Today the IPCC published its 5th report to confirm that by 2100, the average projection for how much warming will occur is expected to be slightly above the 2 degrees C threshold, considered to be the temperature above which it is considered that climate change will damage the global environment: as well as the damage humans and their living and industry are already contributing. Also, the report confirms that there needs to be a carbon budget established, to clearly indicate the amount of greenhouse gas that the climate can cope with. Despite repeated pledges by governments to cut emissions, greenhouse gas output is still rising, which is why Envirodigital is focussing on helping people work out where they can make savings through using digital technologies.
The fifth in the series of influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) reports – has been significantly checked to ensure it doesn’t contain a significant error that could be seized upon by climate sceptics to discredit the research.
This is my speech challenging the arts, culture, and heritage sector to begin to do even more – especially using digital technologies – to encourage a low carbon transition. The speech was recorded at the Culturing Our Creativityevent, held in Edinburgh supported by AmbITion Scotland, Cultural Enterprise Office, Mission Models Money, and Arts&Business Scotland.
The deadline for the Sustainable AmbITion fund is Sunday 29.09.13: if you’re a Scottish creative organisation or practice (charity or social enterprise status) and you have any ideas about how digital technologies, tools or communications could help the challenge, we – all, and the planet – need them!
A huge body of science built up over the last 50 years proves that climate change is anthropogenic: human made. The balance of nature is being significantly affected by the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) humans and their industry have pumped into the atmosphere, and we have simultaneously chopped down the planet’s capacity to absorb the excess CO2. We’ve also exploited to peak points, without properly paying for, the earth’s natural but finite resources. The increase in global temperatures these actions have created affect the balance of nature: causing effects we are all too familiar with. The weather is that effect, operating as an alarm system. We can see it with our own eyes, but we are busy pretending we can not hear the alarm. Our growing population, and the consumerism of our populations is costing us the earth – our habitat.
What have the cultural and creative industries got to do with dealing with this rather appalling predicament? The energy, built environment, and transport sectors obviously have far greater impacts on a nation’s carbon footprint in comparison to the arts, cultural and creative industries. However, just because we are not seen as a significant part of the emissions/pollutant emitting and natural resource using problem, does not mean we should not be a significant player in the solution. We all know climate change is something we need to address.
Watch this case study presented by Envirodigital’s Hannah Rudman: the Screen Machine analyses its carbon emissions and talks about how digital tools have helped this process and how they will support a lower carbon future for the UK’s only mobile cinema which takes movie night to 34 of Scotland’s more remote communities. Supported by digital development programme AmbITion Scotland through the Sustainable AmbITion Fund.
For anyone interested in making cultural shift happen, the annual TED-style for the Creative and Cultural Industries,I’m very excited to be speaking at 2013 Shift Happens V – I’ve spoken at 2 previous Shifts, and this year’s line up seems to embody the very notion of Shift: asking thought leaders from at a wide range of spheres to show and provoke thinking and action in how shift can happen in the arts, culture and heritage sector.
Shift Happens V – Where V is for Visioning… will be held at York Theatre Royal on Mon 8 July 2013. The conference will play host to international speakers who will present ideas and give provocations in a format inspired by the world renowned TED conferences.
Now in its 5th year, Shift Happens will be focusing on the challenges and opportunities for The Arts / Technology / Education / Museums and Heritage sectors.
I’ll be focussing on how digital technologies and the arts can be blended to help achieve better environmental sustainability. Book here! Shift Happens, is the place to be on 08.07.13. Hannah Rudman is one of the speakers.
Watch the masterclass sessions to get an insight into some of the issues and opportunities raised by digital (or self) publishing. Whether you’re a reader, writer, author, publisher, or professional who creates or curates written work in the creative, cultural and heritage sector, you’ll be able to explore the emerging potential of using digital publishing tools to enable your written and literary output to have increased global reach, access, impact and scale, without so much carbon footprint impact.
Envirodigital‘s CO2 Savings Account App is now a demonstrable proof of concept, thanks to the work of two Edinburgh Napier University students: Phillip Scott and Daniel Cairns. The demonstrator of the app, which adds further functionality to the widget piloted by Envirodigital last year, is based around a database and modular web service all on the cloud.
For an overview of the app, watch this 2 minute video:
Over the summer, the demonstrator was developed by Phill with Dan’s support to be ready and live for 31st August: the finals day of the national SME Enviro App competition, following the selection of the Envirodigital’s CO2 Savings Account App idea down to the last five. Hannah Rudman of Rudman Consulting, the parent company of Envirodigital branded projects, fronted and led the student team, which was supported by Dr. Neil Urquart and Sally Smith of the School of Computing. The team presented to the high profile judges as well as to a wider public, which included representatives from the Scottish Government.
Although the demonstrator app did not win the SME Enviro App competition, the comments and connections from the judges were very positive. Ian Marchant, CEO of SSE and chair of the judging panel, praised the app’s ability to profile previously hidden CO2 savings; and SEPA, supporters of the competition provided internal and external connections to companies such as Cisco, BT, and Microsoft (who played host to the finals day in Edinburgh).
