended from its ceiling, or on a balcony or rooftop for seasonal gardens. Here's a review of innovative technologies that could make urban / organic farming a convenient choice in the future: page 21 of http://innovative-science.com/our-science-magazine . If cities recycled some fo their waste to green space and edible plants, on site, they would spend less energy on exporting and processing waste, and on importing food. They would also have a softer, greener urban landscape which improves life standard in the city. This on site process of waste into new food also means people will eat well regardless of their income level. I wonder if urban agriculture will become another focus of RMI, along with electricity, transportation, building and industry.
Noface
Hala Chaoui
Posted over 2 years ago
Jonathan Foley: The other inconvenient truth
In a study by Mader et al, published in Science in 2001, it was demonstrated that organic agriculture is more resource-efficient than conventional agriculture: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/296/5573/1694.abstract Organic matter retains water for a longer time, which makes farms consume less water and be drought resilient. Synthetic fertilizer on the other hand kill soil microbes by osmotic drought. These microbes, in a soil high in organic matter, exude carbs (sticky solution) that binds soil aggregates together. This means more soil structure, more pores in the soil, more places to store air in the soil, and more oxygen for the plants. Aerated roots produce higher yields, this is why adding organic matter to the soil a conventional farm boosts plant yield, it's not just the nutrient effect. More details are found in Mader's paper. Also there are many misconceptions about organic meaning "rustic". I moderated a technical session for 3 years at the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers, on innovative technologies for organic farming. I then presented a review of such technologies at conferences, and in this pop sci article: Page 21 at http://innovative-science.com/our-science-magazine Technology like weeding robots, software for modeling nutrient mineralization from organic fertilizer, and other advances are expected to make organic farming a low-labor, high-return type of business, not to mention that it will afford you a conscience as well.
Noface
Hala Chaoui
Posted over 2 years ago
Mark Raymond: Victims of the city
Thank you Mark, the solutions you mention really echo with someone fron Beirut like myself. I think what escapes westerners is that in most of the world, we as people didn't have enough control over how our cities sprawled in the past, and we need to remedy that now.
Noface
Hala Chaoui
Posted over 2 years ago
T. Boone Pickens: Let's transform energy -- with natural gas
The "ennemy", the Saudi regime, and you, the US have worked together to prop banana republics in the middle east and colonize it. The divide is not between OPEC and the US, but between aggressive colonizers; Saudi regimes, their US allies, and Europeans, vs. .natives of the "ex-colonies", everywhere. We the ex-colonies want to reach our potential, and you and your "ennemy" need to move out of our way, and stop supporting corrupt regimes so you can better exploit us. Moubarak, Ben Ali, Hariri's suit indicted for embezzlement in Lebanon... You supported these until the last possible minute. By all means, end the age of oil from the so-called ennemy (which you're allied with!!), so we can be free of your colonial policies and we can have our own technological renaissance.
Noface
Hala Chaoui
Posted over 2 years ago
Paul Gilding: The Earth is full
This is a great eye opening talk, but we in the middle east can't way to be done with power mongering, US-backed oil babies! This is when we will fulfill our potential as a well educated and hard working population. The economy crunch is already just starting to make it harder for the Saudi dictatorship to support its Banana Republics in the middle east, these collapsed in Tunis, Egypt and one is half out of power in Lebanon, thank God! Provoking civil wars is getting hard with less Saudi cash as well, not that they haven't tried, as described by Seymour Hersh in this famous 2007 New Yorker article: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/03/05/070305fa_fact_hersh While the world at large benefited from oil, we mostly suffered from a little too much "interest" in our area, and some divide and conquer strategies by oil importers, to keep oil accessible.