At a study site in Kasigau, Kenya, subsistence farmers scratch out a living on dry, nutrient-depleted soil. The small farms, called shambas, rely on rain and methods in use since the beginning of agriculture to produce corn, lentils and cowpeas.
Wildlife —from elephants to monkeys and small antelope — raid these crops. By doing so, they take food off farmers’ tables or, in extreme cases, cost a grower his or her livelihood for a full season.
The problem and the basic solution are ancient. Farmers plant crops, animals raid them, and farmers put up scarecrows to frighten off the marauders. Now, researchers are combining common technologies with insight into animal behavior to update the ancient scarecrow in the hopes of helping the most vulnerable of growers.
Interesting green technology from a group of engineers and business students from George Mason University.
EcoMow is a small self-fueled mower and grass pellet harvester. It uses the grassy biomass that it harvests as fuel, and processes the biomass that it does not use into a dried pellet form which can be used for other applications such as heating or power generation.
“I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run.”—Henry David Thoreau #quote
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”—
Telling powerful stories calls for deeper authenticity from brands. But those proving their commitment to a more just and sustainable world are gaining more traction for their stories.
Another advantage of these stories is they can guide us into a deeper sense of our values, transforming our brands as we work to live up to our stories. This journey to deeper authenticity, incidentally, makes for great viral story fodder and has built sensational amounts of loyalty for brands such as Patagonia.
Perhaps, one day, Google’s algorithm will guarantee us all brand loyalty at the push of a button. Until then, the ancient art of storytelling offers our clearest path to success
“The wise leader’s ability does not rest on techniques or gimmicks or set exercises. The method of awareness-of-process applies to all people and all situations. The leader’s personal state of consciousness creates a climate of openness. Center and ground give the leader stability, flexibility and endurance. Because the leader sees clearly, the leader can shed light on others.”—John Heider