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In Dunedin and the Otago region there is a controversial issue with a fight brewing, to build another rugby stadium instead of an Institute of Design.

StopTheStadium has documented an amazing break down in process regarding the stadium idea, to the point that most people here must think there is corruption in our local, regional and national government processes. I suspect it is more like shrewed business people taking advantage of public, media and administration blind spots while initiating the project, and using that to build up and create unstoppable momentum for their short sighted aims. In short, its a classic case of lobbying for a project where the gains are private and the risks are public.

I can’t for the life of me see the worth of building an international grade rugby stadium down here, but I can certainly see the sense in developing the Institute of Design. It will certainly cost more to build the stadium than their spokespeople have publicly announced, and considering we can’t fill the stadium that already exists, I don’t see any evidence that another one will suddenly boost interest and sustain it long enough so as to fill the seats until the debt is paid off.. I might see the sense in an upgrade of the famous “Brook” though. Even if Dunedin did turn into the capital of the South with a population big enough and cashed up enough to be able to pay off the thing, I honestly can’t see what improvement it will bring to Otago industry, business, education, imagination and over-all sustainability.

Another, far less controversial proposal is on the table at the same time. The Otago Institute of Design, but the public funding pegged for that is being pulled!? Even without knowing any more about the Institute than its name, it is far more obvious how such a thing would contribute to Otago’s economic, industrial, business, educational and sustainable development.

Otago Polytechnic and Otago University are bringing their design departments together to form a new Otago Institute of Design. By pooling their expertise and resources they are creating a centre of excellence for design right here in Dunedin. This initiative will also take collaboration between design educators across NZ and the design industry to a new level, for instance, with their high-tech prototype and modeling facility that will be the most comprehensive currently available in Australasia.

But wouldn’t you know it, the Federal Government looks set to withdraw their 12.5 million dollar loan to develop the Institute, instead directing their funds to the rugby stadium to the tune of 15 million!

I can’t work this out. Rugby stadium / Institute of Design which one will have more bang for its buck when factoring in all bottom lines? When our local economy starts to feel the pinch of international trade and resource depletion, and we are in need of fresh and new innovation, what will help us? A game of rugby or a few thousand designers developing new technology and testing new ideas?

The only good thing I can think of about the stadium is that with its huge glass cover it will make a great biosphere to grow the food that we can longer import because the ships, trucks and trains needed new parts and different fuel.

This letter is sent to:
The Minister of Finance Hon. Bill English b.english@ministers.govt.nz
and Prime Minister, Hon John Key j.key@ministers.govt.nz
cc. Hon Anne Tolley, Minister for Education a.tolley@ministers.govt.nz

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An interesting use of words leads you to an even more interesting project on sustainability. Their Youtube channel is particularly fascinating. Here’s a starter:

Then their blog, and finally their wiki. They have twitter, Facebook and Myspace too for people that way inclined. These people know how to get their message out, and its a very interesting message too. Certainly not your average bohemian permaculture enthusiast.. something more in here.

Otago Polytechnic internal marketing for sustainability

Otago Polytechnic internal marketing for sustainability

Samuel Mann keeps flying the flag for Otago Polytechnic and its efforts for Sustainability. This poster captures some interesting pointers and inspires me to do more.

We have Living Campus – an effort to turn the campus into a living, breathing, producing, educational model of sustainability, particularly in the gardens

We have SHaC – Sustainable Habitat Challenge where several institutions (Otago being the lead) are working on projects to improve the over all design of housing

We have the Education for Sustainability initiative – Where every graduate will be able to think and act sustainably, and go out into the workforce with the necessary skill sets to affect change for sustainability. This is more a goal statement project slowly building itself into curriculum, and probably an area I could do more on in our Educational Development work.

We have the Permaculture Design course – A not for profit course running on a trial basis. The last trial comes to an end soon and we might have to look for new home for it as the hosting school has not indicated a desire to continue with the course 😦 just when it was growing roots too! I plan to try and get the course formally established and propose it be hosted by the School of Design instead.

Copied From WikiEducator

This document is to explore literature relating to sustainability issues in the use of Second Life for education. What is referenced here will be submitted to a working group involved in the progression of a New Zealand research project that is investigating Multi User Virtual Environments MUVEs in education, with a focus on the Second Life platform specifically. The content of this document will be considered by that working group for inclusion in a final literature review. That review will inform later phases of the project where educational models will be developed, tested and critiqued.

