Eager to help!

With this badge training we can easily imagine 5% of the nation’s
schools with aquagardens in 5 years, 20% by 2020. Takes less than
$100 cash outlay to create an aquaponics innovation center at your
school, faith community, elder facility, store front. But it takes
the focused, sustained attention of a team! Gather your team! We’ll help you.

From SWF director Emmanuel Pratt:

These videos just came out as promos for the Chicago Summer of Learning and the badges.

They do an excellent job of getting across the general concepts for the masses:

CSOL Promo


What is A Badge?


Arne Duncan has since endorsed the badging concept and is promoting it as part of a larger.national initiative called
ReImagining Education.


Our work with AQUAPONS is right at the forefront…

More to come soon.


Here is where users go if they want to sign up to help us beta test our site:


Here is the site currently under development:


this last one should be shared sparingly, because it is not a finished product.

Sweet Water Aquapons (AQUAPONS) - Digital Media and Learning

Sweet Water AQUAPON Summary



Harvard Business Review on Badges


SWF Badges Perfect Resource for a New Work and Global Local Work Force Development

Aquaponics linked to badge learning perfect to cultivate our Curiosity Quotient(CQ) & our Passion Quotient(PQ)

From Friedman of NYT, Jan. 29, 2013

Great Inflection? I mean something very big happened in the last decade. The world went from connected to hyperconnected in a way that is impacting every job, industry and school, but was largely disguised by post-9/11 and the Great Recession. In 2004, I wrote a book, called “The World Is Flat,” about how the world was getting digitally connected so more people could compete, connect and collaborate from anywhere. When I wrote that book, Facebook, Twitter, cloud computing, LinkedIn, 4G wireless, ultra-high-speed bandwidth, big data, Skype, system-on-a-chip (SOC) circuits, iPhones, iPods, iPads and cellphone apps didn’t exist, or were in their infancy.

Now, notes Craig Mundie, one of Microsoft’s top technologists, not just elites, but virtually everyone everywhere has, or will have soon, access to a hand-held computer/cellphone, which can be activated by voice or touch, connected via the cloud to infinite applications and storage, so they can work, invent, entertain, collaborate and learn for less money than ever before.

When the world gets this hyperconnected, adds Mundie, the speed with which every job and industry changes also goes into hypermode. “In the old days,” he said, “it was assumed that your educational foundation would last your whole lifetime. That is no longer true.” Because of the way every industry — from health care to manufacturing to education — is now being transformed by cheap, fast, connected computing power, the skill required for every decent job is rising as is the necessity of lifelong learning.

How to adapt? It will require more individual initiative. We know that it will be vital to have more of the “right” education than less, that you will need to develop skills that are complementary to technology rather than ones that can be easily replaced by it and that we need everyone to be innovating new products and services to employ the people who are being liberated from routine work by automation and software. The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime. Government can and must help, but the president needs to explain that this won’t just be an era of “Yes We Can.” It will also be an era of “Yes You Can” and “Yes You Must.”


Next Generation Science Standards Guidelines

The guidelines, known as the Next Generation Science Standards, are the first broad national recommendations for science instruction since 1996. They were developed by a consortium of 26 state governments and several groups representing scientists and teachers.

Outlining how the standards might change science classrooms, educators said they foresaw more use of real-world examples, like taking students to a farm or fish hatchery — perhaps repeatedly, over the course of years — to help them learn principles from biology, chemistry and physics.

The organizations included the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Research Council and Achieve, a nonprofit education group that helped develop the earlier common standards in mathematics and English. Financing was provided by private foundations, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Noyce Foundation and the Cisco Foundation, as well as DuPont.


You Tube Power at Digital Green Farmer Training


A colleague suggested he investigate the application of the Digital StudyHall model in rural Karnataka. Gandhi did just that — and his experience led to the creation of Digital Green, a platform and process for extending knowledge and influencing behavior that has seized the attention of many development experts.

Gandhi, who had aspired to be an astronaut and studied aeronautical engineering at M.I.T., spent six months in villages in Karnataka experimenting with communication formats — posters, TV shows, locally made videos, public screenings, home screenings. He discovered that if he produced short (8- to 10-minute) videos that featured local farmers (both men and women, as most agricultural work in India is done by women) talking about their experiences and screened them with a facilitator who engaged a group in a discussion — an idea based on a teaching model pioneered by the Stanford researcher Jack Gibbons (pdf) — farmers were highly engaged. Not only did they sit through the videos and ask questions, many took up the practices. Kentaro Toyama, Gandhi’s boss at Microsoft, recalled:

Gandhi says that finding solid partners is Digital Green’s biggest challenge. One such example is PRADAN, which promotes livelihoods for poor families in thousands of villages. Digital Green is also working with the Indian government’s $1 billion National Rural Livelihood Mission.

