Today is Blog Action Day. It’s an attempt to bring together bloggers from all over the world, on one day, to blog about one issue. This year, that issue is the environment. They’ve got over 15,000 bloggers worldwide taking part, and I think it’s a great movement. At the very least, it will raise awareness worldwide.
For my post, I’m not going to talk about ways to save the environment or anything. I’m not going to tell you to turn off more lights, or to recycle more or anything like that. You’ve heard enough of that, I’m sure. If you want to read about that, you can check out these Blog Action Day posts, or just Google for it. You’ll find lots of hits.
What I do want to do, as always, is to get you thinking (in new ways, hopefully). And to set that up, I want to share with you another TED presentation. This time, it’s by John Doerr. It’ll take less than 20 minutes of your time to watch it. And you really should.
I think John Doerr makes a great point. What we need to do is reevaluate our ideas on saving the environment. The four stories that he shared are prime examples of this. Walmart, a database entrepreneur, a developing country, and scientists trying to cure malaria. They are helping to resolve the issue. Not in traditional ways, mind you. By approaching the issue in a completely different way.
And if you think about it, it illustrates Seth Godin’s point about the “mediocre middle”. Walmart is huge, they can afford to take the risk and make that kind of innovative change. Brazil, a developing country, doesn’t really have as much to lose as compared to America, for example (no offense to any Brazilians out there). A database entrepreneur has nothing much to lose in passing a legislation. Same goes for the scientists, because it wasn’t their main problem.
But back to the point about the environment. To really save the environment, we need to rethink the whole issue. We need to make going green something profitable, something valuable. We need to approach this innovatively. That’s the best way. Businessmen will tell you that to really win in business, you need to leap to the next curve, not just be more productive in your current curve. The difference is tremendous. And the same goes for this. Yes, the small daily actions make a difference. But to really change the world, you need to be innovative, you need to cause a paradigm shift.
A speaker at Hillsong Conference said, “These are not our greatest problems, these are our greatest opportunities.” Learn to not look at it as a problem to be solved. Look at it as an opportunity. An opportunity to become more profitable (as Walmart did), for example. And creatively look for ways to make the most of the opportunities.
Doerr fears that everything that is currently happening might not be enough. And I do agree with him, to an extent. Only when we change our mindset about the environment – then and only then – will it be enough.
How can you make use of your unique abilities and talents in a creative way in order to help save the environment?