Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Fun Workshop on Sustainable Transportation for Washington DC

On February 17-19, 2012, all across the world groups will get together to tackle a sustainability challenge in a fun way. This is "Pyramid 2012," a voluntary, global-scale workshop event that is linked (unofficially) to the "Rio+20" UN Sustainability Summit later this year.

On Saturday afternoon, February 18...
we will hold a local Pyramid event in Washington DC! We invite you to come and help tackle the challenges DC's transportation situation is facing and develop surprising solutions to "keep DC moving" while building a pyramid with 12-25 others.

Keep DC moving!
Whether you're a driver, metro rider, biker or pedestrian, it's no surprise to you that commuting in the DC metro area is notorious. Congestion, metro breakdowns and fare hikes, bad air quality in summer, crumbling roads, rising gas prices, these are all indicators that current mobility in DC may not be sustainable for much longer. Through which smart interventions can we keep transportation quick, accessible and affordable, while cleaning the air and improving safety? That's the central challenge in our local Pyramid workshop and we need your help to solve it.
To warm up, check out the links in the side bar!

Building a Pyramid for sustainable transportation
Pyramid is the name of a process designed by Alan AtKisson to address sustainability challenges in a systemic way. It makes sure nature, society, economy and well-being are all included. By going through the steps together, the challenge is examined, consensual solutions are found and layer-by-layer a true pyramid is constructed.

Layer 1: What is happening? Indicators and trends that influence or are influenced by DC transportation.
Layer 2: Why is it happening? Chains and loops of causes and consequences.
Layer 3: What can be done about it? Smart, effective interventions that improve sustainability.
Layer 4: How can it be done? Strategy.
Top: The Capstone Agreement. Congratulations!

Check out some Pyramids under construction here.

A fun experiment: the process is the goal
Our intention is to enjoy the Pyramid process together while discussing the real challenge of DC mobility. It's an experiment. We'll go through the steps and see what rolls out in the end.

A message to decision makers
That is not to say that the outcomes don't matter. If the results of our local workshop are compelling, we will do our best to get the message to decision makers.
The results and images of this and all other workshops will send a powerful message to the Rio+20 UN Sustainability Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June.

Date:        Saturday, February 18, 2012
Time:        1:00 - 5:30 pm
Location:  Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW, Washington, DC
Fee:          the event is free of charge, but lunch and drinks afterwards are at your own expense.

We have access to the library from 2 pm. To use this time optimally, we'll assemble for lunch (not included) at a place nearby, which is yet to be determined. There we'll do introductions and explain the process. After the workshop, please join us for a drink to celebrate a successful workshop.

RSVP required
If the topic speaks to you, if you'd like to spend an afternoon with good company, if you want to experience what the Pyramid for sustainable development is about, sign up!
To register, or for questions, please email Mark or Eva (see below)
Capacity is limited to 25 people.

We look forward to meeting you!

Eva Clymans (
Mark Olsthoorn (

Image of a successful Pyramid workshop

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