Renewable Matter # 1 / Next Europe

Fighting Waste to Produce New Wealth

by Luigi Bistagnino

Innovating involves approaching problems from a different perspective. In other words, one needs to move from a quantitative to a qualitative analysis, thus feeling an integral part of a living system where everything is constantly evolving, with every element interconnected with the others in an input and output fluid exchange. At the same time, matter is part of this system and of ourselves.

A new way to see, to act and to think in the various fields of knowledge is set out before us. 

Within the economic sciences, people are considering the fact that 60/80% of all resources currently employed in a production process are incorporated in the end product, while the remaining 20/40% end up, at best, in a landfill or, at worst, as special waste. Society and, above all, the planet can no longer take the extra cost that industries have fraudulently dumped on them upon themselves. Thankfully, a new economic vision is on the horizon, one that sees the dynamic flow of matter, both incoming and outgoing, as an item included in the profit and loss account. 

Therefore, if we consider the interchange of matter and energy with the other systems in the production of goods and services, just as it happens in nature, new production activities are generated. Together with the existing ones they form a very solid network and extend the portfolio of job opportunities, of economic flow and zero waste.

Such tangible dynamic situation occurring when a new network is created causes new thirst for knowledge promoting a close multidisciplinary dialogue. The combination of different viewpoints sheds a new light on fresh cultural panoramas, with the possibility of real, albeit unexpected, solutions.

Since actions depend on the relations occurring amongst the actors, society as a whole will obviously benefit from it: cooperation could be spontaneously accepted instead of the current continual competition.

The environment will be the beneficiary of the complexity of such exchanges, acting as the litmus test for the whole system, absorbing its positive effects.

In this complex set of relations, renewable matter can be a first field to give some serious thought to, an unmistakable stepping stone to understand and share the potential of a systemic cultural approach. It is precisely the connective fabric of our everyday living, from production to economy and communication...