Innovation and Technology
This element focuses on the role of innovation and technology in developing and enhancing greater environmental sustainability and resource efficiency in business and daily life. A good example is solar energy generated by photovoltaic cells, which were a major technological breakthrough in the 1960s and 70s, and through continuous innovation, PV cells have become much more energy-efficient and cost-effective since then. Further innovations in terms of improving battery storage, increasing efficiency, experimenting with lighter and more sustainable new materials, reducing production costs, designing more attractive products, creating new financial support services (as Elon Musk is doing with Solar City), and many other related activities will enable solar power to be much cheaper and more widespread in its use and impacts. This same type of approach can be applied to hundreds of other innovations and technologies, all of which will make our world healthier, more sustainable, and more prosperous for future generations. In ZISPOA, projects to promoting solar trees, mapping solar capacity, and building a solar-powered charging station for electric car sharing (in collaboration with the Government of Sweden), are good examples of an approach emphasizing the element of Innovation and Technology.
Entrepreneurship and Startups
This element focuses on promoting a much more entrepreneurial culture in terms of willingness to take risks and eagerness to engage in specific actions to develop new startups providing a wide variety of products and services designed to enhance environmental sustainability and resource efficiency in business and daily life, including through Innovation and Technology. The vision and energy of the rapidly growing Entrepreneurship and Startup movement in Porto Alegre, including coworking spaces, startup hubs, fab labs, and collaborative houses, is a vital economic and intellectual resource enabling ZISPOA to become the most sustainable and innovative place in Latin America. The Paralelo Vivo Sustainable Innovation Hub and ZISPOA were created to support the expansion of hundreds of green business startups generating sustainable products, services, and production processes. Many ZISPOA activities are designed to strengthen Entrepreneurship and Startups, including projects working with Junior Enterprises, university professors and students, and other organizations providing strategic mentoring and technical advice for ZISPOA businesses.
Sustainability and Resource Efficiency
This element focuses on the heart and soul of ZISPOA: finding new and better ways to conserve and reuse resources much more efficiently, especially renewable resources, and encouraging greater harmony and balance with natural ecosystem cycles. These activities range from engaging in circular zero waste production and consumption, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and expanding renewable energy generation and distribution, and many, many others. ZISPOA projects such as Espaco Floresta and Re-ciclo that support composting of food residues to help grow more food and reduce wasteful landfills, are examples of this approach, as well as many startups promoting organic food and healthy lifestyles, including bicycling. During October 2016, ZISPOA collaborated with the Government of Sweden and Nos Coworking to organize seminars and lectures for Sweden-Brazil Innovation Week on the themes of Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Mobility, and Zero Waste, understanding the education is a critical component of sustainability and resource efficiency.
Creativity and Collaboration
This element recognizes the vital importance of the sharing economy and collaborative approaches to business and community development as fundamental values of Sustainable Innovation. Similarly, creativity in every aspect of business and daily life is essential for the future success of Sustainable Innovation. The neighborhoods of ZISPOA – Independencia and Floresta – are among the main centers in Porto Alegre for creative economy businesses and events, including the Distrito Criativo and Boutique Hostel. ZISPOA also is a key location in Porto Alegre for collaborative houses, such as Vila Flores. Marquise 51 Hub Criativo, Casa Cultural Tony Petzhold, Nos Coworking, CC100, Galpao Makers, and Paralelo Vivo. The ZISPOA World Environment Day Festival in June 2016 at Vila Flores significantly highlighted creativity and collaboration, and the Virada Sustentavel festivities in April 2017 will do so even more extensively, including ZISgrafite and many related activities.
Participatory Community Management
This element focuses on the valuable role of inclusive civil society and private sector participation in enabling ZISPOA to become the most sustainable and innovative place in Latin America. Involving businesses and workers, residents and visitors, in the process of transforming communities on an ongoing and well-organized basis is necessary for collaboratively managing such an ambitious and extensive transition. One of ZISPOA’s major projects, GeoSUMR (Geoinformation for Sustainable Urban Management and Resilience), involves extensive community outreach and survey research, data collection and analysis of demographic trends and resource flows, digital geodesign, open data, and many other methods to learn more about and actively engage with a wide range of key community stakeholders. ZISPOA is partnering on the GeoSUMR project with several local organizations and businesses, including Porto Alegre Resiliente (representing the Prefeitura) and UFRGS, and with international entities such as Ecocity Builders, Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri), the World Council on City Data, and the US Government. ZISPOA wants to create a Business Improvement District (BID) as an international model for participatory community management, and is working with the Association of Town and City Management in the UK to learn from successful examples of best practices with BIDs in other countries.
This element focuses on strengthening support for entrepreneurship and startups in ZISPOA, both for new and existing businesses, in terms of improving outreach to markets, availability of financing, supply chains, and many other aspects of private sector viability for growing businesses, jobs, and incomes. In addition, this element seeks to remove excessively bureaucratic regulatory barriers to entrepreneurial growth and success. ZISPOA seeks to provide city and state leadership on how to unleash Sustainable Innovation startups, products, and services through generating a much more business-friendly environment involving government, business, and civil society. ZISPOA projects emphasize positive support for sustainable and innovative business growth through strategic mentoring, technical advice, networking connections, market promotion, and other necessary services, involving Junior Enterprises, university professors and students, and other organizations. Also, ZISPOA is working to expand 4th District incentives offered by the Prefeitura to help generate more Sustainable Innovation technology investments, and to inform local businesses about these new opportunities.