Saturday, 31 October 2009

UNI as a force for transformative change that deliver sustainability

Participated in UNI Europa ICT Forum “Promoting Green ICT to stimulate investment and create jobs” in Helsingör, Denmark.

During my presentation I suggested that UNI should explore the possibilities that three key clusters for transformative change will enable (see paper for RSA for more about these clusters):
1.Connectivity: ensuring a 21st century communication infrastructure
2.Miniaturisation: enabling ubiquitous computing (ubicomp)
3.Integration: facilitating the emergence of augmented reality (AR)

Analyzing these areas would allow UNI to become an agenda-setter instead of an organization that reacts to these clusters as they grow more important.

Three reports could be produced to see how employees can benefit from key sustainability trends:
1.1 Telework (blurry line between work and leisure time)
1.2 Smart buildings (how can EU create new companies)
1.3 Service shift (what will happen in the 21st Century economy)

Three projects could be initiated to explore how sustainable growth of job could be supported in key areas:
2.1 Concrete cases of start-ups (such as Sigarden and Optiguard in Poland)
2.2 The role of new construction companies/collaborations (where are they and what can they do?)
2.3 Service companies (how will they work and what can they deliver)

Keeping my fingers crossed that UNI will take on at least one of the ideas…

Sustainable Innovation in Gdansk during Globe Forum

It was fantastic to see a new generation of entrepreneurs in Gdansk with an energy and quality of work in world class. Two companies where particularly interesting:

1. Optiguard, as they focus on what might be the most important issue today, how to make buildings smart.
2. SiGarden as they provide smart ICT equipment that can be used to deliver important low carbon solutions, including those provided by Optiguard. They target almost all sectors that are important, such as transport and buildings and also target the health care sector where a lot needs to happen.

What I lacked when they (and everyone else) presented their solutions where three things. There three things would have demonstrated the strength of the two companies):
1. How many tonnes of CO2 could be reduced by the solutions in 1, 5 and 10 years under different scenarios (or other quantified positive impacts) in the markets they target?
2. How big is the market and what share could be the company’s in 1, 3 and 10 years?
3. What other positive impact could happen if the solution was implanted, and what potential negative impacts. (e.g. smart IT solutions from SiGarden will help reduce the emissions from IT itself, but that is most certainly the smaller part of the contribution as the smarter houses and transport systems will result in significant reductions. In the same way solutions for waste might lock society in a dependence on waste that is encourage a general wasteful society. Especially in a situation where companies must move beyond a situation where waste is created and move towards closed loop system with a cradle to cradle perspective).

It would be really interesting to use these entrepreneurs as indicators for how Europe is dealing with the kind of solutions that are needed and that has been identified as important.

Picture of the team from SiGarden and their stand in Gdansk.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Article with a low carbon innovation government policy for ICT: The Day Technology Saved the Planet -Transformative Solutions in a Time of Crisis

As a part of RSA’s project “Technology in a Cold Climate: Sustainable Technology” (their blog) I wrote a paper “The Day Technology Saved the Planet - Transformative Solutions in a Time of Crisis” (download here). The article helped me develop a few thoughts and hopefully can trigger a discussion about the structure of a transformative agenda for sustainable ICT.

Will be interesting to see if UK is willing to take the lead or if another government is ready to take the next step?

I want to thank Jamie Young at RSA for helpful feedback as well as editing. Garry Miller from BT and Emma Fryer from Intellect also provided feedback that was very helpful.

The discussion during the conference was moderated by Richard Miller from the Technology Strategy Board and gave me quite a few new ideas.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Climate Positive is moving forward at BSR

Just back from a small workshop during BSR about Climate Positive one year after the first one in New York. It was interesting, if nothing else just to reflect over what has happened in the last 12 months. Things are really moving fast in many directions. The discussion at the Climate Positive event was really interesting and covered many of the challenges and opportunities today in supporting a proactive agenda.

The document I used to discuss the issue with key stakeholders here at BSR. can be downloaded.

I have to say that the Climate Positive event was quite different from many of the other sessions at BSR, where it actually felt like moving back in time. If policy makers are doing a poor job in the climate negotiations most of this years sessions ay BSR was a clear indication that there is not much of a leadership in business (or they got the wrong people leading the sessions). B4E provided some really good leadership early this year, then the World Business summit on Climate change moved slightly backwards and with BSR here in San Francisco it really feels as if (at least parts of) business is moving quite fast backwards when they should be moving forward. Is that because those doing interesting things are getting tired of classical conferences, let’s hope so as this would mean that we could expect some surprises quite soon.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

One year later (it is actually not even a year ago) and a process with transformative results the report, "Industrial biotechnology -More than green fuel in a dirty economy?"done as part of the collaboration between WWF and Novozymes is public. It has already begun to change the way decision makers approach biotech. Download the report here [6.4 Meg].

