Down to Earth – Space and Innovation for Sustainability
All signs show that the sustainability challenge requires radical innovation and ‘thinking outside the box’, so what could be more appropriate than looking for lessons in space? Down to Earth - a Swedish ten-year initiative involving space agencies, companies and universities - is doing exactly that, and is now seeking interest from companies to participate in the next phase.
Conceived by Umbilical Design and Jönköping International Business School, the Down to Earth concept aims to help businesses develop sustainable innovations inspired by space solutions. The Natural Step is pleased to be part of the team, which brings together experts from the space, business and sustainability sectors and uses a cross-over innovation process based on the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (a.k.a TNS Framework).
The approach is proving to be great for idea-generation. Organisations such as Electrolux, Akademedia, Lidköpings Kommun, SKF and Volvo Cars have already experienced this first-hand through a series of creative workshops. The aim is to identify new sustainable business concepts and where appropriate broker technology transfer from the space sector. A selection of the concepts generated in the first phase of the project were exhibited at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, “Better City, Better Life” (see video from the event).
After a successful 2010, the Down to Earth team is inviting interested businesses to participate in the next phase.
If you are looking for inspiration or ways to link your innovation agenda with sustainability goals, joining the Down to Earth initiative might just be the ignition spark for you to get lift-off.
Read our project profile to learn more of the benefits and background insights coming from the initiative.
We are interested to hear from:
- Organisations looking for fresh ideas on sustainable innovation.
- Students and researchers interested to shadow the process.