Brightening Our Corner Newsletter - February 2021
March 01, 2021 at 04:30 AM EST
Quarterly Newsletter from the Ray C. Anderson Foundation
SOURCE: Ray C. Anderson FoundationSUMMARY:
The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has published its quarterly newsletter. Ray Anderson always said, "Brighten the Corner Where You Are."DESCRIPTION:
Blair Beasley Joins the Foundation Staff
We are thrilled to welcome Blair Beasley to the Foundation staff. Blair is our new director of climate strategies. She's certainly not a stranger to the Foundation, having first worked with us as a consultant for the Georgia Climate Project, followed by 18 months of leadership on the core research team for Drawdown Georgia. Welcome Blair! Read her bio here.
Updates from the Ray C. Anderson Center
Better World MBA Ranking
Sustainability Fellows and Ambassadors
Business, Environment and Society Speaker Series
The Ray X Southwire
To close out the year, Southwire made a $10,000 match contribution to The Ray for Georgia Gives Day 2020, securing a record-breaking year in contributions for The Ray’s Georgia Gives fundraising campaign. The donation launched a larger, ongoing partnership between the organizations to continue their sustainability goals and find innovative solutions to power the nation’s transmission grid and distribution of renewable energy.
By 2030, a projected 18.7 million electric vehicles (EVs) will be on U.S. roads, and our current electricity grid is underpowered to meet the demand. Expanding the grid is challenging, but we have two opportunities to utilize publicly owned interstate right-of-way (ROW) by installing renewable energy infrastructure. Read more.
The Ray Featured in Infrastructure Op-Ed
The Ray’s director of strategic partnerships Laura Rogers, alongside former Deputy Secretary of US DOT John Porcari and president of Generate Capital Jigar Shah, penned an opinion editorial highlighting the missing piece in America’s energy puzzle: High voltage direct current transmission, or HVDC, installed underground alongside America’s roads and highways. Buried HVDC grid lines would give the U.S. the ability to utilize and interconnect resources like solar, wind, geothermal and battery storage across the country. HVDC is the largest “dig-ready” project to decarbonize America’s economy - and make it more secure and resilient.
The Ray's Landscape Lab at Exit 6
In January, Georgia DOT, The Ray and the University of Georgia’s College of Environment + Design broke ground on Phase 2 of the meadow-research plantings at the Exit 6 median alongside I-85’s northbound lanes. This latest phase of the project, led by The Ray’s landscape design and research fellow, Matthew Quirey, is an expansion of ongoing research at The Ray’s Landscape Lab, which broke ground on its first phase a year ago. The new research site consists of nine plots, with three different installation methods. The Landscape Lab is a proving ground for the beautification and land utilization possible on our interstate roadsides. It will lead to more efficient use of resources, provide environmental benefits, and have the scalability to be used broadly across Georgia and with other state DOTs.
From Butterfly Wings to Shrimp Claws: Mimicking Nature on the Nanoscale
Reprinted from an Environmental Health News article that featured four Ray of Hope Prize Finalist Teams.
Holding it between her thumb and forefinger, she gives the vial a gentle shake, and the material inside turns from shimmering blues to greens.
"This is what happens in butterfly wings," the petite Shirman, lifting her voice over the roar of a lab fume hood, told EHN. "The spectrum of colors changes from the structures in the wings at the nanoscale," that is, a scale hundreds of thousands of times smaller than the head of a pin.
Shirman, vice president of materials design at the Boston-based startup Metalmark Innovations, is referring to the concept of structural color found in nature—such as in butterfly wings, bird feathers, beetles, berries, and the sky. Read the full story.
Biomimicry Global Design Challenge: Entries Due April 30th
The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge calls for design concepts addressing any issue(s) outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals. We know that the SDGs are vast and expand across many subject areas, but this diversity means there are also just as many solutions out there waiting to be discovered. Successful teams will define a concrete, well researched area of focus for their design efforts and apply the core concepts and methods of biomimicry in developing a solution. We are especially interested in projects that go beyond familiar approaches by identifying unique leverage points for change, removing barriers to the adoption and spread of existing solutions, and/or clearly demonstrating how biomimicry can lead to new, novel, or more effective solutions. Learn more.
Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge: Deadline is March 1st
The Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge (YDC) is a hands-on, project-based learning experience that provides classroom and informal educators with an engaging framework to introduce bio-inspired design and an interdisciplinary lens on science, engineering, and environmental literacy. It gives middle and high school students a unique STEM experience and empowers them to envision solutions to social and environmental challenges. Click here for more information. Have You Seen the Drawdown Georgia Blog? Drawdown Georgia officially launched in October, and the engagement opportunities continue to emerge across the state, from speakers to webinars, upcoming conferences and a weekly blog.
Ecocentricity Blog: The Ethics of Environmentalism
By: John A. Lanier
If you wish everyone would compost their food waste to help mitigate climate change, then you should compost. If you wish everyone would refuse plastic straws to help keep them out of the oceans, then you should refuse plastic straws.
I just binged the heck out of The Good Place (thanks for the recommendation Whitney!). It’s an NBC comedy starring Kristen Bell, with the plot centered on four humans who have died and are now experiencing the afterlife. As the name implies, there is a “good place” and a “bad place,” roughly heaven and hell by common understanding, but without any adherence to a particular faith tradition. Much of the comedy is situational, but there is a detailed (if winding) plot with solid character development. I enjoyed it for multiple reasons, and the finale even twanged a few of my heart strings.
For my purposes here though, I want to touch on the constant refrain of ethics and moral philosophy throughout the show. Much like The Big Bang Theory takes highly complex scientific principles and bakes them into 22 minutes of showtime, The Good Place does the same with highly complex ethical theory. For instance, the show explores concepts like the ethics of lying and moral relativism. Such topics are highly appealing to your friendly neighborhood nerd on this side of the keyboard! Read the full blog.
Georgia Climate Project:
Business, Environment and Society Speaker Series:
Burt Fealing, Southwire (Virtual) - 4/6/2021
WATCH AND LISTEN
Tweet me: Ray Anderson always said, "Brighten the corner where you are." This quarterly newsletter highlights news from the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and its key funding initiatives; @GT_ACSB @BiomimicryInst @drawdownga @TheRayHighway http://bit.ly/3r0TgDh
KEYWORDS: Ray C. Anderson Foundation, Biomimicry Institute, The Ray, Drawdown Georgia