Innovation and Eco-responsibility
Once Gandhiji was asked if he wished to see India reach the level of prosperity of Britain, he said, “It took Britain half the resources of the planet to achieve this prosperity. How many planets will a country like India require?” Perhaps the great man had an inkling of things to follow. Today, It becomes our prime responsibility to adhere to his tenets and show the world a green and clean way of living which is not an energy intensive development pattern that the world is embarking upon.
Human Impact on the Planet
Industrial progress post World War II surpassed all the changes of human history put together. Unprecedented technological advance had the insidious capability of transforming the face of the planet. Since then the consumption of natural resources has increased manifold and so have the demands on energy resources leading to phenomenon like global warming as a part of the human impact on the planet. The human impact (HI) on the planet can be gauged from a simple formula. If we multiply the present population (P) by the technological advancements (T) i.e. the number of patents and affluence (A) ; that sums up human impact as HI= P×T×A. The HI has gone up significantly in the last 65 years.
In the name of development we have adopted lifestyles which deplete the planetary resources. The Earth is choking with seven billion people. Technological advance is causing irreversible damage to the planet .The irrepressible human greed has overtaken nature when it comes to replenish the vital resources like water, soil, ozone layer and forests at the present rate of exploitation. Species are becoming extinct and biodiversity of the planet is in peril. Affluence of the human beings has given rise to over consumptive and waste oriented lifestyle.
It will be tragic if we, homo- sapiens, the most intelligent beings to ever walk on this planet write their own obituary by their irresponsible acts. Perpetuating the pernicious practices which guzzle down our planetary resources should be deplored in the strongest possible words.
If environmental degradation has to be checked there must be an eco-efficiency revolution that can substantially bring down the use of energy and materials without compromising on living standards. It has to divorce the energy and resource use from economic activity. The messiahs for such change will be radical innovators. We need eco-innovators who make good use of labor and natural capital. In addition to moving on the balance from capital-intensive products to labor-intensive services we would also need eco-innovators who can innovate to make better, more efficient and pragmatic use of the available resources.
Innovate with an eye on eco sustainability:
The need of the hour is a rethink of our growth-model. We must focus our intelligence and enterprise in the model of sustainable development which is inclusive. Here comes innovation as the savior. So managers and entrepreneurs while you learn the best craft and imbibe the latest set of skills passed on to you by the intellectuals who undoubtedly are gems in their own right, please remember that you have the added responsibility of saving the planet. Your commercial activities and ventures should leave the planet a better, safer and more beautiful place for the generation to come. Innovate but eco sustainability should be the mantra of your business propositions.
Some of the recent innovations are LEDs, use of solar Power, and the list runs long. We need to innovate things that curb the damage done to the planet in name of technological advancement, innovate to slow down the depletion of the non- renewable resources of energy and finally innovate to put a smile on the face of the human kind. We need innovators in social, financial, health and all the sectors we can think of to ward away the ill-effects which have crept into human life.