BONUS: Built To Last" Panel Presentation on "Conscientious Innovation"

Published on: 29th September, 2023

Welcome back. I'm Mark, and today I'm bringing you a special bonus episode of "Unlocking Your World of Creativity" direct from Oslo, Norway, where I'm diving into the fascinating world of conscious brands during Oslo Innovation Week.

In this illuminating session titled "Conscientious Innovation," hosted by the Medinge Group and organized by the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), we explored how innovation, sustainability, and creativity intertwine to make the world a better place.

The first 3 distinguished panelists of the morning led us on an eye-opening journey:

Christian Lodgaard: As the Chief Design Officer of Flock, one of Scandinavia's largest furniture manufacturers, Christian delved into the concept of designing products to last. He emphasized the significance of considering materials, structure, and repairability right from the start. The goal? To create furniture with lasting value and minimal environmental impact.

Brigitte Stepputtis: The Global Head of Couture at the fashion brand Vivienne Westwood, revealed how this fashion icon leads the way in conscious design. Vivienne Westwood's reduced impact strategy includes fewer collection changes, fewer fashion shows, and streamlining product lines -- while even exploring the repurposing of bridal gowns.

Joana Sá Lima: Joana, a partner and architect at Comte Bureau, introduced us to the idea that sometimes the best decision is not to build anything new at all. She highlighted innovative ways to rethink construction materials, design, and waste reduction. Asking the right questions, she argued, can lead to surprising and sustainable solutions.

Taken together, hese panelists illuminated some key takeaways:

1. The Art of the Possible: Concrete examples showed us what's achievable in the realm of conscientious innovation, dispelling the notion of mere theoretical ideas.

2. Defining Circularity: They provided a clear picture of how individual brands and products can embrace circularity, pinpointing where improvements can be made.

3. Empowering the Consumer: Educating customers about their choices can steer them toward more sustainable options, fostering informed decisions.

Stay tuned for more updates from Oslo Innovation Week as I continue my exploration of global creative and innovative endeavors. I'm Mark, inviting you to join me on this inspiring journey of unlocking creativity.


 Welcome back, friends, to a special bonus episode of Unlocking Your World of Creativity. This is Mark. It's Thursday morning and I'm at the opening session of Oslo Innovation Week. And this program is called Conscientious Innovation. It's facilitated by the Medinge Group, organized by the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, also known as A H O.

And it's being held in host and Architecture School of Norway, abbreviated DOGA. This provocative workshop on conscientious innovation featured three panelists who are experts in this idea of building things to last, and if we're going to talk about sustainability, we're going to talk about the circular economy and overall environmental impact on the world.

Of our design and what impact our creativity can have to reduce that impact. We've got to look at brands, we've got to look at design, we've got to look at creativity. And that's what these three panelists have brought. Our first panelist was Christian Lodgard. He's the chief design officer of a company called Flock.

And this is one of Norway, if not Scandinavia's largest furniture manufacturer. And so Christian was specifically talking about office furniture and then drilling down on one particular line of office chair. And he showed us how this chair was built to last from the design point of view. So from the very beginning of its design, it was designed to last.

Now this had everything to do with the materials, with the design structure. How it was put together, how it was assembled right down to, could it be repaired? Could it be brought back to a store? Could you repair it at home? Could you add your own upholstery? Could you replace the backing?

The whole circular idea of this office chair in the design was built to last. Christian also showed us ways that, what is the future hold? What was the outlook for even further reduction of the environmental impact and how it could be further built to last. And so for example, the materials in the casters of the chair, they would have to go back to their supplier, the original supplier of those materials to find ways to improve the caster design.

The second speaker was Brigitte Stepitis and she's the global head of Couture. At the fashion brand, Vivienne Westwood. Now this is not a fashion brand I knew very well, but as it turns out, they have stores in LA and New York, but all over the UK and all over Europe and a strong online presence, but the design impact of this really rebel fashion brand, as I learned that Vivienne Westwood herself was from the punk rock era.

She was a protester. She was an activist. She was an environmentalist before it was popular and also had a real humanitarian, do you know who's making your clothes? So from the very beginning Brigitte was telling the story of how this brand was a conscious brand again, before anyone knew that's what we were going to call it.

