News

Newsletters

SMOG Book Project

Emerald Group Publishing have agreed to publish a book from papers submitted for the Inaugural SMOG Conference to be held in Italy in July 2009. Selected successful papers will be chosen after 1st June 2009 for possible inclusion in the book.

The editors of the book will be Professor Amanda Ball, Professor Guiseppe Farneti and Professor James Guthrie.

Recent News in the Media: Casting call for YouTubers: $25k for green ideas

The X Prize Foundation, the same organization behind the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize to send private vehicles to the moon, said Tuesday that it has put together an eco challenge for YouTubers called "What's your crazy green idea?" Dream up a world-changing idea to stop global warming, post a two-minute YouTube video about it, and it could be worth $25,000.

That's a paltry sum compared to the $10 million at stake for the X Prize's upcoming Automotive X Prize for energy-efficient vehicles. But the X Prize's goal with the YouTube contest is to drum up ideas from the general public for its next big Energy and Environment Challenge, which would potentially be worth millions to the people who implement the idea. For now, venture firm Prize Capital has staked $25,000 for a concept alone.

The X Prize Foundation is behind the $10 million Archon X Prize for Genomics and the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize to build a moon vehicle that can surf over lunar rocks. The YouTube contest is one of its first smaller-scale contests to seed a larger challenge, but it fits in with a broader investment theme of the environment. The foundation is scouting for breakthroughs in clean fuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, carbon reduction, and sustainable housing.

The video contest was announced Tuesday at a forum with Massachusetts Institute of Technology called "Seeking Radical Breakthroughs in Alternative Energy--What I Would Advise the Next President." The X Prize group teamed with MIT to host a fall lab class for students to come up with ideas on energy and environment challenges. Last semester, the same idea focused on health care resulted in a student idea for a tuberculosis diagnostics X Prize competition to help save 1.6 million lives per year.

But you don't have to attend MIT to think of an environmental prize. For the YouTube contest, people must submit their ideas to the Google-owned site before October 31. The three best will then be posted on the X Prize Web site on November 15, and the public can vote for the most outstanding within two weeks.

The guidelines are to answer three questions: What is the worldwide problem that you are trying to solve?; what is the specific prize idea, with rules and judging criteria?; and how will it benefit humanity?

University of Sydney Sustainability Forum

A round table workshop organised by the Sustainable Management of Organisations Group (SMOG) held on Tuesday 5th August at 2.30pm in the Darlington Centre.

The discussion was based around a series of five minute outlines of University of Sydney Sustainability Initiatives.

The objectives were to exchange information and enable collegiate consideration of the role of the business disciplines in the University's response to the global sustainability agenda. Kate Grenot was employed by The University of Sydney as a consultant for the past 6 months to pull together all the various strands of sustainability research, teaching and administration under the one umbrella. When SMOG, had decided to focus their first seminar on what was happening within the university, this tied in with Kate's ongoing work, which saw her co-chair the forum.

Professor James Guthrie indicated another forum will be held soon for SMOG members to discuss how SMOG can collaborate with the wider Sydney University community.

Speakers included Bob Kotic (Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor), Charlie Benrimoj (Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Planning)), Terry Daly (Director Capital Development), and Andrew Black (Team Leader Sustainability Research Office). The Vice Chancellor, the Provost, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Community) and the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), were also in attendance.

Launch of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions

The Institute for Sustainable Solutions was launched on Monday 7th July 2008. It aims to harness the substantial intellect, imagination and research infrastructure available across the University, from cutting-edge technology to sophisticated economic analysis and policy research frameworks.

The Institute for Sustainable Solutions at the University of Sydney will be a focal point for outstanding research about such issues, providing new ways of thinking about solutions. Its research will have a strong community focus and will guide our teaching of the next generation of students.

The Institute will bring together some of the world's leading thinkers, researchers and educators in disciplines such as renewable energy, climate change, population growth, health, food and energy security. Many experts are already working at the University of Sydney.

Funded by a multi-million dollar endowment from the University and philanthropic donations, the Institute will make a significant contribution to the challenges of sustainability, both within the University and especially beyond - to the industries, government groups, scientific organisations and others in the community seeking strategies for a more sustainable world. Universities that have strong and highly sophisticated research capacities can make a major contribution by bringing together disparate disciplines to tackle these complex problems and devise and encourage new, multi-dimensional solutions.

For more information visit the Institute for Sustainable Solutions

Launch of the CSIRO Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship

The flagship program covers the following four broad themes:

Research themes

The four research themes within the Climate Adaptation Flagship are as follows:

  1. Pathways to adaptation
  2. Sustainable cities and coasts
  3. Managing species and natural ecosystems
  4. Adaptive primary industries, enterprises and communities

For further details visit, Climate Adaptation Flagship

Competition

2008 Page Prize for Environmental Sustainability

The Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina is honored to announce the inauguration of the Dr. Alfred N. and Lynn Manos Page Prize for Sustainability Issues in Business Curricula. The Page Prize will have two purposes: to encourage efforts to expose business students to state-of-the-art environmental sustainability knowledge and to demonstrate the Moore School's commitment to promoting sustainability in business education. The school will house an associated national and international database on high-quality teaching/curricular materials related to environmental sustainability.

