Architectural Ponderings

About Innovation, Awareness and People

This week at the Building Holland event, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute had its Built Positive Workshop. They introduced their view on the world and their approach. Successful cases both abroad and already taking place in the Netherlands were presented and people from various fields brainstormed together.

In short and in their words: “The Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to educate, empower and inspire manufacturers of consumer products to become a positive force for society and the environment, helping to bring about a new industrial revolution. The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ standard that we administer is more than a certification—it’s a vision associated with positive impact.”  

I love the words of Simon Sinek. They show a world that I personally believed in as a young adult, but somehow lost faith in once in it. So the philosophy presented at the workshop of working to create something good from the beginning instead of creating something “less bad” was something that resonated with me greatly and with what the Archi-Re project stands for.

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
– Mother Teresa

We talked about innovation, materials, ongoing projects and future goals. We talked about strategies, visions and possibilities. We shared ideas and goals. And through all that, one thing kept reemerging: the need for awareness.
– Demand is needed to support sustainable products. Without demand a material/design/object/design can end up gathering dust. Demand is obtained through need or awareness.
– Professionals need to be aware of the possibilities out there so they can use them and promote them even further.
– It also really helps if the general population is aware of the benefits and advantages of sustainable and healthy products and philosophies. They thus need to be informed, educated and aware.
– Most of us, professionals out here, have reached a certain level of years, good and bad choices and lessons. Imagine for a moment, that you would have know all this much earlier. Imagine that! What amazing things could we have done by now? Starting early with the new generations is only bound to make their lives easier, improve our environment, allow for an easier communication and create fantastic opportunities.

In conclusion: we need to raise the level of awareness and information. We need to saturate the market with knowledge so that we can reach the tipping point. After that, the market itself will do all the work.

In a later conversation I was asked how do I see the innovation in the Netherlands.

I believe at this point in time is no longer about technology development. By now innovation is snowballing itself. Money is no longer a problem. Do you want to make something cool? Start a crowdfunding, a kick starter, e-mail all the people in the respective field (you only need one to reply) and you’ll find the money.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Today is no longer about innovation. It is about people, about connecting, communicating and working together.” quote=”At this point in time it is all about people. It is about connecting, communicating and most importantly working together.”]

Check out the Cradle to Cradle website. Get involved and spread the word.
Read more about the Archi-Re project. 

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