About Us

 

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MISSION

Buildings are responsible for almost half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. We are intent on showing that a collaborative effort – government leaders, architects, regulatory agencies and building suppliers, GMO’s – can all work together to avert a climate crisis through policy change and education?


WHO WE ARE

Today, Global Possibilities’ mission has expanded to include a new blog-type website, where we aggregate important news daily.  We also have an ENVIRO NEWS column  on the ALTERNET.ORG  site under Environment where you will find other important news pertaining to design, architecture,the world, politics, labor, visionaries,  activism,  energy, food,  health, the economy and environmental issues.

Comments are always welcome and we encourage others to send us their blogs to add to our site.

 

ABOUT GLOBAL POSSIBILITIES

When President Carter was in the White House promoting solar tax credits, Casey Coates Danson was a student of Environmental Design at Parsons in New York.  Solar was a hot issue and a sensible solution to our polluting industrial society.  Almost thirty years later we are still working hard to incorporate solar into our day-to-day lives.

In 1996 Ms. Danson founded Global Possibilities (GP), an environmental non-profit organization to encourage environmental stewardship through the increased use of solar energy in the U.S. to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels and to mitigate climate change.  Similar to the student that she was over 25 years ago, she immersed herself in research.

In 1997 Global Possibilities and UC Santa Barbara co-hosted the US Solar and Renewable Energy Policy Symposium entitled “The Back Burner Status of Solar” attended by leading experts from government, utilities, business and environmental organizations examining renewable energy markets, the current business climate, including transportation, land use planning and technology development. The final consensus among participants was the need for education and a common language.

GP continued hosting national and regional conferences for schools of architecture, planning and design, encouraging them to create sustainable design curriculum under the program the National Education Initiative for a Solar Future.

GP brought together 40 deans and chairs of architecture schools for their second annual symposium entitled  “Rethinking Design Curriculum” held at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution in New York City in conjunction with their Under the Sun Exhibit of Light. Summary documents of these and our subsequent symposium proceedings, including research and results, are available in PDF form on this website in the Educational Archives tab in the footer.

In partnership with the Environmental Media Association, GP also participated in public outreach through briefings for writers of film and TV to encourage them to include environmental messages in their programming.

GP worked with the California Energy Commission in creating the documentary “This Renewable House” for PBS, which aired on KCET –TV. Ms. Danson has also been interviewed on radio and TV — A&E’s House Beautiful, the Discovery Channel’s Healthy Homes, and several major feature articles in Natural Home magazine showcasing homes she designed with the environment in mind.

Danson also executive produced a one-hour award winning documentary film “Who’s Got The Power?” As a cogent, incisive documentary, filmed on three continents, Who’s Got The Power? examines some of the increasingly vital planetary issues of our day. Ms. Danson brilliantly presents us with a rare, optimistic and inspiring documentary on the subject of solutions to climate change.  The film is available on Amazon.com

She is currently in development of a second film “Why Now?  Not Later!” which further illustrates  our need to stop our denial about the wreckless use of our natural resources and our need to move at warp speed before we hit the tipping point of global climate change.

Powerful, enduring, reliable and accessible worldwide, the sun is our greatest energy resource.  The sun’s solar energy can supplement or replace the limited and costly fossil fuels we now use, reduce our dependence on the utility grid, and stem the tide of global warming even if we accomplished that with one photovoltaic panel at a time.

Today, GP’s focus has expanded to a new blog-type website to get the message out to the world at large that our climate crisis is putting our home – planet earth and our way of life in peril and that we need to move at warp speed before we hit the tipping point of global climate change by all working together.

 


WHO WE ARE

Today, Global Possibilities’ mission has expanded to include a new blog-type website, where we aggregate important news daily.  We also have an ENVIRO NEWS column  on the ALTERNET.ORG  site under Environment where you will find other important news pertaining to design, architecture,the world, politics, labor, visionaries,  activism,  energy, food,  health, the economy and environmental issues.

Comments are always welcome and we encourage others to send us their blogs to add to our site.

