Impact Detroit: 72 hours and 80 humans

This week’s episode on It’s Hot in Here highlights the 2016 Ross School of Business iMpact Challenge and how social entrepreneurship food ventures can address food access and affordability issues in Detroit.  

As part of Ross’s MBA orientation program, incoming students receive a 72-hour challenge to work intensely with their newly formed MBA section, to ideate, create, and pitch a profitable venture with a social mission in Detroit. It begins with a series of workshops, community conversations, team challenges, and pitch competitions that engage more than 400 students across five academic programs at Ross.

In the studio we welcome Jeff Domagala, Associate Director for MBA Programs at the Sanger Leadership Center, who helped create this year’s iMpact challenge; Jeff Tenza, former IHIH host/engineer, who co-led a tour of students to interview Ann Arbor food entrepreneurs at Argus Farm Stop, Washtenaw Food Hub, and Tilian Farm Development Center.  Remaining mics were surrounded by members of the incoming winning section, Section 5: Vaish Shastry,  Nancy McDermott, and John Barbour.

We discuss the theme, the experience, the people, and the way a group of initial strangers developed a program which utilizes “cosmetically challenged” food to create prepared meals served on wheels.

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A Soundtrack for Complex Systems

Loren Demerath is a Professor of Sociology at Centenary College of Louisiana. With the help professors from Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Economics, Philosophy, and English, Demerath recently taught a course entitled: Explaining the Emergence of Order: the Universe, Life, Consciousness, and Society to introduce students to the study of complexity across disciplines. Here at the University of Michigan check out the Center for the Study of Complex Systems. 

In his book, Explaining Culture: The Social Pursuit of Subjective Order, Demerath describes how culture is a self-organizing phenomenon that develops according to principles of information processing. He has also used those principles with computer scientist Mark Goadrich to create an agent-based simulation of the emergence of social order. Demerath is now working on a book entitled, Good Energy: Explaining the Emergence of Order and Virtue, that describes how contributing to naturally evolving orders is inherently fulfilling.

How do such orders require us to transmit to one another information about suffering, struggle, environmental damage and emotional priorities? From dustbowl farming to the feeling of heartbreak, answers come through songs as wide ranging as “You are my Sunshine” (penned in Shreveport) and “The Lady is a Tramp.” Listen to Loren’s daughter Rafaela sing “Just Ask,” which she heard recently in Austin performed live  by the group Lake Street Dive, out of Boston. They started in 2004 with “free country” music (think free-jazz) but recently signed with Nonesuch to release Side Pony. Take a listen to the Jackson 5 cover which Loren mentioned on air as an example of what complexity theorists call “novelty.”  We just call it hot.

Carbon Confidential: Calculating and Changing our Footprints

img_3729_720Economist Ghislain Dubois does lots of quantitative analyses of environmental policy and practice, including field studies of households in Europe, and specialized treatments of large datasets. He has taught in Universities from Versailles to the Sorbonne and Aix en Provence and is currently working on projects about the future of water resources in the middle east, as well as running games and surveys to assist families, home owners and businesses with carbon reduction scenarios for their future.

Ghislain came of age in the wake of the first Rio summit, and Continue reading Carbon Confidential: Calculating and Changing our Footprints

We needed the world to know: We Are In Xanadu

We were delighted once again to welcome members of Ann Arbor’s Penny Seats Theatre Company to talk theater in the parks and perform a few tunes from their ongoing show. Xanadu is an outrageous show that defies simple explanation: suffice it to say the Muses go to Venice Beach to inspire a sidewalk chalk artist to open a roller disco. You really have to see it to believe, but hearing them sing a few numbers and talk about their process on today’s show is sure to pique your interest.IMG_3627
Xanadu runs through July 30th, Thurs.–Sat. at 7 PM in the West Park Band Shell. You’ve only got a week left! Continue reading We needed the world to know: We Are In Xanadu

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

Danielle Moni-Zo’obo and Malia Molina join us from the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. This summer, they have been working with Dr. Rebecca Hardin’s Michigan Sustainability Cases (MSC) team, working on projects ranging from wolf hunting in Michigan to training 1,000 OB-GYN’s in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this show, they lead an in-depth conversation on educating listeners on what exactly the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program is trying to achieve.

