Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Sustainability

This UN Sustainable Development Goal is a bit easier to address. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Sustainability are driving forces in how I leverage resources at Mezzacello. And it always will be.

Innovation is never owned; it is rented. So keep innovating, because the rent is always due.

Jim Bruner

Of the 17 UN SDG, this one, number 9 is really important to me as an educator, scientist, and farmer. Just as hard work and economic opportunity was important, so is innovation and knowledge of what it requires to be sustainable. This is especially important in a high density urban center like the city I live in.

What Industry and Innovation Mean to Me

I am at my core a futurist. I do not traffic in scarcity, but in being clever and resourceful with how I build and sustain. I have the opportunity to invent, test, modify and share and teach. This is a powerful component of UN SDG 17.

English is a fussy and sometimes imprecise language. Take the word Industry. In English it can mean the business of building or manufacturing common goods, or being productive and useful. I am a little bit of both of these definitions.

The Hard Truth About Innovation

Innovation is not a single road with a path and a destination. It is a destination and journey upon itself. Just as a day is not a year, one innovation without a plan for how else we can leverage that is not innovation.

Years ago I came up with a simple motto for innovation. Innovation is never owned; it is rented. So keep innovating, because the rent is always due. It reminds me that innovation is an action, and it must also be sustainable.

So much of our economic and social structure is innovation for the sake of doing something new. That is OK to a point. But left unchecked it produces huge amounts of unsustainable situations that we don’t have the will or discipline to get over.

Innovation here at Mezzacello is intentionally designed to leverage information that people already have and use it in new and productive ways. I will innovate for convenience up to a point. But if I find that that innovation is actually holding people back from growing and striving, I am not sure that is always good.

When innovation is in the service of blind convenience it is a tool for for countering sustainability. This can’t be good in the long term. What do you think?

A Final Word on Infrastructure

The country where I live is currently living in a system where infrastructure has been neglected in the name of innovation for so long it is putting us at risk. In my city alone, two bridges have been damaged for so long they had to be replaced or rebuilt to prevent disaster.

If innovation is the idea, infrastructure is the body helping to do the work. I created infrastructure here at Mezzacello that keeps tools, animals, ideas, experiments and plants safe, accessible and sustainable. Low maintenance and easy to use is important.

Very much like energy, it isn’t always cheap or easy, but it is necessary. Sustainability is about optimizing what we can do today and planning for the same for later. This is why infrastructure is so very important.

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