Tag Archives: readings

Soumitri’s email on Innovation

After reading through the links I decided to keep the main points that I feel are most relevant up here other wise I loose track of things and it helps to see where my own project fits in and covers the points.

7 Ways to Unlock Innovation
1. Explicit the assumptions: if you want to unlock innovation you should start by exposing the rules and behaviors inside your organization that might be hindering innovation in the first place. Often times more important than getting answers is asking the right questions.
2. Challenge the assumptions: the second step is to challenge the outlined assumptions. Ask yourself “what if we decided to do the complete opposite?”.
3. Welcome failures: you need to pursue failure if you want to innovate and consequently to succeed. You can learn from failures and because it will spark new ideas. When a company fails it is necessarily trying new things, new concepts. It is stretching itself beyond the comfort zone.
4. Use multiple sources of innovation:
5. Go beyond product innovation: innovation with the introduction of a new, revolutionary, uber-technological device. Instead of focusing exclusively on product innovation companies should think how they can innovate their processes, their structure, their business model and even their market.
6. Spot changes both as threats and opportunities:
7. Execute: “Ready. Fire! Aim”.

The term innovation means a new way of doing something. These changes can be incremental, radical and revolutionary.

A consistent theme may be identified: innovation is typically understood as the successful introduction of something new and useful, for example introducing new methods, techniques, or practices or new or altered products and services.

An improvement on an existing form, composition or processes might be an invention, an innovation, both or neither if it is not substantial enough. It can be difficult to differentiate change from innovation. According to business literature, an idea, a change or an improvement is only an innovation when it is put to use and effectively causes a social or commercial reorganization.

Innovation occurs when someone uses an invention or an idea to change how the world works, how people organize themselves, or how they conduct their lives. In this view innovation occurs whether or not the act of innovating succeeds in generating value for its champions.

Innovation = (Creativity * Risk Taking)
Goals of innovation
1. Improved quality
2. Creation of new markets
3. Extension of the product range
4. Reduced labour costs
5. Improved production processes
6. Reduced materials
7. Reduced environmental damage
8. Replacement of products/services
9. Reduced energy consumption
10. Conformance to regulations


The last bit from bottled water

Ok well I am sure there is enough on bottled water up on here but as with all research I do it seems I stumble across a few more articles, and well if I am to keep everything in one spot I thought I would post them up.

Bottled water the ‘new eco-disaster’

About 550 million litres were consumed in 2004-05, according to the Australian Beverage Council, with most purchases being made in addition to soft drinks, rather than replacing them.

Environmental scientist Tim Grant said it was “counter-intuitive” that bottled water was such a successful product. “People pay $2.50 for something that’s free,” he said.

“In contrast to tap water, which is distributed through an energy-efficient infrastructure, transporting bottled water long distances involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels,” she said.

In Australia, the energy cost of buying water instead of drawing it from a tap was comparable to driving a car, said Mr Grant, who is the assistant director of design at RMIT University.

While driving a car for one kilometre used four megajoules of energy, drinking a 600-millilitre bottle of water used 1.5 megajoules, when the transport costs were included. By contrast, drinking water out of a tap used only 0.2 megajoules, Mr Grant said. And when they are no longer wanted, water bottles were taking up space in landfill sites.

Mount Franklin – greenwashing or not?

Message on a bottle labelled as greenwash
Coca-Cola pays Landcare Australia $150,000 to plant 250,000 trees to offset greenhouse gas emissions generated by the manufacture and distribution of 8 million plastic bottles.

Mount Franklin dominates the $544 million bottled water market and is an expert in marketing campaigns that tap into community issues: its pink lid campaign to pledge $1 for cancer research for every wish made through its website is one of the most successful marketing campaigns in recent history.

“One has to ask the question whether Coke has done this deal to distract attention away from the serious environmental questions that are now being asked of the bottled water industry. In particular the issues of water sourcing and the climate, waste and litter impact of bottled water, as well as the extremely low recycling rate for plastic water bottles.

“Given the current level of criticism being levelled at the bottled water industry, even the less cynical could be forgiven for thinking that this is just a greenwash exercise.”

