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Infinite Earth Radio – weekly conversations with leaders building smarter, more sustainable, and equitable communities
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Infinite Earth Radio – weekly conversations with leaders building smarter, more sustainable, and equitable communities

Author: Michael Hancox

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Infinite Earth Radio is a weekly podcast produced by Skeo and the Local Government Commission and hosted by Mike Hancox and Vernice Miller-Travis. Each week they interview visionary leaders, dedicated government officials, savvy businesses and forward thinking individuals who are working to build smarter, more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous communities through social and economic inclusion that values the contribution of all citizens and seeks meaningful lives for everyone.

You will discover new leading edge strategies for lifting up and building great 21st century communities, along with cutting edge strategies for revitalizing under resourced communities and empowering excluded populations. Smart Growth, Prosperity and Sustainability are not possible without social, civic, and economic inclusion for people of all economic, social, and racial backgrounds.
163 Episodes
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The Grand Food Bargain

The Grand Food Bargain

2019-05-1700:24:32

Topic:Urban Resilience Series – our modern food systemGuest & Organization:Kevin D. Walker grew up farming and has seen almost every facet of agriculture firsthand, working in agribusiness, at the US Department of Agriculture, overseas with international nonprofits, and as a professor at Michigan State University. He has served on committees with the National Academies Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, and as a consultant to foreign governments and the World Trade Organization.The Grand Food Bargain and the Mindless Drive for More (Publication Date: March 26, 2019) provides a powerful look at the global consequences of America’s modern food system. In it, Kevin D. Walker combines a lifetime of food system experience with pivotal research to craft a sweeping history of our relationship with food. The result is a stunning indictment of a system that prioritizes volume over nutrition, low costs over livable wages, and blinds consumers to harmful effects ranging from polluted rivers and food waste to obesity and disappearing species.Resources:The Grand Food Bargain and the Mindless Drive for More by Kevin D. WalkerIsland Press Urban Resilience ProjectDownload the Island Press Urban Resilience Project’s new, free e-book Resilience Matters: Strengthening Communities in an Era of Upheaval
Topic:Adaptation and Livable Communities Series – adaptation and the national climate assessmentGuest & Organization:Robert Lempert is a principal researcher at the RAND Corporation and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. His research focuses on risk management and decision-making under conditions of deep uncertainty, with an emphasis on climate change, energy, and the environment.Lempert is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a chapter lead for the US National Climate Assessment and for the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He was the Inaugural EADS Distinguished Visitor in Energy and Environment at the American Academy in Berlin and the inaugural president of the Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty.  A professor of policy analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Lempert is an author of the book Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Longer-Term Policy Analysis.Lempert received his Ph.D. in applied physics and S.M. in applied physics and science policy from Harvard University.Kemble currently lives in Midtown Sacramento.Resources:Local Government Commission
Topic:Smart Growth and Livable Communities Series – leveraging a tool in the federal tax lawGuest & Organization:Kemble K. Pope is an Urban Infill & Real Estate Entrepreneur in the Sacramento Region of Northern CA. He is a Founder and the Managing Member of POI Partners, LLC, a consulting firm that represents Opportunity Zone Fund investors by sourcing and vetting redevelopment projects, negotiating capital placement terms and overseeing the use of those funds until the project is completed and stabilized.His academic background was focused on environmental and technology policy, but he has worked in a broad range of sectors including politics, business & economic development, mobile technology and land use. From 2011 to 2014, he led the Davis Chamber of Commerce (“DCOC”) as the full-time CEO.Kemble’s most recently completed redevelopment work is “Meridian Place” in Central Davis. He assembled two underutilized lots and constructed a new 11-unit, 3-story, infill rental project. The project includes one permanently affordable unit, which allowed Pope to be the first developer in Davis to utilize the provisions of AB744 for increased density above the City of Davis standards. In Spring 2019, he will break ground on Trackside Center, a transit-oriented redevelopment in Downtown Davis. The 4-story building includes 9,000 SF commercial on the ground floor, with a large outdoor plaza, and 27 rental units above.While living in Davis, CA from 2003-2017, Pope served as a political appointee on several community-serving committees. He was Chairperson of the City of Davis Climate Action Team, which created one of the first municipal Climate Action Plans in response to AB 32 and SB 375. He was Chairperson of the City’s Open Space & Habitat Commission and served on the Davis Joint Unified School District’s Property Tax Oversight Committee and Surplus Property Committee.Kemble currently lives in Midtown Sacramento.Resources:Local Government Commission
An Atlas of US Transit

