Students, faculty, staff, and business leaders are invited to join the Green Product Design Collaboration Network to invent sustainable products. Their intent is to develop “a different approach to product design.”
The Green Product Design Network (GPDN) began with a group of leaders from the University of Oregon with expertise in green chemistry, product design, business and journalism and communication with an interest in inventing sustainable products that can be readily adopted and marketed to our larger society.
The goal is to take ideas from invention to the marketplace in a way that has a more expedient and lasting impact on society.The Green Product Design Network–in accordance with the University of Oregon’s emerging academic plan, and “Big Ideas”–has been selected as one of five key projects that the University of Oregon (UO) is supporting and highlighting as a major strategic initiative for the UO.
On Wednesday, March 30, 2011 The Green Product Design Network held an event titled, Perceptions of Green Product Design and Green Marketing, at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Oregon. The business of green product design was explored through two presentations by Kiersten Muenchinger (UO Product Design) and Kim Sheehan (UO Journalism and Communications) exploring materials, marketing, waste and misconceptions about environmentally-friendly product design.
The Green Product Design Network is confronting challenges related to our dwindling resource base, climate change, chemical contaminants, the viability and success of our financial markets, and the emergence of new technologies. The best solutions to these problems will come from research cutting across many disciplines and from the creation of tailored, multidisciplinary education programs for our students. This is the aim of the GPDN.
Their strategy is to develop a network that is inclusive and taps the potential of the wide range of scholars needed to tackle these large challenges and allows for broader participation than typical Center and Institute structures. In addition, a network structure facilitates open participation from external strategic partners including those from industry, government, and NGOs. Networks are flexible and nimble, even at large scale – there is minimal fixed infrastructure and participation can define membership while project leadership can easily change as focus shifts.
Their Vision involves enhancing synergies to Impact the “Triple Bottom Line:” People, Planet, and Profit. Inventing and marketing profitable products that truly are green. This requires a broad interdisciplinary approach—and the UO is uniquely equipped to provide it. The GPDN provides a unifying theme to leverage strengths in the arts and sciences, architecture and allied arts, business, journalism, and law to provide a systems approach to:
• Improve understanding about how new products affect the environment, our economic structures, and society.
• Invent greener products, materials, and chemicals.
• Discover the best business models and practices to deliver these innovations to society.
• Create meaningful educational programs for current and future generations.The strength of this strategy is that it will enhance synergies between the three pillars of the “triple bottom line:” people, planet, and profit.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.