Fusing Futures
Fusing Futures

Season 1, Episode 3 · 2 years ago

Comfort Zone Squeezed Out: Lest It Spoil Future Actions


Did you know that the total electricity usage of the internet will rise to more than 50 percent of the global usage beyond 2030?

In this episode, Belgrade Open School investigates what the notion of the Internet as a polluter means for Internet users, consumers, startups, and companies. 

Lav Kozakijevic, a BOS alumnus and a brand strategist, will share with you what good case practices are already in place worldwide and what we can do to be responsible towards the planet relying on technology. 


Follow us on Instagram @bos_podcast_fusingfutures and Twitter @FusingFutures and share your thoughts and comments. 



I'd like to thank you for welcoming me into your very personal space, your headphones, and thanks to the Internet provider for making this possible. Using, using futures, like them up, using futures, using futures them up, using futures light them up. We think of the Internet as web that has provided us with the opportunity to connect to the people all around the world. Disgusting. You exciting ideas, do businesses, have a lot of fun and everything else. However, I'd like to ask you just for a second to think of the Internet as the largest invisible coal fired machine, and this machine, as we speak, is polluting our planet earth. We can say that in the past decade, greenhouse gas emissions coming from the Internet industry have doubled. So these days Internet and aviation industry almost equally contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. If this is not the picture clear enough, let me add some more. At this moment, Internet accounts for ten percent of electricity and consumption worldwide. The forecasters say that there's going to be three trillion more devices on mind by two thirty five. Now that's quite scary. This is fusing futures, episode number one. My name is Ognion, and I'm joined today by fellow alumnus love, because the Kiev's love, besides being enthusiasts about solving global challenges, is also a brand strategist. Is there any interplay between Internet and climate change, and how does this interplay impact new businesses, the ones that heavily depend on the Internet? I'm the one in my household who goes around,... know, turning out the lights in the evening or dimming them if they're too strong. I'm the one checking whether or not appliances are working still when we're exiting in the house. I didn't really think about the impact of Internet and digital technologies when we're talking about carbon dioxide emissions, when we're talking about climate change. What did push me to start thinking about this topic came from my professional orientation, when I realize that the coming generations are increasingly aware of the issue of climate change and Co two emotion emissions in the world, and this is also one of the ways in which they choose which brands day will interact with and which one's Day will avoid. So I think that for brands up and coming and existing, but also for US brand strategist, this is something that we have to take into account and this is something that we have to be very, very aware of. I'd like to start from just trying to be, you know, objective and seeing the bigger picture. So is this even a topic? Should we even discuss the footprint of the Internet and Tech Industry when there are other industries that contribute more to the global greenhouse gas emissions? What do you think? Should you try from cleaning our own backyard, or should we, you know, sit and watch what's happening elsewhere? I would say this is a substantial issue that we need to talk about, because the big issues, such as oil, gas, as you said, transportation of different kinds, holiday industry, car industry, we know that these are big issues. We know that they are creating a lot of pollution. Why? Because we have a lot of information about what they have been doing for the past few decades. The availability of that information and reporting on...

...that has led to our awareness that these are issues that we need to tackle. When it comes to the Internet, the problem is that we don't have information. We don't know how much the Internet is polluting because we don't have hard data from Internet based companies. There is like zero carbon transparency at this very moment when it comes to the Internet's pollution. So this is something that needs to be talked about. We need to take this into account and shed some light, shut some light to it. Definitely. Are there any examples that are right now a good case practices that show how you can reshape or change either your production process or the way you do business in order to create less carbon footprint? We have the examples of big tech companies moving in this direction, with behemots such as Google, facebook and allibub up moving their moving to powering their data centers by using sustainable energy, by using renewable resources, which is all wonderful, but what helps them do this is that they have a lot of resources at their disposal. When we're talking about some smaller companies, and especially startups, with they're doing is that perhaps they don't have what to change at this moment in the way they operate to make themselves more sustainable. But we're what they're doing is that they're influencing the end consumer so the day behave in a sustainable way. So we have fintech companies which are now nudging their customers to spend not less money. So it's not about limiting the amount of money that you're going to spend throughout a day or a week, but actually limiting your carbon footprint. To take let's say something like a debit card, you transfer resources to its money that then you use to pay online or in physical stores. This APP, using this APP connected to this card,... uses the information about your purchases and then, at one more one moment, it just says, okay, you're not allowed to make this transaction because you have limited you have reached your daily limit on carbon emission when it comes to your purchases. Usually these limits are set by twenty thirty UN standards. What is expected, what they would like to be a standard into twenty thirty, but you can also change that depending on what you think should be. Should be the limit. So this is one of the ways in which, you know, big tech is moving forward using their resources, but the little ones, they are nudging, the consumers. Apparently, the tech industry definitely has great potential for designing new ideas and innovations and putting them into practice. But what we need, because we're talking about global challenges, is spill over of this momentum to other industries as well. What do you think can the innovation made in this sector contribute to similar initiatives in innovations elsewhere? Many of the research that has been done in the past few years shows that a growing number of consumers are looking for a way to interact with the brand that is sustainable. So jwt did research in China, Australia, US and, I think, UK, where they showed it. Eighty percent of respond and said they want interact with the brand that is sustainable. Eighty six percent, however, said that they don't have a way to assess whether or not a certain brand is sustainable. So we have the rising awareness, but we don't have the corresponding rise in actions when it comes to sustainability. I think this is where tech comes into play. That can make it much easier for people to act on their beliefs by making their decisions salient, by making their own consumption selling when it comes to the carder carbon footprint, but also by being...