Now it must, together with other projects and reports with focus on solutions, ensure a transformative solution approach, in Copenhagen and beyond.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Well done Apple... still not there, but getting closer

Apple still focus on the 2% (IT's own emissions) and not the 98% (The reductions that IT can help contribute to through smart use, e.g. teleworking, smart buildings, dematerialization).... The day Apple wake up to the 98% opportunity things might really change.

That Apple dare to go against the US Chamber of Commerce when it comes to climate change is however great and an indication that Apple is really taking a low carbon development serious. [read Reuters]. With this direction Apple will have active work in the 98% area within one year.


Almost five years since the first "21st Century Companies"-report in the BRICS. Here is a summary of those done so far (download the report here 1 meg).... Soon time for an update, this time with more focus on innovation. Maybe Mexico and South Korea would be interesting to include as there is significant innovation taking place there.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Trying something new...

Will explore how equity and environmental sustainability can be linked to the health/lifestyle related tools that are emerging. Consumption and food habits can become more transparent in a way that could help support transformative solutions. The transparency is also interesting in the Nike+ idea itself. How are the people treated that are making the shoes and technology needed?

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Sustainable goods and Services in the 21st century

Below is an extract from the preface from the just published report, "Sustainable goods and Services in the 21st century". In many ways this report summarizes the trade work I did for WWF from 1999 to 2009. It can be downloaded here [0.6 meg].
Amidst the current global economic turmoil and accompanying calls for a new international economic framework, it is important to highlight the fact this report represents one outcome of a body of work that began more than a decade ago, as WWF was preparing to make inputs to the Third Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which took place in Seattle in the USA during November/December 2003.
During these preparations, it became clear that the incremental changes to the international trade regime being discussed in the WTO were inadequate to effectively address global environmental challenges such as climate change, unsustainable economic development and rapid natural resource depletion. New measures were therefore required, both to resolve these issues and to capture the exciting opportunities that were beginning to emerge in the field of environmental goods and services as well as in innovative technologies and solutions that promoted environmental sustainability and decreased resource consumption.

Instead of focusing on the shortcomings of WTO, at that time a relatively newly created body (only four years old), and the short-term agendas promoted by governments and companies in developed economies that dominated discussion within the Organisation at the time, WWF took the decision to invest in the promotion of a far more proactive agenda, with a focus on emerging economies, and on the international trade and investment regimes required to deliver products, services and solutions that promote environmental sustainability.

The WWF Trade and Investment Programme (TIP) was accordingly created, with capacity located in and importantly, coordinated from emerging economies, in order to ensure that WWF was in a position to support the development of new ideas and the creation of new opportunities in those countries that will be amongst the most important of the 21st century.

WWF’s collaboration with key stakeholders in the BRICS countries has intensified over a period of several years, and this paper can be considered as one result of the organisation’s efforts to support a transformative agenda that delivers concrete result from this next generation of economic superpowers. The paper is authored by Sanjay Kumar, a highly knowledgeable and experienced official of the Government of India, and during his tenure in the country’s trade delegation to the WTO, one of the driving forces behind the project-based, demand-driven approach to trade liberalisation in the area of EGS.

At a time when many developed country governments continue to utilise the demand for increased environmental sustainability of products and services as a means to increase export opportunities for their companies, this project-based approach seeks to place the environmental and social requirements of the world as a whole, and of developing nations in particular, above narrow economic self-interest as a driver for liberalisation in this area.

We trust that this report will inspire not only new initiatives in the field of trade and investment that support the innovation and dissemination of sustainable goods and services, but also the consideration of options that promote such initiatives beyond the constraints of the current institutional environment.

Dennis Pamlin, Global Policy Advisor, and
Alistair Schorn, Head, WWF Trade and Investment Programme

Low Carbon Solutions: Moving from a 20th century high carbon infrastructure to a 21st century low carbon infrastructure

This is a tool that I really like and that was developed as part of the collaboration between WWF-Sweden and Ericsson. Download flash versions for PC and MAC that can be used to illustrate the impact of different ways of providing services. Download MAC here [12 meg] and PC here [4 meg]