Category Archives: Sustainability

Is Liam Really #TechForGood, or #MarketingForApple?

29 arms of recycling innovation robot beautifully presented (of course) and they call it Liam? Only in the world of Apple.

Whilst hastily allowing myself to lose all focus on the writing I should have been doing today I jumped at the chance to join @TomRaftery as guest co-host for his #TechForGood Google Hangout tomorrow. As I explored previous shows to get a feel for my responsibilities I stumbled back across the ‘Liam’ element of Apple’s recent keynote.

The last few weeks have been something of a blur with many new discussions and projects appearing like the Rebel Alliance out of hyperdrive, but all with an eerily connected technology flavour. The Apple announcement was momentarily noted for their strong focus on responsibility at their key communications event of their calendar, before being usurped by the usual social media avalanche.

I’ve been a long standing frustrated critic of Apple, more from a wasted potential perspective than their actual social or environmental accomplishments, which have been markedly improving over recent years. Tim Cook has many achievements to take credit for, as it can’t have been an easy task to push sustainability up the priority list of the culture moulded by Steve Jobs.

Whilst on the day Lisa Jackson (SVP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives) was conspicuously front and centre, and the privacy debate raging with the FBI obviously adding its influence, Liam felt like the physical hook of attention for a more confident responsibility ethos away from the usual line-up of product launches.

Yes, I know there are only so many ways you can innovate with a phone, and this could be Apple running out of innovative product steam, but the eternal optimist in me is seeing Apple want to be seen as more than just a purveyor of beautiful ‘stuff’. That beauty could be creeping into their approach to their wider responsibilities.

Liam is an allegedly, as I’ve not seen many at all, 29 arm robot that can in a mere 11 seconds recycle a notoriously difficult product into component parts like never seen before. I’ve dreamed of Apple applying its design mastery for a stronger purpose than just music and communications. Was this it?

Maybe. Maybe not. After all there is only one Liam, I believe, and at full speed, could disassemble 1.2 million iPhones per year. Actually, only potentially 1.2 million iPhone 6s units until they teach it about the rest of their product back catalogue. That total would be in the billions. Last year alone Apple sold 230 million phones.

Innovative? Absolutely. Open source and shareable by the whole industry to reduce e-waste? Probably not going to happen (but hoping). Expensive? Absolutely and certainly prohibitively so. Chances of Apple opening recycling depots full of Liams? Slim. Marketing gimmick or potential for true impact? Actions speak louder than YouTube videos, so we shall see.

With over 1 billion smartphone products alone sold every year. A few weeks after the launch Liam now feels more like a lonely Disney Wall-E type character, desperate for a real purpose, a few friends and more trees, but I continue to hope.

Join me and Tom tomorrow at 4.00pm UK to explore this week’s #TechForGood news.

 

 

Thames Deckway Indiegogo Campaign Goes Live

thames_deckway_infographic_2015_10_29-07_1024As promised in the previous post, here is the link to the now live Indiegogo campaign for the next phase of the Thames Deckway concept.

It is already stirring the urban transport debate whilst connecting diverse stakeholder communities. It is big, bold, sustainability focused and could create significant value for London or further afield.

Many answers still lie ahead for the project but visionary leaders like Thames Deckway’s Anna Hill should be given every opportunity to push for safer, cleaner more sustainable transport infrastructure.

Head over, read the latest FAQ’s, pick your favourite support ‘Perk’ and share with friends and colleagues. I’ll be going for the cycling cap I think. I’m just waiting for the temperatures to dip on those long brisk rides.

#walkonwater

 

 

 

 

Float Across London By Bike

Thames Deckway cycle pedestrian pathway London sustainability

What would you pay to ride across London in 30 minutes traffic free?

Our small but significant island here in the UK is getting more crowded every day. Strangely though only 1 – 2% of all journeys are made by bike. I could understand maybe if that statistic was for the US where everything is designed around the car gods, and therefore miles apart, but here? Really? That figure hits 25% in other not-so-different parts of the world such as the Netherlands.

What do major metropolitan areas such as London, New York, Berlin, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Tokyo, Washington, Karachi, Rome, Sidney and Liverpool (well, I am biased) to name but a few, all have in common? Rivers. Many mostly empty or underused, save a few tourist laden barges.

Apart from often being a direct corridor through the automotive traffic chaos, can any route be more serene?

The Thames Deckway is one such potential solution to present itself whether that be London or elsewhere. As cycling continues to grow in parallel to environmental considerations how long will it be before significant infrastructure investments flow into such opportunities?

