Sunday, 5 January 2014

Innovation or Waste?

Eventually our generation - the"Y", the "millenials"- will take over after our elders, with a strong challenge: to be more cooperative, intelligent and less wasteful.
Easy to say, but ultimately where do we start?

We have been brought up with an early awareness of saving water, electricity and all kinds of energy savings. This way of life should help us understanding and reducing other large wastes of our time: resources, motivation and also innovation.
And the question that I am asking myself today is whether modern tools reduce or rather  amplify our daily waste.

Motivation. How did you buy your Christmas gifts ? Have you used one of the many websites to save time and preserve your motivation, avoiding exhausting walkabouts ?
But using  these "one-click" online shopping platforms, did you succomb to impulse buying, unnecessary consumption and waste?

Resources. Many mobile applications allow you to avoid traffic jams, to find available parking places or bicycles (i.e the "Velib" renting stations in Paris). These applications are saving considerable time and energy for those who know how to use them.  But how many people find themselves stuck by ergonomics and interface issues,  connectivity problems or functionality limitations?

Innovation. I often wonder if innovation is not a main source of waste.  A new release every year which suddenly renders obsolete the previous version, still working perfectly, isn't it  a waste of resources? At the same time, a new dishwasher, using half of the water consumed by the previous model is a real innovation.
Including elimination of waste "by design" seems a good starting point. In this perspective, here is an initiative to fight the smartphones' accelerating obsolence cycle, by associating  wisely innovation and waste reduction: Phonebloks

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