Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"Bright green" - what does it mean?

I kinda like the term ”bright green” that the folks at worldchanging.com use to describe their vision of a sustainable future. One of the problems with words like sustainable or organic is that so many interpretations have been heaped on them. They’re tired, they’ve lost their power to engage, and what’s worse, in many cases they actually turn off people, who may be worried about the environment and wish to turn away from a destructive life style, but don’t want to be part of the sustainability brigade.

But what might ”bright green” mean?
Here’s my list – please add to it.

I see bright green as a a strategy for meeting our needs in a way that makes good use of facts, science and technology. Bright green solutions are robust and they can achieve massive, industrial scale. They have reliable outcomes, documented effects, it’s understood how they work.

They are transparent. They enable users to become participants in optimizing their outcome. They invite users to act in a responsible way – to become co-creators rather than passive consumers.

Obviously, money is not the only value in life, but the spread Bright green products and solutions should be driven by market forces. They have to be attractive and make economical sense. They may be supported by regulation, but basically they should not be chosen out of guilt or good will, but based on competive merits.

Bright green solutions are holistic and complex. They are not discrete, local fixes. They take the larger context into account, and this can be done by using sensors, networks and by approaching reality as an ecosystem of interconnected and interdependent factors.

...to be continued