Why Design Matters for Sustainable Entrepreneurship?

One hundred fifty-five is the number of countries that legally recognize the right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. Some various actions and approaches help protect this right, but one that seems to be more comprehensive is sustainable design. This approach aims at reducing the negative impacts on the environment and the health of communities by cutting consumption of non-renewable resources, minimizing waste, and foster healthy and safe environments.

Why it’s comprehensive?
Design is such a broad term. It can be applied in numerous products, sectors, services, industries, features, experiences, and settings. It has been a crucial element in the history of human evolution.

Ezio Manzini, one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable design for social innovations says that making tools is one of the attributes that made us human in the first place. The people that made tools 2.5 million years ago were the first designers. But Manzini also says that now there is too much making and not enough designing. This implies that designing has to be at the core of human existence because of its capability to create meaningful solutions, products, experiences, etc.

When the Homo habilis made the first stone tool, they needed something useful for their needs for hunting and survival rather than a fancy addition to their caves.
Design came out of a need for an extension of human limbs. Afterward, it evolved into better and stronger tools and materials. As they say, the Stone Age didn’t end because they run out of stones. But the current age risks ending because we might run out of our planet’s resources.
This is one of the points where design and sustainable businesses meet.
The former fuels on the desire for ‘better everything’, the latter caters to the need for innovative solutions for a better world.
Designers are the people who conceive and plan something that doesn’t exist or can be improved conforming to the needs of who is paying for it and who will benefit from it. Innovator entrepreneurs do the same, but they focus more on purpose rather than instant profit.

Like it or not, whatever we do now as ordinary people and consumers designs our future.
We can go for short-term products that we don’t need and that will end up as waste. Or we can take action as customers, citizens, entrepreneurs, decision-makers and opt for responsible choices and a waste-free future.
Sustainable design can be applied to any of the fields mentioned below and guarantee that any products or services become part of a circular economy and generate no waste.

Product design
Architecture
Bio Architecture
Interior design
Landscape
Industrial design
Fashion Design
Engineering Design
Software design
User interface design

Another thing in common between sustainable design and sustainable enterprises is business intention.
Many people go into design because they don’t like going into business. But the design itself is business as long as one has to ‘sell an idea’ to a client. If you’re a designer in any of the aforementioned fields, you know how important and difficult it can be to convince a client.
On the other hand, a sustainable entrepreneur has to communicate intentions to convince a target audience. Both use creativity, innovation, and business intention to make money while contributing to a great purpose.

What about entrepreneurial design?
“Your entrepreneurial design will be truly excellent if you are able to adhere to three additional principles in working out the puzzle that is your idea. :
Scalability
Simplicity
Minimization of Risk”
Gunter Faltin Brains Versus Capital

Do you like this approach?
Take our free online training where you can complete the Brains Versus Capital course and the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Course.

Do you think you can learn entrepreneurship and use the mindset to design better things? Or do you have an idea or project that already contributes to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
Join the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition.

Reading suggestion: Innovative Trends to Make Cities More Sustainable

Photo by Alexander Abero on Unsplash

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3 Comments

  1. EDITA MEDARD

    24.06.2021 · Reply

    Impressive article. I have learnt a lot. Design is what shows uniqueness of one idea or project from the other.

  2. Emerson Ejom

    24.06.2021 · Reply

    Impressive!!!!
    There are things that don’t require much explanations but by designs.

    Nice work!

  3. Design matters in all aspects of life as well as business. Design speaks for itself. Entrepreneurship must promote designs which are not only innovative but also indigenous. Indigenous designs preserve the very existence of human life.

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