Sie sind auf Seite 1von 21
WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING By Shepherd Laughlin and Aleksandra Szymanska 12 : 03 : 2015 Anthropocene :

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

By Shepherd Laughlin and Aleksandra Szymanska

12 : 03 : 2015

As the boundaries between modern society and nature begin to blur, consumerism is becoming more integrated with our living world. As this shift unfolds in the decades to come, brands will need to think on a planetary scale if they want to remain relevant in The Age of the Long Near.

Introduction

to remain relevant in The Age of the Long Near. Introduction Whole-system Thinking Watch this video

Whole-system Thinking

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

What This Means To Your Brand

1. Consumers are now looking for purpose, and assessing your brand’s long-term contribution to society and

the planet.

2. The Anthropocene is here, and it’s no longer possible to deny that major change is coming. Brands need to

position themselves as trusted partners in uncertain times.

3. The rise of Natural Capitalism means calculating your brand’s monetary cost or contribution to ecosystems.

Share this information.

4. Waste is now a resource and opportunity. Convert cast-off materials into energy, or materials for high-end

garments.

5. The divide between rural and urban is blurring, leading to the Agropolis. Source ingredients as close as

possible to your consumers.

6. Synthetic tweaking is the future. Create products and campaigns that shift the GM debate away from

benefits to business, and toward benefits to consumers.

7. Consumers are uneasy with Synthetic Biology in the short term, but brands need to take the long view and

imagine how biotech can transform your products and supply chain.

8. Nature and technology are merging, so look toward the emerging crop of biological innovators for partners

in branded initiatives.

9. Natural forces are now being harnessed in the built environment, so use energy itself as a medium for

creating engaging consumer spaces.

10. Planning cycles are now extended, so imagine how biology could help your brand adapt to a future in which nature and society are merged into a single system.

‘ We’ve been emphasising the downsides of being able to control the environment, but merging with and understanding nature has been an exceedingly good deal for our species ’

‘ Asking now how our ability to read, copy and rewrite life code will benefit consumers is like asking very early on ‘what’s the internet going to be good for?’ ’

As predicted, the Turbulent Teens have seen waves of political and economic turmoil. But a larger, more systemic crisis looms on the horizon: the relationship between human society and our living world.

As the human impact on the environment intensifies, it no longer makes sense to view nature as something untouched by human activities and with little influence on our lives. Instead, we are thinking holistically about nature, in terms that go beyond traditional environmentalism. We are moving towards a world in which human innovation and nature will be integrated and hybridised.

In Whole-system Thinking, we explore:

: Anthropocene Mindsets – what the advent of the ‘human epoch’ means for our views on consumerism

: Trash to Table – why restaurateurs are taking inspiration from natural systems

: The New Biodisruptors – how technology innovators will reshape public perceptions of genetic modification

: Animal-free Omnivores – why ethical eaters will ultimately see the virtues of life grown in labs

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

: Cult of Resource – how artists and designers are inspired by the merging of nature and technology

Drivers

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

Drivers WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING Bioluminescent Forest by Friedrich van Schoor and Tarek Mawad Watch this video at

Bioluminescent Forest by Friedrich van Schoor and Tarek Mawad

People are beginning to realise that we have turned a corner as a species. As we alter the biosphere at a planetary level, we are starting to understand that, to survive, we will have to channel natural forces to our advantage.

we will have to channel natural forces to our advantage. Plastiglomerate, a rock formation containing plastic

Plastiglomerate, a rock formation containing plastic inclusions, a

proposed marker for the Anthropocene, found on Kamilo Beach,

Hawaii, June 2014

Anthropocene Mindsets

In an age of entanglement between human activities and nature, the environment is no longer a pristine space to be protected from consumerism, as previous conservationists believed.

The idea of creating a benign, sustainable economy has failed – consumerism is now part of the environment, and vice versa.

Anthropocene, the ‘human epoch’, is a term that has been widely adopted to describe the geological period since humans began to significantly influence the world around them. The term implies that humanity now has such a pervasive influence on the Earth that it has become a force of nature.

This concept has begun to influence humanists, cultural critics and consumers.

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING The Great Acceleration: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene, 9th Taipei Biennial, The

The Great Acceleration: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene, 9th Taipei Biennial, The Deluge - Noah's Ark by Hung Chih Peng

‘ ‘This is the meaning of the Anthropocene: that the future of the human and material worlds are now totally entwined’ ’

says writer McKenzie Wark, speaking at the November 2014 Digital Labor conference at the New School in Manhattan.

