Sustainability x Consumerism

I’ve recently noticed the rising popularity of putting sustainability conversations in front of consumers.

Future Design

I was in Bali while Potato Head Beach Club hosted the Future Design event which exhibited sustainability achievements of designers and artists who have found a second life for discarded products.

Flip-flops / thongs / jandles art installation at Potato Head

It was really interesting to see these put in front of thousands of wealthy consumers (by virtue), to show the art of possible using creativity and technology to develop meaningful products from waste.

Fruits, vegetables and plastics turned into new products
A bench made from discarded CDs

I came away quite inspired by seeing these waste items given a second life. I have an idea for a sustainable product and I’m going to see if its possible to source the materials and/or manufacturer to produce a sample.

Melbourne Knowledge Week

Back at home, the Melbourne Knowledge Week (#MKW19) had some fantastic conversations on sustainable business and consumer practices. Designing for sustainability from a policy and practical sense is very important to brands and their customers.

Melbourne Knowledge Week 2019 at the Metropolitan Meat Market

We consumers feel better about buying from a company that is thinking about how its ethical practices can go some way towards improving some of the worlds greatest challenges such as plastics in our water systems and emissions.

A few seminars I attended were on applied technology startups, sustainable design and circular product development, and personal cyber security – kudos to City of Melbourne for addressing all these hot topics!

Applied technology startups are well positioned to leverage Melbourne’s knowledge ecosystem

Space Tank Studio hosted the applied tech startup breakfast at the LaunchVic offices with an excellent panel of entrepreneurs, CSIRO academics, incubator/accelerator experts and maker space creators. This was a very engaging look at the future of applied tech and rich opportunities in industries across Australia and the world.

Networking was encouraged and I spoke with an interesting professor on future telecommunications, an inventor who is launching her 4th startup in the personal transportation, and a financial services analyst.

Live 3D printed model of Melbourne with projected overlay of worker density

Circular living is an interesting concept which reduces our environmental impact by thinking differently and re-purposing resources that were previously discarded.
Biofilta is one presentation I enjoyed listening to, seeing how storing and using stormwater can significantly reduce using the towns potable water usage and costs.


I hope to attend more seminars on similar topics this year. They really help keeping the mind active and elements may be applied to our lives at home or work.