World Innovation Forum and Sustainability

June 18, 2013

Last week, I attended the World Innovation Forum in NYC hosted by the World of Business Ideas (WOBI). The event drew over 800 attendees from 32 countries -- everyone talking about the buzzy I-word: Innovation.

(almost) Everyone wants to be innovative. From the open-sourced encyclopedia "Wikipedia", we find this definition of Innovation: "the application of new solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulate needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments and society. The term innovation can be defined as something original and new that "breaks in to" the market or into society. One usually associates to new phenomena that are important in some way.

In other words -- adjectives -- innovation is:

* New

* Better

* Important

There were many new/better/important ideas presented at the Forum, including commercial space travel, delivered by the CEO of Virgin Galactic.

The space travel talk was cool, but for me, the sustainability consultant, I was heartened and inspired by how many of the presentations were sustainability-centric. Whether it was young college students and entrepreneurs presenting on their awesome new ideas (e.g. solar powered public seats/cell phone chargers), to the Co-director of the Business and Environment Initiative at Harvard presenting on the business/environment link, to the Deloitte water experts...the real theme of the Innovation Forum was "Sustainability".

This is good news. We are not going to "increment" our way out of the energy, water, waste, climate, land use issues we face on a global scale. We are going to have to innovate our way to a sustainable future where we no longer are talking about sustaining but about restoring and thriving.




No Comments Yet, Add Yours!


Recent Blog Posts

Hawaii's Recent Leap of Faith

  At the southernmost point of the United States, a 20 something named Alex stands atop a 30 foot cliff of hardened lava. The Pacific Ocean slaps below against the black rock, as the young...

[+] More


SustyBiz15 and the Progression of Sustainability

  GreenBiz and other sustainability voices assert that corporate sustainability is moving into its second decade as a movement. Since the launch of other highly publicized,...

[+] More


There's More Than One Zero

In the ever-evolving nomenclature of sustainability, the concept of “zero waste” is an especially tricky subject, one whose definition varies significantly depending on what company you...

[+] More


The ABCs (and Fs) of Sustainability Reporting

Sustainability Reporting has gone through several waves of evolution over the past decade.  As I presented at the 2012 MAPI conference and the 2013 Sustainable Brands New Metrics conference,...

[+] More


Trash as Treasure: From Setting to Surpassing the Bar on Waste Reduction

Whether a sustainability expert or newcomer, those who work in this industry likely will tell you that ‘sustainability’ can be an elusive, rarely agreed-upon and often poorly defined...

[+] More


March Madness: The Champions of Corporate Sustainability

March is here, and that means one thing to me -- March Madness!  For all its warts and shortcomings, the NCAA knows how to host a basketball championship. This tournament is so good that...

[+] More


The Top Ten Top 10s

As the "old year" drew to a close and the new year approached, my inbox was deluged by dozens of sustainability "Top 10" lists. Some were of the year past and some were focused on the year ahead. But...

[+] More

J Gowdy Consulting - Profitable Sustainable Solutions - © 2010      P.O. Box 128334 Nashville, TN 37212      Site design by: iDesign, Inc.