A rallying call for creativity.
The old slogan of “reuse, reduce, recycle” is great. It reminds us, in an easy-to-remember way, about the need to live in a sustainable way.
But if we are really going to solve the climate challenge and create a world that is truly sustainable we need to think differently than just “reuse, reduce, recycle.”
We need to think bigger, better, and bolder.
Let me instead propose this easy-to-remember slogan: Innovate, Inspire, Invest.
Innovate – we do not just need to, for example, reduce our use of oil; we need to come up with innovative solutions that are way better than oil. May it be practical hydrogen, better biofuels, or us cracking the code to fusion. We dramatically need to innovate how we grow food, and so on.
Inspire – we will not get people to change by asking them to sacrifice their way of life. Instead of asking them to reduce what they use, we need to inspire them to look for, and adopt, solutions that are better than what they have today – better both for themselves and for the environment.
And finally, we need to:
Invest – recycling is wonderful, but the challenges we stand in front of now will not be solved by getting people to just recycle their aluminum cans. We need to get them to redirect their savings toward green tech investments. The green revolution is – finally – here and entrepreneurs are ready to make it happen. The more money they get to kick-start the revolution the faster it will happen.
The word “sustainable” means “to able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.”
But we need to go for “Amazable” where we are “able to create amazing improvements at an impressive rate and on all levels.”
We need the opposite of “sustainable”, we need fundamental transformation. We need mindset-shifting creativity. We need wow-look-at-that-!-innovation.
“Sustainability” is often defined as us “meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
We should aim far higher than that.
We should aim for us to create a world that exceeds our wildest dreams while at the same time creating a future where the generations who will follow us can exceed the wildest dreams of their own.
Let’s Innovate, Inspire, and Invest ourselves to a way better world.
Fredrik Haren – The Creativity Explorer
(This text was inspired by attending the Planetech conference in Israel, by interviewing a number of senior leaders in large organisations around sustainability and creativity, and by noticing the fundamental shift that has happened in companies over the last 18 or so months towards embracing and acting on the Sustainable Development Goals.)
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