Considering sustainability issues in relation to Second Life

Sustainability is a complex and ill defined set of issues in any subject area, or too broad in meaning to be of any use specifically. None-the-less, I’m attempting to find writing that considers economic, ecological and social aspects of sustainability relating to Second Life. I should note that so far as I can tell, formal literature surrounding these issues and directly relating to Second Life is virtually non existent, so I’m tending to look further afield and historically, with what time is available, to find relevant points to bring to this review. I have also relied quite a bit on journalists and bloggers, as well as spokespeople from the industries themselves, for insight on how we might consider these issues at the moment.

For purposes of structuring this review, I have taken the advice of a colleague Samuel Mann and will consider Second Life in terms of direct and indirect impacts on sustainability. I will try to use the samples of writing I have found to outline those two perspectives, and then use that to formulate something of a framework we might use when considering the use of Second Life with sustainability and education in mind.

Direct impacts on resources, waste, pollution and cost of access

The possibility of computer equipment power consumption spiraling out of control could have serious consequences for the overall affordability of computing, not to mention the overall health of the planet. (Luiz André Barroso, Google 2005)

When I log into Second Life, one of the first things I notice is the bandwidth being used just to get around and see what’s in there. The second thing I notice is the sound of my computer fan as it works harder to cool powered parts needed to keep me in there. This makes me think of the lifespan of that fan, and of my computer, the access and provision affordability, over all energy use, waste and pollutants, and ultimately the impact this has on ecosystems. For an end user to run Second Life satisfactorily requires newer and faster personal computers and Internet. For many this will mean discarding old computers, resulting in ewaste of the redundant hardware. All of this must flow down the line, compounding into an increased direct or indirect cost for a user to access the services and a likely unaccounted for impact on ecosystems.

On the provision side Second Life requires many servers and cabling, that also requires cooling and protection, all consuming energy and generally producing more polluting waste. In an attempt to get an idea of just how much energy the provision and use of Second Life is consuming, Nicolas Carr (drawing largely from the initial work of Tony Walsh and others at the time) became widely cited for his 2006 Rough Type blog post, Avatars consume as much electricity as Brazilians where he makes a rough calculation of how much electricity an avatar in Second Life consumes and compares that with known consumption rates of people.

…So an avatar consumes 1,752 kWh per year. By comparison, the average human, on a worldwide basis, consumes 2,436 kWh per year. So there you have it: an avatar consumes a bit less energy than a real person, though they’re in the same ballpark.
Now, if we limit the comparison to developed countries, where per-capita energy consumption is 7,702 kWh a year, the avatars appear considerably less energy hungry than the humans. But if we look at developing countries, where per-capita consumption is 1,015 kWh, we find that avatars burn through considerably more electricity than people do.
More narrowly still, the average citizen of Brazil consumes 1,884 kWh, which, given the fact that my avatar estimate was rough and conservative, means that your average Second Life avatar consumes about as much electricity as your average Brazilian.
In a comment on [Carr’s] post, Sun’s Dave Douglas takes the calculations another step, translating electricity consumption into CO2 emissions. (Carbon dioxide, he notes, “is the most prevalent greenhouse gas from the production of electricity.”) He writes: “looking at CO2 production, 1,752 kWH/year per avatar is about 1.17 tons of CO2. That’s the equivalent of driving an SUV around 2,300 miles (or a Prius around 4,000). (Carr et al 2006)

As far as I can tell, Carr’s blog post remains the most cited article on the question of energy consumption of Second Life, and it appears that as yet, no one has done the follow up on it. Tony Walsh continued to keep notes and field comments on the issues for some time on his blog Clickable Culture, and advises that former CEO of Linden Lab, Philip Rosedale maintains an interest in the ecological impact of Second Life.

So far, responses to these direct impacts on economic and ecological sustainability come in the forms of projects like the Big Green Switch – where people can obtain carbon offset credits for their use of Second Life; and the University of Notre Dame’s project where they use heat waste from servers to maintain keep warm temperatures in horticultural greenhouses (Adam Stein 2008). The Wikipedia entry for eWaste inlcudes links to projects and legislation to manage levels of eWaste going to landfill.