 


PRINCIPLES

Casey Coates Danson, Director and Founder

casey@globalpossibilities.org

As the mother of two children and with a strong sense of stewardship for the Earth, Ms. Danson established Global Possibilities in 1996 as a national solar/renewable energy advocate to promote the use of solar energy in the built environment as a viable and natural alternative to fossil fuels.  Prior to that, Casey co-founded with her former husband, the American Oceans Campaign (AOC), a non-profit response and advocacy group for the protection of our oceans which has since merged with Oceana.

Ms. Danson served on the Board of Governors of Parsons School of Design, the Board of Directors of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC), was Chair of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Media Association (EMA) which allowed her to interface with Hollywood writers and show runners to educate them in environmental messages to include in scripts;  an Honorary Board member of the Institute of American Indian Arts Foundation (IAIA) and was on the Advisory Board of the Jimmy Carter Work Project in Los Angeles.

Ms. Danson received her BFA in Environmental Design from Parsons School of Design, graduating with honors in 1975 during the Carter years when solar tax incentives were in place and architectural design emphasis was on sustainability. She is known for her design of solar powered homes and has been widely published.


Kristine Trites, Assistant to the Director

kristine@globalpossibilities.org

As assistant to Casey Coates Danson, Kristine brings 20 years of experience in development, real estate, marketing, and sales.  Kristine has served on many boards, fund raising for schools and non-profits over the years as well as assistant to the President of Viggiano Associates from 2000-2006.  She was a successful Real Estate Broker in upstate New York and Massachusetts for ten years, helping buyers and investors purchase residential and commercial property.  She moved to California in 2008 and hit the ground running as Director of The WeeklyClubs, real estate investment clubs that met weekly all over Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties.  She educated investors as well as maintained websites and furthered online marketing efforts by expanding their web presence through social media.  Kristine came on board in 2011 and being a lifelong environmentalist working at Global Possibilities is a realized dream.

 


ADVISORY BOARD

Donald W. Aitken, Ph.D.
DONALD AITKEN ASSOCIATES
Consulting Scientist & Renewable Energy Policy Expert

Dr. Aikken is an internationally renowned consultant and speaker on renewable energy applications, policy and sustainable architecture. He has been a staff research physicist at Stanford University, Chairman of the Department of Environmental Studies at San Jose State University, and an Affiliate Faculty Member at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Dr. Aitken has designed award winning energy efficient and solar buildings, and teaches professional workshops for architects on energy efficient design, solar energy residential design, and daylighting design of commercial buildings. He is preparing material for a book on Frank Lloyd Wright’s contribution to daylighting in architecture.

Dr. Aitken has twice served as national Chairman of the American Solar Energy Society and has twice directed the national solar energy conferences. He has been Executive Director of the Western Regional Solar Energy Center for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

In 1991, Dr. Aitken joined the Energy Department of the Union of Concerned Scientists as Senior Staff Scientist carrying on his earlier DOE policy work in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology and economics with a current emphasis on the use of renewable energy in the electric utility sector.

He has over 100 publications in these various fields.

 

Ed Begley, Jr.
Actor / Environmental Advocate

http://www.edbegley.com

Environmental lawyer and long-time friend, Bobby Kennedy, Jr. has said “Ed has a greater sense of social obligation than anyone I know. He’s like a West Coast cadet who gets up every morning and says ‘reporting for duty’”. He currently lives near Los Angeles in a self-sufficient home powered by solar energy.

Turning up at Hollywood events on his bicycle, Ed has been considered an environmental leader in the Hollywood community for many years. He has served as chairman of the Environmental Media Association, and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. He still serves on those boards, as well as the Thoreau Institute, the Earth Communications Office, Tree People and Friends of the Earth, among many others,

His work in the environmental community has earned him a number of awards from some of the most prestigious environmental groups in the nation, including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay and the Santa Monica Baykeeper.

Begley was inspired by the works of his Academy Award-winning father, Ed Begley, Jr. to become an actor. He first came to audiences’ attention for his portrayal of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the long-running hit television series, “St. Elsewhere,” for which he received six Emmy nominations. Begley’s feature film credits include Christopher Guest’s, “A Mighty Wind”, “Batman Forever,” “Greedy,” “The Accidental Tourist” and “The In-Laws.”

