Are you generating sustainability-focused innovation around you? (Part 1: why?)

Part 1: WHY is sustainability-focused innovation critical?  

Because limited natural resources are the basis of our modern lives.

Sand is the base ingredient needed to form concrete, glass and silicon chips. Without sand, large-screen TVs would be called theatre, roads would be muddy, mankind would sleep in caverns and computers would have remained counting frames.

Copper is essential to build basic infrastructures for energy transport. It is therefore strategic for emerging countries that are getting urbanized.

Petroleum and now maize crops are key feedstock for producing polymers. They enable you to drive light cars and drink Coke.

Megatrends analysis and demography modelling show clearly that decades to come will add hundreds of millions to the global population and that hundreds of millions will access middle class and urbanize. (see my previous post on Megatrends: https://smartinnovation.org/2012/07/23/megatrends-a-framework-to-strategically-rethink-your-business/)

If emerging countries consume like the developed world did in the past decades, you can imagine that our modern societies on a crowded earth will push the stress on natural resources to their limit…

To illustrate this thought, I would like to share with you the video of the “Story of stuff”, which provides a blunt picture on the workings of our modern societies in relation to natural resources:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM

Another video, “Sand Wars” from Denis Delestrac that investigated the human lifestyle impact on sand reserves generates a powerful picture: in tomorrow’s world, there will be no beaches anymore for kids to play and adults to relax…

Sandwars

The truth is that reducing by all means natural resources consumption is certainly the most critical innovation challenge of the 21st century.

In the next post, I will tell you more about what large institutional and corporate players are doing around sustainability-focused innovation.

You will hear about United Nations programs, P&G initiatives and NASA’s crazy dreams. From down to earth to the sky’s the limit sustainability-focused innovations…

Stay posted…

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