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Here’s a provocative thought for Earth Day. The word “sustainability” is terrible. Sustainability does not conjure up images of a hopeful, expanding society built on a new energy base that encompasses new resource-sensitive values. Hey, here’s an idea, let’s use wireless, gps and video-conferencing to connect people to resources so they get more service and use less stuff. If you can use a Mini, a BMW or a truck anytime, anywhere instead of owning all three, isn’t that better? If you can have a doctor notify you exactly when he’s free, isn’t that better than waiting an hour? If you can discover just when that office or classroom is free, isn’t that better than putting up more edifices? Fluid Time—the way most Gen-Yers move through space these days.
People-centric technology = innovative sustainability.
But the word “sustainability” is kind of heavy, doesn’t roll of the tongue easily and implies one big hairshirt.
John Thackara likes “green” as in the “green economy.” Me too.
I also like “light,” like living lightly on the land. I believe Larry Halpern, the landscape architect, used the term “living lightly on the land” first when he designed Sea Ranch on the northern coast of California.
OK. Which word would you substitute for “sustainability?” Or would you prefer it?
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.