Eliza’s green cookies
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to give a first series of Green Business workshops at the Fachhochschule Bingen, which beautifully complement my other series of lectures about Entrepreneurship.
The rules of the game for one of the final exams are the following: Students are expected to develop their dreams about an entrepreneurial activity, either profit or non-profit oriented. They need to start thinking about ideas to make their dreams come true, and finally they need to sell me their ideas, as if I were a philanthropic kind of investor, who is much more interested in the environmental and socially innovative aspects of the ideas, than on pure business outcomes…
Of course philanthropic investors are not completely out of their minds, and expect a certain level of profitability, that is, the project idea needs to be able to cover costs, and pay reasonable salaries at some point, but it is not expected to make anyone a millionaire…
The project ideas are rather supposed to build a new world, where Being has much more weight than Having, and where people collaborate with nature, rather than spoil it to obtain questionable short-term economic benefits.
Both lectures where a success, and I especially loved Green Business, which was pure and “useless”, and did not expect any utilitarian outcome like the Entrepreneurship lectures… but in life, both aspects are interesting at some point.
The students were inspired and inspiring, and started to create their own social utopias, and ecotopias… We all enjoyed our few days together, and we will keep collaborating on such refreshing projects.
For some ideas technology played a secondary role, that is, rather as means to some beautiful end. In other cases technology played a central role.
Some people asked me for feedback about their ideas around electric cars, and I could not help myself, and told them, of course, what I thought…
I am suspicious of electric cars, because they represent more of the same shit, but with different (and not essentially revolutionary) technology:
- Electric cars also need to be produced, that is, you need to throw away your current car and buy a new one…
- Electric cars also use metal, high-tech, and rare earths, which are also precious natural resources
- Electric cars have environmentally polluting batteries, which can only be recycled up to a certain efficiency point, much lower than the recycling capabilities of organic matter
- The trend around electric cars still follows the primitive trend around individual transportation, which sucks
- Individual transportation for more and more cars, be it electric cars or not, still needs motorways, and parking garages, and lots of cement and concrete based architecture
- Electric cars consume electricity, and even electricity coming from renewable sources is not to be misused: The best Watt will always be the Watt which is not consumed.
- On top of all this we have our growth rates for every THING, oh dear!
Summarizing, in my own social ecotopia I reduce individual transportation to a minimum, and this minimum is lean and powered by human energy, like e.g. bikes… And, needless to say, I despise electric bikes for healthy people.
I plead for new technologies based on product longevity, repairs, non-disruptive transformation…
Example: I want to keep my computer, my smart-phone and my car for 20 years, and I expect YOU, brilliant high-tech companies, to help me achieve this goal in an environmentally and socially friendly way.
What do you say to that? Are you really innovative, or are you a chicken?