Business model design


Green Brands: Do Intentions Matter in Ultimate Success?

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: Let’s imagine two business leaders, both entrepreneurs, both looking to create an environmentally friendly and efficiently produced sunscreen. Entrepreneur One is a green purist. Inspired to start a business after failing to findeffective non-toxic sunscreens for her first baby, and she decided to create thehealthiest, most environmentally friendly sunscreen in the marketplace. She has done a comprehensive analysis of how to how to reduce environmental impact across Read More

How to Tally Green Jobs: Do Bikes and Biodiesel Count?

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: The recent weak news on the unemployment front leaves some of us wondering: Where are all of the green jobs?  The U.S. Department of Commerce made an attempt to answer this very question and set a benchmark to measure the size of the emerging green economy by the number of green jobs it has created. The answer in the report, “Measuring the Green Economy,” depends Read More

5 Social Apps for Social Good that Make Foursquare Seem Silly

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: Think that mobile social apps are a waste of time and energy? What if you could use them to make the world a better place?  Inhabitat took a look at mobile-based applications and systems designed to promote positive social good. Here are five rising social impact apps to watch.  The Extraordinaries  Unable to fit volunteering into your jam-packed schedule, but you still want to contribute Read More

Clean Energy Funds for the Developing World Announced

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: With all of the climate talks, protests, and stunts during the Copenhagen UN summit on climate change, you may have missed an announcement about funds for clean energy in the developing world. Secretary Steven Chu of the US Department of Energy announced a $350MM from the Major Economies Forum to launch the Climate Renewables and Efficiency Deployment initiative (Climate REDI), focused on four key areas of Read More

What’s Your Foodprint?

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: Take a look at your meal.  I’m looking at mushroom ravioli, parsley, olive oil, Italian bread, and parmesan cheese. But I can’t accurately tell you where these tasty food items come from, how far or wide reaching their impact. I do not know my meal’s “foodprint,” a concept discussed at last weekend’s NYC Food and Climate Summit. What is a foodprint? A foodprint is our Read More

Entrepreneurs: Have You Foursquared Lately?

The post that made me realize that green business was not what Open Forum’s readers were seeking. My most popular Open Forum story, ever: Foursquare is open for business at the right price for mom and pop and larger businesses that want the benefit from a highly localized social network.  For those that haven’t heard of Foursquare, the company describes itself as “50% friend-finder, 30% social cityguide, 20% nightlife game.” The Read More

UNICEF Innovation: An SMS System That Saves Lives

Most non-governmental aid organizations like UNICEF rely on hand-written, hand-collected data and forms, sent to country capitols, and entered into national databases. Months pass before information is fully recorded and transmitted back to those who make decisions about critical food distribution, medicine, and other life-supporting help. UNICEF’s innovation team is changing the way governments and aid organizations respond to crisis by utilizing the accelerated adoption of hand-held mobile phones to Read More

The Million Baby Crawl: A Brand Takes a Political Stand

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: “We cannot stand, but we stand for something,” is the rallying cry for Seventh Generation’s latest marketing campaign, an effort to give babies a virtual voice in upcoming legislation about chemicals and kid safety. In a social media marketing effort, the company has partnered with Erin Brockovich and Safer Chemicals to draw attention to the Kid Safe Chemicals Act. Seventh Generation’s message is that, “babies everywhere are crawling to Washington Read More

The Darfur Stove Project

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: Every day in Darfur refugee camps, women leave to travel on six to seven hour missions to collect fuel wood for their meals, and every day these women increase their risk of violent attack. When Ashok Gadgil, a physicist at Lawerence Berkeley National Laboratory, visited Darfur to observe how families were cooking their meals and foraging for wood, he launched a project with Ken Chow through Engineers Read More

Government Plays VC in CleanTech

For Open Forum at Inhabitat: “If we can get three home runs, that’s terrific,” announced Steven Chu, the DOE Secretary at a press conference on Monday, October 26 at Google’s campus in Mountain View, CA. Chu was at Google to deliver 37 energy technology projects funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program (ARPA-E), the DOE’s first effort at funding $151 million in experimental energy technology grants, focused on high-risk, high-payoff Read More