zaterdag 8 november 2008

Sustainable society

This afternoon I went to a presentation at the Rotterdam Erasmus University on a sustainable society. Two speeches were held, one by Dr Michael Braungart, the author of Cradle to Cradle (Remaking the Way We Make Things) and the other by prof.dr. Jo van Nunen (sustainable transport). 
Very interesting subject in these times, how can we improve the way we live and still being able to enjoy live....
I've read Cradle to Cradle, in which some very interesting points were risen. Do not talk about NO WASTE (in which you always remember the word WASTE), think about the Redesign Products. I was a little disappointed by the presentation of Michael Braungart. It was negative and contained a lot of one-liners, like 'You don't need to go to Irak to find chemical weapons!'. I think the book Cradle to Cradle opens up a lot of opportunities of being positive. At one the questions which was raised by the audience, how we as companies contribute and be sure that partners are aiming at the same, Michael Braungart pointed out that we should look at the long term strategy of a company. In that respect it boils down to defining long term principles that we 'We have to redefine our way of defining things', not just improving current processes.
The speech of Jo van Unen was much more positive. He explained the how the closed loop supply chain (based upon reuse) can help improving things. He also launched an interesting new concept, a new industrial revolution for Europe. The products are created close to the customer, thus releving the transport part of the supply chain. These factories are robotized and   create on-demand products ordered by customers, operated by off shore capacities from for instance India, China etc. 
Both speakers emphasized that a lot of innovation is on the way, even though we have a (virtual) credit crisis.
So, it looks like a lot of work is on our way in IT, rethinking the way we define things (Architecture) and Software Engineering in the way we operate it.