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Fairmount Santrol Professor of Social Entrepreneurship David Cooperrider provides his insight on current articles relating to Business as an Agent of World Benefit.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

We have all heard of BHAG's--big hairy audacious goals--but where do they come from? The true source is impossible questions--heretical questions--big hairy audacious questions. So more attention should be placed on creative questions, not the goals themselves. But it is not something we teach managers. This article shares great examples. Take Oldani...


Davide Oldani, chef at Ristorante D'O, thought it unfair that only wealthier people could afford top-quality food, while most Michelin-starred restaurants run at a loss. He wanted to create a restaurant with at least one Michelin star, aimed at 'the ordinary man', offering complete lunches and complete dinners for $25 and $45 respectively. The starred restaurant also had to be profitable. His restaurant is booked 1.5 years in advance, the ordinary man dines there, Davide makes a profit and has created an entirely new culinary movement called Cucina POP. 


The positive energy of impossible questions

Now you could say: "Such things are only reserved for a select group of brilliant entrepreneurs." But nothing could be further from the truth. The author of this article said: "I decided to see for myself and conducted an experiment. Whenever I had to deliver a workshop or speech, I started with one of the questions above. I outlined the situation of Dr. V. or Davide Oldani and presented the audience with impossible demands by asking them: “How would you tackle that?” It was amazing to witness what happened each time. There was an energetic, almost mischievous ambience in the room. The buzz increased and twenty or thirty ideas were soon proposed. Special, creative and enterprising ideas from enthusiastic people. It was very different when I asked the following question: "You have a Michelin-starred restaurant and are making a loss of around 10%. How are you going to resolve that? How will you reduce costs by 10%?" The answers to that question were just as boring and obligatory as the energy within the room.The list of ideas was significantly shorter. "

 


 

 

The Positive Energy of BHAQ's

The Positive Energy of BHAQ's

Davide Oldani, chef at Ristorante D'O, thought it unfair that only wealthier people could afford top-quality food, while most Michelin-starred restaurants run at a loss. He wanted to create a restaurant with at least one Michelin star, aimed at 'the ordinary man', offering complete lunches and complete dinners for $25 and $45 respectively. The starred restaurant also had to be profitable. His restaurant is booked 1.5 years in advance, the ordinary man dines there, Davide makes a profit and has created an entirely new culinary movement called Cucina POP. 

The positive energy of impossible questions

Now you could say: "Such things are only reserved for a select group of brilliant entrepreneurs." But nothing could be further from the truth. I decided to see for myself and conducted an experiment. Whenever I had to deliver a workshop or speech, I started with one of the questions above. I outlined the situation of Dr. V. or Davide Oldani and presented the audience with impossible demands by asking them: “How would you tackle that?” It was amazing to witness what happened each time. There was an energetic, almost mischievous ambience in the room. The buzz increased and twenty or thirty ideas were soon proposed. Special, creative and enterprising ideas from enthusiastic people. It was very different when I asked the following question: "You have a Michelin-starred restaurant and are making a loss of around 10%. How are you going to resolve that? How will you reduce costs by 10%?" The answers to that question were just as boring and obligatory as the energy within the room. And the list of ideas was significantly shorter. 
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Design thinking is changing the world and the world of fashion too. Imagine just one thing in your wardrobe...but it can become 1,000s of styles, just by changing the software. Now this is a stylish approach to de-materialization.

 

This article says: "Instead of 10,000 skirts, for example. we could sell 500 skirts, but then could sell thousands of patterns that you download to your skirt."

Smart textiles and digital fashion: How about just one dress...but lots of digital patterns?

Smart textiles and digital fashion: How about just one dress...but lots of digital patterns?

Francesca Rosella of CuteCircuit claims advances in "smart" fabrics will allow us to download new styles for our clothes rather than buying new garments.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Paul Hawken's new book is attracting lots of attention.

 

Project Drawdown will begin as a lavishly illustrated book and online database, to be released late next year. Its purpose is to re-frame the climate debate, by showing that solving the climate crisis will bring, not sacrifice, but “more security, more prosperity, more jobs, more well-being and better health,” Hawken said.

 

“Drawdown is about technologies and solutions that are in place, understood, measured, documented and growing,” Hawken told me by phone. “This is a path to opportunity and wellbeing, as opposed to a tax or a loss.”

