We teach, learn, lead and serve, connecting people with the University of Wisconsin, and engaging with them in transforming lives and communities.

An evolving role for the public library

The role of the public library in our communities is undergoing rapid change. We still find shelves filled with books there, but the underlying mission of the library goes beyond providing a place for reading. Libraries are about the connection of people to knowledge and experiences to which they might not have access if left […]

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How broad is the gap in broadband…

I recently received notice of an interesting article through my colleagues at LinkWISCONSIN, a statewide initiative to promote the availability and sustainable adoption of broadband internet access, through the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.  The article highlights a system in Chattanooga, Tennessee, against the backdrop of our situation in Wisconsin around internet access.  http://bit.ly/z8Lm8N I can only imagine…

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Connecting communities

What role does connectivity play in creating sustainable communities? Can we build sustainable communities without connecting them to the wider world?

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Adapting to climate change: upcoming workshop

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will be the site of an upcoming workshop on Planning for Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region.  Climate change is already impacting the US Midwest with higher average temperatures, more frequent heavy downpours, decreased Great Lakes ice cover, and more frequent heat waves. Projected future climate changes in the […]

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Wisconsin communities tell their stories

More than 25 Wisconsin communities have declared themselves to be “ecomunicipalities”, embracing sustainability principles intended to guide them to make decisions which build community, provide for people’s needs, and at the same time, safeguard the natural systems on which we depend. At the level of city, county and region, people have come together to talk about the […]

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Hey, that’s MY money!

Ekobanken grew from a foundation, doing what foundations do: granting funds for organizations to do good in society. It also grew from questions. Is there a difference between money that is earned, or borrowed, or given? What more good can be done? Loans create the future; What kind of future do we want?

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Closing the loop

Sometimes I grow fond of the most peculiar things. When I got back to Wisconsin last August, I missed quite a few things about Sweden. But one thing I was reminded of every day: toilet paper.

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DYNAMO Communities

During the introductory session of the Sustainable Sweden Tour last August, Torbjörn Lahti shared a perspective for framing different roles municipalities play: authority, service agency, dynamo.

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Whose job is it, anyway?

It’s funny how things bump into each other. Conversations I’ve had recently took me back to Hällefors, Sweden. A number of these conversations were sparked by a newspaper article in the Wausau Daily Herald. It was not only the content of the article that started some grumbling, also that the newspaper reported on an event that they created.

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