Schools in the Cloud

An insightful talk by Professor of educational technology at Newcastle UniversitySugata Mitra on the legacy and shortcomings of an empire driven educational system and how his “hole in the wall” experiments compelled him to develop a new method of education.

It’s quite fashionable to say that the educational system is broken. It’s not broken. It’s wonderfully constructed. It’s just that we don’t need it anymore.

– Sugata Mitra

Book Review: Small is Possible

Book Review: Small is Possible

Small Is Possible: Summarized.

2013-06-21 12.50.21Is a self sufficient local economy really possible?  It’s the question that led to the publishing of Lyle Estill’s 2008 book, Small is Possible; Life In a Local Economy.

I found it to be an easy but insightful read into the politics, struggles, and rewards of a group of North Carolina residents trying to live local.  The book is divided into two parts with the first, “Funky Town” providing some background and context to the authors experiences and beliefs.  The second part, titled “Homegrown” is Estill’s practical explanation and examples of how they’ve done it, or would.
It is this section of the book that I found most helpful in starting to think of ways to not only live and purchase locally, but it shows how one might begin to think about the types of businesses (and investments) that would be necessary for a community to replace it’s dependence on imported goods and services.

At 216 pages, with 16 chapters the material is easily digestible and well worth the time…even if you (like me) don’t agree with all of the author’s ideas.

Check it out at your local library or purchase it here: Small is Possible: Life in a Local Economy

Book Review: Small is Possible

Brookfield Sells Longview Fiber and Timber Holdings

BrookfieldEarlier this week Brookfield Asset Management announced the sale of two of it’s Northwest assets; Longview Fiber and 645,000 acres of timber.

In 2007 they purchased Longview Fiber and it’s assets for $2.15 billion.  Over the last 6 years they restructured the manufacturing business and separated the timber holdings culminating in 2 concurrent but unrelated sales this week to Weyerahauser (645,000 acres of Northwest timber for $2.65 billion ) and KapStone Paper and Packaging (the manufacturing business for $1.025 billion).

The deals are interesting in that they involve regional companies (Longview Fiber and Weyerhauser) and significant timber sale from a company (Brookfield) that has been very adept at profitably acquiring and selling assets of this type.

Only time will tell who made the wiser decision.

The Brookfield Press Release