Last week, I attended the “Second Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit: Manage by Designing in an Era of Massive Innovation,” hosted by the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio.
Yes, the program title is tough to get through, and the content was no easy matter either – discussing “the creation of sustainable value as the business opportunity of the 21st Century.” Approximately 600 leaders from 50 countries attended or participated virtually, in small and large-group sessions led by leading academicians, futurists, authors, corporate leaders, etc.
The BAWB’s central premise, as articulated by CWRU Professor Richard Boland, Jr., was that sustainability is best addressed with a design attitude – “remake the situation; don’t just pick from known options,” Boland said. His warning was to “beware of the default solution.”
Another speaker, Jason Pearson of Charlottesville, Virginia-based nonprofit GreenBlue, said “think of everything as a prototype” that can be continuously evaluated and improved.
Sustainability seems to have more than its share of complicated graphs, arcane concepts and rhetorical obfuscations. But, if you really need to communicate it, try some simplified packaging of the message and pearls of wisdom such as what Boland and Pearson have to offer. They got my attention.