menu

PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON: Speaker Hugh Knowles On Sustainability And New Models For Fundraising

PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON: Speaker Hugh Knowles On Sustainability And New Models For Fundraising
Design

The Principal Sustainability Advisor at Forum for the Future shares ideas about creating a more sustainable society.

Michael Brooks
  • 24 august 2010

On the morning of September 10, PSFK will gather the people behind some of the most inspiring British and European projects that we have covered on PSFK.com. These brilliant creative minds will present their work that explores innovation at intersections of fields that include art, design, branding, retail and technology.

Get tickets here: PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON

One of our speakers will be Hugh Knowles. As the Principal Sustainability Advisor at Forum for the Future, he works with partners across the public and private sector to build capacity for sustainable development using futures and innovation techniques. Currently he is leading a project to encourage people to gatecrash the UK energy sector and create systemic change. In advance of the talk, we asked him about his current creative projects and inspirations:

Are there any specific challenges that you’re working on which have uncovered particularly interesting obstacles?

As an organization pushing for a rapid transition to a more sustainable society, one of the major obstacles that we face at the moment is that radical change rarely comes from within the current system or from companies enjoying success in that system. In fact there is a tendency amongst incumbents to fight vigorously to maintain the status quo. Yet to do our work we require funding and the current system is the one with the money. So how do we fund the rapid change that needs to happen?

What emerging trend, idea, or technology are your excited to see develop in the future?

Really excited by rise of collaborative finance models. The funding of Diaspora (open source version of Facebook) on Kickstarter was astonishing. They asked for $20k and within about 15 days got $200k from over 6000 people. The level of trust required to hand over $200k to four unknown programmers with no return and no guarantee of delivery is very high – but that trust was distributed through the community. Each person was responsible for about $30 of ‘trust’. This funding model combined with open source software and hardware is pretty mind-boggling. Makes you think that the radical change I mentioned above is fundable in a very distributed way.

What other projects are currently inspiring your work?

Always interested in what John Robb at Global Guerrillas is up to – particular his work on resilient communities. Interested to see the results of his new project Momentum – an ‘information terrain visualizer’ that scans ‘social media and uses advanced algorithms to enable you to get in front of rapidly evolving social trends’. Shareable.net – nonprofit online magazine that tells the story of sharing. What a great community that clearly demonstrates that the view that humans are purely selfish is pure nonsense.

Do you have an opinion on how 3D printing can potentially impact a more sustainable environment, or any important challenges to consider that will arise as 3D printing becomes more pervasive?

Obviously the current use of 3D printers – producing plastic/metallic prototypes – is not that sustainable. The opportunity to do more with advances in materials presents some fascinating opportunities to reduce the transport of goods. I think the idea of every home having a fabricator is very seductive. However, that obviously has huge consequences from an energy and materials perspective. Might be better if they were distributed at a community level like libraries or post offices used to be – perhaps with some kind of integrated materials recovery system to create a closed loop system for the community.

Thanks Hugh!

Hugh Knowles

Forum for the Future

PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON

Design
Trending

Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World's Largest Open-Air Gallery

Culture
Fashion Today

Handbags Crafted From An Old NFL Stadium

People for Urban Progress is an up-cycling program that tackles the waste problem of big demolitions

Work Today

Tech Job Site Created Just For Those Who Are Older Than 30

A new occupational job board presents a creative solution to age discrimination in the tech world

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Europe Today

Architect Turns A Giant Smile Into A Public Exhibition

The structure offers visitors a new perspective of London and creates an immersive environment that integrates structure, surface, space and light

Children Today

Norwegian Kids Are Using Their Phones To Log Unsafe Street Conditions

Travel Agent is an app that gamifies the reporting of hazardous conditions to improve the safety of children's commute to school

Related Expert

Neil Blumenthal

Retail, E-Commerce, Fashion

Travel Today

Google Wants To Help You Plan Your Next Trip

A new app curates vacation itineraries and organizes reservation emails to take the work out of planning a getaway

Technology Today

Small Handheld Analyzer Checks Oral Hygiene On The Go

The breath-detecting gadget gives people a quick and easy peek into their dental health

Asia Yesterday

Safe Drivers Rewarded In Japan With Free Coffee

Driving Barista is a new app that encourages Japanese motorists to put their phones down as they drive

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 27, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Today

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Michael Kors Has Designed Their Own Instant Camera

In a partnership with Fuji, the limited edition Instax Mini 70 comes in an exclusive metallic gold color

Health Yesterday

Manage Your Emotional Health Through Your Phone

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has created a new iOS app meant to help patients track mental progress and set goals

Food Yesterday

Delete Food Pics Off Of Instagram To Feed The Hungry

Land O'Lakes and Feeding America are donating meals for every picture of a meal taken off of the social platform

Design & Architecture Yesterday

This Shape-Shifting Pod Could Be The Future Of The Cubicle

MIT and Google have designed a new form of work enclosure meant to offer privacy in open-office layouts

Advertising Yesterday

Billboard Spies On People As They Walk By

To promote the movie "Snowden," the advertisement broadcasts information on passersby without their knowledge

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Fashion Yesterday

Anti-Pollution Scarf Helps Cyclists Ride Through Cities

An innovative system filters pollutants and its accompanying app monitors quality of the air

Automotive Yesterday

Volvo’s Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

The fully-automated vehicles are part of a development project to help improve safety for workers

Op-Ed Yesterday

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

No search results found.