Design as Change Agent
It is time to accelerate the "change" we need to see in the world.
The debates are over and the time to respond, all but gone. The assumptions about the forces we face have become situational realities. We have gone from predicting “the perfect storm” to sailing in it…
The current era is defined by a confluence of changes that are stressing our natural environment, our social fabric and our economic paradigm. The speed, scale and the scope of these changes requires an integrated and well-considered response that creates real value while preserving and building capital at every level; the natural, the social, the physical and the economic.
Given the limited capital available, that, today, is all too obvious, a focused and informed investment in “Radical Innovation” is critical. Radical Innovations are both the technical and social innovations that revisit the core issues. They are not modifications of the current models based on a "reluctant incrementalism" born of compliance and/or patronizing behavior.
Radical Innovations can generate a multi-faceted value proposition while honoring environmental integrity, respecting people and generating real wealth - in that order.
The targets we select and the innovations we pursue need to be further qualified by their potential to restore earth systems, mitigate damage to these systems and/or adapt to anticipated changes - in that order...
The new winners will be the "radical innovators." They will win because their solutions will be self-replicating, self-organizing, self-correcting and potentially restorative. Perhaps most importantly, they will be compelling!
Good Design can facilitate Radical Innovation; exploring optimal outcomes, while creating structures for reduction to practice and long term support and continuity.
JohnPaul Kusz is a founder and Associate Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise (CSE) at the Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and president of JPKusz, Ltd.
CSE explores sustainability at the enterprise level with partners in government, industry, and other stakeholders focused on innovation at the product, business and systems level. JPKusz, Ltd. provides consulting and business development strategies dedicated to exploring collaborative, consensus-based solutions to eliminate or mitigate the risks associated with the unintended consequences of commerce.
JohnPaul has authored of over 45 articles on the potential of design to remediate environmental impacts and promote positive outcomes. He has served on numerous boards and working groups in the development of national and international environmental standards. He teaches at the Stuart School of Business and the Institute of Design at IIT.
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