Friends of the Earth Manchester and Manchester City Council: Fast lane: Fat Lane advertising image, Copyright: Graeme Sherriff
Since I started my PhD in business economics some months ago, I took a „Blog-timeout“. But here I am back now. During the last years I gained a lot of practical experience in marketing and communication for sustainable services and fast moving consumer goods.
Now I am very much looking forward to dedicate my research to the changing notion and role of brands in sustainable business models with a special focus on business models in transition – towards an expanding dematerialization. Some say ours is a circular economy and we can grow just like we did until now, only much greener. Others are defending a construct, which they call “Post-Growth”.
The only point I am really struggling with is that all our (sometimes desperate) attempts to find the final model to fix a sick system – preferably just with one move – and the corresponding mindsets and values tend to forget an important detail: The human. And that none of us is Mother Theresa. At least I am not. People are not “beyond”, not “post” – they live now.
http://www.peterdrewarts.blogspot.de, Copy right Peter Drew
My whole experience from the last years is confirming me again and again: If we want to hit critical mass for sustainable behaviour, we have to understand humans deeply. We have to reach a new level of thinking if we really want to find sustainable solutions. This advice (stemming originally from Einstein) is probably one of the most profound and potentially the only way to solve the Gordian knot.
So far nearly everybody agrees with the need for such a paradigm shift. But how can we remain conscious about acting unconsciously? How can we visualize sustainability and how can we guide ourselves into the “right direction”?
A lot of green brands have made the same faults as their conventional pendants in the last years. But there are brands which show quite well how much more creativity is (still) possible to inspire people thinking and acting differently. Therefore I would like to share some thoughts and impressions on a book I’ve read „Cause and Effect: Visualizing Sustainability“, recently published by Gestalten Press.
This is a book that presents inspiring marketing and communication projects that educate or simply trigger people on the importance of sustainability. An inspiring variety of advertisements, graphic design, public art, videos, architecture and exhibitions shows the enormous, yet widely unlocked potential there is to sensitize people to this subject matter, other than moralizing.
Clever Little Bag, by fuseproject, Yves Béhar, Cause and Effect, Photo: PUMA, copyright Gestalten 2012
Urbanflow, Nordkapp, copyright Gestalten 2013
Urbanflow is like a software for cities and it is a great example how we can use big data for the good (or at least better): “It is an interactive map service available on screens installed throughout the city, combine amient data such as traffic and air quality with public transportation schedules and bike paths for customized journey planning. The System can also count energy consumption numbers (…) and transportation statistics.” Here is more.
How to create a sense of belonging? How to create a community which makes people feel that they are not alone while changing their lifestyles? I love this example – it is simple and fun.
The Bicycle Counter. Made by Copenhagenize Consulting, Photo: Mikael Colville-Andersen, copyright Gestalten 2013
Hearing an amount of carbon dioxide sounds more or less abstract and does not refer to our daily habits. This exhibition at the London Transport Museum visualized clearly “the look” of carbon dioxide
Counting Carbon, by Native Design, The Agency of Design, Photos: Rich Gilbert, copyright Gestalten 2013
How to make recycling sexy? The Swedish second-hand store Myrorna is a part of the Salvation Army. Myrornas wish was a fresh and new version of the for the recycling symbol.
We love Reusage, Myorna (Sweden’s largest chain of secondhand stores), Ruth Stockholm, copyright Gestalten 2013
“Eco Challenge is an iPhone app that supports ecologically responsible living. (…) It sets playful little challenges that aid everyone to live sustainably.” Very reduced and cool it follows the Design Principles of Apple. And not to forget: You would like to compete? “A social component allows users to compete with their friend through Facebook (…).”
Eco Challenge, Raureif, Berlin, copyright Gestalten 2013
LED Energy Consumption Display by Wieden + Kennedy (left), Energy Aware Clock von Interactive Institute (right), copyright Gestalten 2013