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19th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production – Circular Europe for Sustainability: Design, Production and Consumption

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Innovating with Systemic Approach

Innovation have a variety of sources such as creativity, imitation, serendipity and chance, and also the needs manifested and made explicit by the users or identified by the observation them. Their association with other factors may conduct and catalyse the process of innovation. The diversity of professionals seeing the subject from different points of view may be inspiring. It is important also to notice the motivations for innovation. In many sectors, technological innovation has become the determining factor in the competitive success. It can also be considered a necessity for the maintenance of life, since living systems must adapt to the changing environment. Enterprises, that are composed by people and therefore are living organisms, also need to evolve. Integral Endeavours, which is based on Systemic Design, have a promising approach to innovation – they use the analysis of the optimization of matter and energy, considering the economic, social, environmental and cultural sustainability, as one of the drivers to innovation. As part of the methodology used, there is the complete revaluation of processes, considering the enterprise as part of a system. The complete usage of resources is then analysed, considering that the output of a system is the input of another one. System is a concept whose boundaries must be delimited depending on the subject of analysis. Therefore, the relationships considered to the modelling of this network, may involve enterprises, households, individuals or the nature itself. There is the conscience that enterprises are made of individuals, that everyone has the role of provider and consumer. The application of this methodology deals very intensely with the problem of pollution from emissions and waste, and considers accessibility, inclusion and the conscious consumer. Some projects using this methodology, is dealing with the stimulation of social cohesion in very poor communities in Belo Horizonte, using Urban Agriculture, that will reflect in nutrition, violence control and management of geological risks. It has also been developed projects that, considering the context of cafeterias, created products from coffee ground such as composts to produce mushrooms, inks and cosmetics. Considering the context of the production of beans, it has been created a new product to have the return from investment when crops are not as successful generating unperfect beans commercially depreciated. Besides packaging that communicates the quality of the product, from organic production to local culture, it has also been developed a product to reduce the importance for consumers of the visual aspect of the “perfect bean” – the bean has been transformed to chips, adding value to the product. From the experience of communicating the systemic approach, it can be seen that it has substantial potential of transformation, dealing with some chronic problems of our society. Since it consists of a change of culture and deals with complexity, its adoption is slow. Nevertheless, we are very convinced that in this systemic approach and its innovations, lies, at least, part of the response of many of our society’s chronic problems

Design School of the State University of Minas Gerais (ED-UEMG) and Post-doc in the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)

Federal University of Minas Gerais, School of Engineering, Integrated Laboratory of Design and Product Engineering

EDUARDO Romeiro Filho
2Federal University of Minas Gerais, School of Engineering, Integrated Laboratory of Design and Product Engineering


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