Are there any makers focused on solving for sustainability?

Ian Johnson
21 replies
Hi Makers, I was curious to how many people here are focused on products that ultimately result in a positive state for the world? I know this a very subjective term but it could be anything that relates to the UN's sustainable goals or similar. UN Sustainable goals - https://sustainabledevelopment.u... I selfishly want to focus on exploring something in this space but I am having a hard time getting started. I find myself in analysis paralysis and was hoping to hear of others stories as a source of inspiration.

Replies

Hooman to Sando, Community at Alongside
@ianwdj Great question! More recently I've come across Blueland which is reimagining single-use CPG goods and I think they're really on to something cool! 🌎♻️
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Product Guy building something new
@amrith Thats awesome!
@ianwdj (and @amrith) I've been working on one such project designed to leverage social media as a tool for meaningful action. I'm very keen to get feedback from other aspiring social entrepreneurs! This video should provide the necessary background - https://drive.google.com/file/d/... The quality is average as I pieced it together from an old explainer video we made for a previous project. But you should get the basic idea! We are currently in discussions about building a beta version and I would be hugely grateful for any feedback or suggestions... as well as an indication as to whether this is something you would use!
Product Guy building something new
@amrith @henry_wells Really like the idea, thanks for sharing. As a user my first thoughts were - This is cool Then it went to - Wonder how the payments work, will they ever just take money from my account for subscriptions or will I accidentally use it? - Are these good charities to support? - How do I know my money is actually gone to the right place (right place being the end cause) From the business perspective my questions would all be around - Distribution - Technology wise how will you be sure the article is actually talking about that charity? If its manual, whats the incentive for the author to add it Happy to chat more on here or my twitter handle is @ianwdj
Dir. of Marketing @ Prime Data Centers
@amrith @henry_wells @ianwdj I recently backed @schulkin's MoneyVoice on WeFunder, but the crowdfunding campaign had to close due to not hitting the minimum fundraising goal. MoneyVoice seemed fairly similar to your project @henry_wells.
Founder/CEO of MoneyVoice
@amrith @henry_wells @ianwdj @jfalk Thanks Jon! Nice idea, Henry. What I like about it is that you're able to offer emotional satisfaction every time someone is activated, which is quite frequently these days. My view is that there's something fundamentally limiting by taking actions that are donations or signing petitions. We've been doing such things for a century already and I think people are really yearning for something new they can do, that feels more authentically like an expression of real power. In any case, that's my own desire which led for me to create MoneyVoice (moneyvoice.com). Here's a short video in which I talk about the need for something that is BOTH fast/easy AND an expression of real power:
I still hope to eventually find a path forward to making MoneyVoice happen.... Anyway, good luck!
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Product Guy building something new
@amrith @henry_wells @jfalk @schulkin loved the video and the overall approach you are taking to solve this. I would be really interested in trying out your product when it comes to android. Also saw the message on your site about looking to speak to PMs, Designers etc, would be happy to chat if you wanted to connect.
Founder/CEO of MoneyVoice
@amrith @henry_wells @jfalk @ianwdj Nice, thanks Ian! Glad you like it. Happy to explore working together at some point... for now we just ran out of money so the timing is no good. Hopefully we will return in a blaze of glory at some point. I've got some good ideas for how we might do that, but it will take a while. Maybe you can keep tabs on us on Twitter or something until then.... :)
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making things, repurposing things
@ianwdj yes! i have a product line with a circular business model (involves designing with reuse, repair, resale, and ultimately recyclability in mind) and also work on many sustainability projects and community events in NYC, where I live. My friends and I won a hackathon for the UN 2 years ago focused on SDG #12. What is your idea or how can I help!?
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Product Guy building something new
@allievice sounds amazing, whats the name of your business? My idea/question is potentially more centred around social entrepreneurship but I still feel it is not the correct category. I have no solution but the idea of making entrepreneurship accessible to all is something that I believe can bring immense value to the world and to individuals. There are lots of incubators, accelerators etc, but I believe there are individuals in the world who have this potential but do not step forward because of confidence or their up bringing. Where I have been going around in circles is how can you solve this problem in a way that it can wash its own face. By this I mean can this problem be solved and make money. From experience and speaking with others in this space programmes that depend solely on funding can be extremely difficult to keep momentum on. I want to explore the idea of doing something that is profitable but generates a positive contribution to the world. I am also really interested in general to learn about the approaches people have taken to turn a sustainable offering into a scalable business in general.
