Corporations are some of the biggest wasters of energy and natural resources, and also the biggest polluters. But their sheer size and buying power means getting just one corporation to change it’s wasteful habits could impact the entire economy and set a great example for their competitors.
But corporations are notoriously closed off to the public (despite what their Facebook pages might say to the contrary), and don’t often like to be reminded about what they’re doing wrong.
That’s why industrial designer Krystal Persaud came up with an easy way to communicate the need for change to CEO’s of some of the biggest corporations in the world. Using cleverly designed informational booklets, Persaud will systematically reach out to these CEOs to open a dialogue about industrial design and how it can improve their products.
Launched just last week, CEO for Change is about reaching out to CEOs of top consumer products companies in the US and convincing them that industrial designers can transform their products to be more sustainable and innovative without sacrificing quality.
I caught up with Persaud just after the CEO for Change launch party in Atlanta to ask few questions about her project and what she hopes to accomplish.
What inspired you to take on this project?
“Back in 2010, I wrote a letter to Kellogg inquiring about the sustainability of their packaging. To my surprise, I got a response back stating “the materials we use are 100% waste, both pre- and post- consumer”. This really ticked me off! I was frustrated with giant consumer product companies pumping out the same products and packaging. Companies cannot put out any more excuses, just great products.”
“Ah, a question that I have been faced with many times! Industrial design, commonly confused with industrial engineering, is traditionally known as the design of products. Industrial designers are trained to solve problems creatively and innovatively while keeping factors like aesthetics, ergonomics, mechanics, and manufacturing in mind. In some current design curriculums you can add “sustainability” to that list of factors. Basically, industrial designers “create things to solve problems”. The key word being “things”. The world already has millions of “things” in excess, so as an industrial designer myself, I want to ensure that every “thing” I create causes the least amount of environmental harm.
“Let’s say your company designs food packaging: Instead of asking questions like, “how can I create a more sustainable food bag?”, an industrial designer would ask “how can I create a more sustainable method of enclosing food?”. The questions might seem the same, but are fundamentally different. The first inquisitor jumps to the conclusion that a “bag” is the only solution for food packaging, when a designer knows there are many other creative options out there.”
What happens after all the booklets are mailed?
“After the booklets are mailed, I will continue to promote the project through many different avenues (1) CEO for Change video (2) CEO for Change website (3) talking to the design community!
“I am reaching out to fellow designers and asking them to bar high for better and more sustainable products on the market. If I am able to reach CEOs, I would like to talk to them about having an “industrial design intervention” in their product development process. A main goal of this project is to raise awareness and employ industrial designers. So, if I can educate CEOs on what industrial design is and convince them to use industrial design as a tool of innovation, my job is done!”
Image Credit: theclosedloop.com
The CEO for Change video was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia by the talented Jason Travis.