The concept of sustainable development has been around for quite some time now, a few decades. It has recently been transmuted into that of ‘Green Economy’, which means an economy that is driven by the principles of sustainability and a more equitable share of the resources, which goes hand in hand with their better use. In fact, investing in the Green Economy has been mostly translated into investing in new technologies, a somewhat limited approach.
Is sustainability something that can be achieved only through technological innovation?
Granted, new inventions that are going to smarten up the way we produce and use energy and the way we conduct our economic activities are certainly needed, if we want to move away from wasteful, damaging modes of production, distribution and consumption.
That said, a vision of sustainablity such as the one set forth by proponents of the Green Economy, requires a more inclusive approach, so it is equally paramount to think about innovation in other fields as well.
We need to innovate society, specifically we need to innovate the way we think about work, family and education, community and participation.
We also need to seriously reconsider the economic aspects of our lives. How much do we want in order to live well and satisfied, what are we willing to share in order to foster a widespread well-being, what kinds of culture do we want to create in order to promote an economy that from predatory becomes the mechanism through which we all (and our children and their children…) can achieve our aspirations.
These are the questions and the themes we must explore, and these are the fields we must seek to innovate in. A lot of work, but a greatly stimulating one!