THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE RED FIRE MONKEY! We all know that the monkey is a clever and playful animal who can be an effective problem solver but also a trickster. As we celebrate 2016’s Year of the Red Fire Monkey, there should be exuberance, entertainment and time for devoted entrepreneurs to carry on their innovative ways. However, those looking for quick and easy solutions could get duped as some monkey spirits will be on the ball, and quick to have their fun and games.
Doo Consulting wishes all of its colleagues, clients and friends the very best in 2016. Though it is the year of the Fire Monkey, according to Chinese Five Elements Horoscopes, Monkey also contains Metal and Water. Metal is connected to gold. Water is connected to wisdom and danger. Therefore, we will deal with more financial events in the year of the Monkey. Metal is also connected to the Wind. That implies the status of events could change very quickly. Think twice before you leap when making changes for your finance, career, business or personal relationships in 2016. Your individual prospects for the year can be found here.
We want to thank everyone who is a part of our ever expanding network. Our portfolio grew in geographic and economic breadth. We returned to our consulting roots with the opportunity to work on the development of sustainability plans for the City of Bowie, Maryland, and the Broadmead Retirement Community. A new accreditation in the WELL Building Standard presents opportunities to share our expertise in evaluating a building’s influence on health and well being. This is an area in which we have been advocating for nearly a decade. Lorraine Doo, who is a LEED AP with a Master of Public Health, is uniquely qualified to discuss these ideas and this new standard objectively with you.
There are three new staff, Rebecca Gullott, Mudhar AlDurra and Megan Cruickshank whom we hope you will get to know in the new year. Spencer Bollacker continues to offer his expertise from Denver, Colorado.
In September we co-sponsored author Warren Berger’s visit to MICA’s Center for Social Design. Warren is the author of several books including “Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life and Maybe Even the World” and “A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas.” A nearly sold-out evening program was preceded by workshops with the MICA Center for Social Design and the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design classes. “A fabulous few days asking questions with Warren Berger has sparked inquiries for how to get him back! Doo Consulting is pleased to have asked the right question earlier in the year: “how might we bring Warren Berger to Baltimore…”
If you are interested in our sustainability consulting, green building certification or speaker services, contact us at info@DooConsulting.net.
DOO’S BREAKTHROUGH FAVORITES FOR 2016:
INNOVATIONS IN TRANSIT & TRANSPORTATION
Perhaps our focus on transportation this year is a response to both progress as well as regression. For example, perhaps it is a response to the 2015 announcement of the cancellation of the Baltimore City Red Line project. In light of that new reality, we continue to ask, “How do we create a socially just and accessible city?” Not only is transportation the second largest contributor of green house gas emissions, access to available transit is an economic driver and a social justice opportunity. The following innovations address different aspects of the transportation equation. The innovations we present support electric vehicle accessibility to charging stations, bicycle technology and a new transportation planning tool. It is our vision that electric vehicles will become more affordable and contribute to cleaner urban communities, that the bicycle culture will continue to grow for efficient, inexpensive transportation and fitness, and that urban bus systems, utilizing existing road infrastructure, can provide affordable and accessible transit to people who need and prefer it. All of our selections this year have one thing in common; they prioritize accessibility while contributing to a cleaner environment.
With Remix, urban planners can sketch out routes in any city and immediately understand the cost and demographic impact of a proposed change. Remix automatically pulls in existing bus lines onto the map and allows for quick design of different scenarios using the latest US Census data. Population, minority and household income data can be layered onto the map to address community challenges to transit accessibility. An additional tool called “Jane” allows you to place Jane, a representative person, anywhere on the map and determine how far she can travel within a specified amount of time based on transit routes and frequency of service. The map updates as service changes throughout the day. Could transit planning be any easier? How might cities leverage this tool today?
The Copenhagen Wheel turns any bicycle into a smart electric hybrid bicycle. We say “smart” because the tool “learns” how you pedal. Connected to your smart phone, the Copenhagen Wheel can track distances, monitor your physical activity and gather information from your journey. You can even develop your own apps. The electric hybrid feature makes hilly terrain and distances more easily navigable for commuters. Check out the Copenhagen Wheel!
FREE! Free for the developer, free for the consumer, the Volta Electric Vehicle Charging Station is paid for by advertising. Intended for retail locations, the overt advertising seems appropriate. We are torn as it does reinforce a driving and consumer culture but it also encourages conversion to an electric and potentially renewable future. Currently installed in California and Chicago, look for a Volta charging station in your neighborhood in the near future.
Do you have other great transportation innovations? Share them on our conversations page, or in response to the new year blog. And have a great 2016 in the Year of the Fire Monkey, from all of us at Doo Consulting (especially our own Fire Monkey!)