I saw this image last week at the Cradle to Cradle Conference in San Francisco – it brilliantly summarizes the process companies can work through to become “beneficial” in terms of their impact on global ecosystems, not just “less bad”.
The 100% GOOD GOAL:
Biological nutrients in safe carbon cycle. Technical nutients in continuous reuse periods.
MBDC’s Cradle to Cradle® Roadmap:
We work with corporate enterprises to develop positive goals and strategies, and assist in the execution with specific product design teams using multi-year, real quantity and quality continuous improvement strategies.
Sometimes the simple things make for meaningful change, like finding and unplugging unused equipment:
9 ) Waste Management. AT&T is always looking to minimize waste. For example, AT&T remains dedicated to reducing the amount of e-waste generated. In 2010, AT&T collected over 95,000 computers, servers, and monitors for recycling, reuse, and donation. AT&T also has a strong relationship with Xerox Corporation to do a review of all printing devices in AT&T office buildings. With Xerox Corporation, AT&T was able to remove over 19,000 devices from almost 3,000 locations, reducing energy use by more than 35 percent.
Peter Thiel offers some thoughts…
So can we do more with less in cleantech? Quite possibly we can. But we need to think about things in the same way we do in the computer industry. Is the breakthrough thorium? Is it something else? We certainly need a big breakthrough. Only then does it makes sense to work on incrementally improving it. The first step, as usual, is to think big and think boldly about the future.
Congrats to Janine!
The first NSF sponsored Bio-Inspired Design Workshop was held in March 2011, here’s a follow-on:
Bio-inspired design (BID) or biomimicry is an emerging research area in engineering design, computer science and biology that seeks to systematically mine biological knowledge to solve existing engineering problems. However, the community of BID researchers at present is fragmented with no professional society, unifying funding source, or recurring conference meeting. Continued at http://designengineeringlab.org/BID-workshop/Workshop_2.html
“Our projector consists of hundreds of tiny microprojectors in an array, each of which generates a complete image” explains Marcel Sieler, a scientist at IOF. “This technology, known as ‘array projection’, is modeled on nature – on the compound eye found in some insects – and with it for the first time we can create very thin and bright LED projection systems with tremendous imaging properties.”
Architect and designer Neri Oxman is assistant professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where she directs the Mediated Matter research group. Her group explores how digital design and fabrication technologies mediate between matter and environment to radically transform the design and construction of objects, buildings, and systems. Oxmanís goal is to enhance the relationship between the built and the natural environments by employing design principles inspired by nature and implementing them in the invention of digital design technologies.