As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the challenges when talking about sustainability is wondering how you (or I) could possibly do anything to help the dire situation our planet is facing. One of the most exciting parts of my Global Sustainability class from last week was the discussion of how entrepreneurs and innovators are looking at sustainability not as a problem, but as an opportunity.
An opportunity to make a difference, yes. But also an opportunity to make money.
Last week my classmates and I were asked to cull through various news sources to identify how entrepreneurs are developing new and innovative technologies to create both "quick wins" and "game changers" in the field of sustainability. We identified a variety of ideas that are already in-use or on their way to launch, including:
- Using algae as a renewable source of fuel for jet planes and automobiles
- Building wave energy farms off the coast of Portugal
- Creating synthetic trees to capture carbon almost 1,000 times faster than real trees
- Developing point-of-use water purification straws that allow anyone, anywhere to have access to safe drinking water.
In short, sustainability is an area filled with opportunity for both social changemakers and profit-driven entrepreneurs (or, if you're like me, someone looking to do both).
One area that's particularly inspiring for entrepreneurs to look for opportunities and solutions is nature itself. In fact, the field of Biomimicry looks to nature as a source of inspiration, innovation, and answers for our current sustainability challenges.
I hope you enjoy it.