The Resource Revolution Trainer

Coupling Sustainability with Excellence. An online self-training guide for business.

SESSION 4: Building Blocks for Becoming the Resource Revolution Enterprise


Session 4 introduces you to the building blocks of making your Resource Revolution Enterprise. These include systems integration and the Internet of Things (IoT). Case examples cited include household names in many countries, some for children and some for grown-ups aspiring to do-it-themselves. Taking things to scale will challenge you to engage customers and target market segments step-by-step, deciding if you offer more-for-more or more-for-less. Examples also illustrate opportunities in the domain of transport and infrastructure. Network effects underline the role of intermediaries, technological or human. These have been found to be key in the making of decoupling at city level, as found by the IRP Cities Decoupling Report.


Support Materials:

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A leading example of using interchangeable parts comes from the Canadian interiors manufacturing company DIRTT. Using walls as organizing principle, it produces various parts for easy fitting and including additions such as electrical wiring cut to the exact lengths needed. It reminds of an industrial version of IKEA.  The DIRTT approach enables massive savings in the use of resources and space as well as the overall time and cost of construction. In redesigning its offer, DIRTT did away with waste and legacy technologies such as nails and screws.  All parts with their special connectors are made parametric, i.e. they are standardized in a way that they all fit together but each can be changed in size, material or colour. And as the history of Interface carpets illustrates, the benefit of standard interfaces is that a broken part or module can simply be replaced or repaired without effecting the whole system. Clever use of IT involves DIRTT using a software applied to the whole value chain for speeding up accurate design, orders, manufacturing, delivery and after-sale services.
Reflect on the following questions and discuss with colleagues in your company:

  1. Which of the building blocks for the Resource Revolution Enterprise apply most to your business? Why?
  1. Considering the possibility of interchangeable parts, sit down with colleagues and break your manufacturing processes and products into its most basic parts. Then reconfigure how they fit together with a functional and holistic perspective. What radical resource productivity improvements can you define?
  1. What role does software play in the making of systems integration and connecting your products and services with a surrounding business ecosystem? Have you considered how you may use Big Data with the global resource challenge in mind?
  1. How can your enterprise make better use of ICT services in crossing the chasm, taking disruptive resource efficient, cleaner technologies beyond the early adopters to the mass market?
  • Benyus, Janine. 1997. Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.  New York: HarperCollins.
  • Moore, Geoffrey. 2014 (3d edition). Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers. New York: HarperCollins.
  • Interface Cut the Fluff -
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Council -
  • Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) Factor 10 Engineering -
  • TERI Energy Environment Technology Development -