Helping create more sustainable organizations and products has been the primary focus of my work for the last twenty years. I have had the good fortune to learn from, and work with, some of the greatest thinkers in the world in my field. From these thought leaders I have come to understand what a sustainable industrial system looks like. It is a cyclical system, a fair system, an engaging system, one that supports better design and which optimizes function and uses energy and materials wisely. It is a system that mimics nature where possible and it has supply chains that share benefits and minimize impacts.
A sustainable industrial system produces affordable products that have the utility and functionality we want. It is a system that understands that products are needed for all of humanity – people like me as well as the 2 billion people who are off grid and living a much more challenging life. It is a system we trust and we feel good about. A system we all want to be part of and one that will support future generations. It is a system that produces products we need and sometimes just products we want – like chocolate.
What I find challenging, and what I work on every day, is defining how to get from here to there – what is the pathway, what are the steps, how do we know we are making the right choices? How do we align our organizations, how do we direct our innovation and creativity? In my view it is not the revolutionary idea that is the challenge it is the transition – changing the incentives, the systems of governance, the behaviours and mindset of individuals, the business processes, the regulatory framework, the economic models this is where the heavy lifting is. These are the challenges I like taking on – it is what I do.