‘ ‘There is no longer a homeostatic cycle that can be put right just by withdrawing. There is no environment that forms a neutral background.’ ’

The planet itself thus becomes our greatest experiment. The Anthropocene presents the Earth as the ultimate fusion of nature and human society, the ultimate Whole System.

of nature and human society, the ultimate Whole System. Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson System Collapse

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson

System Collapse

Whole System. Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson System Collapse Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson Ice Watch

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson System Collapse Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson Whether we

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson

Whether we choose to respond to climate change or not, it is increasingly clear to the general public that human activity is fundamentally altering our environment.

Recent signs point to a tipping point in opinion. A New York Times/Stanford University poll carried out in January 2015 found that 61% of members of the US Republican Party, previously resistant to the idea that humans are influencing climate change, now believe that if nothing is done, global warming will be a very or somewhat serious problem in the future.

Among the general population, the shift in thinking is even starker. In a February 2015 poll by The Future Laboratory just 12% of Britons and 11% of Americans said that ‘in the year 2035, my life will not have changed to accommodate shifts in the environment’.

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING Everything is Not Awesome by Greenpeace Watch this video at

Everything is Not Awesome by Greenpeace

Re-enlightenment Rising

In 2013, LS:N Global described how science was bursting out of the laboratory and into the public consciousness in Re-enlightenment Rising.

into the public consciousness in Re-enlightenment Rising. Zooniverse Now, as people are equipped with more knowledge

Zooniverse

Now, as people are equipped with more knowledge of science as well as greater interest, they are more readily engaging with it as an answer to the large-scale, systemic problems we face.

This mentality can be seen in the rise of citizen science, as consumers use a variety of new platforms to contribute to science in their spare time. Community biohacking groups have sprung up in more than 50 cities across the US and Europe. Zooniverse, a community platform that enables people to take part in experiments, has gained more than 1,288,000 active participants since it was launched in 2007, and the number is growing rapidly. This shift has also prompted IT companies such as IBM and SAP to launch citizen science initiatives.

The Smog Free Park by Studio Roosegaarde, to be unveiled in Rotterdam in 2015, uses

The Smog Free Park by Studio Roosegaarde, to be unveiled in

Rotterdam in 2015, uses an electronic vacuum cleaner to remove

smog particles

Consilient Thinking

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

With sweeping global problems to confront, collaboration between specialists from all fields is increasingly necessary. Consilience, which Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist and philosopher Edward O. Wilson defines as ‘the interlocking of causal explanation across disciplines’, is the order of the day.

‘ This merging of technologies, processes and devices into a unified whole will create new pathways and opportunities for scientific and technological advancement, ’

he wrote. Four years on, Consilient Thinking is reaching beyond science to have an impact on consumerism.

is reaching beyond science to have an impact on consumerism. Phillip Ross for Mazda Rebels Watch

Phillip Ross for Mazda Rebels

Impacts

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

Impacts WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING Fluidigm promotional video by Fuseproject Watch this video at

Fluidigm promotional video by Fuseproject

Innovators are embracing a deeper engagement with living systems, facilitated by biotechnology and genetic engineering. Just as nature and humanity are merging, biology is merging with technology. Meanwhile, the food chain is merging with personal technology, the dining sector is redesigning its supply chain from a Whole-system Thinking perspective, and brands are creating models of commerce that benefit the environment rather than exacerbating existing problems.

The New Biodisruptors

Just as the information revolution began with home tinkerers such as Steve Jobs, a new generation of biotech innovators is shaking up Silicon Valley.

‘ The first industrial revolution was about machines and the second one is about information, ’

says Nina Tandon, CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, which grows living human bones for skeletal reconstruction.

‘ The third one will be seeing what we can do as we connect what we know about fabrication and information with what we are learning about biology. ’

and information with what we are learning about biology. ’ Juno DNA testing machine by Fuseproject

Juno DNA testing machine by Fuseproject for Fluidigm

For more on why the new wave of technology investment is expanding beyond medicine into consumer biotechnology, read our New Biodisruptors microtrend.

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

Agrilopolis Living

Urban agriculture is often seen as the future of the food supply. We are now seeing new systems for growing food in urban settings, beyond vertical farms.

