Ranges Coworking

Have you found your tribe?

Years ago, I heard a networking expert speak on the difference it made to her business to find her “tribe” – that group of people who understood who she was and where she was coming from.

Water > Carrots > Water

“A watery by-product of fruit and vegetable processing, which used to end up in the sewerage system, is now being served at restaurants as premium drinking water.” Yes, this article is about bottled water – but it’s also about a fundamental shift in how entrepreneurs are thinking differently and turning “waste” back in to high-value resources.   You may not value …

Are your personal emissions toxic?

A 6 point check for “toxic seriosity” It’s easy to get passionate about sustainability – but is your message EFFECTIVE? How do you know whether you’re creating action – or whether you’re teaching helplessness? Here’s a quick check on what you’re messaging and how you’re pushing it.

Points of power for change-makers

Talking regenerative business and systems thinking the other day, we came around to Donella Meadows and her classic article “Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System”. Some web research found this Prezzi Points of Power that gives a nice summary of levels of influence, including:

Bringing marketing to the light

Many sustainability people I meet are full of stories about “the evil of marketing”. To me, it’s a powerful tool that changes human behaviour – so we’d be much better off taking the tools it’s developed and using them to deliver the change we want to see in the world.

What the bleep is biomimicry?

Biomimicry is a label for a design process that’s been developing over the past few decades – it’s a design process that happens where technology meets biology and physics. It challenges our traditional approaches of mechanical and chemical engineering with elegant new solutions. Biomimicry has been happening since Leonardo sketched designs based on nature, but it has been named and …

Sapiens, sustainability and the power of fiction

Yuval Noah Harari’s recent book “Sapiens” is a fascinating insight into human history and how humans use language. “…the truly unique feature of our language is … the ability to transmit information about things that do not exist at all. As far as we know, only Sapiens can talk about entire kinds of entities that they have never seen, touched …

How did a small girl and a Harvard professor turn a property developer into a stealth greenie?

Darren Pearson of Diversified Property Group started as a conventional property developer building project homes.  He’s become a “stealth player”, integrating products from leading edge innovators to deliver smarter, greener homes in Sydney, Australia. He credits his mid-course correction primarily to two people: A Harvard professor in his global business group His small daughter The Harvard professor challenged him to …

The prime entrepreneurial pattern

(Adapted from The Prime Innovation Pattern in The Innovator’s Way) The use of the nouns “entrepreneur” and “entrepreneurship” hide the reality that what we’re dealing with is a process that’s been intensively studied and defined over recent decades – particularly under the label “innovation”. Innovation is another process hiding inside a noun – and what is hidden is the process …

6 ways to screw up any sustainability message

Not getting the results you want?  Maybe there’s a reason.  I’m repeatedly amazed at how little many (extremely smart) sustainability advocates seem know about the art and craft of influencing. Poorly crafted sustainability messages are as destructive as any other form of junk mail.  How many of these screw-ups have you seen recently? 1. Only talk about the bad news …

You know the world is changing when…

When leading brands start turning regenerative thinking into business innovation, you know there’s a fundamental mindset shift underway. Here are a few big brand indicators that particularly caught my eye: Adidas  collaborates with Sea Shepherd to make running shoes out of ocean plastics: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3048033/adidas-knit-these-sneakers-entirely-from-ocean-plastic-trash McDonalds hooks up with Rocky Mountain Institute to design a Net Zero Energy fast food outlet:  …

Macca’s is aiming for zero net energy!

You know the world is changing when the Golden Arches crowd hooks up with the Rocky Mountain Institute to design a net zero energy fast food outlet – largely achievable with today’s technology! In this case, Net Zero Energy means that a store must offset its energy consumption with on-site renewable energy generation on an annual basis.   It’s not a …

What hooked Naomi Klein into sustainability?

A good friend loaned me the book “This Changes Everything” by social activist Naomi Klein.  It’s a massive book and I’m still processing a lot of its content. One thing that I’m always on the lookout for in sustainability is to understand the triggers that enable people to engage with something so potentially overwhelming.  So the bit of the book …

"Just" is a 4-letter word

“Human behaviour doesn’t fit into a simple cause/effect model…. Resist simplifications…” – Margo Main In an increasingly complex world, “just” is a symptom of over-simplification that blinds us to  possibilities for systems transformation.  Maybe it’s an excess of super-hero movies, technology overwhelm, or an industrial culture of production line thinking. A single-answer “solution” about sustainability (or any other wicked problem) …

Force fields for change-making

Changing human systems starts with understanding them and the glue that holds them together. Human systems are heavily geared towards maintaining themselves and they often actively resist change. They want to conserve themselves. (Equally true for individuals, families, communities, organisations and societies.) Human systems also have the potential to transform themselves when the need arises. Given a big enough breakdown …

Entrepreneuring and behaviour change

Being an entrepreneur is fundamentally about being in the business of behaviour change.   Behaviour change is a process – hence the word “entrepreneuring”. The real work is in convincing your target market to adopt the new behaviour implicit in your product or service. To sell smarter phones and tablets, Steve Jobs had to convince people to use them – …