Tag Archives: Bandana Singh

What’s a post about environmental capital have to do with Art?

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Finally here is the interview that I had with Manu Sharma from the Natural Capital Project!

Disclaimer:  I have known Manu for a very long time.  We’ve been friends since we were kids.  When we were little we always said that we wanted to do good in the world.  He recently moved from Toronto to Paolo Alto to work on this project with Stanford.  When I learned what the project was all about – I had questions.  This is not a random encounter – nor was I approached to do this interview by the project.  I was just sincerely intrigued.  I still have questions and will likely have a follow up post.

This interview in total lasts about 15mins. It’s been split into 3 pieces for easier consumption.  The 1st and 3rd part are audio only.  The 2nd part integrates the video desktop recording I’ve always been so curious about.     Also note that ‘B is for Blog’  is a work room so our contributors like to muck about with new ideas and new ways of presenting ideas.  Like, Social Return on Investment,  natural capital and trying to capture value in processes that have traditionally not been valued,  is a very tricky business.   It’s a project with huge scope, great hope and amazing minds working behind the scenes. (The first post we did was titled “The Natural Capital Project – What is that Forest Really Worth?”)

Part 1: The Basics (6.5 mins)

http://naturalcapitalproject.com

Part 2: The Model (6 mins)

Part 3: Why Manu is a part of this project (2 mins)

Now back to the question posed in the post….What does a post about environmental capital have to do with art?

Lots really  – if you think about it.

Something that’s always bothered me about many disciplines, (in particular, art,  science or engineering based disciplines) is the weird way we compartmentalize what we do and keep it far away from those whom we deem simply too inept to understand what we are all about.

That was so 1990.  Welcome to the new age and the world of the ‘interdisciplinary.’  These interviews with amazing people I’ve met are a way to stimulate discussion in and between the disciplines we, artists or otherwise, belong to.

The environment is what we all live within.  FStop10, our resident photog, has utilized the landscape around us, animals and their natural and not so natural habitats as inspiration and muses for her work.  Edward Burtynsky, one of the world’s most influential photographers, utilizes his perspective and use of the lens to bring  us into a part of our world that is so daily and yet so hidden. (You totally need to see this video that describes his collection titled ‘Oil.’)

The beauty of having an interview with an environmentalist or learning about a discipline outside of your own is that integration aspect – that integration aspect is what I think has been missing from problem solving and addressing the world’s most devastating issues. The world is three dimensional – there is no single discipline that will save us.

Artists are amazing critical and creative thinkers.  We can bring a completely different or complimentary point of view to any issue.  Moving from compartmentalized disciplines to interdisciplinary thinking is like moving from 2d to 3d in the films;  it helps to make the picture fuller and more detailed – it brings life to the perspective.

The Doctor and Me part 2

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Wards Island Toronto

Last Tuesday May 11, I had a pretty awesome opportunity to have dinner with Dr. Gretchen Roedde. When I arrived at her island retreat she already had dinner ready! (Tasty Thai shrimp with roasted vegetables, fried rice, and curried cauliflower – tasty!)  At this point if you have no idea what I’m talking about you may want to refer to “The Doctor and Me part 1” which is below.

A little bit about Dr. Gretchen Roedde:

picture from my phone

Me and Dr. Gretchen Roedde on the Toronto Island Ferry

She grew up on the island, then decided to pursue an anthropology degree, had a vision that she would help people through medicine and decided just like that to go to medical school.

After completing med school at McMaster University she and her family moved to a small remote community in northern Ontario so she could help train Aboriginal health care workers. She has two lovely children a son and daughter  – both of whom she adores.  (Her son plays in a punk band too! The band is called “Crank Radio“)

Gretchen is so totally cool, and has stories that are pretty rad.  My favourite line  from our conversations  was “Those who wonder are not lost.”  She even came by my Mom’s workplace just to say hello! So my family is totally taken by her warmth!

She graciously let me read her manuscript for her upcoming book titlted “A Strange Calling”.   When I went over for dinner I decided to take my little handy-cam with me.  You will find links to her articles on the blog sidebar (on the right hand side of the page!)

We recorded a bit of our conversations that night and I wanted to share them with you – super inspiring:

*Note – you may want to listen to the video through headphones.