Tools for Innovators

Tools for Innovators: Video Resources

Sustainable Design: Life-Cycle Thinking

Sustainable Design involves a systems approach and consideration of the entire life-cycle of the innovation. There are three critical phases in the life-cycle of an invention where environmental impact should be considered: Supply Chain (sourcing, manufacture, and distribution), Product Use, and End-of-Life. This video showcases three ventures that apply these principles in their product life-cycle.

Inventing Green Video Series

A series of short vignettes about science and technology innovators who designed sustainability into their products and business models. These examples feature early-stage entrepreneurs who were our former grantees, which may be more relatable than big corporations for case studies. The stories provided can be used to demonstrate life-cycle phases, trade-offs, and design-thinking.

Profile: Sanergy
Hygienic sanitation facilities for slums around the world. Human waste is collected and converted into fertilizer, reducing water and introducing a renewable resource.

Profile: Promethean Power
Designs and manufactures refrigeration systems for cold-storage applications in off-grid and partially electrified areas of developing countries. Their products enable food suppliers to reliably store and preserve perishable food items—milk, fruits and vegetables—without the need for diesel-powered generators.

Profile: Drinkwell
Water filtration for areas around the world affected by arsenic poisoning. The reusable filter is changing the way water is sourced.

Profile: Helix Steel
Technology that increases the strength and durability of concrete while making it lighter, reducing its carbon footprint.

Profile: Sustainable Design at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)

Cindy Gilbert created an online program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design around sustainable design principles. Gilbert developed the program with support from a VentureWell faculty grant. Cindy is also a key contributor to Inventing Green: A Toolkit for Sustainable Design.

Inventing Green: A Toolkit for Sustainable Design

Download a .pdf of Inventing Green: A Toolkit for Sustainable Design here.

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