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Slow design-driven innovation: A response to our future in the Anthropocene epoch

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journal contribution
posted on 18.11.2020, 17:21 by Marta Gasparin, William Green, Chris Schinckus
Human activities have changed the Earth System to the point where we are in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. This is characterised as a climate crisis with the practices and meanings associated with innovation being challenged. ‘Slow Designers’, including those living in the most climatically vulnerable parts of the Earth, are innovating design practices by building on the heritage and history of local communities and using eco-friendly materials. These craft-inspired approaches could mitigate our over reliance on the Earth system. Slow design-driven Innovation, by translating communities’ heritage, history and territorial importance, creates sustainable products that customers love and care for. We contribute to the theory of design-driven innovation(DDI) by bringing together concepts from the Slow Food movement and DDI, coining the term“Slow Design-Driven Innovation”. Slow Design-Driven Innovation consists of four actions: envisaging the heritage, featuring the biodiversity in the product, translating traditional techniques into processes for innovative products, and narrating a story about the products and their makers to promote new meanings. Managerially, this contributes to a model of responsible production which confronts current practices in today’s climate crisis, as the products are long-lasting, high quality and are created using local organic materials, thereby protecting biodiversity.


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School of Business


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Creativity and Innovation Management





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