Sustainable innovation – 10 Key Lessons
Sustainable innovation needs to be anchored in the rethinking of current business models, and eco-innovators need to be prepared for a potentially “very bloody fight” with current market leaders, according to “10 key lessons” from the latest Sustainable Innovation conference organised by the Centre for Sustainable Design.
According to the key lessons from the 2013 conference:
- Climate change, circular economy and eco-innovation are now being hardwired into future European industrial policy scenarios.
- Companies need to incorporate consideration of these issues into their products and services, ie. understanding the circular economy and making resource-efficient products that can be disassembled and recycled.
There is also a surge of innovation coming from the bottom up, made easier by social networking, which facilitates the exchange of ideas:
- Grassroots initiatives such as hackspaces andcommunity workshops where enthusiasts work on computing or other technologies.
- Innovations from such initiatives can ultimately filter up to the wider market.
- The result of these trends is a challenge to traditional business models, and powerful companies might resist with “aggressive responses”.
- Innovators might face legal battles or obstacles to market access put in their way by incumbents.
The 2014 Sustainable Innovation conference, to be held in Copenhagen from 3-4 November, will focus on urban areas, the “democratisation of innovation and manufacturing” and the bottom-up “maker” and “fixer” culture.
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