On television Begley is currently starring in “Kingdom Hospital”, the new Stephen King mini-series on ABC and has recurring roles on “Six Feet Under” and “7th Heaven.” He also guest starred in such series as “The West Wing,” “The Practice,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Touched By an Angel,” and “Providence.” And he has numerous motion pictures for television credits. Begley also starred in the West Coast premiere of David Mamet’s “Cryptogram,” at the Geffen Playhouse, in the role that he originated in Boston and then in New York.

Ed’s Favorite Contact Numbers

Environmental Media Association (310) 446-6244
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (310) 589-3200
Thoreau Institute (781) 259-4700
Earth Communications Office (310) 656-0577
Tree People (818) 753-4600
Friends of the Earth (202) 783-7400
Global Possibilities (310) 656-1970

 

Steve Bornstein
Consultant
steve@bornsteinconsulting.com

With 25 years as a corporate leader, business consultant and life long learner, Steve Bornstein helps leaders and teams achieve powerful results. Steve teaches people how to clarify purpose and achieve success while maintaining balance. He empowers clients to find their own solutions by connecting with their inner wisdom and develops and implements business plans for new ventures and corporate reorganizations.

Corporate clients include Sony Pictures Entertainment, Bloch Medical Group, Higher Octave Music, The Todd-AO Corporation, Jenny Craig International, Knock Out Creative, Turner Pictures, Propaganda Films, Global Doghouse, Media Revolution (web site design), The Cartoonist Group, Media Ventures, Ad Music, VIP Publishing, Green Seal Inc., Hollywood Digital, and Work Records.

Steve has served as CEO, Sunrise Films; Sr. Vice President Programming and Feature Film Acquisitions, Lorimar Home Video; and Chief Operating Officer, Lion’s Gate Films. He is an instructor for the department of entertainment studies at UCLA Extension. Steve is currently a Board Member of Earth Communications Office, Global Possibilities, and President of the Board of Co-Opportunity Consumers Cooperative Inc.

Steve received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, an MS in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in Psychology at the University of Santa Monica.

Steve has successfully completed three treks in the Himalayas. He practices yoga and hikes regularly.

28 Avenue 28th
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 305-1394
f: (310) 578-6902
email:steve@power.net

 

Christopher Flavin
President, Worldwatch Institute
cflavin@worldwatch.org

As President of Worldwatch, Christopher Flavin is the Institute’s chief executive officer, serves on its Board of Directors, and represents the organization before a wide range of international audiences. In his long career at Worldwatch, he has helped guide the Institute’s development, serving as vice president for research and later as senior vice president. He was appointed president in September 2000, specializing in Energy Security; Climate Policy; Renewable Energy; and Sustainable Development.

Christopher is actively engaged in international climate change and energy policy discussions, and participated in the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the Climate Change Conference in Kyoto Japan in 1997, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, the Climate Institute, and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.

Christopher speaks frequently before business, university, and policy audiences, focusing on how to achieve an efficient and sustainable economy. He meets frequently with the leaders of governments, international agencies, non-government organizations and companies. He has written for publications, including The New York Times, Technology Review, The Harvard International Review, and Time Magazine. He appears often on radio and TV, including the BBC, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, and PBS’ Newshour.

Christopher is a native of Monterey, California and a cum laude graduate of Williams College, where he studied.

 

Jean A. Gardner
Director, EARTH GROUP

Jean Gardner Is An Activist, Writer, Teacher, And Consultant On Sustainable Design Issues. She Is An Associate Professor Of Social-Ecological History And Design, The School For Constructed Environments, Parsons The New School As Well As Co-Author With Brian McGrath Of Cinemetrics: Architecture Drawing Today. Gardner Also Wrote The First Book On Urban Wilderness: Nature In New York City. The National AIA Committee On The Environment Awarded Her Graduate Course “Issues And Practices In Architecture And Urbanism” Special Recognition For Eco-Literacy Teaching. The New York City Chapter Of The AIA Awarded Her A Special Citation For Her Work As An Urban Ecologist, Author, And Educator In Both The Architectural Field And In The Public Realm.

