Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Summit London, May 7-8, brought together global experts to share their experience and discuss the latest sustainability challenges faced in 2013. Talks were focused around how smart businesses can gain from being climate-conscious leaders, how to embed sustainability into company management and how to engage customers. Following are the highlights and insights from the sessions we joined on Day 1:
COLLABORATION IN THE NEW ECONOMY
Greenpeace UK John Sauven - Executive Director
The Economist Daniel Franklin - Executive Editor
Janssen Pharmaceuticals Jane Griffiths - Company Group Chairman
RiiЯ Tom Vesey - Chief Executive Officer
London Business School Ioannis Ioannou - Assistant Professor of Strategy
In this session the speakers were asked to consider what might society, governments and businesses working together be able to deliver for a greener sustainable recovery – and what are the challenges this idea throws up?
John Sauven (Greenpeace) talked about deforestation being the important issue; Jane Griffiths (Janssen) believes that, with an aging population, Alzheimers is one of the great focuses we have to have and that working with academic institutes will be important; Daniel Franklin (Economist) states collaborators must be clear what they are trying to achieve or problems may occur; and Tom Vesey (RiiЯ) says people should be thinking in the long-term, not just short-term.
The digital universe is set to grow to eight zettabytes by 2015, according to IBM (and just so you know, a zettabyte is approximately a million terabytes). We’re told the insights from this vast Big Data resource will drive new business models, products and services, and steer our future food, transport and energy systems. The intangibility of figures, however, means finding and communicating relevance and value is one of its greatest challenges.
As part of a series of talks to inspire students to embrace sustainability in their projects, SustainRCA invited three experts to discuss their work: Angela Morelli, Vin Sumner and Richard Gilbert are using data visualisation and gamification (which is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context) in order to solve problems and change the way we manufacture products, consume goods and supply energy.
The website GOV.UK has won the Design Museum Design of the Year Award 2013. This revolutionary website designed by the Government Digital Service (GDS) combines all of the UK government’s websites into a single domain.
The jury unanimously agreed that GOV.UK was the overall winner, for its well thought out yet understated design, making the user experience faster and easier. The website is regarded as one of the leading government websites in the world.
Deyan Sudjic, Director of Design Museum adds, ‘GOV.UK is a remarkable success on so many levels. It makes life better for millions of people coping with the everyday chores, from getting a new passport, to paying their taxes. It’s a reflection of the government understanding how to communicate with the country in a way that works. The rest of the world is deeply impressed, and because it has rationalised multiple official websites, it saves the taxpayer millions, what’s not to like?’
The Design Museum has announced the seven category winners for the annual Designs of the Year Awards. The awards celebrate the best of international design from the last 12 months. The overall winner for the Design of The Year 2013 will be announced on Wednesday 16 April at an awards evening held at The Angler, South Place Hotel, London.
The Seven Category winners are:
Architecture: TOUR BOIS-LE-PRÊTRE, PARIS Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal
We’re really looking forward to visiting The UK Handmade Bicycle Show! It’s being held at Brunel’s Old Station, Bristol Temple Meads, between April 12-14 2013 and gives us the opportunity to see some of the best handmade bicycles in the world – and meet the people who made them.
The much-anticipated Designs of the Year 2013 exhibition is open, showcasing the most innovative and imaginative designs from around the world. The Design Museum invited a selection of trusted friends and colleagues to nominate their favourite projects from the past 12 months. These are practicing architects and designers, academics and design tutors, journalists and writers, plus curators from other museums and institutions.
Designs of the Year creates a platform and an opportunity for young designers to be recognised and displayed alongside established design names. Previous winners such as the Folding Plug and the Plumen light bulb have seen prototypes and original ideas become mass manufactured consumer goods sold throughout the world.
SustainRCA, The Royal College of Art’s initiative to encourage sustainability through art and design, last week hosted an event introducing the Divine Chocolate farmers, Mary Appiah and Esther Ephraim, from Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana, who were in the UK for Fairtrade Fortnight.
Mary and Esther – who had arrived in the UK wrapped in fur coats, expecting our freezing temperatures – gave us an insight into their lives in tropical Ghana.
The talk was chaired by Tom Allen of Trading Visions, who oversees projects for small-scale producers from developing countries. The charity Trading Visions was established in 2003 to build on a long-standing Fairtrade education initiative undertaken in partnership between Divine Chocolate, Comic Relief and Kuapa Kokoo.
On a recent visit to “Home” and “Top Drawer” 2013, at London’s Earls Court, we donned our trekking boots in search of the latest sustainable designs. Home is a design-led interior & home accessories industry show, which took place alongside Top Drawer, a showcase for over 700 British and international retail suppliers.
Here are some of our favourites from the shows:
At All Lovely Stuff loveliness is at the core of whatever they do. They have the ethos that if you really love something you’ll want to hold onto it, which is good for everyone. Each item has an element of character, or humour, which helps to build an emotional connection with the user.
These delicious flavoured doughnuts are made from beech and are iced in strawberry pink, chocolate brown and sugar white. Designed in conjunction with Michael Marriott.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall left the comfort of River Cottage behind and went on a journey to find out what was really going on at the industrial end of our fisheries. What he found was that things are not just bad… they’re mad. Hugh’s Fish Fight, in association with Channel 4, set sail in January 2011 to campaign against the waste of fish caused by the insane Discards Policy. Half the fish caught in the North Sea are being thrown back into the sea, dead, because of crazy EU laws.
Photo courtesy of Channel 4: Hugh’s Fish Fight: Save Our Seas
Hugh’s “Discards Campaign” condemns the throwing away of perfectly edible fish to avoid breaching limits. The response from the UK public was incredible. Over 850,000 people have now signed the Fish Fight petition, and so many people emailed their MPs to protest about discards that they forced a debate in the Houses of Parliament.
We briefly mentioned the work of Chris Haughton of NODE, in October 2012, in our summary of Tent London, knowing that we would return to the story to give you greater detail.
Chris Haughton of NODE
Chris Haughton is a children’s book author and illustrator who has been working in Fairtrade for the past 9 years. In 2010 Chris spent eight months in India and Nepal working with Fairtrade groups. The projects he developed resonated with people and became popular online; he was featured in Eye Magazine, Fast Company and other publications.
More recently he sought the help of Akshay Sthapit, a Kathmandu based entrepreneur with a passion for social projects, to develop a venture making and selling Fairtrade rugs. Together they called themselves NODE.
Rug design by Chris Haughton