Tag Archives: innovation

Crowdsourcing, Innovation, and Sustainability

Why are you drawn to sustainability? Because you love nature? You want to protect the environment? Because it’s good for business?

How about because sustainability is driving amazing innovations?  I’m fascinated by the new technologies being developed to solve environmental problems.  But I’m even more fascinated by the new ways people are creatively collaborating to solving complex environmental issues.

Below are links to some interesting articles I’ve found on innovation and crowdsourcing.  (The first few focus on sustainability, the rest don’t.) I hope you enjoy them.

Britta Riley: A garden in my apartment This Ted Talk video describes how over 18,000 people have contributed to the development and refinement of a “window farm” technology.  This is call “open source collaboration” or “crowdsourcing”.

Can crowdsourcing really crack corporate sustainability? This article features the example of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Lab, a 24-hour, global online event that gathered insights from outside organizations and individuals on key sustainable issues. This led to the launch of a permanent platform dedicated to Open Innovation.

10 Crowdsourcing Success Stories One of the stories is about “My Starbucks Idea”, a Starbucks’ website to solicit ideas and feedback from customers. Ideas break down into three categories: Product, Experience, and Involvement.

Trends for Open Innovation, Co-creation, and Crowdsourcing 1. “You can’t ignore open innovation” 2. “Collaboration, not Competition, is the way forward” 3. “Innovation as a branding strategy” 4. “Use innovation for engagement”

Marissa Mayer’s 9 Principles of Innovation 1. Innovation, not instant perfection,  2. Ideas come from everywhere  3. License to pursue your dreams  4. Morph projects, don’t kill them  5. Share as much information as you can  6. Users, users, users  7. Data is apolitical  8. Creativity loves constraints 9. You’re brilliant? We’re hiring

Innovation: How the Creative Stay Creative The 7 secrets are 1. make free time 2. multi-cultural 3. encourage risky behavior 4. write it down 5. bring in outsiders 6. hire smart 7. do it for free

Pollinators: the new breed of innovators A new breed of “pollinators” has become one of the most dynamic and innovative segments of our workforce. They are an untethered work force that buzzes in and out of companies, moving from project to project, cross-pollinating ideas (and companies) as they go.

8 Ways to Foster Innovation in Your Company 1. Let Every Employee Play Designer 2. Provide Lots of Free Time to Think  3. Use New Software to Round Up Staff Ideas  4. Encourage Risk-Taking  5.Hold an Intern Contest  6.Reward Million-Dollar Ideas  7. New Project, New Team  8. Allocate 10 Percent of Time for Invention.

Feel free to mention other articles you come across.


Posted in crowdsourcing, innovation, open innovation, sustainability | Tagged , , , |

Nature as Inspiration for Business Innovation

Nature Inspired Design

What is Biomimicry? Simply put, it is emulating nature’s genius to solve human problems.

A leader in biomimicry is Janine Benyus. For years she has been inspiring innovators to learn from natural models to design sustainable products and processes.

In her blog, The Living Enterprise, Adiel Gavish talks about using biomimicry to Create a Living Enterprise by integrating Nature’s sustainable design principles into its systems, products and services. Drawing on Janine Benyus’ work, Adiel makes a number of important points:

Secret to Thriving: If people take a closer look at the way in which the natural world makes and does things, they will discover the secrets to not only surviving, but thriving on this planet.

Innovative Design: Businesses can learn from and apply nature’s infinite reservoir of design knowledge to improve their systems, products and services.

Improving Business: By unlocking the secrets to nature’s success, businesses can not only improve their systems, but watch them adapt, grow and evolve like a living ecosystem or organism.

Below are amazing examples of biomimicry in action. The article, “The15 Coolest Cases of Biomimicry” gives details on these innovations and what in nature inspired it.

  • Velcro based on burrs
  • Passive Cooling based on tower-building termites
  • Gecko Tape based on the hairs on gecko lizards’ feet
  • Wind Turbine based on humpback whales’ flippers
  • Bionic Car based on a tropical fish shape
  • Friction-Reducing Coating based on shark skin

Do you have other examples of nature-inspired designs?

Posted in change management, green, sustainability, sustainability consulting, sustainability strategy, Sustainable Business | Tagged , , |