Issue 014 / Robots, Blockchain and How 16,000 People Describe The "Good Life"

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 

This Week's Five Links

The Moral Voice of Corporate AmericaThe New York Times
In recent months, the notion of corporate social responsibility has evolved beyond environmental pledges and corporate donations to encompass deeper engagement in social issues and government policies. Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, calls it “a seminal moment in the history of business in America.”

Automation and AnxietyThe Economist
Artificial intelligence and robotics are here, and they are set to fundamentally change the way business is done in the coming century. This presents companies with ethical conundrums as they decide how best to embrace technological innovations.

How Norway Is Selling Out-of-Date Food to Help Tackle Waste The Guardian
In Norway, industry and government are collaborating to reduce food waste, resulting in innovative concepts like Best Før, a supermarket that sells past-expiration groceries priced at discounts that reflect their age, and foodlist, an app that encourages people to take photographs of in-store groceries nearing the end of their shelf life.

From Farm To Finished Garment: Blockchain Is Aiding This Fashion Collection With Transparency Forbes
There’s a lot of buzz around how blockchain — the technology behind Bitcoin — can enable greater transparency across industries, but especially in apparel supply chains. This collaboration between UK designer Martine Jarlgaard, A Transparent Company and Provenance shows the potential of this technology in action.

The Good Life through the Lens of Consumer Preferences and Global Sustainability InfluencersSustainable Brands
BBMG and Globescan have turned to 16,000 people, in 16 countries, across five continents, with the simple question: How would you describe the Good Life? Their findings, shared at the 2017 Sustainable Brands Conference, can inform the ways that brands communicate about purpose and social responsibility. 

We want to strengthen consumers’ connections to a product, so they don’t see them as so disposable.
— Designer Martine Jarlgaard on blockchain’s potential to better connect consumers with the clothes they wear (From Farm To Finished Garment: Blockchain Is Aiding This Fashion Collection With Transparency — Forbes)

Reconsidered in the News

  • Journalist Alden Wicker asked me whether consumers’ voices matter to fashion companies for her recent Racked article on ”10 Things You Can Do to Shop More Sustainably". From experience, I feel strongly that they do! 
  • I had the pleasure to moderate two sessions of True Fashion Talks in Amsterdam, an initiative of the True Fashion Collective and Fashion for Good that aims to spark real dialogue around sustainable fashion issues. Lucy von Sturmer shared insights from the first talk on shifting sustainability from niche to norm in Huffington Post and outlined five take-aways from the second talk on sustainable fashion influencers in Eco Fashion World
  • In her sustainable fashion podcast Conscious Chatter, Kestrel Jenkins asked me to share my “why” for launching Reconsidered and shared it at the start of this fascinating episode featuring the C&A Foundation’s Leslie Johnston. Stay tuned for later in the fall when I’ll speak with Kestrel for a full episode!

Spotlight: Forest Cities

forest city.jpg

In recent years, China has emerged as a leader in sustainable innovation. Its new Liuzhou Forest City is further proof. Designed by architect Stefano Boeri, this futuristic urban development will house 30,000 people, 40,000 trees and one million plants. It will also absorb an estimated 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of particulate air pollution each year, while producing 900 tons of oxygen.

“You are nesting, in the center of a super dense and polluted environment, an ecosystem which has an amazing biodiversity, and which can really contribute in terms of absorption of CO2, production of oxygen, and absorption of the fine dust of pollution,” Boeri told Fast Company.

“The idea to move forests inside the city…it’s a way to meet the enemy in its field.”

Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!