Cancel
Advanced Search
KEYWORDS
CATEGORY
AUTHOR
MONTH

Please click here to take a brief survey

Nike and Pop!Tech Team Up to Find New Low-Impact Materials
Danica Real, 9 Nov 09

3327047072_d56ec38d87.jpg

The successful solutions event Pop!Tech* is taking their work to a new level. Their latest project is Pop!Tech Labs, which will bring together a group of experts – scientists, academics, corporate leaders and policymakers – to embark on a “year-long innovation journey.” The gathered group will focus on an issue around a specific domain, and will release any inventions under an open license.

For their first lab, they will be teaming up with Nike to search for low-impact materials. The spotlight will be on closed-loop production, which takes resources from finished (or end of life) products and uses them to create new goods. Their goal is to examine the scientific, business, policy and industry contexts surrounding closed-loop product development.

Closed-loop production has the ability to make a serious impact, and it's easy to recognize that using new resources less often means less environmental impact. But is less harm good enough? In other words, are "green' shoes to traditional trainers as hybrid cars are to sedans? Can rampant consumerism and closed-loop production exist simultaneously? Can we have a system that demands both escalation and sustainability?

Regardless of these doubts, the opportunity for the Pop!Tech Labs team to do something truly “worldchanging” is there. And creating more efficiently produced shoes, with zero waste in mind, is an amazing goal. Perhaps the lab experiment will give Nike the chance to offer consumers a more durable product than what is currently available. But how will a longer lasting shoe be in the long-term interest of a shoe company? It won’t be, at least in the conventional ideas of interest. But in a world with finite resources, companies will have to re-evaluate their interests. If Nike is able to be a forerunner in closed-loop production, they just might help start a product revolution.

We're eager to see the kinds of products that might arise from this project. If the players can step up to the plate and do this right, we might witness a real transformation in product development.

*(Full disclosure: Alex has spoken at Pop!Tech twice and Andrew Zolli is a former WC board member.)


Photo Credit: Incase Designs via Flickr, Creative Commons License

Bookmark and Share


Comments

I think this is a great first step, but does this "closed loop" include manufacturing ethics or is it limited to the materials?


Posted by: Kristy B on 12 Nov 09

Post A Comment

Please note that comments will remain open for only 14 days after the article is posted. While previous comments will remain visible, attempts to post new comments after this period will fail. This helps stop comment spam, so your forebearance is appreciated.

The Worldchanging comments are meant to be used for further exploration and evaluation of the ideas covered in our posts. Please note that, while constructive disagreement is fine, insults and abuse are not, and will result in the comment being deleted and a likely ban from commenting. We will also delete at will and without warning comments we believe are designed to disrupt a conversation rather than contribute to it. In short, we'll kill troll posts.

Finally, please note that comments which simply repost copyrighted works or commercial messages will be summarily deleted.

REMEMBER PERSONAL INFO?
Yes No

NAME


EMAIL ADDRESS


URL


COMMENTS



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO:

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS:


MESSAGE (optional):


Search Worldchanging

Worldchanging Newsletter Get good news for a change —
Click here to sign up!


Worldchanging2.0


Website Design by Eben Design | Logo Design by Egg Hosting | Hosted by Amazon AWS | Problems with the site? Send email to tech /at/ worldchanging.com
©2012
Architecture for Humanity - all rights reserved except where otherwise indicated.

Find_us_on_facebook_badge.gif twitter-logo.jpg