Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blue economy

The Earth’s limited resources pose “carrying capacities” for populations of species – the number of individuals an environment can sustain. Yet through efficient use of resources and energy, and evolving clever mechanisms to adapt to and overcome environmental conditions and challenges, ecosystems have maximised the sustainable sizes of diverse populations. Nature constantly increases its efficiency and has proven to be the most economic actor of our planet.

The first industrial revolution lead to modern day pollution; the second industrial revolution allowed humans to grasp the extent of threat this destruction poses to our own lives: we have recklessly passed our carrying capacity. The general public feels helpless in finding a way out. Human production and consumption patterns are no longer sustainable.

Numerous examples around the world prove that we can imitate nature's designs, perfected over millions of years, in our own production – using the waste of one product as the input for another. These innovations will revolutionize the industries they are applied in, making consumption of those products a positive action. Thus, it will become possible to live in a sustainable way, responding to all basic needs for water, food, energy, health and shelter. Thinking in systems and cycles, we become metabolists – witness the dawn of the 3rd industrial revolution! 

The Principles of The Blue Economy

  1. Solutions are first and foremost based on physics. Deciding factors are Pressure and Temperature as found on site.
  2. Substitute something with Nothing – question any ressource regarding its necessity for production.
  3. Natural systems cascade nutrients, matter and energy – waste does not exist. Any by-product is the source for a new product.
  4. Nature evolved from few species to a rich biodiversity. Wealth means diversity. Industrial standardization is the contrary.
  5. Nature provides room for entrepreneurs who do more with less. Nature is contrary to monopolization.
  6. Gravity is main source of energy, solar energy is the second renewable fuel.
  7. Water is the primary solvent (no complex, chemical, toxic catalysts).
  8. In nature the constant is change. Innovations take place in every moment.
  9. Nature only works with what is locally available. Sustainable business evolves with respect not only for local ressources, but also for culture and tradition.
  10. Nature responds to basic needs and then evolves from sufficiency to abundance. The present economic model relies on scarcity as a basis for production and consumption.
  11. Natural systems are non-linear.
  12. In Nature everything is biodegradable – it is just a matter of time.
  13. In natural systems everything is connected and evolving towards symbiosis.
  14. In Nature water, air, and soil are the commons, free and abundant.
  15. In Nature one process generates multiple benefits.
  16. Natural systems share risks. Any risk is a motivator for innovations.
  17. Nature is efficient. So sustainable business maximizes use of available material and energy, which reduces the unit price for the consumer.
  18. Nature searches for the optimum for all involucrated elements.
  19. In Nature negatives are converted into positives. Problems are opportunities.
  20. Nature searches for economies of scope. One natural innovation carries various benefits for all.
  21. Respond to basic needs with what you have, introducing innovations inspired by nature, generating multiple benefits, including jobs and social capital, offering more with less: This is the Blue Economy.