Who leads disruptive technology innovation at scale?
Think about who was behind the development, construction and commericalisation of :
- the smartphone in your hand
- the car in your driveway
- the aeroplane that took you on your last international journey.
Who drove the design and delivery work that made it a desirable consumer product?
Our core issues are problems with rubbish supply chain design
The systems that deliver the products and services we use every day go back centuries. Their environmental impacts were multiplied and magnified by the Industrial Revolution. Then they were further accelerated through the 20th century.
Their primary problem is that they are fundamentally 1-way, mine/make/use/dump designs. Making them "more efficient" is like slowing down the speed of the car you're driving over a cliff.
To survive, you actually need to change direction. You need smarter, fairer safer systems - circular, renewable systems that restore and regenerate BY DESIGN. You need to change whole industry mindsets.
Industrial innovation at scale isn't typically delivered by democratic national governments.
Governments can't directly change supply chains
Western democratic governments aren't "in charge" of the design of industry. They can set policies and - to a certain extent - regulate what business does.
Who is the primary force in designing, building and delivering the majority of products and services you consume every day?
Who directly briefs the engineers , designers and technologists who work out how to provide us with transport, clothes, energy and communications?
Disruptive innovation at scale is delivered largely by business entrepreneurs
Research and development may be done in laboratories and think tanks using government funding . However, scaling a product or service for a national or global market is primarily done by canny business innovators.
These innovators are at all levels. They can be an entrepreneurial head of a global manufacturing corporation; the owner of a family construction business; or a collective of citizen entrepreneurs delivering a renewable energy coop.
We already HAVE the commercial technology
It's surprising how few climate "experts" seem to know this - but we do. According to one analysis, simply by scaling 80 existing, commercial, no-government-required solutions we could be carbon negative by 2050.
This is what Paul Hawken found when he was preparing to release the first Drawdown report on reversing global warming in 2017:
“While we were finishing the book I spoke with three of the best-known international climate change experts—professors and authors who have been leading this field for the past 25-30 years. I asked them to write down their top 5 solutions for global warming. It took them a long time.
Moreover: They were all wrong. Their top solutions are not the top solutions according to the data of the leading institutions as we have researched those.
Here’s my point: We are 40 years into global warming. It is the most serious problem humanity has ever faced. We have created it and the authorities in the field cannot name the top-5 solutions. That’s an astonishing anthropological fact. There is no plan…” (emphasis added)Paul Hawken in The Optimist Daily
How's that for "inconvenient"!!!
The problem experts don't know the answers. If they did they may still not have the supply chain smarts to turn good technology into great products and services.
It seems likely that the most powerful place you could campaign for climate action is inside an entrepreneur's head.
You can still march on climate strikes.
You can still use your vote to send a political message.
You can still reduce your meat intake and your car miles.
And when you've done those things you can do more!
You can learn about the existing, actionable solutions that are being collected under titles like Circular Economy and Regenerative Business.
AND you can do more than protest, vote and eat more veggies - you can take the best solutions to work and use them to build your career (or business)!
Find out more at my sister website Balance3.