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The Casio Challenge

With every new year we tend to assess the many facets of our lives and focus on the things that are not working. This seems to be common with every passing year, so I decided to see how I could curb the amount of time I spent staring into my phone. Even as I write this, I have already been interrupted by the urge to check it.

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Ever dream of shaping the world into a better place? You go looking for a blog about design and sustainability only to find zilch, you feel like a sucker so you go back to just not having dreams? Yeah, it happens to the best of us.

Blogs are a great starting point for staying on top of new sustainability technology, design thinking and innovations…that is IF you can find a good one.

Having to sift through countless lame blogs before finding “the one” can be a huge pain in the keister. Never fear: I have collected 10 sustainable design blogs that I think you’ll love (or at least like).

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Three months ago we proudly launched Serving.Green, our web initiative designed to highlight the impact that the internet has on the environment, and what we can all do to reduce that impact.

Now that the dust has settled a bit, I’d like to say a few words about what we did—from a development standpoint—to make the site as efficient as we could given our design objectives. I’ll be the first to admit that even more could be done, either by sacrificing some parts of the experience or by using techniques of which I’m not yet aware, but below are a few important tips and tricks that we can all do to make our websites more efficient. If you want to reach a digital green Nirvana, this will get you on your path.

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clouds

The year 2016 was a year of forward motion for us at Manoverboard. We made great strides in our work, creating new strategies, sites, and identities for clients that are helping to solve some of the planet’s most challenging issues.

As a Certified B Corporation, we also made strides in conceptualizing, concretizing, and describing our social and environmental impact.

Like any small not-only-for-profit, there are challenges in creating and measuring that impact. We are not strictly a social enterprise, which typically provides opportunities to vulnerable or disenfranchised populations. We are also not a social impact firm in which our work directly influences the lives and livelihoods of the poor and economically disadvantaged. And we are not (yet) directly developing new solutions in the green economy, though we are strong advocates and users of sustainable technologies. Fundamentally, Manoverboard is a professional services firm and we have three direct means of creating and measuring positive impact.

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Designers and Despotism

ministry of science and culture

A number of designers have recently posted their thoughts about how we should respond to the potential emergence of autocracy. Mike Monteiro’s piece is particularly ranty and, as expected, simply great. My colleague, Spark Poster, wrote a Canadian-focused and thoughtful response.

As the founder of a design and communications firm and someone who is active in the design community, I put together a few ground rules for protecting ourselves and advancing movements. In the mid-1990s, I lived in Poland for a year and came to understand how traumatic Soviet and National Socialist domination was for that country. It had only been a short while since Poland had emerged from 55 years of totalitarian rule and the scars and stories were still very real. And designers and artists throughout Eastern Europe bore some of the brunt of the state. Many went to jail. (Sadly, Poland and parts of Europe are again undergoing a shift toward authoritarianism.)

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