Indirect impacts on culture, ideology, language and behavior

Second Life is built upon, and relies on our fundamentally familiar relationships to landscapes and social interactions that occur within them. Carolyn MacCaw 2008

Indirect impacts of Second Life on sustainability issues relate more to content and the possible influence this has on people’s awareness and appreciation of sustainability issues. On the one hand there are several content projects like the eTopia Eco Village being developed in Second Life that present models and ideas for more efficient resource use, less energy waste, less pollution, and better building design; but on the other hand there are messages implicit in all of these, and throughout the Second Life operating system itself, that arguably reinforce problematic cultural assumptions and behaviors that are fundamentally disrupting sustainability from the outset. Things such as perpetual consumerism, futurism, comodification, culturally inappropriate symbolism, and an inherent preference for human design over established ecological systems, are all prevalent in the Second Life program, including the many user generated models within it.

The model inferred here is highly colonial. Second Life is positioned as a Terra Nullius and this applies layers of colonial meaning and association. (MacCaw 2008)

This opening sentence to Colonial precedent, a section in Carolyn MacCaw’s article Art and (Second) Life: Over the hills and far away?, echoes the same sentiments held by Bowers in his book 8 years earlier Let Them Eat Data: How Computers Affect Education, Cultural Diversity, and the Prospects of Ecological Sustainability.

…the Sim series, like all other educational software, ignore other forms of cultural storage and renewal – such as elder knowledge and the need to develop symbolic forms of expression (music, dance, narrative, ceremony) that do not diminish the processes of Nature… [M]aking decisions that involve the use of modern technologies leaves the students without an understanding of the differences between ecologically appropriate technologies and those that are culturally imperialistic. (Bowers 2000: p138)

While Bowers’ book was concerned with computers in culture and ecological sustainability generally, his analysis of popular education and simulation software of the time offers us useful considerations we can apply to Second Life. Bowers wanted educators to consider a wider range of issues than simply the content designed for relatively narrow learning objectives. He wanted us to critically reflect on the whole experience that is implicit in the content and the interface, including the computer itself. His premise is that the designs and symbolism used to develop such technology and experiences represent a linguistic colonization of the present by the past, which is ultimately an ecologically unsustainable vocabulary.

Ironically, the technology that is proclaimed as revolutionizing the deepest foundations of culture is rooted in this basic misunderstanding of language. This misunderstanding partly accounts for one of the most important oversights of computer-mediated learning: the symbol systems appearing on the screen reproduce the implicit thought patterns of the software programmers. [Where the programmers themselves are evidently unaware of what they are communicating](Bowers 2000: p123)

In the case of Second Life there are the programmers of the platform itself, and then there are the users as programmers of content that is on the platform. Bowers concerns can be extended to both, and it is MacCaw who takes his critical framework to Second Life.

If land is not producing economic value then it is un- or under-utilized. Land and its use value become synonymous with ownership.
Danny Butt in his essay on Local Knowledge (2005) proposes three impassable contradictions, related to settler culture, indigenous culture and location. One of these is mapping – the most basic function of the colonial process – Butt writes, functions by turning a profoundly social relationship with the land characteristic of indigenous culture, into data.
And while the designers of Second Life created a land conveniently without indigenous people, its first owner (the Linden Corporation who establishes initial trading rights for each ‘new’ island) and the Linden inhouse building tools frame the world. I suggest that the way that we construct the formation of culture in this empty land draws upon a colonial model and precedents. The research question that follows from these initial considerations is: is it possible to have new empty land that allows for a different model of colonization, or will older models prevail? And how can we consider art in this relationship? (MacCaw 2008)

And I would suggest that we think about this not just in terms of art. It seems to me that any occupation that is concerned with forms of communication, interpretation and learning should take these thoughts into account as well. Quoting Bowers again:

Storybook Weaver not only encourages the student to make decisions about the storyline, but also about the geographical features on which the story will be situated, as well as the animals, plants and types of buildings that will be part of the visual background… The 650 images and 450 scenery combinations that the program makes available to the student provide for a wide range of imaginative possibilities, and this is where the real problem arises.
What the creators of Storybook Weaver view as the expression of students’ creative imagination can also be viewed as extreme anthropocentrism. Rather than a knowledge of specific ecosystems and cultural traditions (architectural styles, clothes, technologies, and so on) the student’s subjective experience is the basis of learning. (Bowers 2000: p130)

A framework for developing sustainable education using Second Life

Here is a suggested framework to assess possible aspects of sustainability education using Second Life, and inform a process of design and development for education for sustainability.

