While spending the last two years building Tazzetto, I was constantly thinking about how we could create value of all, by taking from none. The reality, was that there are systematic barriers that incentivize profits over creating a positive impact. For example, we operated in a zip code with NO PUBLIC RECYCLING, where I had to take home our bottles and plastics, illegally, or have it go straight to a landfill. It was impossible to put the needed time into solving these complex systematic issues, when we had a business to run, and needed to become profitable to survive. Value-Centered Design (VCD) says it shouldn't be this way. VCD is about systems that create benefits and value for more people, more of the time. VCD is about incentivizing benefits for all business models, so that the most profitable businesses have the most improvement on the lives of others.
Doing this alone is hard, but there are ways to that anyone can start to do this work within even the most unsustainable systems. For example, offering discounts for people who bring their own mugs is one way to incentivize sustainable behavior which is possible for a café of any size. Having coffee refill stations so that people reuse their containers reduces the footprint on the consumer side.
The real kicker is that in businiess, depending on the amount of funding you have, it is impossible to stick to values without cutting corners.
Equitable design, VCD, is about creating beneifts and value for more people more of the time, improving quality of life while also creating wealth.
When yu spend time investing in the other stakholders, you are not incentivized to do so so there’s a constant struggle between sticking to your ideals and just doing things to make money or cutting corners. Conclusion: it’s hard, but there are ways (which I have to find still) to work in the system- if we created a system that incentivized the sort of work that benefited all then it would help people help people.
Create a value centered toolkit.
Humans never evolved a mechanism to make us want to stop eating Oreos or stop using our phones. We never had such problems of abundance. And are we surprised that companies, built in our image, corporate obesity have no mechanism to maximize impact or find balance instead of just short term growth and profits. Similar to how people focus on short term pleasures. This same mechanism exists in the current model of business, where endless profits are pursued without any realistic limit, besides the limits that are self-imposed by the companies investors or founders.
Imagine we had an economic system where the easy decisions and the cheapest products, were also always the ones that benefited us, and others, the most?
This is something that possible in our lifetime, let's make it happen.