After writing my piece on what is in the green stimulus and my other article that compared the green stimulus programs of several nations, I found an article in my inbox from Sustainable Life Media, written by Tamara Giltsoff, managing director of OZOlab, called “The U.S. Stimulus Package: What’s Missing?”
She feels that innovation got left out of the stimulus. She feels in does not address how to get to a sustainable economy nor does she feel that it addresses the unsustainable consumption that is ingrained in our way of doing business and our overall way of life. Her list of what she thinks should be done is summarized below.
1. Create a vision and ideology for every city in America that would give each community an identity and mission to work toward and a template for “sustainable growth”
2. Reframe entrepreneurialism and invest in people and their ideas, at a local/ground-up level – stimulate “social venture capital.”
3. Establish national leadership programs to share best practice business and public sector sustainable innovation work, and to inspire personal transformation and leadership from everyone in the local community
4. Instead of building more roads and fueling a dying car industry, albeit a slightly more efficient one, money should be invested in new solutions to transportation and energy, that are interconnected.
5. Invest in natural capital and stimulate “restorative economies. “Encourage and enable communities to create “wealth” from the restored areas or programs of restoration – for instance, building tourism around eco efforts.
6. Use food and farming as the model of localizing economies and connecting communities to natural capital and health.
She concludes, “The point is: No amount of investment in technology alone (clean tech stimulus) is going to create a path to a sustainable future and prosperity without, at the same time, growing ground-up markets and social innovation.”
Note: In the BusinessWeek piece that she refers to entitled, “What is Not in The Stimulus Package? Lots of Innovation by Bruce Nussbaum, his third suggestion directly addresses green issues. I think it is a good one. He says, “Portland-ize America’s cities. We need to spend billions to remake our cities into creativity/culture centers that drive economic growth. That means more money to urban universities and research centers, new mass transportation systems that include serious bike lanes and electric trolleys and buses and more funding for museums, theater, dance and music. It also means low-cost housing for young artists and students.”
What do you think is missing from the green stimulus?
© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.