1 Initial impressions and experiences
There are many different views about the ‘meaning’, ‘categories’ or ‘types’ of enterprise, innovation and sustainability. You will learn about these key terms, and some working definitions, as you study this course.
In Activity 1, you will examine your existing ideas about sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship and compare your views with those of existing organisations.
The terms sustainable and sustainably are used in a variety of ways. Sustainable means being able to be used without being destroyed. Sustainability means reducing harm on the environment and ultimately reversing the damage already caused. It also means renewing resources at a rate equal to, or greater than, the degree at which they are consumed. This means living within the resources of the planet without damaging the environment now or in the future. To do this there needs to be an economic system that provides for quality of life while renewing the environment and its resources. It is important to take the long-term view of how our actions effect future generations and make sure we don’t deplete resources or cause pollution at rates faster than the earth is able to renew them.
The original definition of sustainable development is usually considered to be: ‘Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (Bruntland, 1987).
As you work through this activity be sure to keep a personal record of any issues or questions that come to mind as you complete the opening tasks. Then, as you progress through the course, you can refer back to your notes to see how your ideas have changed (or perhaps, remained the same!).
Activity 1 Sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship
Select and watch two of the videos below. Then answer the questions that follow (Note: if you watch the Josh Littlejohn or Rachel Arthur videos you should watch the first five minutes only).
Will Dobson – Meon Spirit Company (watch the whole video)
Josh Littlejohn – Food for thought (watch the first five minutes only)
Rachel Arthur – Sustainability in fashion (watch the first five minutes only)
Now answer the following questions:
1. What (if anything) is ‘innovative’ about each enterprise?
2. What types of innovation are discussed?
3. What are the societal challenges experienced by each organisation?
4. What (if anything) makes you think that the innovations are sustainable? Why?
5. Watch the videos a second time and revisit your answers to Questions 1 to 4, modifying them if necessary. Have your views about innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability changed? Make notes on any changes, if any, after watching the videos again.
Now continue to the next section, which discusses the meaning of innovation.