Sustainable Innovation: Global Challenges & Opportunities

Sustainable Innovation: The Point of Inflection?

Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design
28th January 09
12.00 - 2.00
University for the Creative Arts

Organised by: SMILE @ The Centre for Sustainable Design

FREE workshop


Global society is facing unprecedented levels and speed of change driven by a range of issues including the fuel, food, and financial crises, climate change, the rise of Chindia ( China and India ) and the growth of internet use. As the economies of Chindia still continue to grow, there is increasing pressure on scarce resources. Concerns over the sustainability and equity of global consumption and production patterns are also growing in the context of predicted major increases in the population in the developing world coupled with less predictability of weather patterns. How will consumers and producers adapt? Despite the on-going prospect of economic downturn, environmental awareness remains high driven by continued media and societal interest in climate change. Perhaps we now face a cross roads. Is there a need for a Blue-Green roadmap to re-generate our struggling economies. The Green Economy Initiative (or 'Green New Deal') was launched in October 2008 and is being spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a new engine for growth and job creation through sustainable technology development. Is the world ready for a new, New Deal? There is a need for all key stakeholders, to accept the need for more radical (sustainable) change alongside the change that is already happening. New systems and structures are needed to take global society forward; however, the process to do this is, as yet, unclear. Perhaps, the 'Green New Deal' will provide the impetus for leadership and 'buy in'. To achieve this will require 'sustainable innovators' and change agents in all spheres of global society. People, leadership and creativity will be at the heart of that change..


Martin Charter is the Director of The Centre for Sustainable Design at University for the Creative Arts (UCA) and a former Visiting Professor of Sustainable Product Design at UCA before joining full-time. Since 1988, he has worked at director level in 'business and environment' issues in consultancy, leisure, publishing, training, events and research. Prior to this he held in a range of management positions in strategy, research and marketing in gardening, construction, trade exhibitions, financial services and consultancy including Save & Prosper Group, Reed International, Creative Marketing Group and Kiveton Park (Holdings) Ltd. Martin was the launch Director of Greenleaf Publishing, Marketing Director at the Earth Centre, former co-ordinator of one the UK's first green business clubs, more recently he ran a regional network on green electronics and currently he directs a network focused on eco-innovation.
Martin is former editor of the Journal of Sustainable Product Design, The Green Management Letter and Greener Management International (GMI) and is presently a member of the Editorial Boards of GMI, International Journal of Sustainable Engineering and International Journal of Sustainable Design. Martin is a member of international advisory board of CARE electronics network, judge on the Association of Chartered & Certified Accountants (ACCA) sustainability reporting awards (2001-2007) and a member of South-East England Development Agency (SEEDA) Waste Market Development Group, BREW South-East advisory board and was an assessor on the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) Technology Programme. Martin has previously been an advisor on sustainable innovation to Hampshire's Natural Resources Initiative, an advisory board member of the Sustainable Trade and Innovation Centre (STIC), SEEDA's Environmental Technology Taskforce and a member of the UK Design Museum's judging panel of Design Sense. Martin is presently convenor of ISO 14006 (eco-design management systems) and was the previous UK expert to both ISO and BSI groups on 'Integrating Environmental Aspects into Product Development' (ISO TR 14062). Presently, Martin also sits on sustainability advisory boards of P&G and InterfaceFlor in Europe. He is a regular international conference speaker and author and editor of various books and publications including Greener Marketing (1992 and 1999), The Green Management Gurus [e-book] (1996), Managing Eco-design (1997), Sustainable Solutions (2001) and System Innovation for Sustainability (2008). Martin has an MBA from Aston Business School (UK) and postgraduate diploma in marketing.

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