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Colour without pigment, metals without mining and fresh air without filters. Is this the future of the Blue Economy?
Entrepreneur, author and activist Gunter Pauli argues that while we set our sights on a ‘green economy’, many green solutions are a case of doing less bad, rather than more good.
Pauli’s ‘blue economy’ is about tackling our great environmental problems in new ways and finding solutions that are environmentally beneficial and have wider financial and social benefits.
Pauli’s book, The Blue Economy, features 100 innovations such as how coffee waste can be converted into protein to farm tropical mushrooms, how glass can become a multifunctional construction material and how the tricks of light used by humming birds and peacocks may reduce our need for heavy metals in paints. These 100 innovations, Pauli argues, can lead to 100 million jobs in 10 years.
The Blue Economy suggests we should be focusing on interconnected systems – and how finding synergies between the environment, economy and society can be good for us all. The challenge is to “to be inspired by nature,” Pauli says, “which does not know the concept of waste and has evolved to an amazingly well structured system of life which is in permanent co-evolution.”
Pauli is a keynote speaker at this year’s Green Cities conference and expo, which will be held from 6-7 March in Sydney.