3 guiding questions from Bowers:

  1. How do we educate teachers and educational software programmers to become more conscious of the cultural assumptions and values reinforced in computer-mediated educational experiences?
  2. Can the software be designed to clarify how certain cultural assumptions and values undermine the convivial and morrally reciprical patterns that characterise more self-reliant communities?
  3. What do students need to understand about the cultural non-neutrality of technology and the difference between imperialistic, environmentally destructive technologies versus those that support local knowledge of environmental possibilities and limits? (Bowers 2000: p139)

While there are several well known projects in Second Life that treat some of the issues mentioned here to do with sustainability, I am yet to find one that attempts to address the full range of issues included in this review (although a combination of some would go close). An educational development using Second Life might consider Bower’s questions and use them as a basis to critique existing content in Second Life, taking what is useful and noting what is evidently missing or counter productive, and then devise an educational experience from that.

Projects in Second Life relating to sustainability issues

References

I have bookmarked to Del.icio.us all writings referenced in this review with the tag word SLENZSUSTAINABILITY

I’m totally gripped by Bowers book, and am now on the hunt for more writing. Why on Earth this reference hasn’t come my way in the past is a really big concern to me! Downes, Seimens, Artichoke! Do you know Chet Bower’s work? This guy deserves a Wikipedia page!

To my initial reading, his work is significant! His message fills this quiet space of concern I have had all along about all this computer mediated networked learning, and the cultural insensitivity it carries in it, not to mention the blind futurism we are all embroiled in. Bower’s book Let Them Eat Data for example, gives a much better voice to the counter arguments, much better than that Andrew Keen fella. Why the hell Keen has a WP article and Bowers does not is another concern…

I have only browsed the introductions in a list of readings he has on his web1 style blog, but they all share this clear and intelligent writing that Bowers has.

I have to get back to reading, just wanted to post now on the chance that someone out there knows his work and has a review for me. I’ll start the WP article soon enough…

I haven’t read a book in ages!

Don’t get me wrong, I used to work in a book shop and spent all those quiet hours reading history, culture, art, design… instead of dusting. I lasted there for a few years too. Good job that was… Anyway, Samuel Mann has recommended a book to me. One to help with this literature review I’m trying to do for sustainability issues relating to the Second Life Education in New Zealand project.

Let Them Eat Data looks to be an excellent read that will be a significant reference to the general question of sustainability relating to computing and the Internet. Take a look at the 2 page 1st Chapter in the Amazon preview!

The specific question relating to Sustainability of Second Life in terms of energy consumption has been opened by Tony Walsh in his Clickable Culture posts such as ‘Second Life’ Avatars Energy-Suckers? and Nicholas Carr in his post: Avatars consume as much electricity as Brazilians. I have found very little on how Second Life’s hardware requirements may be contributing to eWaste, but I think this could be covered again generally, specifics would be good to find though.

Regarding Sustainability projects in Second Life, there are a number of inspiring projects. I covered a few projects in my July post Sustainability design with Second Life as a modeling tool. Since that post I have discovered the Etopia Eco Village project that, “..is a showcase for individuals, organizations and businesses who want to offer goods and services which promote a socially and environmentally sustainable world”.

In the end, I am so far thin in terms of a literature review. I have this book, some in depth blog posts, and some project examples without reviews. If anyone has links I can add to my slenzsustainability tag, I’d greatly appreciate it.

The second Permaculture Design Course will be starting up on 16 October. The first one ran reasonably well. We attracted 9 face to face students and 8 online. Both groups dropped off towards the end, and feedback from the face to face group tells us that Sunday all day for several weeks was not a great thing.

We have a small issue of VERY little money to develop this new course. As a result we can’t really get as much done as we’d like in terms of fully documenting the course and all the handouts online. We also don’t have any money to offer incentive to the teachers to use the technology that supports the course.

Kim Thomas AKA Horty Kim has been doing an excellent job keeping the course together, keeping it developing, promoting it and taking inquiries. I help out on a volunteer basis.

This time we are going to need 15 face to face paid up students to be able to sustain the course on a not for profit basis. It is a shame to face the line this early in the process, and when starting off with so little in terms of seed funding, but if we can bring in 15 students, we should be able to argue for the course to run a 3rd time.

