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Week 35: 5 May 2012

Jay Bigford and Alister Wynn

Yoke Design Studio

Toolkit for nation builders


Transcript of Video


Welcome to your Nation Builder’s Toolkit, a guide to help you live as peacefully, sustainably and happily as possible.

Food sustainability is all about working with nature’s systems, rather than against them. It’s simple really - keep it local and organic.

A great example is Cuba. After the collapse of trade relations with the Soviet Union, combined with the US embargo, Cuba could no longer import oil and chemicals needed to sustain their industrial farming practices. To overcome this, Cuba created their very own, self-reliant organic agricultural system. Urban farms sprang up supplying much needed food to the system, and as much as 41% of Havana’s urban area is used to grow food.

Now let’s look at a mango visiting the UK. This one little mango carries with it gallons of fossil fuels used to grow, transport and preserve it during its long journey from the other side of the world. Grow local, eat local and you can’t lose. The key to a sustainable energy future starts with keeping your energy requirements to a minimum. By designing everything with efficiency in mind, you’ll find that renewable energy will happily support your needs.

On Nowhereisland, the wind always blows strong and free, so make the most of it and harness its power. It’s only since the discovery of oil that many nations have adopted lifestyles that need so much energy. Exploiting this resource has led to huge social and environmental costs. War, climate change, oil spills, nuclear disasters… to name a few. Keep it clean and green and avoid these mistakes.

Community is at the heart of a happy and sustainable nation. Trade skills, support each other and get inspired.

A great example is Kufunda Learning Village in Zimbabwe, which actively empowers and responds to the needs of the local community. Physical needs are met through a sustainable infrastructure, whilst non-physical needs, such as culture, learning and collective leadership are nurtured. Many modern societies today have people living together like sardines in a tin, yet they don’t even know each other! Break down the barriers, learn from each other and grow together.

These are just guidelines so it’s over to you to shape your future for yourselves. Just remember: You’re amazing.


If you require this transcription in large font then please contact Situations by email on or phone 0117 930 4282.

Jay Bigford and Alister Wynn

Yoke is a small design studio based in Bristol doing great things for good people. Founded by Jay Bigford and Alister Wynn it was formed with the idea that our day job should not just be a means to earn our keep, but also an extension of our values that we keep close to our heart. We create engaging websites and captivating experiences and hopefully make life a little happier for those we connect with.

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Nowhereisland is a Situations project led by artist Alex Hartley, one of 12 Artist Taking the Lead projects for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad funded by Arts Council England. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of the University of the West of England, Bristol; Bloomberg; Nicky Wilson Jupiter Artland; the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Yellowbrick Tracking.

Identity designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Wolfram Wiedner, website by Wolfram Wiedner.