Linking Innovations, Sustainability, and Resilience ‘Best Practices’ with Under-Resourced and Disaster Prone Communities [9.29.19]


  • Guest 1: Dr. Kathryn B. Laskey, Professor of Systems Engineering and Operations Research and Director, Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities (C-RASC), George Mason University
  • Guest 2:  Dr. (Vinton Gray) Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google and Co-Founder and Chair, Public Centered Internet (PCI)
  • Guest 3: Robert Spoer, Chief Entrepreneur for People, Ashoka Foundation
  • Guest 4: Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, University Professor, Environmental Science and Policy, and Scientific Director, Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE)
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Segment 3 Segment 4

Program Summary:

The world-wide EmeraldPlanet International Foundation movement is linking millions of professionals and citizens around the globe through a practical community-by-community identification, evaluation, broadcasting, and promotions weekly television program and selected The Emerald Mini-Treks.

EmeraldPlanet International Foundation has continually expanded its outreach and service to all sectors of countries and local communities. It is actively identifying the “best of the best” technologies, services, products, and processes. This is the “high touch” portions of the EmeraldPlanet global movement featuring the “high technologies” through The Emerald Mini-Treks, while creating The Emerald Mall to match those inventing, creating, experimenting with, and manufacturing needed technologies. with those individuals and communities needing such technologies, services, products, and processes for sustainable, resilient, and adaptive living in closer harmony with natural surroundings..

WELCOME to join in this world-wide movement by watching The EmeraldPlanet TV programs, participating in planning for and joining in various The Emerald Mini-Treks, and linking your “best practices” to those in need on The Emerald Mall. MANY BEST WISHES as together we create The EmeraldPlanet…Dr. Sam Hancock

Our featured guests are:

  • Segment ‘1’: Dr. Kathryn B. Laskey, Professor of Systems Engineering and Operations Research and Director, Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities (C-RASC), George Mason University, (In Studio); Theme: “George Mason University’s Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities (C-RASC) Trans-Disciplinary Research for Sustainable Communities Worldwide”
  • Segment ‘2’: Dr. (Vinton Gray) Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google and Co-Founder and Chair, Public Centered Internet (PCI), (In Studio), Theme: “The People-Centered Internet (PCI): Empowerment of Under-Served Communities While Connecting Internet Services to Native American Sovereign Nations”
  • Segment ‘3’: Robert Spoer, Chief Entrepreneur for People, Ashoka Foundation, (In Studio), Theme: “Networked Improvement Communities (NICs): How to Thrive and Contribute in Today’s World of Accelerated Change”
  • Segment ‘4’: Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, University Professor, Environmental Science and Policy, and Scientific Director, Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE), George Mason University, (In Studio), Theme: “Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE) and GMU Research Initiatives”

Program Overview:

George Mason University’s Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities (C-RASC) performs trans-disciplinary research to support locally led, bottom-up initiatives to create life-changing social and economic opportunities for communities worldwide. When disaster, natural or man-made, hits a community, volunteers and community members often rush to rebuild what was lost. They search for family mementos in the rubble and try to regain a sense of peace and security in the crisis. Systems engineering and operations research professor Dr. Kathryn B. Laskey is Director of the “Trans-Disciplinary” Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities (C-RASC) that hopes to help communities with this rebuilding process, as well as with the preparations to reduce the impact of disasters.

Pressures from migration and climate change are accelerating, and as such creates difficult social situations that are going to cause difficult social challenges and political unrest. The C-RASC is a collaboration of the George Mason University faculty from the Schar School of Policy and Government, College of Science, School of Business, School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and the College of Health and Human Services. The Center researches the best practices to target and support locally-led community groups which help build resiliency in the community before, during, and after a crisis. Because there is focus on locally-led groups, this helps ensure that the solutions being created will actually work for people in that location.

The People Centered Internet (PCI) is a coalition of volunteers and organizations with an interest in improving the safety, security, utility, and resilience of the Internet and its applications. It works collaboratively with other organizations with similar goals and works to fund projects that align with and promote PCI’s objectives. Dr. (Vinton Gray) Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist of Google is one of the Co-Founders and Chair.

The leader and founders of PCI are active in a wide range of projects and bring their network and expertise to PCI’s operation. POPVOX co-founded by Marci Harris bringing the voice of the people to legislators ears; Impact Network co-founded by Mei Lin Fung exercising the network power of the Internet; Tribal Digital Village CTO Matthew Rantanen bringing Internet to SoCal tribal areas; Mural Net led by Mariel Triggs bringing Internet to the Supai and other tribes; Project Coqui led by Melvin Cordova; Network Startup Resources Center led by Steven Huter bringing Internet training to places where it is needed; Solar Electric Light Fund led by Robert Freling bringing solar power to places in need around the world.

Ashoka Foundation World-Wide identifies and supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community that embraces these new frameworks to build an “everyone a changemaker world.” In a world of rapid change, society is confronted by an increasing number of complex challenges and opportunities. Ensuring solutions will outpace problems requires effective collaboration and the ability to organize into fluid teams-of-teams, where every player must be a contributor and a leader.

Effective collaboration in this environment is only possible with empathy: the ability to understand and respond to the feelings of others. In a changemaker world, empathy is as fundamental as reading and math. This creates a new social imperative to ensure that every child fully develops their own innate capacity for empathy.

Ashoka is bringing together a global network of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and other partners to work towards a society where learning empathy is a essential, parents insist that their children develop empathy, and institutions cultivate empathy in learning and in practice. Ashoka encourages interested leaders to explore the diverse ways that Ashoka’s “Start Empathy” initiative supports changemaking in young people and adults. Engage with our dedicated teams today to help advance an “Everyone a Changemaker” world:

George Mason University’s Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE) as an university based entity aimed at connect members of the GMU community with others across the Mason community–and with other communities, policy-makers, businesses, and organizations–so that, together, all on the Team can more effectively address the world’s pressing sustainability and resilience challenges. Key attributes of the Institute inviting Institute faculty, staff, and students who are committed to engaging deeply with communities to ensure a deep understanding of the challenges that enable or constrain the development and adoption of sustainable solutions.

ISE focuses not only on natural and engineered systems but also the socio-economic-legal systems which impact community sustainability and resilience and enable the development of holistic solutions. Its approach incorporates culture, beliefs, and values. The Mission and Vision is to recognize communities are essential participants in finding solutions to the most pressing challenges we are facing. Leadership of the Institute is working hard to leverage its significant resources in conflict analysis and resolution, science, engineering, education, policy analysis, the humanities, and other disciplines to work together to make a difference; to make progress in addressing various sustainability challenges by deep engagement with communities, critical consideration of challenges and enabling optimal solutions.

George Mason has an incredible strength in sustainability and resilience with over 500 faculty interested in and engaged in this topic as well as over 38,000 students enrolled in the university. George Mason University is a Carnegie R1 University, the highest tier of universities in the US, yet is not a proverbial “Ivory Tower”. Its faculty have a deep commitment to engagement and making a positive contribution to the local community and the world.

Thank You Production Crew and Program Team for your commitment, dedication, and goodwill as we continue to expand our “best practices” solutions identification and reporting in our second decade. We would like to acknowledge that equipment and facilities are provided by Fairfax Public Access, Fairfax, Virginia. We thank our many viewers, supporters, and the general public for weekly feedback, ideas, and suggestions as together we create The EmeraldPlanet….Dr. Sam Hancock, Creator & Host, The EmeraldPlanet TV