This is my annual New Year's resolution, which is a bit late. I think it's good to write them when I cooled down a bit, so I'm deliberately writing them a bit late. However, I'm especially late this year as the busy New Year's holidays continued until the end of January. Today is my birthday, the 2nd of February. The year 2020 was an unexpected one, and I had a lot going on, good and bad. As always, here is the Think - Do - Be report and schedule.
Think: research activities
In 2020 there were many cancellations, changes and postponements, but two European Commission research projects have started. Both are related to decarbonisation.
In the LANDMARC project, which is about structural transformation, we are looking at composting and biogas, and possibly agroforestry. Biogas can be used as a renewable energy source to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but how much can the organic fertiliser produced as a by-product contribute to decarbonisation?
The TIPPING+ project will be a study of how structural and systemic transformations can be enabled. The research will focus on more social and political issues. We will be looking at decarbonisation portfolio and doing coal power and biogas cases in Indonesia. One of our staff members from this project is going to do a PhD.
Due to the Corona's impact, we cannot hold meetings, so we have weekly online meetings. We seem to be interacting more frequently than in previous projects. These two projects will last for 3 and 4 years, and the world is changing rapidly, so the way we do research will change. I also wrote a paper on bioethanol researched in the past and did a project on sustainable consumption and production in Africa. In January, I already submitted four proposals, and I still have more to write, so hopefully, I will report back next year with new projects.
It is said that 90% of Bali's economy depends on tourism, so when the tourists disappeared, Bali was hit hard. su-re.co lost sales of coffee and chocolates that we used to unload to the hotels, and the sales that we tried to promote in organic shops did not go as planned. Since Corona, we no longer have interns at our office.
Based on the crowdfunding results in 2019, we sold coffee and chocolate with the promise that 25% of the wholesale price would be used for a biogas digester or a climate field school. We didn't consider the profit margin well, so this is same as we donated biogas for every coffee we sold. This is not a social business, so we need to change the wholesale price percentage and make the business more efficient.
We have been doing 'frugal innovation' for the past three years, using already matured technologies to address social problems. The next few years will be "Deep Tech Innovation", addressing deep social problems with up-coming technology! That's why we've migrated our website, added an e-commerce function and started selling everything from coffee to biogas online. We will be selling our emissions credits here.
The good news is that the biogas digester innovation is now funded. One fund will develop a mechanism to connect emissions trading and blockchain mechanisms to biogas and run a biogas business. We are also participating in a project that will use IT technology to improve agriculture's efficiency.
We have Japanese interns who have joined us online, and we have successfully raised crowdfunding in Japan. We are arranging this to enable us to sell coffee on an ongoing basis. NGO Living in Peace, of which I was a former member, will help us sell our coffee in Japan.
All of BE Tank's training work has been cancelled since last February when we last had students from Tokyo University. I was invited to do a mountain of online activities. Our online SDGs school with Clark High School every Friday was one of the best things I did last year as we had around 200 participants, and it was fun to see the students' reaction.
ACT sustainability training with TigarMOV is also now online, and we have opened it a total of three times. Already this year, several similar talks have come from high schools and universities. We are also planning to use Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, so next year we will have some fantastic stories to tell! And if you'd like to join us in this effort, please get in touch. It's a world with a lot of room to grow.
We've also started an online salon with TigarMOV. I want to see something come out of this that contributes to the SDGs. I'm also working on a biogas and blockchain project here.
Our staff also did a weekly webinar in Indonesian. I think it's incredible that we bring 100 to 200 participants every time, even though it's our staff. In response to the crowdfunding we did in Japan, we also did a crowdfunding campaign in Indonesia. The amount of money was small, but it was also a success and will lead us to the next step.
There was a change in staff, but we increased the number of staff. We didn't have to travel, so in the end, our business was better than last year. It was a year of trying to create a sense of unity between the team members, who were spread across five islands while making things more efficient where they could be systematised by going online. Most of the people I've worked with are people I've never met, but I've come to regard them as dear friends. However, I would like to thank the Bali team for organising a little surprise meeting at the beach for my birthday today. What can I say, offline activities are vital.
Be: Personal life
No one in my family has been infected with Corona. We are cautious about our lives, but we go surfing every morning with our children. The number of surfers was much lower than in previous years, so we went to some popular spots that we hadn't been able to get into for the past few years because of the crowds, started surfing longboards and enjoyed Bali without tourists. I also took up the ukulele again and started to make drawing a bit more seriously.
It took a while, but we completed the second treehouse with the rooftop garden used by our children. The rooftop garden is a project that I feel even more passionate about than usual as I built it with the children. This year we hope to finish the rest of the buildings and next year we hope many people will use them for sustainable training.
I've posted a few links here, but I've been blogging every day for about three months and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I've also put up some YouTube videos but stopped after a few months as I didn't think they were cost-effective. I may start again when I feel like it. Finally, I am writing a textbook using the various SDG-related training I mentioned above as a framework.
I look forward to working with you again this year.