Throughout the summer, the scholars have been participating in various research opportunities with U-M faculty. In addition, the program focuses on engaging students in discussions of diversity in the conservation and environmental fields.The show began with part of an interview with Dr. Dorceta Taylor, the woman responsible for bringing the program to the university, who is also a professor at the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) and the current Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In the interview, she explains the program’s application process as well as its overall goals.

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BuzzFeed: Wild Bees Meet Urban Farming

It’s summertime and our backyards are abuzz with bees!

This week we took time out to learn about the oft-overlooked wild bee.  We were surprised to learn that there are, in fact, thousands of wild bee species all around us and that, like honeybees, some of these wild species are in decline.  Our guest experts described the trials and tribulations of wild-bee research, the contribution of wild bees to agriculture, how bees do in urban areas, and how we can be better stewards to these unsung heroes (hint: don’t mow your lawn!)

WSlack for iOS Upload (1)e were joined by Maria Carolina SimaoPHD Candidate in the UM School of Natural Resources and Environment; Rebecca Tonietto, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at St. Louis University; and Michelle Fearon, PHD Candidate in the UM Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

As promised during the broadcast, the following links will aid you on your on your path to becoming a wild bee hero (or at least impressing your friends with your wild bee knowledge):

Get the Lead Out: Science for Policy in the Light of Environmental Racism Then and Now

Slack for iOS Upload (2)It was hot and heavy in the studio this week as Rob Wolcott, retired senior counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency, and Paul Mohai, Professor at the School of Natural Resources and Environment, joined hosts Ember McCoy, Austin Martin, and Rebecca Hardin to talk about the decision to mandate removal of lead from gasoline and the enduring, harmful lead levels throughout the country. Continue reading Get the Lead Out: Science for Policy in the Light of Environmental Racism Then and Now

Breakthrough Innovations in the Developing World

We have all heard of a carbon footprint. But what is an Ecological Handprint? Professor Rocky Rohwedder of Sonoma State University, and a University of Michigan alum, joined us here at IHIH to discuss just that.

Rocky Rohwedder has focused his many years of research on environmental science, sustainable development, green technologies, and digital communications. He has recently combined all these areas on interest into an e-book called Ecological Handprints, filled with outstanding photographs and stories of hope, inspiration, and innovation.

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Confronting the Arithmetic of Compassion: Decision Making and the World’s Urgent Problems

This week’s episode hosted by Andrea Krauss and Alex Truelove features UM Professor Joe Arvai and special guest Paul Slovic, President of Decision Research and Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon. Paul has dedicated his career to studying human risk perception and how it applies to our decision-making. From the studio to our favorite lunch spot nearly next door, we discuss pressing environmental and social challenges and why the social construction and emotional response to human suffering and risk matters as much as scientific assessment. Our dialogue equally considers the the perspectives and responsibilities of policy-makers, market actors, and citizen consumers. Enjoy!

An eXXpedition with A Self-Trained Expert

sail-boatAfter a journey across the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean in a small sailboat, Jen Pate, director of eXXpedition: Seeing the Unseen, had a breezy time in the studio with hosts Harry Rice and Arman Golrokhian.  Jen was in Ann Arbor to show the documentary as part of the Earth Day Film Festival.  The film follows an all-woman team as they cross the Atlantic Ocean, assessing the load of plastics in the ocean and exploring the burden that toxic chemicals from these plastics place on our bodies.

For more on the science of ocean plastics, check out this conversation with Melissa Duhaime, Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Michigan Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology–produced by undergraduate students of the Program in the Environment:



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