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Fusing Futures
Fusing Futures

Season 1, Episode 3 · 1 year ago

Comfort Zone Squeezed Out: Lest It Spoil Future Actions

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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. 

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I'd like to thank you for welcomingme into your very personal space, your headphones, and thanks to the Internetprovider for making this possible. Using, using futures, like them up,using futures, using futures them up, using futures light them up. Wethink of the Internet as web that has provided us with the opportunity to connectto the people all around the world. Disgusting. You exciting ideas, dobusinesses, have a lot of fun and everything else. However, I'd liketo ask you just for a second to think of the Internet as the largestinvisible coal fired machine, and this machine, as we speak, is polluting ourplanet earth. We can say that in the past decade, greenhouse gasemissions coming from the Internet industry have doubled. So these days Internet and aviation industryalmost equally contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. If this is not thepicture clear enough, let me add some more. At this moment, Internetaccounts for ten percent of electricity and consumption worldwide. The forecasters say that there'sgoing to be three trillion more devices on mind by two thirty five. Nowthat's quite scary. This is fusing futures, episode number one. My name isOgnion, and I'm joined today by fellow alumnus love, because the Kiev'slove, besides being enthusiasts about solving global challenges, is also a brand strategist. Is there any interplay between Internet and climate change, and how does thisinterplay impact new businesses, the ones that heavily depend on the Internet? I'mthe one in my household who goes around,...

...you know, turning out the lightsin the evening or dimming them if they're too strong. I'm the onechecking 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 talkingabout carbon dioxide emissions, when we're talking about climate change. What did pushme to start thinking about this topic came from my professional orientation, when Irealize that the coming generations are increasingly aware of the issue of climate change andCo two emotion emissions in the world, and this is also one of theways in which they choose which brands day will interact with and which one's Daywill 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 takeinto account and this is something that we have to be very, very awareof. I'd like to start from just trying to be, you know,objective and seeing the bigger picture. So is this even a topic? Shouldwe even discuss the footprint of the Internet and Tech Industry when there are otherindustries that contribute more to the global greenhouse gas emissions? What do you think? Should you try from cleaning our own backyard, or should we, youknow, sit and watch what's happening elsewhere? I would say this is a substantialissue that we need to talk about, because the big issues, such asoil, gas, as you said, transportation of different kinds, holiday industry, car industry, we know that these are big issues. We knowthat they are creating a lot of pollution. Why? Because we have a lotof 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 thatthese 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 muchthe 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 theInternet's pollution. So this is something that needs to be talked about. Weneed to take this into account and shed some light, shut some light toit. Definitely. Are there any examples that are right now a good casepractices that show how you can reshape or change either your production process or theway you do business in order to create less carbon footprint? We have theexamples 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 usingsustainable energy, by using renewable resources, which is all wonderful, but whathelps 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 doingis that perhaps they don't have what to change at this moment in theway they operate to make themselves more sustainable. But we're what they're doing is thatthey'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 lessmoney. So it's not about limiting the amount of money that you're going tospend 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 itsmoney that then you use to pay online or in physical stores. This APP, using this APP connected to this card,...

...it uses the information about your purchasesand then, at one more one moment, it just says, okay, you're not allowed to make this transaction because you have limited you have reachedyour daily limit on carbon emission when it comes to your purchases. Usually theselimits are set by twenty thirty UN standards. What is expected, what they wouldlike to be a standard into twenty thirty, but you can also changethat depending on what you think should be. Should be the limit. So thisis one of the ways in which, you know, big tech is movingforward using their resources, but the little ones, they are nudging,the consumers. Apparently, the tech industry definitely has great potential for designing newideas and innovations and putting them into practice. But what we need, because we'retalking about global challenges, is spill over of this momentum to other industriesas well. What do you think can the innovation made in this sector contributeto similar initiatives in innovations elsewhere? Many of the research that has been donein the past few years shows that a growing number of consumers are looking fora way to interact with the brand that is sustainable. So jwt did researchin China, Australia, US and, I think, UK, where theyshowed it. Eighty percent of respond and said they want interact with the brandthat is sustainable. Eighty six percent, however, said that they don't havea way to assess whether or not a certain brand is sustainable. So wehave the rising awareness, but we don't have the corresponding rise in actions whenit 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 makingtheir decisions salient, by making their own consumption selling when it comes to thecarder carbon footprint, but also by being...