Growing Underground has created a micro-herb operation in a tunnel 33m beneath the streets of Clapham in London to grow micro-greens and salad leaves. LED lighting and other technology ensure that conditions remain stable throughout the year for continual production, while all nutrients are kept within a closed-loop system.

while all nutrients are kept within a closed-loop system. In Japan, Fujitsu has converted a microchip

In Japan, Fujitsu has converted a microchip factory into a

radiation-free lettuce farm, while in Singapore, Panasonic has created an indoor vegetable farm to supply fresh produce to local restaurants.

Low-potassium lettuce growing in Fujitsu factories in Fukushima

Trash to Table

The dining sector is also rethinking its relationship with larger ecological systems. Silo restaurant, originally launched in Melbourne by entrepreneur Joost Bakker, offers a seasonal menu that avoids waste, and produces all of its own ingredients. Chef Douglas McMaster opened a Brighton branch of Silo in September 2014.

Joost Bakker’s Melbourne restaurant Brothl goes even further towards re-inventing dining from the perspective of Whole-system Thinking. The menu is based around broths created using bones and offal discarded from neighbouring restaurants.

‘ I truly believe that nutrient-dense soil produces nutrient-dense food. We can’t keep stripping the land and not putting back what we take out. ’

Bakker tells The New York Times. For more, read our forthcoming Trash to Table microtrend.

For more, read our forthcoming Trash to Table microtrend. Joost Bakker: Flowers for Bones, film by

Joost Bakker: Flowers for Bones, film by Earl Carler for The New York Times

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

Domesticulture

City-dwelling consumers are cultivating a new relationship with the food chain that gives them control over provenance and growing conditions.

Rather than emphasising craft and artisanal techniques as urbanites did in the 2000s, this new wave combines urban farming with technology. This is in line with Whole-system Thinking and its emphasis on fusing natural processes with advanced technologies.

on fusing natural processes with advanced technologies. Niwa smartphone-controlled plant-growing system

Niwa smartphone-controlled plant-growing system

Massachusetts start-up SproutsIO is now testing a smartphone-responsive hydroculture system that enables consumers to grow produce in their homes.

Instead of the laborious DIY approach of conventional urban farming, SproutsIO adopts a plug-and-play approach, and a clean design with the potential to reach a wide consumer base interested in convenience above all else. ‘You place the seed pod into the SproutsIO, you add water and you turn on your app, and it’s good to go,’ explains SproutsIO founder and CEO Jennifer Broutin Farah. ‘It can be as easy as making a coffee in your espresso machine.’

be as easy as making a coffee in your espresso machine.’ Fungi Mutarium by Livin Studio

Fungi Mutarium by Livin Studio

in your espresso machine.’ Fungi Mutarium by Livin Studio Fungi Mutarium by Livin Studio Fungi Mutarium

Fungi Mutarium by Livin Studio

Mutarium by Livin Studio Fungi Mutarium by Livin Studio Fungi Mutarium by Livin Studio Powered by

Fungi Mutarium by Livin Studio

Powered by Waste

Brands and designers are looking at waste as a source of energy and nutrition. In July 2014, Sainsbury’s worked with waste management firm Biffa to convert food waste into electricity using anaerobic digestion at its store in Cannock, near Birmingham. The store will no longer be connected to the grid for day-to-day power needs.

Livin Studio’s project Fungi Mutarium imagines technology that enables edible fungi to be grown on discarded plastic. The project imagines a future in which plastic waste could be converted back into organic matter, blurring the lines between the natural and the synthetic.

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING Bold New Ekocycle Suits by Hallenstein Brothers Watch this video at

Bold New Ekocycle Suits by Hallenstein Brothers

Neo-materialism

Brands are rethinking materials and supply chains from

a Whole-system Thinking perspective, making products that actively benefit the planet when consumed.

G-Star RAW has created garments using textiles woven in part from recovered ocean plastic, which threatens the health of the planet’s oceans. Demand for the products creates a further incentive to clean up eco-systems.