Hannah Rudman said: “This is great example of successful knowledge exchange between the professional and academic sectors. I could not have produced a working demonstrator of my idea without the support of the Edinburgh Napier team, and through their association with Rudman Consulting and Envirodigital, the Napier students now have experience of presenting at a high profile competition, and of building a demonstrator, which worked even during the most stressful of tests – the live presentation of it to the public! I’m really grateful to the team, and hope that the benefit of the working demonstrator will attract further interest in the app.”
For more information, or to discuss supporting the further development of the app, please email Hannah Rudman.
Creative Scottish organisations with ambitions to become more environmentally sustainable through digital technologies can apply for newly available Make:IT:Happen funding to AmbITion Scotland, which supports Scottish arts, culture, and heritage organisations to grasp the opportunities offered by digital technologies. AmbITion Scotland is investing over £400,000 of National Lottery funds provided by Creative Scotland in strategic digital development and Scotland’s arts, culture and heritage organisations are invited to apply for investment to capitalise on opportunities presented by digital technologies.
The Make:IT:Happen fund is part of the national digital development programme that Envirodigital parent company Rudman Consulting has designed and delivers with Culture Sparks, AmbITion Scotland: and has been created to help organisations to grasp the opportunities presented by digital technologies in order to grow business capability, capacity, creativity, and confidence in these areas. Make:IT:Happen funding offers support through four digital investment strands:
AmbITion Approach (up to £5,000) supports organisations during the early stages of their digital development by providing an external specialist to help them assess and develop a wide-reaching strategy for organisational change.
Digital Content Development (£500-£10,000) gives organisations the opportunity to enhance their digital development activity through the creation, or better use of digital content
Organisational Development (£500-£10,000) supports organisations to take advantage of digital technologies to grow their businesses, develop ideas and improve operational capacity.
Sustainable AmbITion (£500 – £5,000) supports organisations to be carbon-aware and improve their green credentials through funding new digital technologies or approaches.
Make:IT:Happen funding can be used to support a project in its entirety or to augment a bigger digital ambition. Funds are available to not for profit arts, culture and heritage groups and organisations with relatively little or no digital knowledge/experience as well as well as to those that have some competence with digital projects, but limited resources.
Hannah Rudman, Lead Consultant, AmbITion Scotland said: “The Make:IT:Happen funding strands have been specifically designed to support organisations adapt to the social, cultural, economic and environmental changes that the digital technology revolution is driving. Given the successes that have already been achieved through AmbITion Scotland’s work in this area with some of Scotland’s creative community, we’re looking forward to continuing an inspiring and rewarding digital journey.”
The Make:IT:Happen fund has evolved out of the work that AmbITion Scotland has undertaken since its inception on 2009. During that time, the project has enabled many organisations, large and small, digitally sophisticated as well as digital newcomers, to develop their businesses through opportunities offered by digital technologies.
The headline bandwidth figures are 40-80Mbs for 80-95% of Scotland’s premises by 2020, with the best connections physically possible pledged for rural areas. (Update 07.06.12) I’ve just heard first person Infrastructure Minister Alex Neil announce that £250m will be invested in the next 3 years in rural and remote broadband – mainly in the highlands and islands. The government expects the private sector to match that, investing c. £250m in urban areas. Fibre optic cable will be dug into the landscape of the Highlands and Islands to provide a substantial uplift to rural and remote bandwidth, although it might not reach 40mb. The government is also making a seed fund available – opening this month – of £5m for communities that want to scale up their broadband now, through community and local initiatives ahead of the roll-out of the national programme.
(Its interesting that there are over 3000 community projects running in Sweden in the countryside – “Fibre to the Farm” involves each community member pledging that they will dig their own trenches/create overhead cable carriers from their house or farm to the road: the provider then comes and puts the cable ducts and fibre in the roads, each participant pays €3-4k one-off connection fee. Sweden are also pushing for 50% of usage of their bigger bandwidth broadband to be used by community and citizen services – healthcare digital visits, e-school, etc.)
Next Generation technology opportunities:
Scotland can be THE Destination for clean, green, data centres – we have the natural environment to deliver this.
The business sector of Scotland will be able to move wholescale to the cloud with all services (delivery of e-services, taking e-payments, operational infrastructure systems). This is great news – I currently can’t advise highland and island organisations to move onto the cloud business critical services like e-payments as the satellite bandwidth is too slow, and latency issues with payment systems are a security risk. Cloud computing is also greener as clients can be thinner and organisations don’t need to upkeep servers on site.
Savings for households as they find it easier to shop online and find the best deals.
Different job opportunities. For example, Apple in Ireland employ call centre support staff who are homeworkers based in rural and remote locations: the essential advertised job criteria includes that you can prove you have min spec 5mb down, 1 mb up. Amazon’s criteria for remote and rural workers is 4mb down.
Faster trades and faster online gaming: real-time trading in Scotland will be possible without latency, with better ping times – meaning more auctions, games and trades won.
Less latency also means a better user experience with VoIP, teleconferencing and live streaming services, meaning more people will become comfortable with using them, and they’ll become a normal method of undertaking a meeting, event or training session.
Different job opportunities and better business connectivity means that service businesses can be set up wherever, and people can work from wherever, hopefully meaning less rural population decline, as well as far greener working practices with demand for less business travel and commuting.