New ideas and suggestions to solving problems are always interesting to examine. In many cases, there is a lack of obvious signs of the idea or suggestion making any real change. Sometime this way of looking at new ideas can be deceptive. Often new human resource management ideas are regarded as old wine in a new bottle. Yet, the new concepts may take time to implement and the real changes may take time to measure and see.
Sometimes a new idea is a large step away from our previous way of solving or looking upon a problem. The ideas behind the concept Blue Economy is of the latter character. A positive step away from our previous way of looking upon economy, profit, and our Earth.
Belgian Gunter Pauli is the author of the book “The Blue Economy” and he is the founder of ZERI (Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives). Could Blue Economy replace the ideas linked to the concept Green Economy? Well, the approach contains a new way of looking and searching for ideas and conducting business. Pauli was responsible for construction of Europe’s first “ecological factory”. He discovered that the cultivation of oil palms that was used in the company Ecover’s products was damaging Indonesia’s primary forests. By using the ideas from Green Economy as a stepping stone, Pauli, has developed a new approach that if it does not remove at least it minimises the impact that a business has on the environment.
Improving upon Ideas
A positive approach where previous ideas were used as a foundation to develop solutions for sustainable product innovation and business models. Pauli believes that every idea and solution can be improved upon. The Green Economy approach may have lead to major changes in the way we conduct business. Yet, further steps in the right direct needs to be taken and Pauli suggest an approach where sustainability is the result of a production process that is integrated as an ecosystem.
In contrast to Green Economy where the focus is on developing methods that are environmental friendly for the production of resources, Blue Economy strives towards getting rid of the need to use resource. A new way of looking for solutions and inspiration can be found by examining how nature solves problems. A co-evolution with nature is the goal where solutions and ideas should be sought that meet the basic needs of all species. Learning how nature solves problems and how different species interact with each other is an overall approach that involves positive thinking solutions. These solutions will in the end not only benefit humans but all living creatures. This is a step away from Green economy, which is based upon the needs and benefits of humans.
Learning from Nature
Green Economy is based upon the idea that people are willing to pay more for products that are produced in an environmental friendly manner. This may work when the economy is blossoming but more can be done to improve the conditions. This approach needs to be embraced. Our thinking and search for new solutions should not stop because an improvement has been made.
Environmental friendly batteries may be an excellent approach but an even better idea is not use a battery at all. All batteries use metal and other resources. By using body heat a German company the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology in Germany has developed a cell phone prototype that works without a battery. We often use our cell phones close to our bodies and the temperature outside is often higher or lower and electricity can be generated from the heat difference
The goal is to create businesses that relies on less investment and has less impact on resources. Searching and looking for innovations that are based upon ideas from nature are a better approach until this idea is taken to another level. Blue Economy is not the end product. This idea can be improved upon by a positive search and exploration of new insights. Maybe, that is the real power in Pauli’s approach to life and his way of conducting business.
Photo: World by Danilo Rizzuti