A partnership between musical artist will.i.am and Coca-

Cola has resulted in Ekocycle, a brand initiative that educates consumers about recycling. The Ekocycle Cube is a 3D printer that enables consumers to print objects using post-consumer recycled plastic, cutting down on the waste produced by 3D printing.

plastic, cutting down on the waste produced by 3D printing. G-Star Raw For the Oceans You

G-Star Raw For the Oceans

the waste produced by 3D printing. G-Star Raw For the Oceans You Buy, The Sea Pays

You Buy, The Sea Pays by Young &

Rubicam Paris for Surfrider Foundation

Pays by Young & Rubicam Paris for Surfrider Foundation You Buy, The Sea Pays by Young

You Buy, The Sea Pays by Young &

Rubicam Paris for Surfrider Foundation

Pays by Young & Rubicam Paris for Surfrider Foundation You Buy, The Sea Pays by Young

You Buy, The Sea Pays by Young &

Rubicam Paris for Surfrider Foundation

Natural Capitalism

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

More brands are assigning economic value to aspects of the natural world that formerly were not quantified. Puma has implemented an environmental profit and loss system in which the company assigns monetary value to natural assets such as clean air, fresh water and productive land. This enables the company to gauge whether its activities ultimately benefit the environment.

Other companies that are beginning to place a dollar value on eco-system services include the Dow Chemical Company and Puma’s parent company, Kering.

‘ It is my conviction that sustainable business is smart business. It gives us an opportunity to create value while making a better world, ’

writes Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault.

Consequences

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

Consequences WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING Ambio lamp by Teresa van Dongen Watch this video at

Ambio lamp by Teresa van Dongen

As the fusion of technology and living systems continues, consumers will begin to see how genetic engineering can work in favour of health, transparency and ethical eating, values they already hold dear. Meanwhile, as technology harnesses energy alongside natural processes, artists and designers are creating work that reflects this exchange.

Muufri Animal-Free Milk Animal-free Omnivores WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING At the moment, the public is uncomfortable with

Muufri Animal-Free Milk

Animal-free Omnivores

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

At the moment, the public is uncomfortable with genetically modified (GM) foods. Public views diverge more widely from the views of scientists on GMO safety than on any other issue, according to a January 2015 study by the Pew Research Center. While 57% of the public believed that genetically modified foods were generally unsafe to eat, only 11% of scientists surveyed expressed this belief.

But few people have yet considered the idea that GM products could potentially reduce reliance on the industrial agriculture system and increase transparency.

According to a September 2014 report from research company Hartman Group, those Americans who were avoiding or reducing GMOs in their diet cited transparency as their foremost concern.

Several companies are developing products such as milk, eggs and leather that can be grown in laboratories. Modern Meadow can cultivate a square-foot leather sample in less than two months in a lab, compared to the two or three years needed to produce leather from an animal. Muufri is using bacteria to ‘grow’ milk using ‘six key proteins for structure and function, and eight key fatty acids for flavour and richness’. And the IndieBio company Clara Foods aims to produce ex-vivo egg whites.

Although these novel systems appear unnatural, they have the potential to be much more transparent than the current industrial agriculture system, according to scientist, entrepreneur and biohacker Ryan Bethencourt. He imagines a billboard contrasting the bloody scene at a traditional slaughterhouse with meat grown in vitro in a lab. ‘All you see is meat, that’s it, with sugar, water and nutrients, in a very clean system, almost like an Apple-type factory floor,’ he says. ‘The contrast is just so strong.’

floor,’ he says. ‘The contrast is just so strong.’ Biosynthetics 2.0 The emerging field of synthetic

Biosynthetics 2.0

The emerging field of synthetic biology follows on from Consilient Thinking to combine insights from physics, engineering, computer science and other disciplines. This approach enables scientists to create new biological systems, fusing nature and technology.

Synthetic biology is attracting attention from brands and governments. In January 2015, UK business secretary Vince Cable announced a £40m (€55m, $61m) government investment in synthetic biology, for a total of £200m (€284m, $300m) in government funds invested in the field since 2012.

Silk Leaf project by Julian Melchiorri

One early consumer application for the field is in cosmetics. San Francisco researchers at Solazyme developed the anti-ageing skincare brand Algenist based on their research into engineering algae into a source of fuel. Synthetic biology company Intrexon has entered a partnership with Johnson & Johnson to develop new skin and haircare products. These will be made using DNA technology that enables researchers to control the quality, function and performance of living cells.

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING Mercedes-Benz Vision G-Code Watch this video at

Mercedes-Benz Vision G-Code

system-thinking Glowing Lines, part of the Smart Highway concept by Studio

Glowing Lines, part of the Smart Highway

concept by Studio Roosegaarde

Super Surfaces

Smart Highway concept by Studio Roosegaarde Super Surfaces Glowing Lines, part of the Smart Highway concept

Glowing Lines, part of the Smart Highway

concept by Studio Roosegaarde

part of the Smart Highway concept by Studio Roosegaarde Glowing Lines, part of the Smart Highway

Glowing Lines, part of the Smart Highway

concept by Studio Roosegaarde

Whole-system Thinking is ushering in a phase in which artists and designers look more readily to the living world for inspiration. In line with this, automotive and infrastructure designers are creating advanced surfaces that convert sunlight into energy.