 

Ordinarily, the announcement of a new book would not by itself be newsworthy, but Hawken has had so much influence over corporate sustainability in the US that his work merits attention. His books, The Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism, the latter written with Amory Lovins and L Hunter Lovins, were among the first to point the way towards a sustainable global economy. He has advised CEOs at Ford, Walmart and Interface, the carpet company. At Greenbuild, which attracts 23,000 people, he’ll interview billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer and Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, key allies in the climate debate

First look: environmental entrepreneur Paul Hawken's long-awaited new book

First look: environmental entrepreneur Paul Hawken's long-awaited new book

Project Drawdown will begin as a lavishly illustrated book and online database, to be released late next year. Its purpose is to re-frame the climate debate, by showing that solving the climate crisis will bring, not sacrifice, but “more security, more prosperity, more jobs, more well-being and better health,” Hawken said.

“Drawdown is about technologies and solutions that are in place, understood, measured, documented and growing,” Hawken told me by phone. “This is a path to opportunity and wellbeing, as opposed to a tax or a loss.”

Ordinarily, the announcement of a new book would not by itself be newsworthy, but Hawken has had so much influence over corporate sustainability in the US that his work merits attention. His books, The Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism, the latter written with Amory Lovins and L Hunter Lovins, were among the first to point the way towards a sustainable global economy. He has advised CEOs at Ford, Walmart and Interface, the carpet company. At Greenbuild, which attracts 23,000 people, he’ll interview billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer and Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, key allies in the climate debate
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.
Zero Emissions and Enchantingly Designed: Luckily for insects though (and birds, and fish, and other wildlife that lives on, in or near the water) the watercraft operates quietly and doesn’t produce any waves or emissions, which makes it suitable for lakes, rivers—even in marine protected areas, where most motor boats and personal watercrafts are prohibited. - See more at: http://eluxemagazine.com/homestech/eco-friendly-quadrofoil/#sthash.1cAC4uGN.dpuf
Hydro Heaven: A New Eco Friendly Quadrofoil--Sustainability as Enchanting Experience

Hydro Heaven: A New Eco Friendly Quadrofoil--Sustainability as Enchanting Experience

“eco friendly quadrofoil, eco friendly water vehicles, eco friendly jetski,”
Apple’s Largest Data Center is Powered by 100% Renewable Energy: Do You Know Why?

Apple’s Largest Data Center is Powered by 100% Renewable Energy: Do You Know Why?

“Apple's Largest Data Center is Powered by 100% Renewable Energy | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building”
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.
Bloomberg: “If acting on climate change hurts the economy, as the American Coal Council’s talking points suggest, it’s a lesson lost on some of the world’s most successful companies. Stocks of companies that take climate change seriously beat the wider market by almost 10 percent …” Forbes: “True leaders in the field are using their sustainability information to become stronger businesses and to make better decisions based on what they have learned. They understand that analysing, reporting and benchmarking the data they have gathered can help to boost revenues, strengthen brands, cut costs and manage risks.”

The Greenest Companies Consistently Outperform Markets

“Apple, BMW, LG, HP, Coca-Cola, and Walmart are among the 187 companies cited by non-profit Carbon Disclosure Project for doing the most to combat climate change.”
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

Amory Lovin's walks the talk when he argues that the transition to a renewable energy future is a sheer joy. Its about sustainability as enchanting enrichment.  His house’s electricity is all renewable. Massive solar panels adorn the roof, carport, and grounds alongside the building. The panels produce far more solar power during the day than the Lovinses use, so they sell electricity to the grid during the day and buy wind energy from the grid at night. They also store the solar power in batteries so that they could be fully self-sufficient in a blackout. The batteries would run down at night but be recharged during the day. “In February 2013, there were five power failures [in the area], and we never lost power,” says Lovins.

Amory Lovins' high-tech home skimps on energy but not on comfort

Amory Lovins' high-tech home skimps on energy but not on comfort

The house’s electricity is all renewable. Massive solar panels adorn the roof, carport, and grounds alongside the building. The panels produce far more solar power during the day than the Lovinses use, so they sell electricity to the grid during the day and buy wind energy from the grid at night. They also store the solar power in batteries so that they could be fully self-sufficient in a blackout. The batteries would run down at night but be recharged during the day. “In February 2013, there were five power failures [in the area], and we never lost power,” says Lovins.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.

