GreenWave: Creating Jobs and Mitigating Climate Change with 3D Ocean Farms

Maker: GreenWave Challenge: Billions of people depend on the food and services the ocean provides for their livelihoods. However, current ocean and land-based human activities are contributing to over-fishing, ecosystem destruction, pollution, and eutrophication. According to UN Sustainable Development, “subsidies for fishing are contributing to the rapid depletion of many fish species and are preventing efforts to save and restore …

Quantafuel: Transforming plastic waste into environmentally friendly fuel

Maker: Quantafuel Challenge: The growing problem of plastic waste Solution: Quantafuel transforms plastic waste into high-quality diesel that can be used by infrastructure and engines without modification. Results: A reduction of plastic waste, local pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. “A third-party, independent research firm has compared the environmental impact of Quantafuel’s process to that of producing conventional diesel, concluding that …

Bike Sharing for Better Health and Greener Cities

Maker: Urban Infrastructure Partner AS Challenge: Many cities around the world face the challenge of traffic congestion and crowded public transit systems, and have a general need for solutions that improve quality of life for residents. Solution:  Urban Infrastructure Partner cooperates with cities to design efficient bike sharing systems that are operated with help from user-friendly apps, data-driven operations tools, and digital …

Q&A with Dr. Mariana Amatullo: “Sustainable design is not a choice but an imperative”

Dr. Mariana Amatullo is a tremendous advocate of the role design plays as a driver of societal innovation— as evidenced by her ongoing work and dedication as a design researcher, practitioner-scholar, strategist, educator, and author. Mariana is an Associate Professor of Strategic Design and Management at The New School at Parsons School of Design. She is the co-founder and former Vice President …

Q&A with Alan AtKisson: “Sustainable design is crucial to nearly every aspect of the SDG vision”

Designers have a special, challenging job, but it’s going to keep them busy for a long time: rethinking virtually everything in the world, and redesigning it for sustainability. As the President and CEO of AtKisson Group, an international sustainability consulting network, Alan lives and breathes sustainable development and transformative change. When he isn’t consulting governments, companies, global NGOs and the United …

Q&A with Kristin Støren Wigum: “Designers need to ask more questions”

If you want to work more sustainably, more ethically, you need to argue for it.  Kristin Støren Wigum is an industrial designer and researcher with a Ph.D. in Product and System Design for Sustainability. She’s also the owner of Gaia Trondheim—a small firm that’s part of a collective of eco-architects called Gaia Architetcs.  In her work, Kristin lets design-thinking mingle …

Q&A with Nils Faarlund, Legendary Eco-philosopher and Master of Friluftsliv

“The inherent value of free nature must be embodied in any design process, accompanied by respect for human rights.” In 1966, Nils Faarlund made the dramatic decision to walk away from his engineering career to become a mountain guide and dedicate himself fully to nature. Today, his contributions are the stuff of legends. A relentless champion of Friluftsliv (literally translated …

3 Sustainability Lessons from Forward-Thinkers in Design

Forward-thinking isn’t just a necessary ingredient in creating positive change, it’s also the name of a powerful meet up hosted by DOGA, Design and Architecture Norway every year that brings designers, industry leaders and sustainability visionaries together for a day of inspiration, forward talking and dialogue around increasing the role of sustainability in design, strategy and customer experiences. According to DOGA, “design …

How to Transform the Textiles Economy

It’s high time we shake up the destructive take-make-dispose textile model and transform it into a circular one that’s better for people and environment. This report tells us how. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, textile production contributes 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year—more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. Add to that the leaching of …

The Net Zero Elementary School: Modeling Sustainability for Kids and Design Community

Maker: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) Challenge: Compared to other municipal buildings within New York’s five boroughs, schools account for 40% of emissions—amounting to a significant impact on the city’s carbon footprint. Solution: SOM architects designed an energy efficient school on Staten Island, The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability, which generates all of its own power from renewable on-site …