We recently completed a major Future Facing Strategy workshop for a major client. In addition to all good stuff that focusing on the consumers greater demands for self-affirmation, convenience, etc … we decided that we needed to shake things up a bit.
We did some digging and found some pretty apocalyptic predictions about shortages of oil electricity, water and many of the other items that most people living in western economies have come to think of as basic amenities by 2025 – 2030. These "down-beat" predictions shook the delegates out of their comfort zones, disrupted proceedings nicely and produced some interesting new thinking.
It is interesting therefore to see some signs of new initiatives that when viewed through the lens of energy, water, etc potentially becoming luxuries … look as if they are really beginning to tackle the issue.
In the USA California's Energy Commission is legislating to outlaw power hungry flat screen TVs(just like when they legislated on auto emissions – it wont be long before manufacturer's respond); there are signs of progress in more efficient wind-power electricity generation; progress in the development of cost-effective technologies to desalinate seawater; and even the development of a washing machine that replaces water with rice-grain sized beads of nylon.
Slow innovation, but in a positive direction.