Bottled Guilt

Eastern Garbage Patch, an oceanic anomaly estimated to cover an area roughly the size of Texas (678,051sq/km), and growing. “Bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, fragments… For the past 50 years, plastics that have made their way into the Pacific Ocean have been fragmenting and accumulating as a kind of floating sewer,” Moore wrote. The ocean’s plastic soup gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘bottled water’.

Australians consume roughly 360 million litres of the stuff a year.

We clutch our bottles of spring water at the gym. We guzzle litre-and-a-half bottles to keep our skin looking good. We order it in restaurants, we expect it served to us on flights and we complain loudly when the office water cooler hasn’t been replaced. The 600ml water bottle is as integral an accessory to our lives as the mobile phone.


There is lots of information and articles up on this site so have a read through to discover more.

Bottled water in green groups’ sights
A coalition of environmental and community groups has launched a campaign to stop Australians drinking bottled water. The Bottled Water Alliance will initially try to influence drinking habits around the country by asking local councils to stop providing bottled water to workers and at functions.

Battle of the bottle
The battle over the bottle has intensified with another Sydney council voting to ban bottled water from functions.

Ashfield Council has joined Manly and Blacktown councils in the war on plastic, announcing bottled water will no longer be provided after existing supplies run out.

“They can’t ban bottled water. Bottled water is a legal product which is wanted by consumers.

“If local councils were really committed to the communities they serve perhaps they should look at providing their community with more bubblers and make sure they are kept clean.

Disaster in a bottle

“When aquifers are under pressure from a variety of interests, sucking water out of them and bottling it for a quick buck is probably not a great idea,” Bones says.

But bottlers say they take only a tiny fraction. Coca-Cola Amatil, which bottles the leading brands Mount Franklin and Pump, has even supported calls by hydrogeologists for national reform of groundwater management.

“Responsible stewardship of water, both mains and spring water, is something we take extremely seriously,” a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, Sally Loane, says. “Coca-Cola Amatil strictly monitors, measures and studies its water sources to ensure their sustainability.”

A blessing in disguise

Since I lost my diary containing my mapping of drinking fountains I thought that was that, and I didn’t have time to redo it, but as it happens the order in which I have taken my photos would help to map them out I was going to redo (and still am another day) my map and have a key as to which kind of photos are located where.

In doing so I came across this lovely article from the age which lead me to a hand drawn map of drinking fountains created by some one else. Bellow is the best bits from the article

MELBOURNE’S reputation as a drinking city might be growing, but try telling that to Patrick Jones. All he wants is a free drink of water.
A search one afternoon for a drinking fountain in the city centre made Mr Jones angry.
So angry that he spent 7½ hours trudging around the city marking drinking fountains on a map.
Of the 27 drinking fountains found, only 18 worked.

Greens councillor Fraser Brindley last week asked council officers to audit the state of the city’s fountains in response to Mr Jones’ campaign.
Last night Cr Brindley said the council should back the drive so that city visitors would not have to buy bottled water.
“Getting the city’s fountains we’ve got working properly is a good first step,” he said.
“There is now this assumption that people will buy water if they need a drink. You should be able to get free water if you want it.”
“In Rome there’s a water fountain on every corner. Here we’ve got one for every 40,000 people,” said Mr Jones, citing Melbourne City Council figures showing that 732,000 people come to the city centre each day.

Here is the site for Just Free Water


A little while ago I called Melbourne City Council and spoke to an environmental officer about free drinking water points in the city. As a regular visitor to Melbourne I wanted a map of the city showing free water points so as I knew where I could refill my stainless steel water flask. He told me there was no such map he could give me, but thought there were about 15 bubblers in non-park areas within the city.

So I decided to map it out for myself. It took me about 7 hours to walk the CBD locating water bubblers. I found 27 of them, 9 of which required repairs, leaving 18 bubblers for an estimated 710,600 people who use the city each day (figure attained from the MCC website).

In real terms this means there is one bubbler for approximately 40,000 people in the city.

The start of the campaign:
1. Approach your local council to repair existing water fountains and supply new water fountains throughout your city or town.
2. Lobby your council/government to ban drinks bottled in plastic – stop petrochemical products creating more landfill problems than we already have and ask them to assess the health merits of every drink bottled in plastic under production today.
3. Get your local council to advocate ethical water drinking by citizens – thus promoting the carrying of refillable flasks, refilling them at free water fountain points, or from home.

