Hacking human systems to reverse global warming

Talking TO someone is just so much better than staring at myself in a video screen.  (Great change from writing, too).  Great questions too – so I have a better sense of what interests other people and what THEY want to know about – which isn’t always what I think I should tell them. It’s much easier to explain what …

Enova Community Renewables

Power to the people – because now it’s easier than ever

While the Australian government continues to talk about coal and baseload and electricity prices, Australian communities and entrepreneurs are busy delivering on clean energy in innovative new ways. Smart technology and ongoing legal advances are enabling new ways of doing business and making investments – tools that are enabling exciting new projects to be delivered. Crowd-sourced investment The enabling technology …

4 places to seek sustainability advantage

In an earlier post, I talked about the 10 key assumptions that blind many businesses to sustainability opportunity.  Once you understand them, it’s time to explore your business. There are also four key levels of business activities that you can use to explore for opportunities “hiding in plain sight”. Your product/process maintenance and improvement Your product/process upgrades Function improvements Systems …

Talking Drawdown and optimism with Climactic.fm

I’m a writer by inclination, so getting behind the microphone on a regular basis is still on my to-do list. Fortunately, I hooked up with podcaster Mark Spencer from Climatic.fm a little while ago.  He’s demystified the process and featured me in a recent Cimactic podcast.

Nudge - Richard Thaler

Nudging sustainability into action

“…as human beings, we all are susceptible to a wide array of routine biases that can lead to an equally wide array of embarrassing blunders in education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, happiness, and even the planet itself”.  NUDGE, 2008. Richard Thaler with Cass Sunstein Richard Thaler’s 2017 Nobel Prize for Economics “nudged” me into finally reading …

Sustainability Innovation on Pinterest

Pinning the good news on Regenerative Business

I’ve been publicizing the opportunity side of sustainability for years in my LinkedIn Regenerative Business group. Recently I decided it needed a wider (and probably younger) audience.  So now, when I find a story worth telling, I’m also pinning it to my Sustainability Innovation Board.  If that’s where you hang out – or where people you want to influence hang …

What do geckos have to do with carpet tiles?

For years I tried to ignore my environmental concerns. I was worried but felt powerless.  Then I was introduced to “Natural Capitalism” and I got interested – almost in spite of myself. The story of a mid-course correction Then I read entrepreneur Ray Anderson’s first book “MidCourse Correction” – and that got me INSPIRED. 

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:

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 …

"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 …