We need time to build the reputation of the course. We need time to build a network of teachers with confidence in the technology that supports the course. It will never be a big money earner in Dunedin – nor should it be. This course is primarily about giving Dunedin people (and people online) access to a field of learning that may turn out to be extremely useful in the years to come. We are keeping the price at rock bottom so as many people can access this course as possible, and Otago Polytechnic can build a reputation in the community.

Online participation is of course welcome, and through the participation of people from many places in the world last time, we made a pretty good start on a Wikibook to support the course, a discussion forum, and quite a few videos – not to mention our first permaculture garden for the Living Campus project.

It was a morning of sustainability information and design in Second Life this morning.

First up, I attended the opening of the Future Green Chatham Home. I was greeted by the very helpful Jojogirl Bailey who I think manages the Etopia sim that hosts the home. Interestingly the model is 1.5 times a 1:1 scale. It is a well detailed design with all features including information notes to help people interpret the design.

Our active solar (photovoltaic) array provides up to 6KWH and, with the wind turbine, reduces electricity consumption from the power grid, making it virtually a net zero user. Instant-on tankless heaters ensure boundless domestic hot water, and they are a backup to the geothermal domestic hot water system. We recycle grey water to use in the rain garden, lessening soil runoff and preserving water. Clerestory windows and skylights allow for maximum daylighting; and, by using Compact Flourescent fixtures throughout, energy usage is negligible.

While waiting for the official opening of the High Performance Home, another Etopia manager named Willie (I think) gave me a Second Life URL to Choose your energy path at Commonwealth (SLURL). It is quite a project! many examples of homes built around solar energies in one space, and then another space built around nuclear, wind, hydro and waste management. There is another space developed to represent issues of global warming and its apparent impacts on polar ice packs. The solar space is presented as the only viable option for a sustainable future and the designs within that space are interesting.

And finally, the good old Big Green Switch (SLURL) where you can obtain dozens of free things for your own SL modeling, such as a wind turbine, solar panels, compost bins, and whole buildings! Its a wonderful resource and innovative project to get information out there to the users of SL. Oh, and you can offset your SL carbon footprint through BGS.

Konrad has put together a charming video of my drawing in Second Life. It really motivates me to want to finish it more. There are lots of little details that need to be added, not to mention interior design, info signage and life sized avatars to ‘wear’ before entering. (I really want to create an avatar for Ivan Illach and Jean Pain). But my SL building skills aren’t very efficient and we’ve run out of ‘prims’ to draw with.

The video captures the general concepts and I had a thought that perhaps the next resident might be willing to approach the interior design? Detail the actual learning spaces following the general stuff I’ve set down, such as it being primarily a family living space that can be used for group learning for all ages, and following permaculture design principles.

Take a look at the video, see if it inspires YOU.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=901800&dest=-1]

It is difficult to over state the significance to me of the experience of using Second Life for drawing and networking my learning about architecture, sustainability, and SL rendering.

The simplicity in learning the drawing tools, coupled with the ability to meet numbers of other people in the actual model who would then discuss and help me build the model was a very potent learning experience.

In this blog, I have hinted on numerous occasions my interest in architecture and spacial design. But up until now, I really haven’t found a way to delve into that interest beyond the confines of the education network I have built around me. Books and websites have always been on a level that is just beyond reach, kind of polished, finished, packed with closure, difficult to imagine myself involved in. Talking with people in the architecture and design profession has always been steeped with seeming ego, dogma and expressed limitations on what I should do and when. And following blogs as been a distant and passive affair.

About a year ago I installed Google Sketchup and started using it to bring some of my pencil drawings to perspective. I have used it a bit to plan the renovations on our house. But Sketchup was only another drawing tool, one that is looked down on by the professionals, and it wasn’t long before I was returning to pencil and paper.

What Second Life has provided me with is an easy to master drawing application, along with an instant and willing number of people who would be there for me, who would look at and discuss my drawings as I did them, and who would share with me links and other information relating to what I was doing for the simple enjoyment of sharing and helping. This has been the part missing for me in my interest to learn more about architecture and design.

Up until this point, I have been alone in my room, drawing in my sketch book, imagining the day when I would meet someone who would genuinely engage with my efforts and share with me their own ideas, and involve me in a project. But that didn’t happen, who was I kidding? If the sketchbooks did come out, it was usually in front of some poor unsuspecting person who really just wanted to finish a day’s work, or didn’t really get what I was on about. Or it was on my poor wife Sunshine, who must of by-now listened to about the 100th repeat of my wide eyed ideas spouting from my yellowing old sketch book.

