Coffee Club E3: Bringing environmental and social sustainability to life in your product development

Feb 20, 2024

"This is a very real concern for how we make decisions that need to filter all the way down to what people are doing day to day. Otherwise, it's just going to stay in that ethereal layer of well-intentioned statement that doesn't actually get acted upon."

Michael Casey


This week, Eric, Rebecca, and Mark are joined by Michael Casey and Saahil Panikar. Weekly highlights included likening the journey of a feature to a kayak on a river, deep dives into AI and machine learning, dodging monster trucks while camping on the beach, teaching kids to use power tools, and the fun of co-creation.

Rebecca seeded the idea of exploring the role of sustainability in product development, and it turned out she had done so much research in the area that we all wound up being inspired by the ideas she'd been finding. She kicked us off chatting about building a recycling strategy into your products before Saahil shared a story of a client he'd worked with who'd explicitly modified their Cost of Delay formula to incorporate environmental impact. Michael took us down the path of long-term thinking, which led us into the world of 'patient capital' and the influence of environmental awareness on market segmentation. This led to some fascinating discussions about situations where people have been able to link economic drivers to sustainability drivers on the way to the Systems Thinking disciplines and how many of their examples are environmental. Eventually, we got to a wrap exploring the parallels between 'Built-in Sustainability' and 'Built-in Quality.'


Eric Willeke

Rebecca Davis 

Mark Richards

Michael Casey

Saahil Panikar

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