Leave A Lasting Legacy – Design Your Business Better

8 06 2007


The last words of John Adams, a founding father of America and its second US President, can be heard again in Charlottesville, Virginia, “Thomas Jefferson lives.” A new Renaissance man from Charlottesville is inspiring others to great works. And not a moment too soon.

Although Jefferson has been dead for nearly 200 years, his spirit lives on in the work of Bill McDonough an architect and leader of what may become the key to the rebirth of business and greater social works. While US politicians play their fiddles as our way of life deteriorates, McDonough and his German-chemist partner Dr. Michael Braungart are providing the leadership that will help business “leapfrog” the naysayers and apologists to create a new Renaissance of business growth and profitability.

Business will become the solution to environmental and social problems because this time it will be designed right. Waste will cease to become an external cost that business externalizes and let’s others handle. In fact, it will become someone else’s food or raw materials for their business. If that happens we might even need to rely less on politicians and regulators because the paradigm will have shifted.

Although we have featured McDonough, his book Cradle to Cradle, and his speech at TED previously, today I wanted to share a great presentation he gave to students recently to the Society for Human Ecology at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. It is an intimate, informal conversation between McDonough and students which all of us can benefit from hearing and sharing.

McDonough’s presentation podcast can be found here. Stick with the presentation into the student Q&A.

Particularly critical to appreciate is the difference McDonough makes between being “eco-efficient” and “eco-effective.” The former is NOT the solution.

Next week we shall feature McDonough and Braungart’s consulting firm MBDC which is at the forefront of applying the Cradle to Cradle protocol for business and governments.

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8 06 2007
Human Ecology Forum : Home

Society For Human Ecology XIV Conference Conversations : Keynote Addresses

Last year, during October 18 to 21, 2006, the Society for Human Ecology XIV International Conference was hosted at College of the Atlantic. There was a incredibly large number of good talks, round-table discussions, lectures, and keynote addresses made…

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