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Ideas to Action: Future Strategies + Leverage Lab Notes

Ideas to Action notes recorded by Terry Sidhu on 2013-05-31.

Session 1

Q: In your opinion, how is the economy changing?

“I work from home now and am able to make a global impact”

“There is a shift of consumption from resources to information”

“I am now seeing a different bunch of job opportunities”

Q: What is the biggest complex sustainability challenge you would like to see leverage lab take on?

  • transportation problems
  • Environmental Health

○      “Public Art being good for health”

○      “NYU project turning old chimneys into carbon capture systems, and using the carbon for pencils”

  • Carbon Reduction

○      working with businesses and groups to make them carbon neutral

○      tracking solid waste that affect a company’s carbon footprint

○      SOLUTION: “Build a performance matrix. Track carbon output for certain activities and compare to other similar companies.”

Q: How to get businesses/persons to complete a full survey?

  • 50 questions to burdensome for completion
  • Consider doing a meetup with selected businesses and polling through multiple other ways. (by phone, interview, panelling, focus groups, etc.)
  • Introduce innovator businesses to others and share their ideas
  • Incentivize completion with food
  • Narrow down and combine questions
  • “Model questions so that you can build commitment in the beginning, then drive your key questions home.”
  • Free coffee at the end of discussions


Session 2

Q: What are your biggest business challenges? (sustainability challenges in BORROW-USE-RETURN model)

“How do we deal with the competitiveness of businesses? How do you get competing businesses to work together and share sustainability initiatives?”

  • Make leverage lab a safe space, and get approval for confidentiality within the group

Q: How to create effective pods/cohorts?

  • Circular Economy Concept. Where one business’ waste becomes another’s input?
  • Can we create the cohorts where one business unit will fit into the next?
  • If one of your problems is establishing cohorts, then maybe it would best to make them self organizing.

○      Create a roster of similar companies, and what their common business problems are

  • Create a common challenge among a group of companies and allow them to self-organize this way.

○      IE: companies wanting to reduce waste

  • “Get people together on common challenges, then survey and break them down into cohorts”

Q: How can I scale up? How can I run a successful event?

  • “In my volunteer experience, you need to structure your evening…”
  • “You can’t just ask people to go into a room and to socialize…it makes them more protective and uncomfortable”
  • “Partner with AISEC or a Rotary organization that are already established internationally”
  • Differentiate yourself from PetchaKucha nights and TED talks