Business model design


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

NYU ITP: If Products Could Tell Their Stories Class 4 2010

What role does government and regulation play in determining how stuff is made? Short answer – it depends on local, regional, state, federal, foreign governments, and international organizational administrations. In a stakeholder view of how things are made, regulation is one of the fastest changing, hardest-to-predict forces and as makers, we need to work in advance of legislation, to lead the market. If Products Tell Their Stories March 1 2010 Read More

NYU ITP: If Products Could Tell Their Stories, Class 3 2010

NYU ITP class on life cycle assessment, systems thinking, and stakeholder management. Week 3: In a stakeholder management model, what role to local community groups, activist organizations, workers’ advocacy groups, and other NGOs play in determine how stuff is made? If Products Could Tell Their Stories Feb 8 2010 from Jen van der Meer

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NYU ITP: If Products Could Tell Their Stories, Second Batch!

Year 2 for the class that investigates how things are made, and how things can use their newfound technological innards to tell us how they got here. If Products Could Jan 25 2010 from Jen van der Meer     Provocation: As creators, know what’s in the stuff you make. As interaction designers, create tools and systems so that we can access product truth.  

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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

When Hard Metrics Inhibit Success

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: OK, so I caught your attention for a moment. In an economic cycle like the one we’re currently experiencing, it’s impossible to make any move or decision that is not tied to hard, cold, clear metrics. Increase sales by X%. Attract Y new customers. But there are times when overemphasizing numeric goals can get in the way of success. Case in point: an enormous pro bono Read More

What’s in a Rubber Duck? Stuff Under Scrutiny

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: The Ecology Center recently launched a provocative website, Healthy Stuff, which lists the environmental toxins contained in over 900 products, anything from cars to children’s toys to women’s handbags. Rather than rely on product ingredient lists or company social responsibility reports, the data comes directly from a machine called an XRF Analyzer, which uses X-ray fluorescence to detect the presence of toxins such as lead, cadmium, mercury, bromine, Read More

Paying for the Experience of Making: The Bamboo Bike Studio

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: It’s not enough to just buy green. The greenest consumers want to do more than just vote with their wallet. They may just want to roll up their sleeves and help you teach them how to make the very thing that you’re selling. Take the example of the Bamboo Bike Studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The Studio, opened in June of this year, offers a two day, Read More

Green and Lean

The students in my class at NYU have been wondering what green means to people these days after so much hype and overexposure on the issue. Continuum published the results of Colorblind, their large scale green consumer study, combining ethnographic and online community research – I wrote up a post over at Core77. — What happened to the green consumer? Sales of hybrid cars, organic food, and solar panels are on the wane, as Read More

If Products Could Tell Their Stories

I’ll be teaching a class as an adjunct professor on my favorite subject at NYU’s ITP school this winter term: If Products Could Tell Their Stories – Towards a Model of Sustainable Design. Thanks to Tom Igoe, at ITP, for his encouragement. And precedent – his book: Making Things Talk Practical Methods for Connecting Physical Objects Made me think – if products can now talk, thanks to  technology becoming cheap Read More