Edited: Friday, 24 June 2016
The article "A Safe Operating Space for Humanity" (Nature 461:472-475) by Johan Rockstrom et al and his book "Big World Small Planet" (2015) provide the message that Sustainable Development is an urgent matter. Pioneering startups are needed in great numbers, but the Startup Death Valley stops many of them from reaching sustainability in the form of a steady stream of revenues.
It is a matter of survival to reach Global Sustainability. However, the dynamic nature of sustainability seems often to be ignored also by very intelligent persons. Recycling is fundamental. Albert Einstein developed a static model of the Universe. He later realized that the static model was non-sustainable and called it the "biggest blunder of his life". The standard cosmological model of today is dynamic. An observed acceleratation in the cosmic expansion is given the interpretation that the cause is a kind of energy. Apparently overriding gravity, its nature remains in the dark. Perhaps the belief in "dark energy" will in a near future become regretted by our cosmologists as the biggest blunder in the history of science. Of course, they are children of their culture as also Einstein one century ago. In that social perspective, it is just logical to expect willingness to accept the dark energy interpretation and ignorance of the possibility to explain the observed cosmic acceleration by applying a recycling model of time itself.
The very same social perspective makes me think that people will in general ignore guidelines from the political leadership backed by leading scientists and continue on non-sustainable ways of living until the incitaments for change have become sufficiently convincing for their own economy. Cost-effective investments are desirable for speeding up the process towards Sustainable Development. It is a good start to identify and help true pioneers among independent inventors and researchers. Today, they are almost invisible in large-scale research and innovation programs as well as in global Transfer of Technology (ToT) projects.
When urgently needed, outsiders like John Ericsson can make a difference with groundbreaking inventions. His USS Monitor, a novel design of armored ship which included a rotating turret housing a pair of large cannons, went from plans to launch in approximately 100 days. It saved the Union fleet from defeat. In his later years, he became successful with a caloric engine featuring a boilerless design which made it a much safer and more practical means of power for small industry than steam engines. It is known that he had an early interest in solar power and renewable energy sources.
Nicknamed "The Magic Carpet", a ToT agency for speeding up Sustainable Development is planned to start in Stockholm with some support from foreign financial institutions and investment firms. A suitable workspace will offer video telecommunications with virtual reality and access to local professional services for meetings between investors, entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors. The intention is to make it easier for pioneering startups to survive the Startup Death Valley.