Friedman Calls For Badge Training

Op-Ed Columnist
Need a Job? Invent It
Published: March 30, 2013 11 Comments

WHEN Tony Wagner, the Harvard education specialist, describes his job today, he says he’s “a translator between two hostile tribes” — the education world and the business world, the people who teach our kids and the people who give them jobs. Wagner’s argument in his book “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World” is that our K-12 and college tracks are not consistently “adding the value and teaching the skills that matter most in the marketplace.”

This is dangerous at a time when there is increasingly no such thing as a high-wage, middle-skilled job — the thing that sustained the middle class in the last generation. Now there is only a high-wage, high-skilled job. Every middle-class job today is being pulled up, out or down faster than ever. That is, it either requires more skill or can be done by more people around the world or is being buried — made obsolete — faster than ever. Which is why the goal of education today, argues Wagner, should not be to make every child “college ready” but “innovation ready” — ready to add value to whatever they do.

That is a tall task. I tracked Wagner down and asked him to elaborate. “Today,” he said via e-mail, “because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. As one executive told me, ‘We can teach new hires the content, and we will have to because it continues to change, but we can’t teach them how to think — to ask the right questions — and to take initiative.’ ”

My generation had it easy. We got to “find” a job. But, more than ever, our kids will have to “invent” a job. (Fortunately, in today’s world, that’s easier and cheaper than ever before.) Sure, the lucky ones will find their first job, but, given the pace of change today, even they will have to reinvent, re-engineer and reimagine that job much more often than their parents if they want to advance in it. If that’s true, I asked Wagner, what do young people need to know today?

“Every young person will continue to need basic knowledge, of course,” he said. “But they will need skills and motivation even more. Of these three education goals, motivation is the most critical. Young people who are intrinsically motivated — curious, persistent, and willing to take risks — will learn new knowledge and skills continuously. They will be able to find new opportunities or create their own a disposition that will be increasingly important as many traditional careers disappear.”

So what should be the focus of education reform today?

“We teach and test things most students have no interest in and will never need, and facts that they can Google and will forget as soon as the test is over,” said Wagner. “Because of this, the longer kids are in school, the less motivated they become. Gallup’s recent survey showed student engagement going from 80 percent in fifth grade to 40 percent in high school. More than a century ago, we ‘reinvented’ the one-room schoolhouse and created factory schools for the industrial economy. Reimagining schools for the 21st-century must be our highest priority. We need to focus more on teaching the skill and will to learn and to make a difference and bring the three most powerful ingredients of intrinsic motivation into the classroom: play, passion and purpose.”

What does that mean for teachers and principals?

“Teachers,” he said, “need to coach students to performance excellence, and principals must be instructional leaders who create the culture of collaboration required to innovate. But what gets tested is what gets taught, and so we need ‘Accountability 2.0.’ All students should have digital portfolios to show evidence of mastery of skills like critical thinking and communication, which they build up right through K-12 and postsecondary. Selective use of high-quality tests, like the College and Work Readiness Assessment, is important. Finally, teachers should be judged on evidence of improvement in students’ work through the year — instead of a score on a bubble test in May. We need lab schools where students earn a high school diploma by completing a series of skill-based ‘merit badges’ in things like entrepreneurship. And schools of education where all new teachers have ‘residencies’ with master teachers and performance standards — not content standards — must become the new normal throughout the system.”

Who is doing it right?

“Finland is one of the most innovative economies in the world,” he said, “and it is the only country where students leave high school ‘innovation-ready.’ They learn concepts and creativity more than facts, and have a choice of many electives — all with a shorter school day, little homework, and almost no testing. In the U.S., 500 K-12 schools affiliated with Hewlett Foundation’s Deeper Learning Initiative and a consortium of 100 school districts called EdLeader21 are developing new approaches to teaching 21st-century skills. There are also a growing number of ‘reinvented’ colleges like the Olin College of Engineering, the M.I.T. Media Lab and the ‘D-school’ at Stanford where students learn to innovate.”