In November 2014, Mercedes revealed the Vision G-Code SUV, a concept car finished in ‘multi-voltaic silver’ paint that relays solar energy to the car’s internal power system, and also generates electricity from wind.

Dutch design firm Studio Roosegaarde has developed Glowing Lines, a project that aims to replace street lamps along Dutch roads with strips of photo-luminising powder. These absorb solar energy during the day and glow at night, marking out lanes and showing drivers the shape of the road ahead.

Cult of Resource

A new secular reverence for nature is emerging along with Whole-system Thinking. Artists and designers are blending nature with artificial technology, venerating both.

Water-purifying structure by Andrés Jaque, winner of the Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1 WHOLE-SYSTEM

Water-purifying structure by Andrés Jaque, winner of the Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

In October 2014, Irish artist John Gerrard created Solar Reserve, a large-scale virtual simulation of a Nevada solar plant. Occupying a prominent location in Manhattan’s Lincoln Center, the work took on the character of a secular shrine. For the second year in a row in 2015, the courtyard of the MoMA PS1 contemporary art museum will pay tribute to energy and nature as a background for summer revelry. This year’s installation by Spanish architect Andrés Jaque will create a huge network of water-filtration pipes. When the water reaches a certain level of purification, bioluminescent micro-organisms will make it glow.

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

Futures

As we re-invent our lifestyles around Whole-system Thinking, in the far future architecture will merge with energy, biodiversity will be preserved using synthetic life, and advances in synthetic food production will unleash culinary creativity.

Energetic Architecture

In the context of a system-level crisis, architects are fundamentally rethinking the relationship between energy and the built environment to create holistic systems.

For some, this means sustainable designs that harness existing natural flows in novel ways. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, for example, is developing a facility that uses seawater to irrigate the surrounding desert, producing fish and shrimp for human consumption and plants for biofuels.

and shrimp for human consumption and plants for biofuels. Masdar City by Foster and Partners, Abu

Masdar City by Foster and Partners, Abu Dhabi

More radically, architects are re-imagining energy flows as a medium for architecture. Sean Lally, founder of the Chicago architecture group Weathers and author of The Air from Other Planets: A Brief History of Architecture to Come, imagines speculative futures in which regions of electromagnetic, thermodynamic, acoustic and chemical energy can be turned on or off and reconfigured at will in urban spaces, much like street lights.

‘ I’m trying to create a visual language and an aesthetic quality to energy and these new states so people can see the potential beyond sustainability as a moral good ’

Studio Roosegaard has created a concept for Beijing that reflects Lally’s ideas about malleable regions of energy. Its Smog Free Park envisages zones of clean air in public spaces, created using patented ion technology. The studio has also designed high-end Smog Rings made from compressed particles vacuumed from the air. The park will be realised in Rotterdam in 2015 before travelling to China.

be realised in Rotterdam in 2015 before travelling to China. The In Vitro Meat Cookbook by

The In Vitro Meat Cookbook by Next Nature

Transhuman Cuisine

The In Vitro Meat Cookbook by Next Nature Transhuman Cuisine The In Vitro Meat Cookbook by

The In Vitro Meat Cookbook by Next Nature

Transhuman Cuisine The In Vitro Meat Cookbook by Next Nature Rustic In Vitro, The In Vitro

Rustic In Vitro, The In Vitro Meat Cookbook by Next Nature

Rustic In Vitro, The In Vitro Meat Cookbook by Next Nature Bone Pickers, The In Vitro

Bone Pickers, The In Vitro Meat Cookbook by Next Nature

Artists have begun to explore the long-term implications of synthetic biology for food culture, imagining how people in the future will eat when the boundaries between nature and technology have fully collapsed, and even the ability of humans to process food may have been technologically enhanced.

The Dutch group Next Nature has created the In Vitro Meat Cookbook , featuring ‘meat paint, revived dodo wings, meat ice cream, cannibal snacks, steaks knitted like scarves and see-through sushi grown under perfectly controlled conditions’.

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

Royal College of Art student Paul Gong created the Human Hyena project, which explores a future in which synthetic biology might allow us to create microbes that enable humans to digest mouldy and out-of-date foods.