A floating, sustainable cycle and pedestrian route could be a reality in a very near future should political will and public support prevail. Maybe London will get there first.

I’m helping the folks at Thames Deckway go up through the gears as they approach a crowdfunding campaign rapidly approaching. I hope you’ll take the time to explore the concept, follow the story and show your support if you believe in the need for radically new solutions to transport infrastructure.

I’ll update this page with the link to the crowdfunding campaign for the launch when available, but follow the story so far and into the future via @Thames_Deckway on Twitter or ThamesDeckway on Facebook

Superstakeholders Change The World

shutterstock_95792620We seldom realise how far we have come until we stop, breathe and look back. Ever tried learning to play a musical instrument, run a big race, or even watched a child grow? The daily changes are imperceptible, despite any volume of effort expended, until one day something just clicks, a goal is reached, or we make the time to review from a distance.

A trip back a mere half century to the 1960’s takes you to a world before ‘CSR’, of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring hitting the bookshelves and whole theatre of corporate based exploitation, greed and naivety.

“If you don’t like what is being said, change the conversation.” Continue reading

FIFA – ‘Show Me the Money’

The ‘beautiful game’ is free-falling through the ugly tree and hitting every branch.

Ugly football FIFA

Global football is witnessing another slow painful eruption, but this could yet be an big extinction level event for many that has been developing, and well overdue, for decades. Football is by no means isolated as Continue reading

Act 1, Scene 1: Incremental Is Not Enough

StretchAgendaAnything that looks like an erupting spiral galaxy in a pressure cooker looks good to me.

As I’m exploring pastures and projects new I’m determined to better share the projects, ideas, people and successes that inspire and challenge me, so here’s a perfect start…

If to the cosmic cooking imagery you then add a thoughtfully written dramatisation to creatively engage a wider audience (you know the mainstream one we excitedly think we already do – but don’t) to promote a new take on capitalism, you’ve got my attention, and quite probably a few others who need to step up for the first time too.

Behind the image is the ethos of the Breakthrough Capitalism model of John Elkington and colleagues at Volans. This week saw the launch of the #StretchAgenda, the play to change the board room world, and maybe it will.

Incremental isn’t enough, we have to take what progress we can eke each day but somebody needs to push at the top with the big ideas. Check out the definitions quoted to whet your appetites…

Capitalism is … the future, but needs a reboot. Whether privately or state owned, capitalism must be constrained by political, regulatory and institutional factors to create the consistent social value required to ensure its long term license to operate and innovate. The focus is expanding to embrace financial, physical, human, intellectual, natural and social forms of capital.

Breakthrough Capitalism is … an emerging pathway to a world that works well for all people and all species. Our focus is on new forms of capitalism with potential to drive both financial and non-financial value, value that is increasingly Clean, Conscious, Inclusive, Responsible, Regenerative and Sustainable.

Will it change the game?

Click here to go straight to the #StretchAgenda play.

breakthrough-challengeI’d also heartily recommended checking out John’s book with Jochen Zeitz, The Breakthrough Challenge (2014)

Invest In Community Solar Energy

Liverpool Community RenewablesWhere to start?? There is so much happening right now, and this is me prioritising as I type. Sometimes you just have to do the doing before the planning! There is much more to share and explore soon but first off the mark there is this…

The short version:

I’m looking for anybody wanting invest £100 (or more, much more, they can cope with bigger!) into a Liverpool based community renewables social enterprise that is about to cause a few solar waves.

Click here for more information and the Pioneering Share Offer prospectus.

The slightly longer version:

Liverpool Community Renewables Ltd is edging closer to reaching it’s initial funding target of £80,000 and I’ve offered to help them reach that goal, raise awareness of the project, recruit an army of supporters, advise on navigating future waters and generally shouting about a great non-profit targeting an tapped opportunity.

LCR aims to push solar installations across the north west of England, beginning in Liverpool – the birth place of many world renowned social projects, to accelerate a more sustainable future for all whilst alleviating energy poverty where it is needed most.

Next on the shopping list after the share offer are businesses with a big roof or anybody with spare land to house as many PV panels as we can muster.

Entirely comprehensive version: (including business plan) and prospectus:

Ok, I’ll save the detailed details for those genuinely interested, but there are plenty of those over at www.lcr.coop.

Please share this post with your friends, enemies, neighbours, networks and taxi drivers to find the financial support to help this worthy cause make its impact felt.

You should also Follow LCR via Twitter @LcrCoop and Like them over on Facebook too!