Photo courtesy of Bigadventures
Unlike this lucky bloke, green innovation is starting to feel pretty dam hard.
Many out there are struggling to develop new sustainable strategies, products, processes and implementing them all by pushing against the current flow. Most are attempting to look at this world with green tinted glasses and reform almost all of the products and processes we live by. The opportunity is certainly abounding and yet the reality can be sobering. Innovators are being asked to be more even more compelling, operate with less resources, and eek-out more value to each respective need. A greater responsibility to improve current models, under the lens of sustainability, is falling on the brave and courageous few people to change the world. The true goal may be to actually recruit "green" marines, the few and the proud… Hooo-Rah!
Pick any challenging real world issue and look closely… you can find just a handful of truly passionate social entrepreneurs working for change in that arena. Whether the innovation is in food, agriculture, energy, technologies, products, or waste... we are being asked to redesign them all. Only a few out there are truly developing system-wide changes to save time, resources and precious money, all in the greater name of sustainability. When did the fate of so many lay in the hands of so few? But are we all trying to rebuild a ship after is has hit the iceberg and taking in water? Let's hope not.
At some point it all begins to feel like paddling upstream against the current while having "conventional" rocks appear in your path. One can imagine the timeless innovators felt this great resistance… maybe we are no different now. Oddly, most what we are transforming makes a product, service or process- simpler, easier, cheaper, with have less impact. Consider clean technologies such as electric vehicles; simple to use (no gas), effective operations (gets you there) and easy to power (plug-in). Yet in today's ecological thinking, we must still prove the business case for them. Who is being asked to prove the business case for pollution, obvious waste with the harsh negative impacts we see daily... no one!
A collective grand vision for the green movement is to get all parties involved into the millions of innovations, as our evolution is seeking the best collaborative solutions to our varied modern problems. If we leave these crucial tasks only for a few to solve, making major inroads may simply take too long. The conventional model is to work in a resource constrained systems that are functioning under old corporate cultures of; time equals money, bigger and better, and of course... not "my" problem.
Our greatest task as innovators is now recruitment of conscious leaders... yes I do mean you! If you have made it this far, then you too could decide that now is the time to rally and gain momentum. Whether it be for noble ideals, lofty aspirations, personal gain or for the greater collective good of future generations... does it really matter anymore? What matters now is what you do, how you live and what you support. We are all gifted with constant access to new communication channels, reliable information and available resources. Even though there are few valid excuses left to claim… some certainly will.
If we wait, if we dilly-dally, if we decide not to give these bold efforts 110% now... where will it leave us all exactly? Will we be able to move our own evolution forward fast enough to make real progress? Can we recruit others fast enough to the grand vision, so they can grasp it for themselves and realize this is our only way forward. It may simply come down to values and a few questions to ask.
Trust- Do we have enough to move forward together?
Integrity- Similar to trust, can we commit to do what we say we will?
Responsibility- Can we find our own and help others see theirs?
Creativity- Can we look at the real issues with freedom and inspiration?
Motivation- Will what we are building move others to action?
Interested to hear your ideas, solutions and opinions? Please share them here, it is a first step towards change.
Jared Brick recently attained an MBA in Sustainable Management at the Presidio Graduate School in SF. He is developing the first ever reusables tracking platform, rewarding consumers everywhere in their retail experiences. Follow the journey at traxactions.com or on twitter: traxactions