Think of sustainability as a technology and adopt it as a way to improve every product you create
What drives change—for individuals or societies? According to Neil D’Souza, founder and CEO of Makersite, change occurs when we break something and it hurts enough that you decide to take action. When this takes place on a large enough scale, systemic change happens. This is what we’re seeing with sustainability. We’ve created great products over the last 100 years, but in the process we’ve damaged our planetary ecosystem to such a degree that systemic decarbonization is not only necessary—it's inevitable. And in order to make it effective, D’Souza says, we need to make the carbon impact of a product an easily accessible number, like price or weight, a metric that engineers, designers, business leaders, and ultimately consumers can consider and factor into every decision they make. D’Souza points out three key things that need to come together to unlock the next level of decarbonization for industry: accurate and specific data, AI to run advanced lifecycle carbon analyses (LCAs) at scale, and integration of this AI into the design tools we already use every day. He encourages engineers and designers to thinking of sustainability as a technology that we adopt, and then can apply to everything we do, similar to AI. In this way, sustainability becomes not just a responsibility, it becomes an opportunity—you can either embrace it and succeed or resist and fail.
About the speaker
Neil D’Souza is the founder and CEO of Makersite. Prior to Makersite, Neil was CTO at Thinkstep, a leader in sustainability solutions, where he built their corporate solution suite. He has a passion for applying data to understand and solve tough societal challenges. He holds degrees from Jacobs University Bremen and the University of Bremen.
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