Who may submit:

Faculty, doctoral students, and others are invited to submit non-published materials related to innovative curricula (program design and core components), courses (including full syllabi) and/or substantial course components (e.g., case materials, simulations, and course segments) appropriate for rigorous and relevant teaching about environmental sustainability and business. Submissions must be original and made with the full consent of all authors for free public access to the submitted materials for use in business education anywhere in the world.

Awards:

Two Page Prizes will be awarded each year, beginning in the fall of 2008. One prize will honor the best submission from faculty in the United States; the second will be awarded to the best submission from faculty at an overseas institution. University of South Carolina faculty may not compete for the Page Prize. Initial prizes will be $1000 each. Each category will also feature honorable mention prizes. Deadline for submission is October 31, 2008.

Additional information is available at: Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina

Regards, Rebecca Walker Naylor, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, rnaylor@moore.sc.edu

Tourism Australia To Undertake Business Events Audit

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has announced Tourism Australia will undertake a major national audit of the business events sector as part of its commitment to promoting Australia as a sustainable business events destination.

Minister Ferguson said that with the opening of the first 6-Star Green Star environmental rated Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in 2009, there was a tremendous opportunity to market Australia's strength in this area.

"The corporate social responsibility (CSR) audit will demonstrate Australia takes the issue of sustainable tourism seriously and provide proof of the milestones being reached across the sector." Minister Ferguson said.

The audit will assess the sustainable credentials of tourism operators in the business events industry and give hotels, venues, attractions, special event companies, and other operators an opportunity to showcase their green initiatives in Tourism Australia's global marketing.

Minister Ferguson said: "In order to recognise the sector's significant and growing contribution to the Australian tourism industry, Tourism Australia launched its Business Events Australia brand earlier this year, with a commitment to sustainability being a core tenant of this brand. The audit will play an important role in strengthening Australia's global reputation in delivering world-class, sustainable business events". Sustainability is known to be a critical drawcard for visitors from Australia's emerging markets of China and South Korea. "This is a terrific opportunity for the Australian business events industry to highlight their expertise, products, and commitment to sustainability and I encourage all operators in the business events industry to take part".

The audit, comprised of an on-line questionnaire, will be distributed to registered industry participants today. A full report is expected to be completed in coming months and results will be used to bolster Tourism Australia's future business events trade marketing programs.

Organisations which have assisted in developing the audit include Qantas, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Bridge Climb, Hayman Island, Great Southern E-vents and Encore BT. For more information or to register to participate in the CSR audit, email Business Events Australia or visit Tourism Australia

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744

Update on LWA Climate Change Adaptation Primary Industry Theme Proposal

The University of Sydney have been waiting for a response from the NCCARF to the LWA climate change adaptation research network proposal for the primary industry theme.

An e-mail was received recently from LWA explaining that the facility (Griffith University the facility hosting the national climate change research network) had some questions pertaining to the application. LWA are preparing a detailed response and rebuttal document addressing the various points made by the facility pertaining to the application.

There were some key points which are applicable to The University of Sydney:

  • The facility wanted to see specific initiative to foster research. Capacity building through scholarships and postgraduate training. The University can obviously have a great deal of input into this area.
  • The facility thought the monetary request was too high and has suggested a reduction in funding and possibly duration (from 5 to 4 years). LWA appears to be pushing against this.

If you have any projects that are currently in action or have had grant approval pertaining to climate change topics and the animal primary industries, please send details including - project title, researchers involved, funding body sponsors and a paragraph description the project to Dr Gary Muscatello.

If anyone wants to discuss the LWA rebuttal or want to view the facilities comments please speak to Gary in JD Stewart Building, B01,Room 212, Lecturer in Applied Animal Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney 2006, Ph: +61 2 9351 5074

Other News

Some people at ANU are trying to get a new discipline up called 'Integration and Implementation Sciences' (I2S). The basic idea is that cross disciplinary research is becoming the norm, but incredibly difficult for a number of reasons (hostility, difficulty and questions regarding integrating disciplinary perspectives, difficulty in establishing criteria for cross-disciplinary research, competing models of how to do it, i.e multi-, inter- or Tran disciplinary). The purpose of the new I2S discipline is to create a body of work addressing these problems and come up with some ways to manage them, to provide a framework for more effective cross-disciplinary research outcomes.

Its led by a Prof Gabriele Bammer - an epidemiologist who came up with the idea after running a series of ARC projects in which (this is her description) she realised that she wasn't really acting as an epidemiologist anymore but as 'research integrator'.

They do have some ARC and ANU funds, a couple of research staff, and publications underway. They are mostly at the stage of defining the problem rather than giving answers, but it's interesting that someone is doing this head-on nonetheless.

I thought it sounds exactly like the sort of issues you would be dealing with in SMOG. Maybe you might be interested in having a look at what they are doing.

From what they were saying they would be keen to hear from others doing similar things. Visit ANU's website