An Atlas of US Transit

2019-02-2500:27:56

Topic:Urban Resilience Series – key elements of urban transit systemsGuest & Organization:Christof Spieler, PE, LEED AP, is a Vice President and Director of Planning at Huitt-Zollars and a Lecturer in Architecture and Engineering at Rice University. He was a member of the board of directors of Houston METRO from 2010 to 2018, where he oversaw a complete redesign of the bus network that has resulted in Houston being one of the few US cities that are increasing transit ridership. Christof has spent over a decade advocating for transit as an urban planner, transit board member, blogger, community leader, and enthusiast. In the fun and accessible Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit (Publication date: October 23, 2018), he profiles the 47 metropolitan areas in the 50 states that have rail transit or BRT, ranks the best and worst systems, and draws out lessons for cities to build better transit.Resources:Learn more about Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US TransitFind Christof on TwitterDownload the Island Press Urban Resilience Project’s new, free e-book Resilience Matters: Strengthening Communities in an Era of Upheaval
Life After Carbon

Life After Carbon

2019-02-2500:32:56

Topic:Urban Resilience Series – the next transformation of citiesGuest & Organization:Peter Plastrik was born in Paris, grew up in New York City, and lived in four cities in Michigan. He is cofounder and vice president of the Innovation Network for Communities (INC), established in 2007. Along with John Cleveland, he was a founding consultant to the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and helped it develop its strategic plan and Innovation Fund. He also consulted closely with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) and managed USDN's Innovation Fund. Pete has been the lead author on several INC reports about cities and climate change: "Essential Capacities for Urban Climate Adaptation," supported by the summit Foundation, and "Leadership by US Cities Innovations in Climate Action," supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies. He is coauthor with John and Madeleine Taylor of Connecting to Change the World: Harnessing the Power of Networks for Social Impact (2014). He coauthored two books with David Osborne: Banishing Bureaucracy: The Five Strategies (1997) and The Reinventor's Fieldbook: Tools for Transforming Your Government (2000). His latest book is Life After Carbon: The Next Global Transformation of Cities (2018), coauthored by John Cleveland. He lives on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan with his wife Deb and their pugs.Resources:Learn more about Life After CarbonInnovation Network for CommunitiesIsland Press Urban Resilience ProjectDownload the Island Press Urban Resilience Project’s new, free e-book Resilience Matters: Strengthening Communities in an Era of Upheaval
Topic:Adaptation and Livable Communities Series – acting now and bringing change to scaleGuest & Organization:Daniel Hamilton serves as the Sustainability Manager for the City of Oakland, California.  Daniel has 20 years of experience in managing sustainability programs, policies, and plans for local governments and utilities. He has led multiple award winning projects and plans across California and has taught professional and university courses in energy management, sustainable policy development, and green building design and construction.  He holds a BA in Architecture and an MA in Sustainable Planning, both from the University of Kansas.Resources:Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15)Oakland Preliminary Sea Leve Rise Road Map (Fall 2017)Pathways to Deep GHG Reductions in Oakland: Executive Summary (March 2018)Pathways to Deep GHG Reductions in Oakland: Final Report (March 2018)Local Government Commission
Topic:Smart Growth and Livable Communities Series – the widening disparity in California and the challenges to address across California’s regionsGuest & Organization:Jim Mayer is President & CEO of California Forward, a bipartisan public interest effort to bolster democracy and improve the performance of government in California. Working with civic and governmental partners statewide, CA Fwd has been the consistent advocate for comprehensive governance reforms that will lead to better results and accountability. As its chief executive, Mayer has helped to usher California’s modernization of redistricting, primary elections, term limits, ethics and transparency laws – to empower voters, encourage bipartisan solutions and restore public trust.  He shepherded CA Fwd’s efforts to build capacity within governments to improve outcomes, and to advance a shared agenda among private, civic and public sector leaders to sustainably and equitable increase prosperity.Resources:California ForwardCalifornia Economic Summit’s Elevate Rural CA InitiativeLocal Government Commission
