Back to Practivism II and Nathan Shedroff.
You can find out about Nathan at the following web-site: http://www.nathan.com/
His talk at Practivism had many messages. He emphasized Customer-centered Design Experience and also posed the following questions:
- What does a more sustainable world look like?
- What does a more meaningful world look like?
- What does a post-consumer world look like?
He admonished us to not design things today that make tomorrow worse for our kids or our grandkids.
And even more strongly, Nathan suggests — don’t call it “green” – it obliterates others forms of sustainability – social, cultural, and economic.
From my perspective sustainability nomenclature is the topic of strong debates amongst friends and colleagues. How do we make sure language is accurate and accessible? I am currently having a discussion with myself (and others) around what to call certain activities and topics. The City of Vancouver has chosen to stick with “green” — wanting to re-define it as the broad stroke of sustainability including all four pillars. And many cities and writers agree — Green Cities California, for one example.
When we do encounter people who object to the word sustainability because it is over-used, misunderstood, too many syllables and generally annoying — it is hard to think of another word that does the job. I have been experimenting with zero carbon economy, low carbon economy, constrained carbon economy — but that approach seems to leave out a multitude of facets that exist within the concept of sustainability. So no resolution that is perfect!
But back to Nathan. He ripped through the importance of:
- Sustainability Principles
- Systems thinking
- Multi-disciplinary Teamwork
- Service to Users/Customers
- Multi-stakeholder engagement
And he listed the following sustainability frameworks:
- Natural Capitalism
- Natural Step
- Cradle to Cradle
And the following Sustainability Tools:
- Life Cycle assessment
- Total Beauty
- Sustainable Helix
Suggesting that these are all useful components in our sustainability toolkits. Nathan’s summary focussed on the importance of designing for experience and meaning. I am looking forward to spending some time with Nathan in early 2010 when I am in California. Will have more to report then.