My personal interest on the topic of innovation revolves around many environmentally sustainable concepts. I studied for 3 weeks in Denmark about sustainable technology, so a lot of what I present in this entry will be based on what I learned there, although my inspiration comes from daily independent research.
The topic of global warming, or more specifically the greenhouse effect, has been around since 1906 when Swedish scientist, Svante Arrhenius, estimated that it would take 3,000 years to double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Yet the disruption and creation of the environmental-centric industry did not seem to explode until Al Gore took his ideas to the media (possibly in part because the rate of emissions exponentially increased). Governments, NGOs, corporations, and researchers alike knew about the speeding rate of emissions - but it wasn't until the media exploited the fundamentals for debate that the concept took hold with the masses. Now the principles are spreading to unlikely followers and uniting people under an entirely new innovation umbrella. I hate only thinking of innovation as 'invention'. It encompasses so much more than that and I'n afraid innovators are left thinking that they can only gain recognition through invention of new products. The first point I will make is that the real innovators in this eco-industry are the ones using "one man's trash". The second point I will make is that some of these trash-finders and waste-seekers are thinking up some of the most unbelievably creative products. Fear not, non-inventive innovators, you can use what is already there! These links are just a few of my favorites that I can't wait to see catching up with the green bandwagon.
1.) Harvey Seatbelt Handbags
2.) Freight Container Design etc.
3.) Boxed water and wine (because plastic and glass are too fancy)
I hope this interests at least one other person, because I simply can't get enough! If you would like to know any more, I would love to share what I know and research what I don't.
Jim Todhunter also has a lot of great insight on his blog Innovating to Win, which is a great place if you're looking for relevant discussions.