It doesn’t matter if the ideas I had – or the way I was trying to express them were any good or not.. what I’m talking about is the need we all have for encouragement and motivation to improve on and further our own learning. I could have enrolled in a course and paid a teacher to give me that … attention, but even then it would have felt disingenuous and limited by what that one teacher could muster after 20 years of putting up with it.

Instead, the people in Second Life have given me that attention and motivation. From the moment I created my first ‘prim’ I had someone in there with me, offering encouragement and help. And not just Konrad and Jo either (though their help has been immensly beneficial). It includes a group of fun-loving, miss-behaving people on a Friday night when I was up late burning some midnight oil. It includes a large group of people that came to meet me and hear about my project and discuss it and ask questions. It includes a number of individuals I met and who shared their time, advice, prims, links, scripts and contacts just to see me keep going.

At the very least this all gave me a sense of belonging, or a sense of people being somewhat interested in what I was doing. It took away that feeling of being isolated in my interests – that lonely feeling (real or not) of impossibility in finding anyone local who is interested in combining sustainability, Second Life and community learning ideas, and who has the time to go with me on a project for learning’s sake.

The online network I have, they shared objects with me, gave me links I should look at, and passed on contacts of people they thought I should introduce myself to. These people didn’t know me, but that’s just what they did. I often struggle with the comparison we all have to make with our local experiences. Like the times I have tried to talk to teachers of architecture, or design, or sustainability. It doesn’t take those people long before they are looking at their watches and making a way out of my “bright eyed and bushy taled” enquiries. That common response can be very de-motivating to most people. Such is my common experience in the f2f world.. there is no shortage of people expressing that same feeling in some way or another.

Its not just in SL that I can rave about this contribution to my personal learning. It happens everywhere online, and especially in the areas where there is still a relatively small number of people, or a niche area, or an area where there are values and shared beliefs and interests. The online network around permaculture is also very welcoming and generous. The online network that works on Wikipedia and Wikibooks is often ready to share links and help each other along. Bloggers (from the long tail).. the amount of energy and motivation I can draw on from these networks is quite something. Again, how do we reconsile that with the power down in face to face and local networks?

Is this just another form of over stimulation? Are the luddites right when they dismiss online interaction as unreal or false? In some ways they are right I suppose.. no matter how much energy and imput you can gather from an online network, the effect it can have on your actual life is largely limited to online media.. unless of course your network is also geographically local. But for me, every day I log off, charged with ideas and stories of people out there doing it, I’m back in the local.. its power down time and almost everyone ready to give me a dose of reality. Is this a sensation born of over stimulation.. or is the under stimulation coming back from local networks something to address? Which direction do we take into account here and when?

Anyway, I’m ranting as usual, and am probably entirely incohesive.

This amazing project that Konrad has taken me on boils down to is this:

I have drawn a concept for a building I want to one day build, using Second Life and its communities to draw and develop the model.

I have used numerous online networks to research and inform the model, and this drawing is only one step in many for this long term plan I have. That network has given me the motivation to take it all further.

In the process I have learned a lot about sustainable building, drawing in SL, communicating with online networks beyond my normal peers, and in that I have gained new confidence.

Now I am coming to an end with the VirtualClassroomProject, having reached the limitations of the model in SL Jokaydia, and want to take it further.

I have made numerous attempts to connect with a local group who are developing sustainable building designs, but what was that I said about powering down?

I think it will turn out that I will install the model somewhere more permanently in SL and continue to tweak the model, make variations and details, do a costing analysis for a real build, develop a website for it, and continue to try and find useful contacts who I can work with and possibly take something like this further – no doubt I will find them online… I already have one lead in Melbourne!

In the end, this project has helped me to render my private and two dimensional ideas into a public and socially supportive domain. That has shown me things I might never have come to see, and has certainly given me the motivation to go further with these ideas. It is a step in my personal and professional development that has been well worth it, and I thank Konrad and Jo very much for the opportunity and support. Thanks go out also to the people in Second Life, to the people around the Permaculture network, and the people around the Wikipedia network for their role in carrying my learning. I can only hope they got at least half out of the experience as I did.