...a watchdog for what others are doingin the offline world. During my teenage days, we had only one landlineper household. When the phone rank you never knew who was going. Inlate nint S, the Belgrade open school got first computers, and that wasmy first experience of Backdan intelligent machines. I started exploring a whole new world, learning word and calculating processors, raining paint and between us, I eventried to ninety five paper girl, which became my first but favorite PC games. Ever, just when I thought I have seen it all, the Dialapopped up, and soon afterwards you could have I've seen me hanging on formsand 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 fornow, 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 aday. Could any of you translate chargings into energy conceptions? I wish Icould do it, but after all, I'm just delibrary. The essence ofa brand is trust that we can trust a certain company or a product orservice did they will deliver to us the expectations that we have. This isvery this is something that is very easy to say for many companies, butdemonstrating that you're acting on that demonstrating that...

...you're true to your values and yourwords is not an easy feat. We have the example of corn, whichis a forty year old brand that originated in UK. I think it's alsopresent in the US some parts of Europe, which is making meat substitutes. Soin their function what they're producing is essentially environmentally friendly. But now theywant to go step further and they want to get an external audit dit willconfirm that they are continually reducing their carbon footprint. This is why their pardnerring with carbon trust in the UK. But was fantastic in an interview thatone of the chief people from corn had with, I think marketing week acouple of weeks ago, is that they said, you know, when askedabout 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 morecompetition because that means more customers will be purchasing non meat based products or meatsubstitutes. In a way, can the smaller players, the startups, thesmall 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 ingrainedin the founder, if this is something that is pushing them to solve theproblem that they have identified and they have this as a guiding principle, theneverything 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'retalking about angels and VC's. They are the ones that can push thisgame forward, and this is beginning. It is happening, especially in welldeveloped economies such as the United States. You have VC funds which insist thatstartups who are working with them are in a way sustainable or are reducing theircarbon footprint. This is not the general rule, it is not something thatshould be expected, but there are steps forward. In that way. There'sa risk when you were talking about branding yourself as ECO friendly company, andthat risk is called the greenwashing. greenwashing basically means that you're portraying yourself asECO friendly as a PR stunt. So can we tell who are the realones from the fake ones? Who are allies in who are foes? Onething 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 UnitedKingdom, but also read all over the world, which has made a veryloud 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 enormousfinancial hit from this. They're basically cutting off a piece of their revenue andsaying we don't want to take your money anymore, because they have been reportingon oil industry and only on the gas industry and they just want to remaina credible source so that people will trust him. So they're looking for away to move into community funding, being funded by their readers, instead offocusing most of their revenue on advertisement. Guardian also said that even though theyare aware that, for example, holiday industry and car industry is also contributingenormously to the pollution, they are aware...

...and they are confirming that they willnot 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 playerwhich is now opening the door for all the smaller outlets that would wantto go this way but did not have the courage. Now The Guardian isleading the way and they're setting the new standard. This is a benchmark towhich other brands and other newspapers will have to there will be compared by theirreaders. Let's make some sort of appeal towards the ones core willing to pavetheir way towards creating more while polluting less. What are some key messages, keyadvices that we can give to our listeners, whoever they are and whateverthey 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 whoalready have their business. I don't think there's much I could say on anindividual level about what we could do to reduce our carbon fort prints and tobe more environmentally friendly, because it all comes down to things that we alreadyknow 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 mostimpact 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 whenwhat you're doing is bigger than the product or service that you're offering, whenthere 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 bondwith the brand, they will internalize it and in turn they will become yourbest marketers, to greatest marketers, because they will spread the word of yourproduct through word of mouth. The second thing is that you will retain andattract a much high quality of people, so we're talking about employees and partnersthat you want to have on board as you're pushing your vner forward. Andthe third thing is, of course, that you know when you connect withnot 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 resonateswith them, they think that they are on a mission to so thank youare for tuning in and listening. This is diffusing futures podcast. Over thenext seven episodes, me and the members of the alumni network of Belgrade openschool will together investigate the interplay between tact and climate and hopefully uncover what solutionsare already in place and what solutions we could strive towards. This episode waspresented by me Ognim plantage, together with my guests love Kazi Kievitch. Thetopic was researched by Gordon a boyinach and Yelena Shoppach. Music and sound designby 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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