Bruce Mau is one of the most important and influential design thinkers of our time. His book Massive Change is one of my all-time favorites. In this inspiring presentation, Mau takes on one of the most difficult questions of our time, how can we live without Oil?
I remember when I first saw Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" back in 2006, I felt a very unpleasant feeling of of fear and frustration. There was a real sense of urgency to act but also helplessness in light of the scale of the problem and lack of a clear path to a solution. Gore did a good job by framing the crisis and its causes and communicating the shared responsibility that we all share as citizens of the world but he didn't offer any concrete solutions.
Bruce Mau brilliantly re-frames the question and turns it into a positive one. Instead of asking "how can we live without oil" which obviously is not going to happen and stands in the way of finding a viable solution, Mau asks
"Can we imagine a beautiful future WITH oil?". Mau also offers a better way to motivate people to move towards a better solution not because "we should" but because "(yes), we can".
The new business model, according to Mau, is in the intersection between art and science. He explains that designers play a critical role in creating things that are both intelligent and desirable. This is the project of the 21st Century. This is where design thinking comes in.
So if you are asking yourself how can I become part of the solution and not be part of the problem the answer is: smart and sexy.