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POLAND: Business strategy for an architecture studio in Warsaw

Organizer: Joanna Krawczyk

In Warsaw, Poland, the Pyramid method was employed as a way to apply concepts from sustainable development to the strategic decisions of a small architecture studio. The problems that they were facing had to do with the negative impact of architecture solutions on the environment, unreliable contractors, lack of private customers, low trust in the local government, fatigue and lack of efficiency among employees.

In the analysis process the participants enumerated 4 key targets for the development of an enterprise in the construction sector:

  1. Nature – high quality of local environment;
  2. Economy – profit;
  3. Society – positive relations with the stakeholders;
  4. Well-being – satisfaction.

To meet those tagrets the company should concentrate on:

  1. Nature – investment in intellectual capital and know-how of employees in the field of sustainable methods of construction to turn the company into a local leader in this field. It will allow to increase the market advantage while improving the state of local environment;
  2. Economy – networking done by employers and employees to gain new customers and improve relations with the existing ones;
  3. Society – the level of trust in the business surrounding of the company is low. In order to increase it the company will elaborate an ethics code;
  4. Well-being – in order to avoid working overtime the company strives to improve efficiency of work of its employees, it will enable them to work flexi time.

Overall this was a success, while the atmosphere was “relaxed, but focused on the main topics of the workshop”.

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INDIA: Many Pyramids built by Habsut International

Organizers: Vineet Chhatria and the Habsut team

Habsut International is an NGO that “advocates Sustainable Habitat & Sustainability with a practical approach in context of the ultimate environment surrounding us.” Coordinator Vineet Chhatria has been traveling around South Asia for weeks now, doing Pyramid 2012 workshops seemingly wherever he goes — and usually creating several of them in the process, as this photo from Kathmandu illustrates.

The Habsut Pyramid 2012 workshops — in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh — are exploring a wide range of issues, including the Rise of Urbanization, Education in India, Health & Sanitation, and other topics of importance to South Asian youth. They also managed to get their series of Pyramid workshops featured on the UN-HABITAT sponsored website “I’m a City-Changer” (http://www.imacitychanger.org/).

The Habsut Facebook page is also lively:  http://www.facebook.com/HabsutInternational.

We are not really sure here at Pyramid 2012 campaign headquarters, exactly how many Pyramids Vineet and his team have done now as part of Pyramid 2012 … but they seem to have done the most so far! Congratulations to Habsut!

Pyramid 2012 at the crossroads

On the 31st of March the Pyramid 2012 campaign officially ended.  We had set this deadline for organizing and reporting on a workshop, because we wanted to have sufficient time to prepare a global report and publicize it well ahead of the UN Rio+20 conference.

However, nearly two weeks later, we are still receiving reports, uploading stories on our website, and learning about completed Pyramids that we hadn’t even expected, or new ones that are planned for the end of April. We have been overwhelmed, and so gratified, by the response so far! To all of you who dedicated your time and energy to make Pyramid 2012 a reality, THANK YOU!

The question now is: Do we stop? Or do we go on?

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TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Sea Turtle Conservation in Charlotteville

Organizers: Adana Mahase-Gibson & Keith Gibson

“Who knew sea turtles were so connected? We tend to look at local issues affecting the turtles when they are on our beach – overharvesting, beach erosion, lack of enforcement of laws etc. We sometimes forget that saving that nesting beach is just one part of the turtles’ story, and of ours.”

From Charlotteville, Tobago, where a group of representatives of environmental NGOs and eco-tourism businesses met to discuss sea turtle conservation, we received a very detailed and interesting account of the Pyramid workshop, that we would like to present here in full.

“The main outcome of our workshop was to see sea turtle conservation as a ‘capstone’ at the top of a wider environmental pyramid of sustainability issues in our country. The Pyramid process provided additional justification for ongoing projects and has inspired us to consider several new projects in our respective organisations.”

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POLAND: Faculty of Management and Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, Łódź

Organizer: Agata Rudnicka

Click here for the full photo album »

“What are the first steps that need to be taken in order to make our city more sustainable?” Students from the Faculty of Management and the Faculty of Biology and Environmental protection in the Polish city of Łódź addressed this question by building not one, but two Pyramids!

As always, first they looked at the current problems: bad infrastructure, obsolete technologies, high use of water and resources, low ecological awareness, unemployment. Bureaucratic barriers and old patterns of behaviour were some of the underlying causes that they named. Envisioning what needs to be done was a pleasant part of the exercises and many ideas where vehiculated, from involving the residents into defining the future of their city, to stronger cooperation between businesses and academia. However, in the end they had to choose the most urgent solution: “facilitating entrepreneurship development and promotion of the city, both by public authorities and NGOs, students and residents themselves.”

A positive experience, overall, as “students were highly involved in the discussion and the process of pyramid building”. Thank you, Lodz!

INDIA: Sustainable Solutions to the Problem of Hunger – Part II

Organizers: Anshuman Sharma and Vidya Kishnamurthi

After the positive experience with their first Pyramid workshop in New Delhi, Gene Campaign decided to organize a second one with a different group. Here is what they report:

“Seven exciting and enthusiastic students came together to address the issue of hunger in the country from various Universities and Institutes in Delhi, India. The group had a discussion covering long term trends and interlinking and interdependent causes on both at micro and macro scale respectively. Such as wastage of food by people in restaurants or in parties, farmers giving up agriculture and migrating to city as a labour force, influx of refugees adding burden to as it highly populated country.

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PHILIPPINES: Still Manila, Different Topic

Organizers: Mariella and Bianca

Continuing the series of reports from the International School Manila, the Philippines, we will now briefly share the story of a group that tackled the topic of “Biodiversity and Ecosystems Loss”

They started by defining some visions for each side of the sustainability compass. Next the group defined indicators and tried to create a behaviour graph for each of these, in order to reveal the underlying trends. For instance, they plotted the past and present situation, as well as their future projections for deforestation (see more details here.

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INDIA: Pyramid for Sustainable Solutions to the Problem of Hunger

Posted by organizers: Anshuman Sharma and Vidya Kishnamurthi

In India, Gene Campaign recognized the problem of hunger in the country and decided to organise the Pyramid workshop on the theme of ‘Sustainable Solutions to the Problem of Hunger’. Despite Government’s efforts and policy interventions to eradicate hunger from the country, India has some of the highest rates of malnutrition and stunting in the world. To bring attention to this subject there is an urgent need to come with a sustainable approach to the problem of Hunger.

We decided to work with youth and announced our first workshop of building Sustainability Pyramid. A young group of 15 students from various colleges and institutes across Delhi, India came forward to be a part of the discussion.

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