Gardner Was Part Of A Team Led By David Rockwell To Commemorate 9/11 That Exhibited At The 2002 Venice Biennale “The Hall Of Risk”, A Participatory Center For Conflict Resolution. Her Current Research Focuses On Design Pedagogy And Its Relationship To The Creation Of Current Ecological Problems, Such As Climate Change.
Kristin Coates
COATES CONSULTING
kristin@coatesconsulting.net

Kristin Coates has more than 15 years experience creating positive change for brands and not-for-profit organizations across diverse sectors including travel, hospitality, real estate, health & well-being, and environmental and humanitarian causes. Recognized for thinking outside the box, championing new ideas, motivating people, and getting things done, Kristin is passionate about guiding purpose driven organizations through concept and experience development and communications strategies that build sustainable, thriving, powerful brands and initiatives.

Kristin’s experience and solid credentials in concept development and strategic planning, experience design, traditional and online marketing, communications strategy development, brand, PR, fundraising and project management, are a welcome addition to the Global Possibilities organization.

 

William Roley, Ph.D., Director
PERMACULTURE INSTITUTE OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
DrRoley@aol.com

Dr. Bill Roley is an applied ecologist, environmental instructor and consultant. He combines the disciplines of anthropology, biology, architecture, engineering, agriculture, and ecology to address modern challenges of providing for human needs while maintaining ecosystem health. His teaching and design work at the John Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at California Polytechnic University is a graphic example of this interdisciplinary work. He heads up the Ecological Restoration certificate program at Saddleback College and teaches biology at Soka University.

His Southern California government consultation includes creating a healthy watershed series for the County of Orange, a landscape and composting ordinance for Irvine, developing wastewater nutrient cycling strategies for Malibu, and watershed planner in Aliso Viejo. Dr. Roley designed the Laguna Hills Leisure World yard waste composting project, Ecology Farms vermicomposting site and has consulted on integrated green waste management projects for the Counties of Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego and Ventura.

As a Resource manager for the Thousand Oaks, Ahmanson Ranch development he created water harvesting, flood control and habitat restoration master plan to respect the diversity and complexity of the surrounding ecosystem. An example of his international work is the design and installation of agroforestry and sustainable/edible landscapes for an orphanage landscape in Tijuana, Mexico and in Porte Alegre, Brazil. He worked on an ecotourist biopreserve for The American Society of Landscape Architecture and Pronatura in the Yucatan, Mexico and at El Pilar, Belize for UCSB Mesoamerican Institute.

He is founding director of the Permaculture Institute of Southern California and co-founder of the Eos Institute and its environmental journal Earthword.

Michael Rotondi FAIA
RotoArk

Michael Rotondi has been an architect and educator for over twenty-five years. He founded the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and was its Director from 1987 to 1997. He currently teaches and serves as a Board Member. He is also a Professor at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Projects over twenty years range from educational to institutional, cultural, commercial and residential. A cross section of current projects include an experimental theatre complex in La Jolla, a School of Architecture in Texas, a large regional park in Los Angeles, a memorial for the Los Angeles Fire department, a large Stupa in Santa Cruz, California, the transformation of a seventy acre industrial site in Louisville, Kentucky into a central part of the city, and the development and planning of the Tempe Center site.

His primary interest now is exploring how the concepts and methods of educational and professional practice can find common ground in the discipline of architecture. Other recent teaching positions include the Saarinen Visiting Professor at University of Michigan, the Brown-Forman Visiting Chair in Urban Design at the University of Kentucky, and the Harry Shure Professor at the University of Virginia.

Steven J. Strong
President, SOLAR DESIGN ASSOCIATES

Steven J. Strong is President of Solar Design Associates, Inc., a group of Architects and Engineers dedicated to the design of environmentally responsive buildings, and the engineering and integration of renewable energy systems which incorporate the latest in innovative technology.

