Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Arable land and presenting in Bangkok

The distributor for Thailand of the company I work with organized a seminar that was on Green Cities, I was invited to give a presentation and chose as the topic Environmentally Neutral Design, which was a presentation that I have given quite a bit.

What is intersting about visiting and travelling, is not only what one can teach or share knowledge with other people, but also what one can learn. Sometimes these are problems and sometimes solutions, ocassionaly one does not have the answers to the problems immediately, however they do come after some time.

Our distributor is a subsidiary of a quite large company or corporation and they have quite an impressive building in the middle of Bangkok, and of the day of the seminar they had a lunch on the top floor of the corporate building with quite an interesting view. I took some photos of what could be seen.

Though one could think it was impressive, it wasn't really very beautiful to look at.

The lunch was very good and we were quite honoured that we had with us a VP of the company as well as directors and of the 2 other people presenting was a professor with a PhD on the subject of the environment.

In the conversation that we had, as we were talking about the environment, sustainability and related topics. One of the senior people of our distributor in the conversation made a comment in relation to how he had read a book and that it stated that if the population was growing at the rate that it presently was we would need another planet, just to be able to provide for the necessary food resources (this is a concept that has become to be called Ecological Footprint).

However I did not agree with him, I asked a question of the people that were at the table. "Of the land that we are seeing out side of this window, how much of it is arable land?", people looked at me with blank faces, "Doctor, is any of this land arable?" this answer was no, this was an urban landscape.

"I am sorry but today every single square centimetre of this land surface could become arable", and looking to our distributor "and you sell the technology to do so".

It was interesting to see how a light bulb had turned on, with a sudden understanding.

This was interesting for several reasons. One should never take for granted that the people who one works with will know or understand what one knows, no matter how long one has been working with them. That people, no matter how many studies or degrees they have or are people of reference, it does not necessarily mean that they are experts either. Having not had "much" experience  in the industry how one easily see things that other people don't, this not having that much experience may be an advantage.

A photo of now "arable" land in an urban landscape.

With our vertical garden systems, further transforming urban landscape to "arable" land.

The conversation was interesting that it give me precisely something more to talk about.
I was able to give the example that of that very city, still much could be done in terms of reducing the Ecological Footprint, that much could be done for water management. That practically every surface, be it horizontal or vertical could literally be "greened", in a sustainable manner.

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