Just the other week I went to a fascinating seminar which was run as part of the Social Innovator Dialogues. The topic was ‘designing innovation’ and was delivered by Enzio Manzini, Professor of Design at the Politecnico di Milano, Honorary Doctor at The New School of New YorkÂ (2006) and at the Goldsmiths College of London (2008) and honorary professor at the Glasgow School of Art (2009).
Manzini was talking about how we can develop sustainable communities, his key phrase was small, local, open, connected. The audio from this event can be downloaded from the Royal Institute of Australia (RiAus) website.*
The key concept is that to exist in a sustainable way, we need to develop smaller communities who can feed themselves and be more self contained, but we need to be open and inclusive and be connected to larger systems. We need to invest more in distributed systems. Systems for generating energy for our communities, using renewable sources. By being connected, we can generate what we need, but also supply back to the grid. There are many other ways in which the theory of distributed systems can be applied to current unsustainable practices.