Final Session: Practical Wisdom – From Consumption to ‘Next-use’


15.00 Dominic Balmforth (DK/UK): From Consumption to ‘Next-use’

Dominic Balmforth is architecht, Director in his own company Susturb and partner in the House of Futures. He will give a pep-talk about why we need ‘next-use’ to replace consumption as nearly half the CO2 emissions per capita in Denmark do not arise from energy use, but from our ongoing purchase of personal possessions.

According to Dominic Balmforth there are 

Two problems:

1. Decreasing Natural Resources

2. Increasing Carbon per Capita

There are also

Two solutions:

1. Use New Resources, such as the man made lake full of products and articles. Cradle-2-Cradle is dealing with this approach. 

Huge companies can do this, if they want.

Metal theft is second to terrorism on the British Police’s list of crime. This indicates that products contain valuable elements and if we as society don’t recouperate it criminals will.

2.  Use differently

We spend 12 tons of Co2/capita/year.

The challenge in bring down that number is that people can only buy sustainability if companies and organisations offer sustainability

According to Dominic Balmforth we must redefine what a consumer is: A consumer is a user that does not need to posses a thing to use it.

An example of this is found at the Holstebro hospital where doctors and nurses hand in their operating clothes at night and get a new clean uniform every morning. They don’t own the uniform and they don’t bring it back home. They receive it at the hospital when they need it clean and in their size, ready to use. 

Or look at the use of power drills which are only used for maybe 10 hours a year. Can they be made available for other people when not in use? Rethink the use and the business models.

Another example is Brøset, Trondheim, the 3 ton suburb. They reduced the carbon emissions from 12 tons/year to 4,3 tons/year.

The Super Fridge is another such concept – have a massive fridge in the middle of your street so you only buy from it what you need right now and don’t have a fridge in your own house which is full of food that turns bad.

Think beyond minimizing consumption: maximize use.

My comments: It is a very inspiring approach and with reference to Harbin Tibb’s presentation I would classify Dominic Balmforth as a Cultural Creative inspiring us to make the transmodern society a sustainable one.

I would like to see all public budgets being allocated in 2013 with a request to use min. 12,5% of their annual sum to be Culturally Creative about the service they offer, the problems they solve, the solutions they produce. They can recruit input from unemployed young people and thereby use some of the passive reserves. That would be a fulfilling way of using tax payers money.

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