How to Drive Sustainable Innovation through Creative Destruction?
Published on: 25.08.2021
Imagine a Lego sushi. Real edible rice with a 2×4 Lego building brick instead of the fish slice topping. Would you eat it? Maybe not in one bite, but for a month, yes you can. If you don’t like the building block, choose your toppings. Anything made of plastic that is equal to about 22 grams qualifies.
That’s the amount of plastic that humans consume per month. Most of it is ingested as microplastics and comes through tap water, shellfish, beer, and salt.
However, those figures date back to a 2019 survey commissioned by WWF, hence the numbers might have changed now.
The problem with plastic is that it takes way too long to decompose. Even though plastics caught on huge popularity around the 1960s, it’s now everywhere and completing its cycles. It was designed to last, thus it breaks down to small particles that find their way back to us.
What was once considered great advantages of plastics, such as lightweight, resistance to corrosion, water, and impact, low manufacturing costs, turned out to have a heavy toll on the environment, wildlife, oceans, and human health.
The current situation with the plastic issue brings to mind the ‘creative destruction’ concept of Joseph Schumpeter. The Austrian economist used the term to describe the way how the markets deliver progress through innovations that create new ways of doing things by dismantling older and outdated practices. In a few, words it is a cycle of creation and destruction of industrial processes that increases productivity and frees up resources. Some might say that this leads to unemployment, but it also might lead to improved work-life balance, better working conditions, shorter workweek, and overall healthier and better living conditions.
On the other hand, German entrepreneur and author Günter Faltin in his book ‘Brains versus Capital’ gives a reason why Schumpeter is being rediscovered: “because it turns out that entrepreneurs are made of flesh and blood and not all from the same mold; that many cutting-edge ideas do not arise in big organizations, but in the heads of mavericks and non-conformists. Fresh beginnings, unusual and untested ideas, risks with the threat of failure – all of this demands something different than a focus on business functions.”
This mindset motivates people, from aspiring entrepreneurs to corporate managers and decision-makers to reconsider their business approach towards what’s novel and has a major impact on work, life, and societal standards.
Moreover, according to Schumpeter the role of the entrepreneur was to have and develop fresh ideas and concepts. Higher levels of innovation and results are achieved when citizens are equally engaged in the entrepreneurial process.
This is why the Entrepreneurship Campus makes entrepreneurial training available to anyone eager to make a change through a sustainable business idea or project. In many countries, no matter the level of economic development, the school curricula do not include entrepreneurial education, and even when it does, it takes a long time to complete it. In the face of something, time is turning into a luxury that we cannot afford, thus immediate action is needed.
Start your entrepreneurial path with the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition. Take the training, gain the necessary skills, and learn how to help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Submit your entry by 30 September.