#141 - A story about how we can leverage technology to make our planet liveable and more sustainable

An interview with Terry Swack, CEO of Sustainable Minds

Product InnovationThis podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help let us live the lives we want, without killing our planet. My guest is Terry Swack, CEO of Sustainable Minds.

Terry is an Internet and environmental entrepreneur, pioneer in customer experience strategy and thought leader in the product sustainability software industry.

Her career has focused on making complex ideas and technologies useful, usable and desirable. She started her first company, TSDesign, in 1994: an Internet strategy and product design firm that lead the industry in user experience design. It was acquired by Razorfish in 1999.

In 2002 she became VP Customer Experience & founding member of StillSecure, a network security software startup where she brought 3 best-in-class products to market in 18 months

In 2005 she founded the Beam, a venture-backed Web 2.0 marketplace to power the emerging demand for cleaner & greener products and services

Finally, in 2007 she founded Sustainable Minds a company that’s mission is to operationalize environmental performance into mainstream product development and manufacturing in an accessible, empowering and credible way.

Sustainable Minds’ Eco-concept + LCA Software was the 1st cloud tool for product manufacturers to design greener products has been used in industry and higher education in 90+ countries.

This resonated with me, and hence I invited Terry to my podcast. We explore the massive challenge we have at hand to make the world more sustainable. We discuss how technology can help accelerate solving this problem and what’s needed to leverage the impact of technology to its max. How we can create growth by consuming less, and what mindset we should obtain to create solutions people will embrace and talk about.

Here are some of her quotes:

There is the opportunity for economies and businesses to grow, and there’s a different way to do it. Because if growth is still driven by consumption, the way most economies function, and especially first world economies, it’s all about consumption and more.

But innovation through improving environmental performance and also now material health is going to mean less consumption due to developing product service systems, using fewer raw materials, circular economy, all the things that people haven’t yet waded into in a mainstream way, will become the way.

People all over the planet want to live the way people live in a first world economy. For that to happen we’d need 5 plantets to support the carrying capacity of today’s population and the rate at which it’s growing,.

During this interview, you will learn three things:

  1. To create meaningful change you have to help people to think differently before they can act differently
  2. How to start and accelerate company growth when the main thing you solve isn’t even ‘cool’ yet
  3. Why companies that measure (and not think differently) will only deliver incremental impact
  4. Remarkable software is created when you focus on creating something very specific people can use instead of something that everybody can use.

For more information about the guest of this week:


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