This article highlights 9 innovations. One of my favorites creates not only less harm but net surplus of clean energy. It Uses anaerobic digestion to turn food waste into energy...read on:


A firm called Feed Resource Recovery has designed and implemented a zero-waste solution for the food industry that leverages customers’ existing transportation and distribution systems to generate clean, sustainable power for onsite operations — reducing emissions and saving millions of dollars on waste-removal costs. In nature, wetlands use anaerobic digestion to purify the earth’s wastewater. Feed uses this natural process, along with technology and optimization advancements, to cleanly and efficiently convert the carbon in organic waste into a renewable natural gas. This results in zero odors, a net surplus of energy and a nutrient-rich fertilizer. Similarly, a company called Waste Management, Inc. collects food scraps from restaurants, grocery stores, hotels and food processing plants, takes them to a company facility in Carson City, Nev., and grinds them into a slurry. That liquid is taken to a Los Angeles County wastewater treatment plant, where it is mixed in with sewage — one part food waste to nine parts human waste — and processed in an anaerobic digester. This results in a biogas that can be burned as fuel.

Net Positive Energy and 9 innovations to slash food loss

Net Positive Energy and 9 innovations to slash food loss

Using anaerobic digestion to turn food waste into energy

A firm called Feed Resource Recovery has designed and implemented a zero-waste solution for the food industry that leverages customers’ existing transportation and distribution systems to generate clean, sustainable power for onsite operations — reducing emissions and saving millions of dollars on waste-removal costs. In nature, wetlands use anaerobic digestion to purify the earth’s wastewater. Feed uses this natural process, along with technology and optimization advancements, to cleanly and efficiently convert the carbon in organic waste into a renewable natural gas. This results in zero odors, a net surplus of energy and a nutrient-rich fertilizer. Similarly, a company called Waste Management, Inc. collects food scraps from restaurants, grocery stores, hotels and food processing plants, takes them to a company facility in Carson City, Nev., and grinds them into a slurry. That liquid is taken to a Los Angeles County wastewater treatment plant, where it is mixed in with sewage — one part food waste to nine parts human waste — and processed in an anaerobic digester. This results in a biogas that can be burned as fuel.
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.
Yesterday, in one fell swoop, the President took decisive action to address both job creation for Veterans and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The White House announced that beginning this fall the United States will launch a six-year job training program for America’s Veterans in the growing solar panel installation industry. Since Republicans have relentlessly obstructed jobs programs for America’s Veterans, the President took it upon himself to enact the program at American military bases and provide job training for at least 50,000 veterans. It is training for about 50,000 more Veterans than Republicans have provided despite several proposals and requests by the President to help America’s fighting men and women returning from war.
In One Fell Swoop Obama Announces Solar Jobs For 50,000 Veterans and Takes On Climate Change

In One Fell Swoop Obama Announces Solar Jobs For 50,000 Veterans and Takes On Climate Change

“Since Republicans have relentlessly obstructed jobs programs for America's Veterans, the President took it upon himself to enact the program at American military bases and provide job training for at least 50,000 veterans.”
David Cooperrider & Chris Johnston: Professor, author of Appreciative Inquiry, and designer of large group planning and whole system-in-the-room Ai Summits.
The world is longing for solutions, and guess where they are coming from? In almost every global summit over the past decade (for example Rio) the major progress has come from business leaders who are urging action. One of the leading voices is the Global a Compact's Georg Kell, representing 1000s of the world's largest corporations. Carbon trading is coming. Georg Kell, executive director of UN Global Compact, the body’s initiative to get firms to adopt sustainable policies, said the recent conversion of much of the business world was hugely significant. “This is a breakthrough as usually business blocks climate action on a national level,” he said yesterday. “For the first time, the private sector has argued in favour of pricing externalities. Polluters are making the case to be charged.”
Climate change: Carbon trading edges closer as UN brokers deal

Climate change: Carbon trading edges closer as UN brokers deal

“The world is on the brink of enlisting market forces in the fight against climate change on a truly global scale for the first time, United Nations officials have claimed.”