It also featured in this issue of Dissent

And finally the blog created buy Patrick Jones where there is a little information about the project scatted through the posts.

Accessing public drinking water if you click on the link it takes you to the full sized image you can actually read.

Public necessity

Everything we buy is likely to be unsustainable and/or abusive in terms of its production and transportation. Water bottled in plastic is both.

How to Do Words With Things here is a book where Patrick Jones has added information about his campaign along with other poems and artworks, both my him and other authors.

“Jones describes his artworks as “poetical terrorism” or “physical graffiti” (38), a practice of site-specific, improvised and/or indeterminate happenings that disrupt public space, creating “temporary autonomous zones” (40). An example is Jones’s ongoing campaign against the Coca-Cola-owned bottled water, Mt Franklin, which is sourced (at a steal) from Jones’s local area in Victoria, bottled and branded as a consumer commodity and then sold for a massive profit.” Derrick Jensen: “If I had a thing of bottled water I would hold it up and say this is why we’re not going to have a revolution, because if people will pay for water bottled in plastic they will suffer any indignity” (35).

Jones’s campaign, Just Free Water, includes a website with information about public bubblers in the Melbourne CBD, illustrations of a techno-capitalist water cycle and a short film in which Jones reclaims a roadside patch near Mount Franklin and sets up a temporary site for play. Jones stickers bottle-caps with links to his website, and if he sees a Coca-Cola vending machine in a public space, he will turn the power off at the wall. “It is not from a sense of hope that I carry out these physical poems,” he says, “but rather from the consideration: traditional forms of poetry seem ridiculous this late in history” (38).
Citing British philosopher Alan Watts, Jones talks about how industrial-digital civilisation teaches the separation of the brain from the body. Watts refers to the body as contiguous with the rest of the world, “so that,” in Jones’s paraphrasing, “the air and water are as central to us as our lungs and heart” (29).

Back casting

Backcasting for Industrial Transformations and System Innovations Towards Sustainability: Relevance for Governance?

Here is a description about back casting from the sus house. It seems backcasting isn’t are relatively new thing and goes back to the 70s to Amory Lovins as an alternative planning technique towards energy where a desirable future (or range of futures) and how these could be achieved.

Jaco Quist and Philip Vergragt have also written articles about the method of back casting they can be found on Science Direct database, log in using the RMIT library. The most interesting I found is titled Past and future of backcasting: The shift to stakeholder participation and a proposal for a methodological framework.

It’s really interesting method to use, so I am going to research it a little more and post up any really interesting bits and it is something I definitely can use, as a method it needs to include the future economy, social impacts, cultural and organisational and technological changes along with the environment. I am going to edit up my scenario to get the best outcome and figure out the incremental changes of how to get to the goal.

More General Readings from Blackboard

A few more I put up just as a refresher for myself.

The equation it’s very simple: put together humanism, psychoanalysis, semiotic and design. You’ll have “interaction design”. The expression “humanism’ generally refers to a series of values and ideals related to the celebration of the human being. It is enough to say that when the greek philosopher Protagoras from a reflection said: “The human being as the measure of all things”, he launches the basis on which humanism would be defined. http://www.everaldo.com/crystal/

Design a project with specific goals, specific tasks, and specific outcomes.

Artifact Project

Artifact: Artifact as an “it.” What is it? (This is an exercise in specificity). How can it be conceptualized? What is it to different groups of people and individuals? How is it situated in the world and how is the world situated in it?

How is the world in the artifact?

Symbolic dimensions (What are the many different ways in which it can be taken as a symbol? What parts of it can be taken as symbols? How do these symbols mean in the world? Where do they mean? What are the histories of these symbols? To what have they been attached?

Labor dimensions (Where was it produced? How was it produced? Are there stages in its production? Where has it traveled to and from? Who produces it? What are the histories of its production?

Material dimensions (What materials are involved in these production processes? Where have these materials come from? What are the labor dimensions of their production? What are the global, economic, and political dimensions of their use? What are the histories of these materials? How do these help constitute it?