Now, Brigitte shared with us how the. Vivienne Westwood brand was able to reduce their global, impact by, so for example, three things, the frequency of changes of their collection. So instead of maybe every season, they have two seasons a year. Also the number of fashion shows that they either conducted or attended.

So by reducing the carbon footprint of holding these shows and or traveling, They were able to reduce their impact. The third way was the number of lines. How many different women's lines, men's lines, accessory lines, shoes, purses. So by trimming down and simplifying the number of lines, then Vivienne Westwood was able to reduce their footprint.

I was fascinated by the story that Brigitte told with even repurposing bridal gowns. That there was no, more wasteful product than to buy the most expensive dress made out of the most expensive materials for one day, one wearing. So there's a whole value in repurposing. So could it be re altered, for different fittings?

Could it be recolored even? So there were a lot of ideas. is on how to repurpose and extend the life of even bridal wear. Now, the third speaker was Joanna Sa Lima. She's a partner and architect at the Comte Bureau a design consultancy tackling social issues in a real multidisciplinary kind of way.

Now, her title was even to build. And she had a very provocative point of view. And often the decision needs to be, we're not going to build anything new. Or even in one case she shared, we're not going to build a swimming pool. Because of the impact it's going to make. So she was talking about the certainly the source of construction materials.

But also the design and the way it could be designed for lesser impact. You could use different. Recycled materials, waste materials. And so she suggested that one way to look at it was to ask the right questions, and by asking the right questions of her home or office customers, you could find new alternatives. You could look at solutions or tools that you might not have thought about or that didn't. It didn't come quickly or easily, but you could find them anyway by asking the right questions. Now, besides these individual presentations, which I found fascinating, put together, I found the whole panel really suggested some new thinking.

And I'll share three of those with you. One was, what is possible? What has been done? They shared really good ideas. Real life examples, real life cases. So it wasn't, just high in the sky, imagine what if someday, it's like, here's what we're doing and here's been the impact. Now, of course they challenged us with what is more to do.

So can we look up and down the supply chain? Can we look at things that we're there was a real challenge there. Now, the second point was defining the circularity. A circular economy overall, big picture and umbrella point of view was nice. I like the fact that they showed real circularity of individual brands, products, materials, design to really show what the steps are and again, what gaps there might be.

But what specific action you could take at each stage of the circle, to really Now, the third takeaway for me was the power of the consumer demand. What the customer wants has always been in the middle, of course. But we often know that maybe the customer doesn't know the full impact of their decisions and their choices.

So the more that we can educate the customers of the alternatives and to say, here's options A, B, and C. And here are the different segments. Carbon footprint, say environmental impact, say air quality, pollution, what are the different choices that you have to make? Which are more sustainable, which companies or suppliers might treat their workers better.

So there's all sorts of considerations that with more education and with more choices and more facts presented to our customers, we can be more educated on the sustainability. Impact of our decisions. So that's the update from the Thursday morning session. I'll have more about the other presentations in my next update.

But for now, I'm Mark. Come along with the journey and I'll have more updates from Oslo, Norway. And the Oslo Innovation Week.

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About the Podcast

Your World of Creativity
Catalyst of Inspiration, Stories, and Tools to Get Your Work Out Into the World
On YOUR WORLD OF CREATIVITY, best-selling author and global brand innovator, Mark Stinson introduces you to some of the world’s leading creative talent from publishing, film, animation, music, restaurants, medical research, and more.

In every episode, you'll discover:
- How to tap into your most original thinking.
- Inspiration from the experts’ own experience.
- Specific tools, exercises, and formulas to organize your ideas.
- And most of all, you’ll learn how to make connections

 and create opportunities to publish, post, record, display, sell, market, and promote
 your creative work.

Listen for the latest insights for creative people who want to stop questioning themselves and overcome obstacles to launch their creative endeavors out into the world.

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About your host

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Mark Stinson

Mark Stinson has earned the reputation as a “brand innovator” -- an experienced marketer, persuasive writer, dynamic presenter, and skilled facilitator. His work includes brand strategy and creative workshops. He has contributed to the launches of more than 150 brands, with a focus on health, science, and technology companies. Mark has worked with clients ranging from global corporations to entrepreneurial start-ups. He is a recipient of the Brand Leadership Award from the Asia Brand Congress and was included in the PharmaVoice 100 Most Inspiring People in the Life-Sciences Industry.