Sustainable Innovation.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on October 4, 2006

I keep hearing more about this concept of “sustainable innovation” and now there’s a conference on it put on by the business school of IIT in Chicago. The Brits appear to be ahead of us in sustainable innovation, or at least the theory of it and they will be out in force at IIT.

One of my design heroes, Gianfranco Zaccai of Continuum, is also speaking on sustainable innovation at a DMI webinar.

One of the emerging themes in sustainable innovation is simplicity. Less is more. Enter John Maeda at MIT and his new book, The Laws of Simplicity and Philips, which is holding another Simplicity event in London right now. Philips is betting that simplicity in health care will be an engine of growth for the future. Philips even has a simplicity web site.

Reader Comments

Harm Joosse

October 5, 2006 3:20 PM

I have participated in the IBM Innovation Jam, and remember you had access as well. Do you see similarities between the Philips initiative and the innovation Jam?

Chetan Chandavarkar

October 9, 2006 9:45 PM

I think there's a difference between "sustainability" - which looks at the environment and product design in that context...and Philip's Simplicity intiative which focuses on how technology shouldn't get in the middle of the user experience - something Apple has always done well.

Sustainability puts the environment above all else, Simplicity puts the customer above all else. Do you agree?
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Chetan Chandavarkar
futurethink
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Michele Champagne

September 4, 2007 8:55 PM

We need simplicity to achieve sustainability. Making the environment important (above all else) is also, although indirectly, making the customer important, because without an environment, there would be no customer. Simplicity comes in because addressing environmental concerns is complex, and no one person or firm has the answer. We need to better understand environmental issues (every single one of us, customers included), and we need easy-to-use collaborative tools to find these innovative solutions.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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