He founded the firm in 1974 after serving as an energy-systems engineering consultant on the Alaskan pipeline where he became convinced there were easier, less-costly, more environmentally desirable ways to provide comfort and convenience to the consumer than “going to the ends of the earth to extract the last drop of fossil fuel”.

Drawing on his background in architecture and engineering, he has earned the firm an international reputation for the pioneering integration of renewable energy systems – especially solar electricity – with environmentally responsive building design.

Over the last 24 years, he has designed dozens of homes and buildings which provide delightful living/working environments while requiring little or no purchased energy – the majority of which are powered by solar electricity. In 1984, working with New England Electric, he completed the world’s first PV-powered neighborhood in central Massachusetts. In 1996, he worked with Olympic village architects to power the natatorium complex at the 1996 Summer Games with solar electricity using the world’s largest roof-top PV power system.

He is the US Representative to the International Energy Agency’s expert working group on PV-in-Buildings and has served as an advisor on energy and environmental issues to 3 Governors, 2 US Senators and 3 presidential candidates as well as a number of electric utilities. This spring, TIME magazine named him an ‘Environmental Hero’.

He is the author of The Solar Electric House and Solar Electric Buildings, an Overview of Today’s Applications and the editor and contributing author of Photovoltaics in the Built Environment, a Design Guide for Architects and Engineers and Reshaping the Built Environment: Ecology, Ethics and Economics

Mary Tucker
Environmental Services Specialist
CITY OF SAN JOSE
mary.tucker@ci.sj.ca.us

Since 1989, Ms. Tucker has been with the City of San Jose’s Environmental Services Department where she is responsible for developing urban environmental policies, and managing various environmental and energy programs ranging from urban sustainability issues, watershed management, water quality, and urban climate change to legislative issues. She is currently responsible for coordination of many of the City’s Energy activities, including energy supply, renewable energy installations and opportunities and other energy demand reduction activities. Ms. Tucker also manages the City’s Green Building Program, ensuring that new city construction meets green building standards as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Ms. Tucker has had a major role in planning and managing energy and environmental programs on a local, state and national level for more than 20 years. She has organized and managed education and advocacy programs dealing with a wide range of energy and environmental issues, such as high level nuclear waste legislation, director of a solar installers’ training and energy conservation installation program, coordination for numerous state, local and national conferences/strategy workshops, and has assisted community-based groups in establishing job-training/energy rehabilitation programs.

Ms. Tucker is Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the U.S. Green Building Council, representing state and local governments. She has been president of the Northern California Solar Energy Association, a chapter of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). She has also been very active in the Solar Cities Project of the International Energy Agency and the Urban Consortium Energy Task Force, a national consortium of cities and counties, on issues related to sustainability, long range planning and utility restructuring.

Most recently, Ms. Tucker was asked to include an essay in the publication Sustainable Architecture, a collection of essays celebrating the connection between our built and natural environments published by the Earth Pledge Foundation. Her work has also been featured in several other publications.

Ms. Tucker is the proud owner of a 2.6 kW PV system on her 1909 craftsman bungalow home, a net zero home.

 

Robert Wilkinson
Environmental Studies Program
Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
University of California, Santa Barbara
wilkinson@es.ucsb.edu

Dr. Wilkinson’s teaching, research, and consulting focus on water policy, climate change, and environmental policy issues. He currently serves on the public advisory committee for California’s State Water Plan and represents the University of California on the Governor’s Task Force on Desalination. He also advises the California Energy Commission on climate research, and for the past five years he has served as coordinator for the climate impacts assessment of the California Region for the US Global Change Research Program and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Dr. Wilkinson is also a Senior Fellow with the Rocky Mountain Institute, and he is a founding member of the California Environmental Dialogue and a founding participant in the Aspen Institute’s The Environment in the 21st Century. He consults for corporations, governments, foundations, and non-profit organizations in the U.S. and internationally.

In 1990, Dr. Wilkinson established and directed the Graduate Program in Environmental Science and Policy at the Central European University based in Budapest, Hungary. He has worked extensively in Western Europe and in every country of Central Europe from Albania through the Baltic States and throughout the former Soviet Union including Siberia and Central Asia. He has also worked in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, and China.