The etymology of the word is a combination of innovation and sustainability. Innovation is effective, efficient, but if it is an end in itself, it’s not always that useful. Innovability means oriented and sustainable innovation and, at the same time, it means real and impactful sustainability.


Technology advance to meet global challenges

Sustainable development is closely linked to the use of technology. But modern technologies do not only lead to positive effects. Many problems, for example in the environmental sector, result directly from the application and implementation of technology – such as in the production of chemical fertilisers and fossil fuels. A sustainable society will only function if it can rely on reliable technical systems and products. These should be as efficient, health-promoting, resource-saving and affordable as possible. Electric cars, organic farming, renewable energy and e-learning are good examples.

These alternatives are also attributed with the potential to meet the overall global challenges such as climate change and the growth of inequalities between and within countries, as they are emerging not only in industrialized countries but also in developing countries. for instance, the latter have emerged as leaders in certain technologies, such as China in solar technology, and as pioneers in the development of revolutionary applications, such as mobile banking in Kenya.

A broader engagement

History teaches us that technological revolutions drive or accompany social and economic changes. If humanity is serious about solving ecological and social challenges, innovations must create pathways towards sustainable development. This will require inventing and disseminating new technologies as well as new urban forms, business models, agricultural practices, food habits and lifestyles.

The purely technological approach of various green revolutions, for example, is incapable of meeting the social and environmental challenges of agricultural industry. Broader engagement of farmers and all those involved in scientifically-informed, ecologically, economically and socially sustainable agroecosystems is needed too.

Sharing, in particular, illustrates the potential to innovate business models, with a shift from the sale of goods to the provision of a service. The rise of open innovation models – such as open source, open access, open science and open data – recognizes the creative possibilities inherent in sharing knowledge and in collaboration.

Innovating as a solution

What if we really took seriously the need to innovate in the way we address the challenges our societies face – such as, climate change, ecosystem impacts, biodiversity loss, inequitable access to education, information and capital, and many other issues – and crafted more unusual settings to foster, test and launch those innovations?

International organizations, governments, and corporates must recognize that innovation is not developed within confined spaces, and should promote the establishment of collaborative open models that fully involve society and protect the environment.

zeroCO2. The tales of zeroCO2

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Whether to improve the environment or generate social impact, with zeroCO2 you can’t go wrong: we are a sustainable project in every possible sense.