Challenge #13 ~ Innovation

Read the blog post on the May Theme ~ CLOSE THE LOOP

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth, only co-pilots.

Buckminster Fuller1

We are all entrepreneurs! Let’s race to the future and see what opportunities the promise of a first-ever carbon-neutral 2022 FIFA World Cup offers to all of us to create new, regenerative products and services, businesses, and enterprises! If Tesla, GE, Ikea and other nine billion-dollar companies can turn a profit on sustainability and change the way to do business, we all can.

What if the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is to become the first-ever carbon-neutral AND the first-ever zero-waste-to-landfill FIFA World Cup? What if moving the country toward a circular economy to meet the 2030 Qatar National Vision delivers a low carbon economy with a net positive impact, despite hosting a mega sport event in our fragile desert environment?

“In a time when so much of the discourse around the environment and human society is plagued by negativity framing, we need to be proponents of the optimistic possibility that humans do indeed have the potential to shift the status quo from un-sustainability to regenerative systems, which benefit all humans, for all time, on this beautiful planet we call home.

Leyla Acaroglu1

So get your innovative business brain going and turn a profit on sustainability by closing the loop to protect natural resources, and live the vision for a sustainable Qatar through waste management and a culture of recycling, upcycling, and reinventing.

There are so many investment-worthy possibilities to Close the Loop, including bio-based biodegradable plastics from starch, edible cutlery that eliminate toxic plastic, old textiles into new yarns and fibers for safety clothes, and recycled tire-rubber into footballs, non-slip paint, acoustic tiles and, and non-stick paving, to name a few.

Best of all, closing the loop brings uncountable and immeasurable positive ‘side’ benefits for human and social sustainability, which makes for an ever so sweet return on investment, leading to circular changes in the lives of people, with self-confidence, pride and economic mobility for all.

Do you lead and innovate like Messi or Beckham? For fun, take this short quiz of 10 questions that determines which football star’s leadership style you embody! Do you have a vision? Enjoy and then act and innovate for positive impact!

Manage Like Messi: This Quiz Tells You What Football Star You Most Resemble at Work

And remember, innovation is not only for business. We innovate every day to improve things, processes, and behaviors. We innovate because we are frustrated, annoyed, or simply see a better way of getting things done. The motivation is often to make things better, faster, cheaper. 

To transition to a circular economy we need to think, be, and do things differently. We can build a healthy economy on a functionality model, a brave-new-world model, that is no more technically risky but addresses customer pains differently, whereas a better, faster, cheaper model often destroys competition, value and profits. 

One of the most pressing customer pains is global warming. Our existence is at risk. In order to stop the global temperature increase at 1.5 °C  above pre-industrial levels, annual global greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by 26 billion tonnes carbon equivalent (CO2e) by 2030. The climate policies of various countries, when all are successfully realized, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by only 11-13 billion tonnes, which is barely half of what’s required to keep us, the human species, happy and healthy! And this is where we as individuals come in. We can scale individual actions, we can learn from nature and innovate to decouple economic growth and development from carbon emissions and eliminate, reduce and/or drawn down carbon from the atmosphere to address this enormous gap.

The biggest impact on temperature increase comes from our ways in which we interact with materials. Energy consumption (and therefore the related greenhouse gas emissions) is closely linked to the extraction, proces­sing, transportation, use, and discarding of materials. Across the globe about 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions are related to the management of materials of the current linear supply chain and economy. 

Business creation and implementation of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) play an essential role in reducing emissions related to materials by about 20-30% and in creating a circular economy. It takes courage, foresight and commitment to make business-sense of strategic sustainability and to implement sustainability across industries, operations and stakeholder engagement. The goal is to cash in on sustainability in the profit equation (Return on Capital Employed = ROCE). “Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors relevant to a company’s business can provide essential insights into management effectiveness and thus a company’s long-term prospects” said Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, a global investment company with $6.5 trillion in assets under management in his annual letter to CEOs in January 2017. 

It is 2019 now! We have work to do! Let’s get to it!


  1. Medium, Six Powerful insights from the creative shape shifter, R. Buckminster Fuller, Accessed 26 May 2019
  2. Public Waste Agency of Belgium (OVAM), Seven Messages About the Circular Economy and Climate Change, Accessed 25 May 2019
  3. World Economic Forum, Circular Economy in Cities Evolving the Model for a Sustainable Urban  Future, Accessed 25 May 2019
  4. Circle Economy and Ecofys, Implementing Circular Economy Makes Paris Targets Achievable, Accessed 25 May 2019

Other interesting links