...a watchdog for what others are doing in the offline world. During my teenage days, we had only one landline per household. When the phone rank you never knew who was going. In late nint S, the Belgrade open school got first computers, and that was my first experience of Backdan intelligent machines. I started exploring a whole new world, learning word and calculating processors, raining paint and between us, I even tried to ninety five paper girl, which became my first but favorite PC games. Ever, just when I thought I have seen it all, the Diala popped up, and soon afterwards you could have I've seen me hanging on forms and going through what's your Kiddos called today? What one point till time flies? That is progressing, and so and I look at my family of for now, my eyes are on stocks. Each of us has two smartphones, one for work, another for private matters, one laptop, and we share one. That's a better time. That accounts for at least twelve charging a day. Could any of you translate chargings into energy conceptions? I wish I could do it, but after all, I'm just delibrary. The essence of a brand is trust that we can trust a certain company or a product or service did they will deliver to us the expectations that we have. This is very this is something that is very easy to say for many companies, but demonstrating that you're acting on that demonstrating that...'re true to your values and your words is not an easy feat. We have the example of corn, which is a forty year old brand that originated in UK. I think it's also present in the US some parts of Europe, which is making meat substitutes. So in their function what they're producing is essentially environmentally friendly. But now they want to go step further and they want to get an external audit dit will confirm that they are continually reducing their carbon footprint. This is why their pardner ring with carbon trust in the UK. But was fantastic in an interview that one of the chief people from corn had with, I think marketing week a couple of weeks ago, is that they said, you know, when asked about competition that they see coming in this market, they said, well, you know what, we welcome the gang. We want the gang to get bigger, which communicates on top of them confirming that they are trustworthy brand, they are actually confirming that values come before profits for them. They want more competition because that means more customers will be purchasing non meat based products or meat substitutes. In a way, can the smaller players, the startups, the small companies in a way foot values first and be more responsible towards the planet. From startups, we can expect values before profits. If this is ingrained in the founder, if this is something that is pushing them to solve the problem that they have identified and they have this as a guiding principle, then everything works great. But most startups do not come with that kind of luxury, they do not come with that kind of a perspective from the founder. In that case, we have to look at institutions that can influence the founder, and those are those who are investing,...

...basically in start ups. So we're talking about angels and VC's. They are the ones that can push this game forward, and this is beginning. It is happening, especially in well developed economies such as the United States. You have VC funds which insist that startups who are working with them are in a way sustainable or are reducing their carbon footprint. This is not the general rule, it is not something that should be expected, but there are steps forward. In that way. There's a risk when you were talking about branding yourself as ECO friendly company, and that risk is called the greenwashing. greenwashing basically means that you're portraying yourself as ECO friendly as a PR stunt. So can we tell who are the real ones from the fake ones? Who are allies in who are foes? One thing that has happened in the past few weeks is the decision of the Guardian, which is the biggest or second biggest news outlet in united in the United Kingdom, but also read all over the world, which has made a very loud and a very bold decision to stop taking money from oil and gas companies. This is a very bold move for them because they will take an enormous financial hit from this. They're basically cutting off a piece of their revenue and saying we don't want to take your money anymore, because they have been reporting on oil industry and only on the gas industry and they just want to remain a credible source so that people will trust him. So they're looking for a way to move into community funding, being funded by their readers, instead of focusing most of their revenue on advertisement. Guardian also said that even though they are aware that, for example, holiday industry and car industry is also contributing enormously to the pollution, they are aware...

...and they are confirming that they will not stop working with these industries, but they are starting with the big ones. If the trend catches on, they will remove the others as well. Why is the example of the Guardian important? Because this is a an enormous player which is now opening the door for all the smaller outlets that would want to go this way but did not have the courage. Now The Guardian is leading the way and they're setting the new standard. This is a benchmark to which other brands and other newspapers will have to there will be compared by their readers. Let's make some sort of appeal towards the ones core willing to pave their way towards creating more while polluting less. What are some key messages, key advices that we can give to our listeners, whoever they are and whatever they do, whether they are just consumers who want to be environmentally we're consumers, or whether they are people who are about to start your business or who already have their business. I don't think there's much I could say on an individual level about what we could do to reduce our carbon fort prints and to be more environmentally friendly, because it all comes down to things that we already know which are ingrained are habits. So performing an audit of your own habits, of things that you're mindlessly doing throughout the day, and taking look, you know what kind of an impact it has and what would make the most impact if you would change it is habit, if you would pivot on that. When it comes to businesses, I think that simply being aware that when what you're doing is bigger than the product or service that you're offering, when there is a purpose the drive in it, they're usually three things that will happen. First of all, your customers...

...and your users. They will bond with the brand, they will internalize it and in turn they will become your best marketers, to greatest marketers, because they will spread the word of your product through word of mouth. The second thing is that you will retain and attract a much high quality of people, so we're talking about employees and partners that you want to have on board as you're pushing your vner forward. And the third thing is, of course, that you know when you connect with not just was just with someone's reasoning, but with their emotions as well, they want you to succeed and they will do whatever they can to help you, because they see you as someone in the mission and as the mission resonates with them, they think that they are on a mission to so thank you are for tuning in and listening. This is diffusing futures podcast. Over the next seven episodes, me and the members of the alumni network of Belgrade open school will together investigate the interplay between tact and climate and hopefully uncover what solutions are already in place and what solutions we could strive towards. This episode was presented by me Ognim plantage, together with my guests love Kazi Kievitch. The topic was researched by Gordon a boyinach and Yelena Shoppach. Music and sound design by Alex Racich and Markomitrich. Belgrade open school and its alumni network are producers. So if you enjoyed this episode, please do not forget to clip subscribe. For more updates, follow us on instagram and twitter.

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