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This paper provides a system level perspective of the contextual pressures facing designers, engineers and businesses today. In it, we challenge negative creative norms and we champion positive ‘post normal’ creativity to enable a sustainable future. We hypothesise that organisations working towards creative sustainable solutions are driven by a purpose designed to respond to the current and contextual pressures faced by the Earth’s systems, a global society and a global economy. Developing motivations within a sustainable system will require instilling a long-term world-view perspective in all learners— and in this we include international leaders and industrialists, business owners, academic teachers and pupils. A regenerative mind-set must be encouraged across the collective of engineers, designers and business leaders—so that humanity can realise ecological, social and financial prosperity. ‘Business as normal’ must come to an end. We must enable an industrialised humanity to design its way out of unsustainable times. Across undergraduate and postgraduate education, through to Continued Professional Development and lifelong learning, the impact of design and business decisions must be qualified and quantified with respect to the three pillars (people, planet and profit). The consequences must be recognised, discussed, measured and used to productive and healthy advantage. By generating and adopting a more holistic view of impact, we have the potential for making real time measurement in a clean Fourth Industrial Revolution. With tangible measures of impact across full project lifecycle and the full supply and distribution chain, designers and engineers will be better informed to make sustainable decisions.
Empson, T., Chance, S. & Patel, S. (2019). A critical analysis of creativity in sustainable production and design. International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education12-13 September, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom.