Director’s Commentary: Cradle to Cradle

Here’s a great Director’s Commentary:  architect, designer, and author Bill McDonough speaks about cradle to cradle design.  If you’ve never heard him speak, I highly encourage you to give a listen.  And if you have, well, I learn something new each time I listen.

I first heard Bill speak on February 11, 2003 at a lecture given at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.  I remember being in that miserable state of having just recovered from a winter flu, and not really wanting to do anything more than go to sleep, but something told me to leave work early to grab a good seat. 

I’m glad I did.  His words changed my life, because for the first time I saw a potential path forward.  I took a class on environmental science in the Fall of 1988 as a freshman at Stanford, and had been aware of the science of global warming and of the importance of toxic concentrations of chemicals since that time.  But, as a design engineer, I never felt there was much I could do beyond specifying good materials and making sure they were labeled for recycling.  McDonough’s Cradle to Cradle philosophy changed all of that for me, because it helped me see clearly the value of being able to combine, at a personal, corporate, societal, and global level, the lenses of business, human values, and technology.