May 26-30: Amsterdam/Haarlemmermeer Focal Point of William McDonough + GIOS Sustainability Discussion

This spring, William McDonough will be attending the Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) conference in the Netherlands as a member of the ASU Board of Directors for Sustainability. The conference will focus on challenges of sustainable-urbanization, and rally ideas for resolutions.

The Arizona State University Global Sustainability Solutions Center at Haarlemmermeer first announced its partnership back in September.  The partnership was established to analyze Park 20|20, the Netherlands’ first Cradle to Cradle®-inspired development.  The human-centered design strategy behind Park 20|20, is aimed at empowering employees through Cradle to Cradle-inspired architecture and landscape.

Beginning May 26, the conference will include interactive discussions among influential leaders of the sustainability industry, on how to make cities sustainable. The theme for the series of discussions is “Old Cities/New Cities/Sustainable Cities.” Following a unique session on applying sustainability solutions to the city of Amsterdam, a day will be set aside for discussions pertaining to the emerging region of Haarlemmermeer and their objectives to create the most sustainable cities in Europe.

Other highlights of the Global Institute of Sustainability Board gathering include:

In an interview with Forbes, William McDonough stresses the need to think bigger; to think intent and design from the start, as emphasized in the book he co-authored with Dr. Michael Braungart, The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability–Designing for Abundance:

[quote]”We do not have an energy problem.  That is a huge misunderstanding. We have a material problem. We have carbon as – a material – in the atmosphere. And a material in the wrong place is a problem.” McDonough goes on to rationalize complaints don’t work, “We never say they are doing something wrong. We say they are not using commerce effectively, because commerce gives them much bigger opportunities for innovation, market generation, and revenue creation.” And McDonough sets a higher bar. “When a company tells me they have increased their efficiency…by reducing their impact, you are still honoring the idea that impact is OK and waste is OK. What if we could eliminate the concept of waste?[/quote]

Founder of the Cradle to Cradle principles, William McDonough was a keynote speaker at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.  McDonough participated in several sessions, including hosting a private session on scaling up Cradle to Cradle design and sustainable business.  He challenges manufacturers and suppliers to think of the future of the planet, and the use of materials part of a continuous reusable cycle.



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