RSVP for Acting on Sustainability

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  • August 03, 2010

Sustainable Design Dialogue: Thursday August 5th

How do we take great conversations and turn the energy into action? On Thursday August 5th, Sustainable Minds and Modern Edge Inc. will host a dialogue on sustainable design at the Modern Edge Studio in PDX, during the National Industrial Design Convention. (Space is limited, and you must RSVP: Click for details) Design leaders and sustainability experts will have a chance to create new relationships and conversations around the topic of design, sustainability and life cycle analysis. But a conversation is just a start. The critical question is: “Can we create positive change from this dialogue?”

During a period of great change at General Electric a process was implemented that was composed of two elements to ensure “talk would not be the only thing that occurred. First the talk itself entailed language that impelled action because of the specificity and sense of urgency it conveyed. Over time, this action-generating language improved as GE people learned what kinds of talk produced actions and what didn’t ‘when ideas we’re presented as focused and tangible, they were more oftern accepted than vague and general recommendations.’ Second the meetings did not end with dialogue, discussion, and presentations. Decisions were made and follow-up occured to ensure implementation was part of the process.” (Pfeffer J. et al, The knowing-doing gap, pp 63)

Change occurs through specific information/tangible ideas and decisions/follow-up. When attendees evaluate if they benefitted from the content of any conference the perennial question  is “What will I do differently on Monday?” Let’s reframe this question for our dialogue and ask “What will we do differently this Thursday evening?” Monday… we’re onto you.

~CAA

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