Raz Godelnik, the co-founder of Eco-Libris and an adjunct faculty at the University of Delaware’s Business School, wrote a blog post for Triple Pundit that explores why sustainable topics are sometimes ho-hum.
“While it would be hard to guess what specifically makes you excited, it’s probably not a sustainable product, brand or culture phenomenon,” he writes.
Godelnik identifies 4 points to think about when adding the secret sauce of excitement to sustainability:
1. There’s nothing exciting about being less bad – Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart wrote more than a decade ago in Cradle to Cradle how “less bad” is a depressing vision of our species’ role in the world. “…To be less bad is to accept things as they are, to believe that poorly designed, dishonorable, destructive systems are the best humans can do,” they wrote.
2. Reimagine the sustainable horizon – Companies need not just to think in a creative and disruptive way, but also to think about the sustainable horizon as the place where science fiction, Hollywood, playfulness and personal dreams meet.
3. Give consumers Beckham, not Vanessa – Most companies keep selling their old unsustainable products while trying to advance lines of products that are more sustainable. H&M, a fast fashion company with sustainability ambitions, launched an eco-friendly Conscious Collection and this year, with Vanessa Paradis. But H&M’s other campaign, for its bodywear line featured David Beckham. ‘Nuff said.
4. Be aware of the curse – In his report, The Curse of Innovation: Why Innovative New Products Fail, Harvard Business School Professor John Gourville explained that innovative new products fail many times because consumers systematically undervalue and firms systematically overvalue the innovation relative to what an objective analysis would suggest. He called this phenomenon, the “curse of innovation.”
Read more: http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/05/missing-ingredient-sustainable-consumption-sauce-excitement/