Save the world, for all the wrong reasons. 1. Introduction a. The world is not in a good place. Then again, the world has never been in a good place. b. The problem with our problem, though, is that it’s been brought on by making life better. ‘Creature comforts’ are proving to be a more stubborn opponent than Nazis or Commies combined. Because we love them even as they kill us. c. The only solution to this problem is to learn to love something healthier. So far, we’re not doing a terribly good job at this. 2. Where I’m coming from? a. I spent nearly 20 years in advertising and design b. I’ve devoted my career helping people really, really care about vital issues like good hair and clean cars. c. AKA selling people things they didn’t realize they needed. Using welldeveloped tools and (believe it or not) discipline. d. I believe I have something valuable when it comes to Our Problem. I help people love stuff. Hopefully, I can provide insights that will help people love a better way forward. 3. Thought: Sideline the sincere. a. The environment is too important to be left to environmentalists. i. They’re Malthusians who want us to return to a Garden of Eden State. Big place, 2 people, no dentists or convenience stores. Bummer, really. Plus, a ‘no people’ utopia has, in the past, all too often resulted in visions of genocide. Really bummer. ii. Environmentalists tend to believe that we can solve the world’s problems by changing lifestyles, not improving science. And what lifestyle do they suggest? 1. Their lifestyle 2. No ands, ifs, or buts. b. In short when did being sincere ever solve anything? c. Politicians are as sincere as morticians. They’re constantly discussing Very Important Issues with serious expressions. And all we have to do is look at COP 15 and Cancun to see where that’s gotten us. d. Even worse, sincere people confuse sincerity with action. It’s not. 4. Thought: Don’t confuse the bad (shopping) with the good (shopping). a. We love to consume. i. Consumption is bad when it’s left to give life meaning. AKA 19501999 USA. ii. Consumption is better when people already have meaning. Meaning comes from Family. Community. Education. Faith. Not TV. iii. Consumption is best when it’s harnessed to a higher purpose. Can we buy a better future? 5. Thought: The future needs to be bright, shiny and new.
a. If we go backwards, we end up partying with environmentalists. And nobody wants that. b. If we go forward, we run into the new. i. New = exciting ii. What excites us can get us to change our behavior – even to silly extremes 1. Aerobics 2. White suburban rap fans with oversize jeans and Mercedes stars around their neck. iii. Can the new be infused with the good? 1. If the Indians can make a $2000 car, how hard can this be? 2. Call in the engineers 6. Thought: Ad people: saved by the smartest, most shallow people in the world a. Imagine a sustainable world. Now imagine it with brighter teeth. b. Don’t tell consumers they’re saving the earth. Just tell them they’re going to get laid. c. Ad people understand that everything comes down to sex and desirability. d. They can make people WANT to do good, for all the wrong reasons. AND HERE ENDETH PART ONE OF THE BOOK. AND HERE BEGINNETH PART TWO 7. Is it happening already? a. Nike case study b. Patagonia case study c. Method case study 8. How to make it happen more a. Outside the jar thinking i. Don’t leave toothpaste people to design green toothpaste. ii. Never trust a line extension. Line extensions are like Hollywood sequels. Except the Godfather and Revenge of the Sith. b. The shiny new world saving ideas will come from entrepreneurial thinkers i. Can we create a system that promotes small mammals, and doesn’t keep dinosaurs alive past their natural life? 1. Imagine a world without protectionism, lobbyists, and unfair subsidies. 9. Is there a role for government and environmentalists? a. Governments are great at setting low bars for people to jump over. Let them continue to set regulation. If nothing else, it will get business pointed in the right direction, and exploring new terrtitories. b. The world needs watchdogs. Environmentalists make perfect watchdogs. It allows them to feel self-righteous, misunderstood, and generally grumpy while still bringing something valuable to the table. 10. The consumer who will make it happen a. Dissatisfied with what he has
b. Absolutely unwilling to compromise on his own comfort, or the world. c. Not terribly loyal. Always curious and looking for something new. d. Fiercely protective of family 11. The planet that will make it happen. a. A planet that demonstrates it can live perfectly well without us. 12. The end. If weâ€™re lucky. a. Are we too late? And other awesome lead-ins to my next book.
Published on Jan 21, 2011
The little book about how innovation and irreverence can save the world, but environmentalism and sincerity can't.