Seek Intern to Share Badge Program With World’s Eco Villages


National Science Foundation “Partners” for Vertical Farming’s Diffusion

Emmanuel Pratt, ex. dir. of the SWF, was on a panel at this workship which
provided a networking occasion of great value for our badge and miniature
initiatives, especially with a storied Sweet Water friend, Dickson Despommier,
and a robotics scientist intensely eager to advance aquaponics in the classroom,
Nikolaus Correll. John Todd, one of the earliest scientists of aquaponics, was
also brought into this conversation.

Google docs link

Massive Open On Line Courses(MOOC) NYT Articles




Letter to Director of Center for Online Learning, Research and Service

Dan Hickey MacArthur Badge Assessment Guy Blog

Collaboration Platforms

University Outreach

Badge Program Support for “New Work” in Era of Big Corporation Temp Work

New work is work we really really want to do and may create value that never becomes part of the
“cash nexus” or taxed world. Work creating food, home and family enhancement, neighborhood community
development that is not a traditional job, but occurs in the civil society and informal economy of barter
and family/neighborhood adaptation.

New Work, see http://newworknewculture.com/content/frithjof-bergmann

Temp Economy, see http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/the-rise-of-the-permanent-temp-economy/?src=rechp

Badges Will Enhance Workforce Development Experiments In Milwaukee

You may have already received an email about this from Bill Malone (if so, sorry for the duplication), but we are currently looking for after school work placements for the students in our Work to Succeed program. WTS is the sister program to Lead to Succeed and takes the skills the students learn through their service project to the next level in a work experience - with wages subsidized through the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.

We are looking for placements that could begin as soon as next week (although they can start later if needed) and continue for approximately 16 weeks. Students are allowed to work 10 hours/week. Ideally all placements will have some tie in to water since that is our targeted industry - however, we can be pretty creative on how that gets tied in!

We’d love to have some students placed at Sweet Water and am hoping you can best advise us on how we can make that happen! I’m copying Rachel Schwarz, who coordinates our work placements, on this email. She is the best person to address any questions you may have and/or talk about next steps.

Also, the UWM College for Kids catalog just came out with our “Adventures in Aquaponics” program in it. You can access the program description electronically by going to: http://www4.uwm.edu/sce/course.cfm?id=26622 Feel free to distribute this opportunity to students, schools, and teachers as you see fit! There are scholarships available. I’ll be working directly with Bradley Tech and St. Joan Antida to register interested students.

Thanks! Hope to see you soon!

Karin Smith (Gratz)
CommUNITY Connections Consulting, LLC
Lead to Succeed
Milwaukee Talent Dividend

With Cheap Digital Resources Badge Training Massively Accessible in India, China, Egypt, etc.

I ENCOUNTERED something on this trip to India that I had never met before: a whole new political community — India’s “virtual middle class.” Its emergence explains a lot about the rise of social protests here, as well as in places like China and Egypt. It is one of the most exciting things happening on the planet. Historically, we have associated democratic revolutions with rising middle classes achieving certain levels of per capita annual income — say, $10,000 — so people can worry less about basic food and housing and more about being treated as citizens with rights and with a voice in their own futures. But here’s what’s fascinating: The massive diffusion of powerful, cheap computing power via cellphones and tablets over the last decade has dramatically lowered the costs of connectivity and education — so much so that many more people in India, China and Egypt, even though they’re still just earning a few dollars a day, now have access to the kind of technologies and learning previously associated solely with the middle class.

And it’s not just driven by the 900 million cellphones in use in India today or the 400 million bloggers in China. The United States Agency for International Development office here in New Delhi connected me with a group of Indian social entrepreneurs the U.S. is supporting, and the power of the tools they are putting in the hands of India’s virtual middle class at low prices is jaw-dropping. Gram Power is creating smart microgrids and smart meters to provide reliable, scalable power for Indian rural areas, where 600 million Indians do not have regular (or any) electricity with which to work, read and learn. For 20 cents a day, Gram Power offers villagers a prepaid electricity card that can power all their home appliances. Healthpoint Services is providing safe drinking water for a family of six for 5 cents a day and telemedicine consultations for 20 cents a visit. VisionSpring is now distributing examinations and eyeglasses to India’s poor for $2 to $3 each. The Institute for Reproductive Health is alerting women of their fertile days each month with text messages, indicating when unprotected sex should be avoided to prevent unwanted pregnancies. And Digital Green is providing low-cost communications systems for Indian farmers and women’s groups to show each their best practices through digital films projected on a dirt floor.