making things, repurposing things
@ianwdj I think you have to make it feel like a game, you have to play into human nature, you have to make people feel like they are missing out if they don't try. What are people afraid of currently that makes them halt from chasing an entrepreneurial dream? (my hints - failing, money/going broke, social isolation or shame). How might your solution make the fear of NOT going for it outweigh these fears of failing? How might you provide the (literal and figurative) safety net for new entrepreneurs? if you can solve for that and make a community supporting each other around it, you'll be successful. i would focus on community (and the community's creative progress individually and as a group) before monetization and scale.
Product Guy building something new
@allievice I love this. There will be challenges with the demographic who I would like to target but you are right, there are other ways to overcome those obstacles.
Fishy endeavors & tools for 🐟 harvesters
@ianwdj thanks for putting this question out there! I've wondered the same and you beat me to it. It's early days, but I'm fleshing out a concept related to small-scale fisheries and sustainable seafood. Two broad objectives: - Connect seafood enthusiasts (everyday consumers) with small-medium scale fishers and harvesters, thereby improving access to higher-quality catch (guided by seasonality, locality, and responsible fishing practices). - Better access to an underexploited D2C distribution channel for those fishers who are beholden to wholesale markets and lack control of price setting. No platform exists where the above two parties can easily find each other and some of the complexities of the community-supported fisheries model (shares very similar structure with Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA)) can be managed/overcome. If anyone wants to chat about good fish, I'd gladly share more. Also, mighty grateful for feedback on the idea general. @henrywells Interesting idea, I like it. Similar to what Ian mentioned, one concern would be around vetting charities (lots of high profile frauds in 2018 and mismanagement of funds). Can a user suggest a charity or submit one for review through a form, perhaps?
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Product Guy building something new
@rashabarbar I like the idea but feel like I don't know enough about fish to give quality feedback. Where are you based? I live on an island and somehow seafood still isn't as big as other food types here, curious to what the demand for seafood is like where you are from.
Fishy endeavors & tools for 🐟 harvesters
@ianwdj I split my time between, NY, Oregon, SF, and soon France. As you pointed out, even in coastal regions seafood still plays a supporting role. But, for those who do connect with the idea of buy local, know your fisher/harvester, eat sustainable and with the season - it's not always an option, particularly if you're land-locked or don't know how/where to start.
Greener Plate, Founder
@ianwdj I'm building out a service that connects people's daily meal choices with the environmental impacts, encouraging people to start with small steps. It all boils down to eating more plant-based meals with a personalized and automated transition period, eliminating the stress of planning or overnight changes. To encourage positive choices, I connect each choice with the positive impact that you can make on the world, so that people can easily see "Individual actions CAN make a difference".
Product Guy building something new
@greenerplate Who is your target audience for this food service?
Greener Plate, Founder
@ianwdj 20s-50s people concerned about their carbon footprint but not willing to or previously failed to entirely switch to a plantbased diet, looking to make it as simple/thoughtless to do it as possible (but with personalization / customization beyond if desired) For me, key features are a progressive introduction to new foods (weaning off animal products as a positive spin instead), an automated selection of recipes to avoid decision paralysis, and clear visibility of results from each singular action taken. Would love feedback and thoughts!
LiveGreen
@ianwdj Yes! My cofounder and I are currently working on LiveGreen (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/...), which is an app that lets people track all their daily emissions and learn how to reduce them. We got featured on the iOS app store for Earth Day and have a decent community, but we haven't launched on PH yet since we're about to release a major update. It's been a great journey getting started, from finding business and scientific advisors to building the product and launching the MVP, but I'm excited about seeing how much positive impact we can create!
Product Guy building something new
@pablogarces What has been the biggest challenge for you so far in finding product market fit?
@ianwdj I am! My website is craftic.com (@crafticland) and it's all about providing projects that users can make with craft materials they already have on hand. It's a more sustainable way to craft & make. :)
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