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Industrial age bubble – “ Take – Make – Waste “, way of thinking which dominated the world for the last 200 years is coming to an end.

Nike has reduced its “carbon foot print“ by more than 75 percent. This was not enforced upon them by any regulatory authorities. Looking for the truly innovative opportunities for the future, company declared to achieve zero waste, zero toxicity, and 100 percent recyclable across its entire product range by 2020.

Climate change, natural resource crunch, rampant consumerism, widening economic divide are some of the social and environmental challenge which lies ahead of us, which also gives us the opportunity to change, for good. Transformative collaboration happening between businesses, governments, non- profit organisations are starting to bring about real, sustainable change. We need to stop pretending that the problem belongs to someone else. In the interconnected world there is no good or bad guys, we are all responsible for our core sustainable issues food, water, energy, waste etc and we all have be part of the solution.

Industrial age has been an era earmarked by harvesting of natural and social capital to produce physical and financial capital and the time has come when we have to reverse that process. If you look at the complete value chain, it takes 200 litres of water resources to produce 1 litre of Coke, which is way beyond the reduction they were looking to bring down from 3 litres to 2.5 litres, utilised within the factory. Enterprises no more can limit itself to think outside the box, but need to look outside and beyond the building.

Within the industrial bubble we had to choose between better standard of living or healthy ecosystem and cannot have both. In a life beyond the bubble, it’s illogical to assume that our answers from the past are automatically the answers for the future. Innovation Leaders recognising this fact are implementing revolutionary and not just incremental changes in the way we live and work.

This calls for a shift in thinking.

To create a sustainable world, inspiration should be drawn not from the machines but from nature and the creation of a different future is only possible by learning to see the larger systems of which they we are part of and fostering collaboration across every imaginable boundary. Market based forces are much more powerful than legal or governmental action in spurring innovation and genuine commitment. So it’s about how one help people simultaneously to be effective in dealing with the reality they face and yet have an orientation towards where they want to go. In a regenerative economy we need to learn to see the larger systems in which we live and work.

We need to have an alternative industrial system, a regenerative circular economy which mimics the living-systems principle of “waste = food“. Tomorrow is not far, when we will have buildings that produce more energy and clean water than they can use and function more like trees and forests. A new way of thinking would help us build competence to respond to the greater challenges of our times and management models of successful collaborations, which is relational in nature rather than command and control model.

Innovation can never be predicted in advance and can seem impossibly daunting, they are often catalyzed by small number of people who can both see large patterns and focus on small steps that build momentum. Along with organisational intelligence, if you can tap into emotional and intellectual intelligence of individuals in an organisation, unleashing their latent collective imagination and energy within and among them, one can consider the battle as, won.

Do you have it in you ?

Inspiration: NECESSARY ROVOLUTION – How individuals and organisations are working together to create a sustainable world by Peter Senge et.al.

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