Environmentally sustainable innovation

John W Lewis's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, Mar 09, 2017

An event this morning has rekindled my interest in a challenge that I was posed early in my interest in innovation and its management. So this topic has a personal angle and origin.

Having been involved, for many years, in innovation in one guise or another (not that we always called it innovation), my interest in the management of innovation was sparked by an interview with a brilliant consultant who has a clear understanding of the importance of this field.

A couple of years afterwards, at a conference (it was the first TEDxExeter event), I was challenged by an architect involved in housing with low environmental impact: "Let me know when you have figured out how to mainstream sustainability!". This question is very interesting, quite curious, and has echoed around my brain ever since.

This morning, some five years later, I was at an event about environmental impact in the local city and its surrounding area. The talks were about projects to encourage changes in behaviours which affect the environment. But there was little reference to the process by which these new behaviours are communicated and adopted, or how they diffuse through populations, i.e. how they become "mainstream".


Let's discuss the adoption of products and services which affect our environmental impact during #innochat on Twitter on Thursday March 9, 2017 at 12 noon Eastern time, based on the following questions:

  1. How and why is more environmentally sustainable behaviour adopted?
  2. How do we weigh personal convenience relative to societal benefits?
  3. How do we think of environmental innovation: location-based, journey-based, person-based, ...?
  4. How important is our perception of feasibility (technical, logistic, etc.) to adopting new behaviours?
  5. How do we communicate with providers and with each other about "sustainable" behaviour?


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