Topic:Urban Resilience – design for social innovationGuest & Organization:Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at SVA and President of the design lab CommonWise. She was recently awarded a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellowship, and is a recipient of the prestigious AIGA Medal for her contribution to the field of design. She founded the first design department in a major advertising agency and as president, grew the division to $50m in billings when it was spun off as an independent entity. As a strategist, she has helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated moribund cultures, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs. She has taught creativity to leaders and organizations around the world.Her clients have included Ford Motor Company, American Express, Reebok, Mariott International, Renaissance Hotels, Sheraton, MeadWestvaco, StoraEnso, the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, Medtronic, Pfizer, Mars Corporation, Discovery Networks International, Cemex, Herman Miller, Gap, Bayer Corporation, Seventh Generation, L’Oreal, Elle Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, The World Wildlife Fund, Ford Foundation, and the Girl Scouts of America.Heller is the former Board Chair of PopTech, and a Senior Fellow at the Babson Social Innovation Lab. She created the Ideas that Matter program for Sappi in 1999, which has since given over $13 million to designers working for the public good, and partnered with Paul Polak and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum to create the exhibit, “Design for the Other 90%.” She is the author of Intergalactic Design Guide: Harnessing the Creative Potential of Social Design, published by Island Press.Resources:Find Cheryl on Twitter @cherylhellerCommonWiseDesign for Social Innovation at SVAThe Intergalactic Design Guide – Harnessing the Creative Potential of Social Design by Cheryl HellerIsland Press Urban Resilience ProjectDownload the Island Press App! Learn more about the app here, and find it on Google Play and Apple App Store!
Topic:Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Environmental Justice and Equitable Development series – seeking justice in a disempowered placeGuest & Organization:Angie Rosser is the Executive Director of West Virginia Rivers Coalition, a statewide advocacy organization promoting access to clean water for all. Her 20+ years of experience in social justice work came to bear during a massive water contamination event that sparked transformative dialogue around safe drinking water. Her motivation is personal and political; she believes everyone has a right to enjoy clean water and that conservation of our water resources is central to a shared prosperity. Angie holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina and an MA in Organizational Communication from West Virginia University.Resources:Facing Race: A National Conference is presented by Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation – November 8-10, 2018 in Detroit, MichiganWest Virginia RiversExpanding the Circle: Strategies to Authentically Engage Under-Resourced Communities to Improve the Chesapeake Bay for AllSkeo – Equity, Sustainability and Resiliency
Climate Safe Infrastructure

Climate Safe Infrastructure

2018-10-1800:48:54

Topic:Adaptation and Livable Communities Series – how to make infrastructure more resilient to the growing threats of climate changeGuest & Organization:Cris Liban is the Executive Officer of Environmental Compliance and Sustainability at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency. At LA Metro, Cris oversees their internationally recognized Environmental, Sustainability, and Energy initiatives.  Cris has a bachelors of science in Geology, a masters in Civil Engineering and earned his PhD in environmental science and engineering from UCLA. Cris is a widely published author, a national speaker and serves on a number of commissions and working groups including the chairing the sustainability committee for the American Society of Civil Engineers, serving on the National Council for Environmental Policy and Technology at US EPA, and serving on California’s AB2800 Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group CA Department of Natural Resources.Resources:Climate Safe Infrastructure Report  American Society of Civil Engineers RoadmapLocal Government Commission
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