Helena Hansson, is Frugal Innovator and Doctoral Student in Design at the University of Gothenburg.With experiences from international research she discusses innovations for sustainable development in situations characterized by institutional voids and complexities, resource scarcity and lack of affordances.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a global agenda established by the United Nations. Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Wool issues can be a part of several SDGs but in her reflections Helena focused on SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure and 17: Partnerships for the goals.
Helena has not worked in the wool business but will try to give another perspective. She thinks that the Swedish Wool Initiative is a good example of building resilient infrastructure, in a long-term way, both local, regional and global, where also welfare of both people and animals are concidered. To achieve sustainable industrialization – SDG 9 – new infrastructure and platforms like the SWI are needed. Building infrastructure involves many different actors and cooperation between business, academy, civil organisations and society. It is important to discover the voids and try to fill them. It is also important to see that innovation is not just products and business, it is also knowledge and there must be platforms for this.
Wool is a global movement and gives the north connection to the south. We can learn from other parts of the world, as well as from the global industry. Therefore Helena wanted us to put the theme of the congress in a global perspective. The SDG 17 urges us to enhance the global partnership for sustainable development to support the achievement of the SDGs in all countries – in particular development countries. This can be done by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertice, technology and financial resources.
Helena also encouraged us to scale up the wool issues socially. From earlier experiences she has learnt to work in small but scale up through cooperative work. She also pointed out the importance of bringing in a variety of voices and perspectives in complex issues. Working with local innovation in a global scale with long-term projects, trust-building systems, building relations, interconnecting elements like wool is good to start with for sustainable development. Also try to work with projects that continues after ending of the actual project. Perhaps the most interesting things happens after the project ends!