‘ I imagine transhumanists, DIYbio enthusiasts and makers coming together to form a group known as ‘human hyenas’, who want to tackle the increasingly serious problem of food wastage ’

Living Technology

Noting that the human body processes certain computations more efficiently than any silicon microchip, researchers are looking towards a future in which computers will use DNA to store data and make calculations. Research published in the journal New Scientist estimates that each gramme of DNA could potentially store 455 exabytes of data, which means that only about four grammes would be needed to store all digital data now in existence.

would be needed to store all digital data now in existence. Human Hyena by Paul Gong

Human Hyena by Paul Gong

Artists are already exploring these possibilities. The band OK Go is working with the University of California, Los Angeles to encode its latest album in DNA.

Anti-extinctionists

Synthetic biology is creating a new approach to conservation that substitutes lab-grown products for natural ones, preserving eco-systems through commerce.

The biotech start-up Pembient has set out to supplant the illegal trade in rhinoceros horns by creating an identical product grown in a lab using rhinoceros DNA. Demand from Asia, where some claim rhino horn has medicinal properties, has driven the rhinoceros nearly to extinction. Pembient, however, has found that these consumers are willing to accept lab-grown rhinoceros horn as a substitute for the real thing.

rhinoceros horn as a substitute for the real thing. The Beaked Porcupine, Endless Species by Kathryn

The Beaked Porcupine, Endless Species by Kathryn Fleming

‘ We’re trying to build natural products using an artificial process ’

Matthew Markus, CEO Pembient

Post-oil World

In a finite world, we are no longer asking whether our economy will move away from oil, but when. A world that powers itself without oil will be radically different in ways that we cannot predict, but it will certainly involve new approaches to biological systems and technologies inspired by life.

‘In a post-oil world, you would expect an explosion in renewable energy enabled by smart grid technology, a move to electric vehicles, air travel via advanced biofuels and lots of ways of converting waste to new uses,’ says Sarah Tulej, senior sustainability advisor at Forum for the Future.

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING Lunar Economic Zone by Zhang Wang Watch this video at

Lunar Economic Zone by Zhang Wang

Toolkit

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

Toolkit WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING The Age of the Long Near calls for truly integrated thinking, which moves

The Age of the Long Near calls for truly integrated thinking, which moves far beyond the environmental, and sees brands and businesses as inextricably embedded in global networks. Only by understanding the opportunities and threats that can come from counterintuitive places can brands truly maximise their potential. This consultancy toolkit gives some pointers along the way.

WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING

Toolkit

: Businesses need to move away from individualistic thinking, and instead focus on a shared narrative, with shared responsibilities. Brands and businesses need to look at the wider implications of their decision-making, turning themselves into a positive ecosystem that enhances everything it comes into contact with

: One man’s waste is another man’s fortune. Smart business will see long-term thinking as commercial viable growth; not a gimmick or even a moral imperative. Think in multi-revenue work streams, and find value in unlikely places, such as waste and our biological futures

: Don’t be afraid to bet on the counter-intuitive, and apply new mindsets to old problems. An artist will dare to do what an economist never would, and the results can often be surprisingly impactful. Rather than taking a reactive approach, become proactive and playful in the way you tackle the future

: It’s time to accept the fact that synthetic biology is the next step in technology. Smart brands need to own the nature-tech discourse in a passionate and proactive way, to make sure they remain part of the conversation, and can even move it forward

: Think of your role in research, politics and academia. Brands need to be the conduit for heavy-hitting subjects, and help move these Big Ideas away from something abstract, and into something impactful. Be a leader in bringing science into the everyday

: Reframe GM, and create a more meaningful, acceptable term. The negative connotations of this debate are unsolvable, so start creating messaging around bio- hacking, synthetics and genetic tweaking. This will be increasingly important in enabling our transition towards synthetic, efficient futures

: Brands and businesses need to think more progressively than just recycling, and to go beyond vertical integration. You need to better understand the complex global webs of connection that are providing opportunities and threats to your business

: Brands need to understand that what is for the greater good is also often good business practice too. This isn’t fuzzy ethics, but good business, so brands need to start collaborating across sectors and markets in unusual ways. Rather than just focusing on those connected to you in a direct, transactional, sense, think about how you can bring about greater transformations

: Be active not passive, and believe in improvement, not just maintenance. This is the key to the Spiral System, which isn’t a closed loop or a complete linear narrative: it is an open and constantly expanding process