These technologies still need scale, but they are on their way. And they are enabling millions more Indians to at least feel as if they are middle class and the political empowerment that goes with that, says Nayan Chanda, who runs the YaleGlobal Online Magazine and is co-editor of “A World Connected: Globalization in the 21st Century.”


Lots of Science Know How In USA To Harness for Badge & MOOC Global Exchange

But America’s technology leadership is not, in fact, endangered. According to the economist Richard B. Freeman, the United States, with just 5 percent of the world’s population, employs a third of its high-tech researchers, accounts for 40 percent of its research and development, and publishes over a third of its science and engineering articles. And a marked new crop of billion-dollar high-tech companies has sprung up in Silicon Valley recently, without the help of an expanded guest-worker program.

Nor are we turning away foreign students, or forcing them to leave once they’ve graduated. According to the Congressional Research Service, the number of full-time foreign graduate students in science, engineering and health fields has grown by more than 50 percent, from 91,150 in 1990 to 148,900 in 2009. And over the 2000s, the United States granted permanent residence to almost 300,000 high-tech workers, in addition to granting temporary work permits (for up to six years) to hundreds of thousands more. From 2/8/13 NYT on “Genius Glut.”

Partner Concepts

Dear Robby, Nickolas, Josh, and Stan,

Nice to learn about your lives well lived and shared visions, Josh and Stan.

Let the mighty collaboration begin!

Designing and stewarding the human eco-system is probably 51%
of the challenge. That’s my focus in this note.

I have been given the ok to explore with you a collaboration experiment to accelerate the diffusion of aquaponics experimentation in the schools of the USA, for starters, specifically the Denver and
Colorado region as a first step. This is central to the founding Sweet Water vision of commercializing, democratizing, and globalizing experiments in aquaponics methodologies. Most have imagined that the “commercializing” venture required large systems, failing to appreciate the millions of dollars poised for investment in small start-ups in home, school, restaurant, veteran and senior centers, etc.

Reciprocity Economics and Little Red Hen Principles

I would like to launch this pilot with your team guided by the broad concept of “reciprocity economics.” By this I mean brainstorming a resonant vision, in perfect pitch with the times, with very little green capital, but an abundance of knowledge capital, i.e. social(who we know), cultural(what we know), and spiritual(how we know it!).

We commit to “spending” some of our forms of capital, especially our cultural capital and our “pro-bono genius labor power.” At the outset we commit to crafting developmental and behavioral algorithms to structure our “partnership” experiment. We are
“partners” in, at this moment, a “Sweet Water Community”(SWC), i.e. a global community of experimentation with quite porous boundaries and open source ethos. The open source piece is key.
I would like your blessing to incorporate our exchanges as raw material in another revenue producing venture, an eBook that retired Air Force Lt. Col. Ken Kenworthy of Knowledge Realm is taking the lead on. This means that the default position is an ok for narrow casting and storing for eBook use down the line. If you send me notes you don’t want shared, please make sure to say that at the very outset. Or, if you think this concept daft, let me know and I will respect your wishes.

The Little Red Hen Principles basically boil down to the notion that
if you help with the actions required to manifest the pie vision, you
receive some of the pie, commensurate with your contribution. No
work no pie!


So if your team became “partners” with the Sweet Water Foundation(SWF) to advance the Badge Program, we would
work out a formula for compensation various value creating elements of the process. It is as easy to capture the whale as it is to figure our equitable land energy stimulating means of harvesting the whale. Joseph of the Old Testament won the Pharaoh’s support not only because he helped interpret his dreams but also because he helped
devised useful formulae for grain distribution among the people.

5 in 5, 20 by 20!

So at an NSF conference on Vertical Farming, I challenged the gathering to imagine establishing aquaponics experiments in 5% of
the nation’s schools in 5 years, 20% by 2020. A Sweet Water “partner,” Dr. Nikolaus Correll, said that’s nice, but we should aim to get 5% in the first year! If the stars align, he may be an important ally in your team’s Badge venture. Here’s a Ted Talk he gave:


And here’s a draft of an essay he, I, and Emmanuel Pratt have


This is a lot! What say?

Why not?


Last edited by Godsil. Based on work by tyler schuster.  Page last modified on June 05, 2013

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