The mindset of striving for balanced solutions will be crucial for making progress on key challenges of our time while creating sustainable long-term opportunities. We believe that this way of thinking will underpin advances in research and fundamental breakthroughs, that it will be the basis for the next generation of industry, and that it can change how the economy works for the better. We will strive for balanced solutions through systematically assessing all of the research from six key perspectives.
Any solutions we explore must be thought through from an environmental impact perspective. The environment, our natural capital, underpins bio-based industries, human health and wellbeing, food security and the healthy functioning of our planetary support systems.
A resource perspective calls for a deep understanding of the implications of any solution on resource usage, recognising limits on supply, and use of the circular economy. Moreover, in considering resources we move beyond the view of resources as those harvested from the planet and believe it is important that resources can be thought of from digital as well as physical perspectives.
A production perspective takes a complete life-cycle perspective and understands how goods and solutions are created, become obsolete, and their end of life processes, are reused in new products or are returned to nature sustainably. In E3RI we understand production in its broadest sense and include all sorts of manufacturing processes, and all sorts of physical and digital products, and natural and synthetic products. We are also interested in changing modes of production, 3D/4D printing, VR/AR modes of production etc.
A data perspective brings with it an understanding of what data is needed, how data might be captured and secured, as well as data privacy issues and the ethical use of data. In E3RI we think of data in its fullest form. We do not limit our understanding to ‘digitally acquired and stored’ data but include seed banks, plant banks, data embedded in the natural landscape and more. A data perspective also requires us to consider what needs to be preserved for posterity.
Wellbeing perspective seeks to understand how our design choices and technical developments contribute to or adversely affect wellbeing
A community perspective aims to understand the impact of the solution on the wider community. It brings in ideas of scale and asks the question as to whether the solution is appropriate for the scale at which it is needed – e.g. local or global community. It asks us to consider human behaviour and whether a solution will in fact take root.