We heard from you loud and clear about technology and sustainable development. After receiving a couple hundred great responses from you guys, we came down to the following winning answers below. All winners will be receiving a refurbished Kindle Fire. As a refresher, here were the questions we posed:
1. What are the best online tools and skills needed to succeed in today’s economy which supports sustainable development?
2. How can young people (18-24 years old) and/or small business owners play a role in a green economy?
The best tool or skill anyone can have to support sustainable development is to simply be aware of the problems surrounding us and taking action. It is one thing to say that e-waste needs to be eliminated or reduced, but it is a whole other thing to be proactive about e-waste activism. It is not enough to just take your electronics to the local electronics store and dust our hands off like we did something today that is good for the environment. I like what Talia has been advocating about a need for changing the consumer mentality and only purchasing new electronics out of absolute need instead of ‘keeping up with the Jones.’ (see “E-waste & Doing Better Green Business“) I have been using the same Mac for six years now, and I don’t feel a need to buy another one right now. I also have the same iPhone for three years without a problem. I just download the latest OS instead of buying a new machine.
– Andrew Bollings, East London, South Africa
Our youth and entrepreneurs could lead this growing movement with their ideas and innovation. It is time we start looking to the youth for new ideas and taking them seriously, not just from a activist perspective, but also from the business perspective. All the people running Silicon Valley and creating incredible tech start ups are young people. They are the future of innovation. The new technologies they are creating are doing great things for people from all walks of life around the world. In the Middle East there is so much potential in the post-Arab Spring era to engage those young people who participated in protests to use their same tech skills to create their own tech start ups.
– Carlie Marino, Rome, Italy
I was inspired by your post on solar energy justice in Mali (see “Solar Energy: The Next Tech Justice Battle“). Technology is the ultimate frontier in leveling the playing field in both developed and developing countries. The only barriers right now are proper broadband and electricity access. I love to hear the inspiring story of the Malian man who started up his own solar panel business to help bring electricity to his village. This goes against the theory of the ‘white man’s burden’ and seeing Africans being self-sufficient and taking leadership to support their continent. We who are privileged to live in the developed world need to put our support behind these budding entrepreneurs who support sustainable development. As a Nigerian living in London, I am proud of my African countrymen.
– Esther Adeyemi, London, England
The best tool for a sustainable economy is to demand better from our politicians. How is it that we allow Apple to make its products in environmentally unfriendly work spaces in FoxConn and let them create bigger carbon footprints with shipping around the world? Why do we allow Western governments to dump electronic waste in poor countries without consequences. Change is in the air, and we need to demand better laws in regards to international environmental regulation and trade policy. Voting in pro-environment, pro-fair trade politicians will make a difference.
– Marisol Hernandez, Buenos Aires, Argentina