How is the artifact in the world?

Context and situatedness (Where does it appear in the world? How does it appear and next to what or in what? What activities or ways of life enable one to come across it? What kinds of audiences are it addressed to? Who is excluded in these addresses? When can it appear? What is the rhythm of its appearance? How does this matter?

Symbolic dimensions (How does this object serve in symbolic systems? What kinds of metaphors is it involved in? What sorts of ideas, metaphors, movements, ideologies, etc., are associated with it? For whom are these relevant , to whom do they matter, what contests over meaning are they involved in? What are the histories of these meanings and contests over meaning? How do they matter?

Labor dimensions (How is it used? What forms of labor and work is it associated with? What forms of labor and work incorporate it or make use of it? Is it used up? If not, how is it passed on, transferred, communicated? What routes do these processes take? What kinds of actors (human and non-human) are involved and what kinds are excluded?

Material dimensions (How do the materials of the object appear? How are they disposed of? What hazards are considered among these materials? What are the historical, scientific, and political dimensions of these materials?

General Readings from Blackboard

The following quotes are from doors of perception it’s a long piece so I copied what I felt was most relevant.

“Nature provides human society with a vast diversity of benefits such as food, fibres fuel, clean water, healthy soil, protection from floods, protection from soil erosion, medicines, storing carbon (important in the fight against climate change) and many more” begins the TEEB report. Though our wellbeing is totally dependent upon these ecosystem services, they are predominantly ‘public goods’ with no markets and no prices, “they often are not detected by our current economic compass”.

This terrifying rate of loss is due to pressures from population growth, changing diets, urbanisation and also climate change. Biodiversity is declining, our ecosystems are being continuously degraded and we, in turn, are suffering the consequences. As Sukhdev explains it, “we are trying to navigate uncharted and turbulent waters with an old and defective economic compass and that this was affecting our ability to forge a sustainable economy in harmony with nature.”

Companies face not just regulation but indirect pressure, too, from investors, insurers, activists, employees or neighbourhood communities.

Measures to deal with the greenwashing problem are in development. In the UK, for example, the Carbon Trust and the government are working with BSI British Standards to co-sponsor the development of a Publicly Available Specification (PAS). This will be a standard method for measuring the embodied green house gas (GHG) emissions in products and services across a wide range of product categories and their supply chains.

The aim is to enable companies to measure the GHG related impacts of their products, understand the life-cycle climate change impacts of their products, and highlight significant emissions reduction opportunities.

In an adjacent development, a methodology for evaluating social capital is also being developed. The notion of a Social Return on Investment (SROI) has been developed to help social enterprises put a monetary value on the future social benefits of their activities. It allows discussion of how (and where) they create social value with their stakeholders in a more compelling way than saying ‘invest in us – we’re a good thing’.

In his book Collapse, Jarred Diamond explains that societies fail when their elites are insulated from the negative impact of their own actions. Diamond focuses on Easter Island, where the overuse of wood products eventually destroyed its inhabitants’ survival prospects.

The lesson applies equally to us, today. We are bewitched, as a culture, by a high entropy concept of quality and performance that drives us to waste astronomical amounts of energy and material resources. We lust for speed, perfection, control – but are blind to their true cost.

Big D economic development tends to view human, cultural and territorial assets – the people and ways of life that are already there – as impediments to progress and modernisation. A huge development industry measures progress in terms of economic growth, and increased consumption, and assumes without question that urbanisation and transport intensity are signs of progress. Development tends to devalue human agency and replace people with technology automation and “self service.”

Aesthetics creates the need. Metrics provides the measure of change required. Design provides the means.

From the readings:

When reading about the theory of the social object, I found it really interesting that the television set was covered in a cloth and decorated with photos and a vase of artificial flowers. Until about 5 years ago we had an old TV, that was borrowed from our Aunty it was made to look like fake wood and it had its own stand on wheels. We also covered the top with a cloth doily, photos of my great grandma and my brother when he was a baby, along with a vase with real flowers. Though one day my little sister knocked the vase over and the water ran down the back. It still worked but it needed to be dried out with a hairdryer as a little water had got inside.