Thursday, October 31, 2013

Unlimited Innovation in a Resourced Limited World

Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra, where Dr James Bradfield Moody, is talking on "Unleashing innovation in a resource limited world". He is author of "The Sixth Wave: How to Succeed in a Resource-Limited World" (Random House, 2010).
James started by asking the audience what they would have invested in 100 years ago: the horse or car industry. The horse was well established as a means of transport, but automobile had more of a future.

According to Dr. Moody, the first "wave" was water power and the fifth wave is Information and Communications. He argues the next wave will be around resource efficiency. One example he used was the reevaluation of the value of natural resources.

Dr. Moody pointed out that otor vehicles are inherently inefficient, with most of the energy lost as heat. There are further inefficiencies with private ownership of cars. He gave the Australian "GoGet" car-share company as an example of better efficiency.

Dr. Moody  is founder and CEO of  Tushare
an on-line brokering service for people to give away unwanted household items. This is a service I could have used recently when helping clear out a three bedroom home of 30 years of accumulated possessions (about ten cubic meters of "stuff"). Trushare's approach is to broker social network friends to give away items, with the receiver playing a low cost for delivery. The giver does not need to know the address of the person they are giving to and the cost of delivery can be low by using surplus capacity of courier  companies.

While Dr. Moody provided an analysis of why items accumulate in a home, with my recent experience I suspect that it is simply there is surplus room in modern houses.While in the midst of the cleanup operation I happened to have a tour of the new accommodation at UWA. The university has designed very small, but livable apartments, which do not have surplus space for stuff to accumulate.

Dr. Moody, is a graduate of ANU, with his 2004 thesis on "The importance of Complex Product Systems to the space industry in Australia : a small satellite case study". While he is a rocket scientist, Dr. Moody provided an entertaining, understandable and compelling talk. ;-)

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